The United States Capitol building is one of the most recognized buildings in the entire United States, let alone in Washington DC. Also known as the US Capitol or simply the Capitol, this is the seat of Congress, the legislative branch of the US government.
Located at the edge of the National Mall, it just cannot be missed. Though if coming from the National Mall, it is quite a walk to get to the other side, where the entrance for tourists is. Better way is to go by Metro, and get off at the Capitol South Metro stop. About a block away, to the US Capitol Visitor Center.
The Capitol building itself, can only be seen on a guided tour, which you can reserve ahead of time online. And then to the US Capitol Visitor Center, to pick up the ticket for your reserved time. If you did not reserve ahead of time, you can still try to get a ticket for a tour time, which are on a first-come, first-served basis. While waiting, you can check out the US Capitol Visitor Center. This review will be mainly about the regular tour of the Capitol, while the visitor center will have a separate review.
When your time comes, there is a short intro film on the Capitol building and Congress. Then you are led to the Crypt, where there are a bunch of statues and columns. And seeing the compass star, which is suppose to be the center of DC, where the 4 quadrants are divided into.
The main part is being in the Rotunda, underneath the iconic dome. There are more statues, and paintings that tell the history of the founding of the US. Then to the National Statuary Hall, which is a room full of statues. This used to be the House of Representatives from the early half of the 1800's.
Speaking of statues, each state would 2 of them, with some political history. You can always ask the tour guide which statues came from your home state, as well as where they are located. You may not get to see them, as some statues are located in parts that are off-limits to tourists.
The tour itself, is interesting and informative, as the guide are really good. And interesting that every person gets a headset, that people put on, so they are able to hear the tour guide more clearly in a crowded place. Hard to explain, but more innovative, as it saves the trouble for tour guides to have to talk over the crowds.
There is the option to tour the actual Senate and House of Representatives, but you will need to reserve passes through the office of your representative or senator. International visitors can try to reserve passes at the appointment desks at the upper levels of the visitor center. I did not get to do this myself, but I assume worth checking out for those really interested in American politics.
With nice artwork in different parts, along with a good tour guide, a regular tour of the US Capitol is definitely worth it, in itself. But at the same time, I think it can be skippable if time is limited, as it can be a bit time-consuming, and out of the way, to get to.
Here is the web site for more info to visit... https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/plan-visit
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.