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Visiting Washington D.C. and The White House
PLEASE NOTE: The White House website states that foreign nationals should contact their Embassy to arrange a tour. However, public tours for foreign nationals would have to be requested via an Embassy AND the U.S. Department of State. This is not currently possible as the U.S. Department of State has NOT facilitated Embassy-sponsored public tours of The White House since 2011. The information on this page will be updated if the U.S. Department of State decides to recommence Embassy-sponsored public tours of The White House. You can take a virtual tour of The White House by clicking here.
Washington, D.C. is one of the most exciting and memorable places to visit in the United States. Each year tourists flock to see the Capitol Building, the Washington and Jefferson Memorials and a host of other historical, cultural and political attractions.
As Embassy-sponsored public tours of The White House are not available, you might wish to explore alternative experiences related to The White House, starting with a visit to The White House Visitor Center or take a virtual tour. Further details can be found at http://www.whitehouse.gov/about/tours-and-events.
Visiting the Capitol and United States Capitol Visitor Center is another experience open to all visitors. For more information visit http://www.aoc.gov and http://www.house.gov/house/tour_services.shtml.
Other places to visit
There is plenty to see and do in Washington D.C. and much of it is free. Aside from the White House Visitor Centre and the Capitol Building, you can tour the Supreme Court and many federal government agencies like the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
Admission is also free for all thirteen Smithsonian museums and the National Zoo in Washington D.C.. The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum complex and research organization. See http://www.si.edu/visit for more details.
Other attractions include the Washington Monument, the Lincoln, Jefferson and Roosevelt memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam memorial, the Korean War memorial and the Battle of Iwo Jima memorial. The National Park Service arranges tours of these and many other sites in and around Washington D.C.. For further information, visit http://www.nps.gov/state/dc.
Hints and tips
- Carry your passport with you, as public buildings in the USA require government-issued photo identification at security checkpoints.
- Many buildings have prohibited items. If you plan on carrying anything more than an umbrella, a wallet, a cell phone and car keys, you need to check the websites above.