White House

White House Tour Information

Courtesy of the White House Visitors Office

(This information is subject to change without notice.)

Upcoming Events

All White House tours are free. CHANGES IN TOUR SCHEDULES are occasionally made because of official visits. Notice may not be given until that morning. The Visitors Office 24-hour 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. When cancellations do occur, the Visitors Office tries to notify each office that has group tours scheduled for that day. It is the responsibility of that office to notify its guests. It is occasionally necessary to close individual rooms on the tour; however, notice about closed rooms is not possible.

TOUR PARKING is not available at the White House and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged. The closest Metrorail stations are McPherson Square (blue and orange lines) and Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines).

PUBLIC TELEPHONES / RESTROOMS are not available at the White House; they are in the Visitor Pavilion on the Ellipse, at 15th and E Streets and the White House Visitor Center.

Tour Tickets and Schedule

The White House is open for SELF-GUIDED WALK-THROUGH TOURS from 10:00 a.m. until 12 noon, Tuesday through Saturday. From the first Tuesday in September through the third Saturday in March, a first-come, first-served line (no tickets needed) forms at the National Park Service White House Visitor Center (WHVC), at 15th Street near E Street. National Park Service personnel assist visitors with directions and information. Visitors may see two videos and numerous exhibits while waiting in a comfortable and interesting place. First spending 20-90 minutes at the Visitor Center greatly enhances enjoyment and understanding of the public tour. People in line by 11:30 a.m. are generally assured of admission. However, the tours are sometimes stopped earlier because of an official event. Once inside the House, self-guided tours usually take 20-35 minutes.

Free tickets are required during the peak spring and summer months, beginning on the third Tuesday in March and ending the Saturday before Labor Day. Timed tickets are distributed in the White House Visitor Center. Tickets are issued on the day of the tour only, on a first-come, first-served basis starting at 7:30 a.m. One person may obtain up to six tickets. The number of tickets for each day is limited (approximately 4,500). The ticket desk closes at 12 noon, or earlier if the supply for that day is distributed. It is advisable to arrive early (and impossible to predict what time one should arrive to "guarantee" tickets).

During the ticket season, groups should use the "bus zone" for easier distribution of tickets. About one-third of each day's tickets are held for groups arriving by bus. Beginning at 7:30 a.m., National Park Service personnel board buses parked on the westbound curb lane of Constitution Avenue, between 15th and 17th Streets NW. Each person on the bus is given a timed ticket. At 9:30 a.m., or when the supply for that day is distributed, the bus zone closes. Buses may not remain in the zone after tickets are distributed. After the ticket system ends, the bus zone distribution ceases.

Tickets are only valid the day issued. Advance tickets for the public self-guided tours are not available. Each ticket indicates the time when that tour begins at the bleachers on the Ellipse. After receiving tickets, visitors may leave the area but should return in time for a Park Ranger to escort the group from the Ellipse to the White House Visitor Entrance. In June - August, the National Park Service coordinates free music performances at the Ellipse for the enjoyment of visitors.

Self-guided tours take place at:

GUIDED TOURS are escorted by a U.S. Secret Service/Uniformed Division Officer who describes each room on the ground and state floors. Usually included are the Library, Vermeil, China, and Diplomatic Reception rooms on the ground floor and the East, Green, Blue, Red, and State Dining rooms on the state floor. Group and ticketed tour visitors are combined into groups of about 70 people. Once inside the House, tours usually last about 30 to 45 minutes. Guided tour narrations are geared for teenage and older visitors.

Guided tours scheduled for:

Special Considerations

CHILDREN ages seven and under do not need a tour ticket for Congressional and Agency tours, but do need one for the ticketed public tour system when it is in effect. Strollers are checked at the entrance gate and are reclaimed upon exit on Pennsylvania Avenue.

PROHIBITED ON TOURS: Animals, except guide dogs; backpacks (oversized); balloons; food; guns/ammunition; knives with blades over 3 inches/8 centimeters; mace; nunchuks; smoking, and suitcases.

PHOTOGRAPHY (still or video) is not permitted inside the White House. Cameras may be carried inside, and may be used outside. Guests on the Members Tour may take photos in the Jacqueline Kennedy Garden, weather permitting.

MEMORABILIA AND GIFTS of the White House may be obtained through GSI

People in wheelchairs, or with other mobility disabilities, on the self-guided tours, should use the northeast gate on Pennsylvania Avenue, and with up to six members of their party, are admitted without waiting in line and without tickets. The Library and Vermeilrooms on the ground floor are not viewed when entering at the northeast gate. Photos and a text description of these rooms will soonbe available to visitors using this entrance.

On behalf of The President and Mrs. Clinton,
we hope you enjoy your visit to the White House.

To comment on this service: feedback@www.whitehouse.gov