Did you know that you can take a free tour of The White House?
We’ve gone several times and it is so worth it! The White House inside is so beautiful and even more so if you’re able to take a White House tour during Christmas.
Touring The White House
Tours are free and open to the public but are on first come, first serve basis. They need to be made in advance and through your congressperson. I recommend you book your tour a month in advance since it’s a bit of a process but you can book them up to 3 months in advance.
If you’re a US Citizen/Resident you can book your tour by contacting your congressperson here. Once you’ve gotten their info, call or email their office requesting a White House tour.
If you’re a foreign citizen you can request a White House tour by contacting your country’s embassy in Washington DC. All you have to do is google “your country + embassy in Washington DC” and contact them directly to set up your tour.
What do you see at The White House?
The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC.
Usually you only get to see one section of The White House. You’ll have access to walk around in certain rooms, hallways and see all their decorations. You’ll also learn about the history of house and those who have lived in it. The chances of you running into the president are pretty much none, so don’t expect that when you take the tour.
The tour takes about an hour and it’s a self-guided tour. As of right now, you get access to see 10 different rooms on the ground and first floor.
Learn more about what you’ll see during your White House tour here.
Things you should know when visiting The White House
The White House is pretty strict with the items you can bring in, so make sure once you’ve received your invitation that you read the guidelines carefully since they might have changed.
Here are some basic guidelines:
- Bring your ID. All guests 18 years of age or older will be required to present a valid, government-issued photo identification and all information must match with the information you submitted when you requested The White Hour tour. All foreign citizens must present their passport.
- Show up before your assigned time (your invitation will say how much in advance you can come) since there will be a thorough security check
- Babies in baby carriers are allowed, however strollers are not allowed
- Bring the bare minimum with you. You are ONLY allowed to bring: umbrellas, wallets, compact cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches (I recommend just using your cell phone camera), cell phones and keys.
- There is no storage facilities so make sure you don’t bring a bag with you or any other item outside of the allowed items mentioned above.
- Use the restrooms before beginning your tour.
- You are not allowed to bring food or drinks.
There isn’t really parking near The White House and DC traffic can get pretty bad. It’s best to take the metro or park further away.
The closest metro stations are Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines) and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines).
Can you take kids on a White House tour?
Yes, children are allowed to go but they have to be authorized to come with you. When you make the request with your congressperson for a White House tour make sure you let them know kids are coming with you. They will need their full names along with other information.
Once you arrive to The White House, you won’t need to show ID for the children but make sure you don’t forget your own ID.