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Library of Congress

Library of Congress: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

1. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Electric Vehicle Tour

Test your night photography skills and see some jaw-dropping views while learning the history of the United States on this monuments tour at night. Hop into the electric-powered vehicle and learn about the monuments illuminated at night with your guide. Start at National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, before heading towards the Smithsonian complex. Your guide will regale you with the story behind the amazing museums at the largest museum complex in the world. Drive past two of the city's most famous monuments, the Washington Monument and the Jefferson Memorial. Afterward, wander through the Franklin D Roosevelt and Martin Luthe King memorials and enjoy a stroll along the serene Tidal Basin at sunset.  Continue past the World War I and World War II Memorials before arriving at the Lincoln Memorial. Here, be amazed by the views of the Potomac River and the National Mall sparkling in the dark.  Be entertained by stories of the city’s history, statues, and famous buildings on your way to the White House. Take a monument here to capture what is possibly the most iconic American landmark, known worldwide.  Your tour will end by exploring Capitol Hill. Home to the world-famous dome of the United States Capitol, plus the United States Supreme Court Building and the Library of Congress. 

Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

2. Washington, DC: Capitol Hill and Library of Congress Tour

Immerse yourself in the sights of Washington, DC on a guided walking tour. Enjoy entry tickets to the Library of Congress and Capitol Building. View the Supreme Court building and walk on Capitol Hill and learn about the country's legislative and judicial branches. Begin your tour at the top of "the Hill" and hear fascinating anecdotes and facts about the country's legal system. Originally named Jenkins Hill, find out how this area quickly expanded to become the epicenter of American government and politics. Walk by the Supreme Court building, known as "The Marble Palace", and the surrounding Congressional office buildings. Tour inside the Library of Congress, the national library of the United States, and the oldest federal cultural institution in the country. Proceed to the Capitol Building to marvel at its neoclassical style and iconic architecture, while your guide details its rich history. Before concluding your tour, your guide will bring you into the US Capitol Visitor Center to arrange for your teacher-led tour of the capitol.

Bike Tour: Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall

3. Bike Tour: Capitol Hill, Lincoln Memorial, National Mall

Take a guided bike tour in Washington, D.C. to see all the city’s important sights and landmarks. The tour route includes Capitol Hill and the National Mall, Union Station, the Lincoln Memorial, and more. Along the way you’ll see the Smithsonian museums, the Washington Monument, and the war memorials. You’ll learn about the city's history and current events from your guide as you cycle past the major monuments and memorials. You'll also get some practical touring tips for later use! Take in the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House, the World War II Memorial, and many more important sights. This cycling tour is rated as easy and covers approximately 7 miles on level terrain.

Washington DC: Guided Landmarks Bus Tour & National Archives

4. Washington DC: Guided Landmarks Bus Tour & National Archives

Tour around the presidential highlights of the nation's capital, Washington, DC by luxury tour bus. Check out every memorial of the National Mall as you voyage around the city. Hop on and off as you please to visit the most important landmarks, and hear the important history from your guide.  This excursion begins with an in-depth look at some of the city’s most poignant sights and sounds. Admire the grand exteriors of the White House, the war memorials, and the U.S. Capitol Building. In summer, enjoy a leisurely boat cruise after lunch, taking in the Potomac and Georgetown Waterfront. Meanwhile, winter brings a scenic bus tour through Virginia in the afternoon, taking in The Pentagon, Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial, and Arlington National Cemetery along the way.  Enjoy a fascinating look at the interior of the National Archives as the final attraction of the tour.

Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

5. Washington DC: Monuments Self-Guided Walking Tour

Visit the most iconic landmarks of America’s capital city on this flexible self-guided walking tour. See the White House, Lincoln Memorial, the Capitol Building, and much more, and learn the revolutionary history behind the creation of Washington, D.C. Start by downloading the Action Tour Guide app that will function as your personal guide, audio tour, and map all in one. Along with being developed by local guides, creative writers, and professional voice artists, most stops along the tour have animated videos allowing you to visualize what you cannot see, such as snapshots from different centuries or interior rooms. You'll begin your adventure next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From there, make your way to the White House itself, where you can admire the seat of American power and learn some fascinating tidbits about its construction. From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, you’ll find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, one of the most iconic memorials in D.C. The Korean War Veterans Memorial is next, where you’ll hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. As you continue east, you’ll be filled in on the aftermath of the War of 1812 and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument you’ll arrive at will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then, cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, you’ll also be able to see the impressive Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Later, reach the National Mall, which you’ve definitely seen on TV plenty of times. Get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. If you like museums, the next stretch of the tour is absolutely for you. You’ll pass the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art. On the final leg of the tour, visit three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour concludes amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington DC: Multilingual Private Day or Evening SUV Tour

6. Washington DC: Multilingual Private Day or Evening SUV Tour

Enjoy a private tour in Luxury SUV for your group of up to seven passengers. Explore Washington DC at your own pace and customize your trip to the attractions that you would like to see. Your driver will be there to provide basic information about the monuments, memorials and sights around the city. You will be able to make stops at some of the most important monuments for pictures. The itinerary is the following: US Capitol, Supreme Court, Library of Congress, Union Station, Pennsylvania Avenue, The White House, Washington Monument, Smithsonians Museums, Tidal Basin, Jeferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, Vietnan Memorial, World War II Memorial, Kennedy Center, Watergate Complex, Rock Creek Parkway, National Cathedral, Embassy Row, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Arlington Cemetery, Iwojima Memorial and The Pentagon. Alternatively, choose the Night Tour option and take this wonderful opportunity to see Washington DC at night. Enjoy the monuments, memorials, and sights illuminated all night with your private specialized driver and guide in a luxury car. This 4-hour tour can be adapted as needed.

Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS & Audio

7. Washington D.C: Self-Guided Walking Tour with GPS & Audio

Spend the day exploring Washington D.C., listening to the history narrated by professional voice artists, and reading the information curated by creative writers. See the iconic monuments and buildings of this historic city on this self-guided tour. Begin next to Pershing Park, right across from the White House south lawn. From here, make your way to the White House itself, admire the seat of American power, and learn some facts about its construction.  From here, head south toward Constitution Gardens and pick up some insight into D.C.’s complicated history along the way. Through the gardens, find what was once the city’s most controversial monument: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Next, head to the Lincoln Memorial, and then the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Hear about the fraught political struggle which wracked the White House during this bloody conflict. Discover the aftermath of the War of 1812, and how D.C. grew into what it is today. The next monument will be the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, honoring the nation’s most revered civil rights leader. Then cross the Kutz Bridge and learn why the Potomac River is so significant to this city’s history. From this bridge, see the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Then, reach the National Mall. Here’s you’ll get an up-close look at the Washington Monument and learn the history of George Washington’s connection to this important city. Along this route, pass many museums. This includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, and the National Gallery of Art.  On the final leg of the tour, arrive at three of the most crucial buildings in the city: The Library of Congress, the Capitol Building, and the Supreme Court of the United States. The tour will conclude here, amid these three awe-inspiring structures.

Washington, DC: Horror on the Hill Guided Tour

8. Washington, DC: Horror on the Hill Guided Tour

Meet your guide in the heart Capitol Hill and set off along Pennsylvania Avenue. Listen to your guide reveal tales of the mysterious phenomena that have been taking place in the city for hundreds of years and feel immersed in the spooky surroundings. During the tour, explore the eerie underbelly of Washington, DC where the spirits of long-gone presidents, ambassadors, and generals still haunt the streets. Uncover spooky stories and unexplained events as you visit the most haunted locations in the city, and perhaps experience a supernatural event of your own. Learn how James Madison keeps his spirit alive by wandering the halls of the Library of Congress, and how John Quincy Adams' ghostly whisper can still be heard in the Capitol. Feel the hair on your neck start to stand as you hear about the Demon Cat that prowls the halls of Congress before national tragedies and presidential elections. According to legend, the cat was seen before the assassinations of both Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy, and appeared before the Wall Street Crash of 1929.

Washington: National Mall Exploration Game

9. Washington: National Mall Exploration Game

Explore the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. with a city exploration game on your smartphone. Solve clues and puzzles that lead you to the next interesting location while learning about the history of Philip Reid. Stop and start as you please with plenty of time to see each attraction. Begin the game at Columbus Circle and embark on a 2-hour exploration of the U.S. Capitol. At each location, solve the puzzle or related clue on your phone and take on the role of a famous historian. Follow the paths of Philip Reid and discover this important U.S. monument. Tickle your brain as you see important sites such as the Supreme Court, Library of Congress, and other lesser-known places. Learn the fascinating story of the National Botanic Garden in the National Mall and enjoy a unique way to learn about the U.S. Move through the game at your own pace. Just pause and resume at any time from the location where you last stopped. Enjoy on your own, in a large group, or in several smaller groups that compete against each other.

Washington DC: Capitol Hill Iconic Architecture Walking Tour

10. Washington DC: Capitol Hill Iconic Architecture Walking Tour

Learn all about the history, design, and controversy surrounding these famous buildings as you stroll around Washinton DC. Your guide will tell you the story of the construction of the Capitol grounds as you get up close and personal with these world-famous buildings. Meet your guide in the sumptuous Great Hall at Washington's famous Union Station. Begin by learning about this impressive building, before walking over to the US Capitol grounds. Once there, immerse yourself in its history as well as that of the surrounding buildings. Learn all about the architecture of famous structures like the Supreme Court and Library of Congress. Hear fascinating stories about the tumultuous politics behind their planning and development. Discover the secrets behind the architecture and its designers including Thomas Jefferson and Frederick Law Olmstead.

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What people are saying about Library of Congress

Overall rating

4.4 / 5

based on 816 reviews

Carl was a great tour guide/photographer who went above and beyond to make sure we saw the best views at every stop. Made our trip from Florida that much better. We loved the extra touch of warm blankets in the seat to cover up from the wind.

My family and I enjoyed the Washington DC monuments by moonlight electric vehicle tour very much. Very comfortable ride and minimal walking. Our guide, Peter, was very knowledgeable and we had a great time!

John was a great guide, knowledgeable, friendly and gave us a good understanding of the area and sites. Would definitely recommend.

Informative, friendly, fun tour of DC at night. Carl was an excellent guide with a wide array of knowledge areas. We had a blast!

Very clear to understand and had lots of information