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How Can I Tour The White House?

The White House

Everything you need to know about planning a visit to the country’s most famous house.

Requesting a tour

Touring the White House requires some advance planning. Public tour requests must be made through your member of Congress (find your member of Congress and contact information here) and submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days prior to your visit. If you wish to schedule a tour and are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your home country’s embassy in Washington, DC.

You are encouraged to submit your tour request as early as possible as tours fill up quickly and a limited number of spaces are available. Tours are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. All White House tours are free. Please note tours are subject to last minute cancellations based on the official White House schedule.

For complete details on White House tours, visit the White House tours and events page or call the White House Visitors Office 24-hour information line at (202) 456-7041. The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

What to expect

If there is a tour slot available during your visit to DC, you will be given a specific date and time to arrive and be instructed on where to check in. All guests over 18 years old will be required to present a valid, government-issued photo ID upon check-in. Foreign nationals must present their passport. Please bring as little as possible (avoid backpacks, food, large handbags, bottled water etc.). Note that video recording devices and flash photography are not allowed inside the White House. Visitors will go through security prior to entering the White House. There are no restrooms available at the White House. The closest restroom is located at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion nearby.

Public tours of the White House include the public rooms in the East Wing, which includes the Blue Room, Red Room and Green Room; the State Dining Room; the China Room; and a view of the White House Rose Garden. Secret Service members are stationed in each room and are available to answer questions about the history and architecture of each room.

You can also visit the White House Visitor Center before or after your tour. You can take a virtual tour of the White House here.

the white house north lawn

How to get to the White House

The closest Metro stations to the White House are Federal Triangle (Blue and Orange lines), Metro Center (Blue, Orange and Red lines) and McPherson Square (Blue and Orange lines). Please note there is NO PARKING near the White House. Public transportation is strongly encouraged.

How to tour the White House Garden

Another opportunity to visit the White House is to attend either its fall or spring garden tour. Check whitehouse.gov in early October and April. The announcement of the garden tours is usually made within a week or two of when they take place. Garden tours generally run for two consecutive days. They may be canceled due to poor weather. A ticket is required for all attendees (including small children). Usually tickets are distributed by the National Park Service at the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion on 15th and E streets NW on each tour day beginning at 9 a.m. Review the announcement for specific details.

Please note: At this time foreign embassies are not able to facilitate embassy-sponsored tours of the White House.