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The White House

1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC, DC

The official residence of each US president since 1800, the 132-room White House in Washington DC draws visitors from around the world. Admire the sight from afar, stop by the White House Visitor Center, or request access for a self-guided tour of the East Wing, State Dining Room, China Room, and the White House Rose Garden.

Given the first-come, first-served nature of securing a self-guided White House tour, most visitors admire the imposing building from behind the front gates. The White House is a popular stop on most Washington DC tours, whether by hop-on, hop-off bus, bike, trolley, Segway, or on foot.

Exploring the White House Visitor Center—home to a large-scale model of the White House and a number of interactive exhibits—is another fun way to learn about this iconic building. There are also annual garden tours held in the fall and spring, with exact dates announced close to the time.

  • Touring the White House requires advance planning. Submit your request no later than 21 days prior to visiting.

  • White House tours are on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • All visitors over the age of 18 must have their government-issued photo ID/passport with them at all times during their visit.

  • Bring only the basics—keys, wallet, phone, small camera. You can't enter the White House with backpacks or other bags.

  • The nearest restrooms are in the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion.

  • The White House and grounds are wheelchair accessible, but strollers are prohibited.

Located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, the White House can be reached by taking the Washington Metro to Metro Center, McPherson Square, or Federal Triangle. There's no parking available near the White House.

The White House is a popular year-round attraction, one that’s easy to admire in all weathers. If you want to tour the White House, you need to submit your request well in advance, as spaces are limited. Fall and spring are the best seasons to visit Washington DC and see the arrival of the annual White House garden tours—the exact dates are typically announced a couple of weeks in advance.

To go inside the White House on a free self-guided tour, you must submit an official request to your member of Congress (or your home country’s embassy in Washington) between 3 months and 21 days prior to your visit. Spaces are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, and Secret Service members are stationed in each room to answer any questions. If you do secure one of these public East Wing tours, highlights include the Red Room, used primarily for afternoon tea; the Green Room; and the Blue Room, the setting of the White House Christmas tree.


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