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United States Senate
Planning Your Trip
Visiting D.C.


Welcome to the U.S. Senate Online Visitors Center

U.S. Capitol dome at night
Senate Photography Studio

The United States Capitol is one of the most recognizable symbols of Democracy in the world.  Serving as both a legislative office building and a monument, the Capitol draws in thousands of tourists each year.  This online Visitors Center is designed to provide you with the latest information to help you plan your trip to the Capitol, the Senate, and to the Washington, D.C. area.

The general visiting hours of the Senate and Capitol are:

Monday through Saturday
9:00 am - 4:30 pm

Visitation guidelines will change due to security concerns as well as Capitol Visitor Center construction progress. We encourage you to call the Capitol Guide Service Recorded Information Line at  202-225-6827 for the latest tour information and to hear a list of items prohibited in the Capitol (PDF list) before your visit. The Information Line is updated as frequently as necessary.  

Watching the Senate in Session

Visitors can watch Senate proceedings from the gallery whenever the Senate is in session.  For information on entrance to the gallery, see Visiting the Capitol Galleries.  The essay The Senate in Session is a good introduction to Senate floor proceedings.


Capitol Visitor Center

Artist's rendition of the Capitol Visitor Center
Artist's rendition of the Capitol Visitor Center

You are planning your visit to the Capitol during a time of great growth, as we have now started construction of a Capitol Visitor Center.  When finished, the Capitol Visitor Center – located under the East Front Plaza – will provide a dramatically improved educational experience for all visitors: an experience enhanced through exhibits, displays of historic documents, and documentary presentations.  You will also be visiting the Capitol during a period of heightened awareness of security and safety.  This concern is not simply for the security of Members of Congress and staff, but the security and safety of everyone who visits here.

When built, the Capitol Visitor Center will enhance the educational experience of visitors to the Capitol, as well as help provide continued high security for the Capitol.  For more information, go to the Architect of the Capitol Web site.

Senate Employment

*Senator-elect Resume Submission

The Placement Office assists Senators and Senate Committees with filling entry-level through professional staff vacancies by providing, upon request, resumes of qualified candidates. The Office is nonpartisan and funded by the United States Senate.

Resume Bank -- Please complete the following steps to become registered with the Senate Placement Office Resume Bank:

  • Open, type, and print the Senate Employment Application Form.   (This form is a fillable Adobe Acrobat  PDF file).

  • Submit your completed Senate Employment Application Form and resume to the Senate Placement Office, SH-116, Hart Senate Office Building, Washington DC, 20510 during our walk-in hours, Monday–Friday, 10:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-3:00pm. No appointment necessary.

For more information regarding the Resume Bank registration process, please consult the the Placement Brochure.

Job Listing -- The Placement Office publishes a weekly Senate Employment Bulletin as a resource for Senate offices wishing to advertise staff vacancies.   Each Senate office is an independent employer and responsible for candidate screening, interviewing and selection, as well as job requirements, compensation, and conditions of employment. The Placement Office does not possess hiring authority, nor does it control salaries or job requirements.

The United States Senate is an equal opportunity employer.


Plan ahead.  The items on this list are not allowed in the Capitol Building or in the Galleries.  [PDF format]

Can't make it to Washington to see the Capitol for yourself?  Take a look inside with our 360 degree virtual tour!  (This action will take you outside of www.senate.gov)

Want to find out what the weather is in Washington right now? (This action will take you outside www.senate.gov)

Find out what is happening on the Senate floor today in our Legislation & Records section!

  Hours of Operation
  Passes to the U.S. Capitol and Senate Gallery