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Everything You Need to Know About Inauguration Day in Washington, DC

56th Presidential Inauguration in Washington, DC

FAQs About the Presidential Inauguration, Swearing-in Ceremony, Inauguration Parade and more

Witness history as the United States of America welcomes a new commander-in-chief on Jan. 20, 2017. If you’re looking for more information about celebrating the presidential inauguration, then check out these commonly asked questions.

When and where is the swearing-in ceremony?

The 45th President of the United States will be sworn in at 12 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Both the vice president-elect and president-elect will take Oaths of Office, followed by an inaugural address. Visit the Presidential Inaugural Committee's website for more information.

Everything You Need to Know About Inauguration Day in Washington, DC

How do I acquire tickets to the ceremony?

Tickets are free, but are in high-demand and must be applied for through the local official representing the Congressional district in which you live (contact information available via Senate and U.S. House of Representatives). You must request tickets from staff members in the office of your Congress members. Be prepared to share your contact information and explain why you would like to acquire tickets. Often, community leaders and volunteers are given priority, so keep in mind any work you’ve done with civic organizations or groups when you are requesting tickets.

If you are unable to acquire tickets, you can still view the ceremony on large video screens on the National Mall, along with thousands of other spectators.

How can I view the new president’s parade route?

After being sworn in, the president goes on a ceremonial parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the U.S. Capitol to the White House. The parade will begin at approximately 3 p.m. on Inauguration Day. Join the thousands of spectators standing along Pennsylvania Avenue during the parade. A limited number of bleacher seats can be reserved through the Presidential Inaugural Committee, though viewing from the sidewalk is free and unreserved.

Everything You Need to Know About Inauguration Day in Washington, DC

Where should I stay while in DC for Inauguration Day?

Check out these Inauguration Hotel Deals to see what’s being offered during this time frame. However, keep in mind that accommodation is at an absolute premium in Washington, DC surrounding Inauguration Day. Room rates rise and many hotels require several nights’ minimum stay.

Are all of the roads Washington, DC on Inauguration Day?

For security and planning purposes, roads throughout the city will shut down for the inaugural ceremony and parade. Please plan accordingly with the Metropolitan Police Department's complete list of road closures.

What's the best way to navigate the District during inauguration weekend?

In lieu of driving, we recommend walking, using Capital Bikeshare or riding the Metro. The Metro will be operating with extended hours on Inauguration Day, opening at 4 a.m. with near rush hour service levels on all lines until 9 p.m. There is no track work planned for inauguration weekend.

For the best ways to navigate the city on foot during the festivities, check out this walking map. As for Capital Bikeshare, some stations will be affected by road closures - visit this page for a full rundown.

If you are using a ride sharing app such as Uber or Lyft, there will be a geofence around the security perimeter, meaning the apps will not work inside it. Attendees using the services will have to leave the perimeter to get picked up.

On Inauguration Day, Potomac Riverboat Company will be operating a water taxi from 6:30 a.m. until 6 p.m. between Alexandria, Va. and the Southwest Waterfront for $40 per person round trip. You can view the schedule and purchase tickets here.

Beginning in mid-December and while supplies last, Metro will offer a limited edition SmarTrip® card commemorating the inauguration. The $10 card (a 30% savings) will come pre-loaded with a one-day pass valid for unlimited Metrorail and Metrobus rides on Inauguration Day; the card is valid before and after Jan. 20, 2017 by adding value online at or at any Metrorail station.

Please note the following Metro station closures on Inauguration Day, which are subject to change: Smithsonian (Orange, Silver and Blue lines), Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter (Green and Yellow lines), Pentagon (Blue and Yellow lines), Federal Triangle (Orange, Silver and Blue lines) and Mt Vernon Sq 7th St-Convention Center (Green and Yellow lines).

If you plan on riding the Metro into DC for the inauguration festivities, find out which stations to use and the best walking routes to the National Mall here.

If driving is a must, visit PARKWHIZ for parking options near the National Mall – and make sure you review this street closures map.

Everything You Need to Know About Inauguration Day in Washington, DC

Where can I find food and restrooms?

Thousands of portable toilets are brought onto the National Mall and in front of Metro stations for the event. For immediate needs, make sure to bring your own water and snack. There are also numerous restaurants in the area – check out this piece for our recommendations.

Where is official bus parking during Inauguration Day?

Permitted buses can park at RFK Stadium. You can buy parking permits here, and learn more information here.

Now that you know the ins and outs of the presidential inauguration, check out unique presidential experiences, find out how DC has gotten cooler since the last inauguration and much more here.