The White House is open for tours in the morning,
Tuesday through Saturday, and is closed every Sunday and Monday.
All White House tours are free. There are two ways to visit:
Public Self Guided Tours | Congressional Tours
The first, and most frequent way, is on a walk-through tour. These
self-guided public tours are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday,
10 a.m. until 12 noon. Visitors move from room to room at their own pace;
once inside the White House, most take
about 15 to 20 minutes. Visitors usually walk along the ground-floor corridor and look through the doors of the Vermeil room and Library, walk up stairs to the State floor, and through the East, Green, Blue, Red, and State Dining rooms and exit from the
north portico lobby. A U.S. Secret Service Tour Officer is stationed in
each room to answer questions.
Free Tickets Needed Only In Peak Season
Free tickets are required during the peak season from the third Tuesday in March until the Saturday before Labor
Day. The National Park Service distributes the tickets in the White House Visitor Center, located at the southeast corner of 15th and E Streets. Look for the three American
and the blue awnings. The closest Metrorail station is Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines). Tickets are timed from 10 a.m. until 12 noon. Advance tickets are not available. They are issued on the morning of the tour only, on a
first-served basis starting at 7:30 a.m. The number of tickets for
each day is limited so visitors should arrive as early as
possible. Unfortunately, it is not possible to predict what time one should arrive to guarantee tickets. One person
may obtain up to four tickets. Each person, including children,
requires a ticket. A hand stamp validation is also required. The ticket counter closes at noon, or earlier if the
supply for that day is distributed. Each ticket indicates when and where
you join the line.
At non-peak times, no tickets are needed. The line begins at the southeast gate. Visitors in line by 12 noon are admitted.
All public tours are significantly enhanced if you first see the
orientation and obtain a free brochure at the White House Visitor
Center. The Center is open seven days a week, from 7:30 a.m. until
4 p.m. Allow between 20 minutes and 1 ½
hours to explore the video and exhibits. The Visitor Center features
many aspects of the White House, including its architecture, furnishings, first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders, as well as a thirty-minute video. The
White House Historical Association sponsors a sales area. Rest rooms are available, but food service is not.
The second way to visit, if you have at least eight to ten weeks advance notice, is to contact the local or Washington office of your Congressional Representative, or one of your Senators, to request free, reserved tickets for the
Congressional guided tours of the White House. Tours are scheduled Tuesday through Saturday, starting between 8:15 and 8:45 a.m. Once inside the House, the guided tours usually take 25 to 35 minutes. Please note that the number of tickets for the
guided tours is very limited. The tours are conducted in groups of 70, and you will wait in line to enter the House. The guided tour narration is appropriate for high school and older.
Groups Use the Bus Zone in Peak Season
Groups arriving by bus, during the peak season from the third Tuesday in March until the Saturday before Labor Day, should use the "bus zone" ticket area; the westbound curb lane of Constitution Avenue between
15th and 17th Streets, northwest. Beginning at 7:30 a.m. on tour days, National Park Service personnel board buses parked in the zone and distribute a timed ticket to each person on the bus. About one-third of each day's tickets are set aside for group
The bus zone closes at 9 a.m., or earlier if all tickets have been
distributed. Buses may not remain in the zone after tickets have been issued. It is advisable to arrive early. Groups on buses who wish to tour the White House Visitor Center may use
the loading area in the southbound curb lane of 15th Street.
Mobility-Impaired / Using a Wheelchair
Guests requiring the loan of a wheelchair should notify the officer at the gate upon arrival.
Wheelchairs loans are offered on a first-come, first-served basis. Reservations are not possible.
Visitors in wheelchairs, or with other mobility
disabilities, on the Congressional guided or self-guided tours, between
8:00 a.m. and 12 noon, use the same Visitor entrance
and, with up to four members of their party, are
admitted without waiting in line and without
Visitors in wheelchairs are escorted by ramp from the entrance level to the ground floor, and by elevator from the ground to the
state floor. Guests generally wait in line with their family or group.
Tours for hearing-impaired groups may be arranged in advance
by writing to the Visitors Office, White House, Washington, DC 20502. Tours
are usually scheduled at 9:15 a.m., between the
Congressional and public tour times. Participants enter at the East
Appointment gate. A U.S. Secret Service/Uniformed
Division Tour Officer conducts the tour in sign language. Signed tours are available to groups of 8 to 20. Groups are also encouraged to bring their own interpreters.
Signing interpretation is also available for individual visitors
advance notice. A Congressional office first issues guided tour tickets
to a guest who is hearing-impaired and then contacts the Visitors
Office at least 2 weeks in advance to request interpreter service.
The Visitors Office TDD (telephone device for the deaf) is 202-456-2121. Messages may be left outside normal business hours.
Tours for visually-impaired groups may be arranged in advance
by writing to the Visitors Office, White House, Washington, DC 20502. The
tours are usually scheduled at 9:15 a.m., between the
Congressional and public tour times.
Participants enter at the East Appointment gate. A U.S. Secret
Division Tour Officer permits visitors to touch specific objects in the House. Touch tours are currently available only to groups of 8 to 20, not to individual visitors. Guide animals are permitted in the White House.
General Tour Information
All White House tours are free. Changes in tour schedules
are occasionally made because of official events. Notice may not be given until that morning. The Visitors Office 24-hour Information Line recording at 202-456-7041 provides
the most up-to-date information. The TDD (telephone device for the deaf)
is 202-456-2121. Visitors should confirm tour schedules by calling the information line the night before and the morning that they plan to visit. It is occasionally necessary
to close individual rooms on the tour; however, notice about closed rooms is not possible.
On-street parking is not available near the White House, and
use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. The closest
Metrorail stations to the White House Visitor Center (southeast corner of 15th and E Streets) are Federal Triangle
(blue and orange lines) and Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines).
Public telephones and restrooms are not available at the White House; the nearest ones are in the Visitor Pavilion on the Ellipse, the park area south of the White House, and in the White House Visitor Center.
Cameras may be carried after undergoing a security check as you enter, but taking pictures/videotaping is not permitted inside the White House.
Strollers are checked with the National Park Service at the Visitor Entrance.
Prohibited inside are animals (except guide dogs), oversized backpacks, balloons, beverages, chewing gum, electric stun guns, fireworks or firecrackers, food, guns or ammunition, knives with blades over 3 inches or 8 centimeters, mace,
nunchucks, smoking, or suitcases.
On behalf of The President and Mrs. Clinton,
we hope you enjoy your visit to the White House.