Library of Congress
Library of Congress
4.5
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Monday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Tuesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Wednesday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Thursday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Friday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Saturday
8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
About
Though the Library of Congress doesn't own every book ever published, it sure has most of them, with 532 miles of shelves and 115 million items, with 7,000 added each working day.
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Tours & experiences
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What is Travellers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travellers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travellers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.
Plan your visit
The area
Address
Neighbourhood: Upper Northwest
How to get there
  • Capitol South • 5 min walk
Reach out directly
See what travellers are saying
  • 690CT
    McLean, Virginia151 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    A MUST VISIT! Most beautiful building in DC!
    The absolute BEST docents are at LOC! We've had the pleasure of learning from Mr. Rod on several recent visits and this time Mr. Norm! We've brought 3 out of town guests, including our 9 yr old granddaughter, and all thoroughly enjoyed the building and exhibits. A must see for all!
    Visited March 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 25 March 2023
  • Lynn S
    League City, Texas619 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Absolutely spectacularly beautiful building
    Such a beautiful building! Words cannot adequately describe and pictures do not do this building justice! In every nook and cranny there is something new to see and some symbol or drawing or artwork. The library itself is over several buildings and the largest in the world. The building you go in is the Jefferson Building. Don't forget to go upstairs to the overlook to the reading room. It is so beautiful. One day I hope to have a week to just go and research while in the Library. You can also view Thomas Jefferson's library which was donated to Congress to begin the library. It is awe inspiring seeing Jefferson's actual books. They are currently digitizing the library. Make this a must see when you're around Capitol Hill
    Visited March 2023
    Written 27 March 2023
  • Kathryn H
    Ballwin, Missouri8 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Good
    The audio tour did not work for us. Not sure if the wifi service was the problem but after multiple attempts, we gave up. That was disappointing. It was very crowded but gorgeous. Such a thrill to see the main hall and the reading room.
    Visited March 2023
    Written 27 March 2023
  • Jen H
    32 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Best Library
    The library of Congress was absolutely amazing, and by far the most beautiful library. The architecture was phenomenal and so beautiful, the staff was incredible, the walls and ceiling were super pretty as well. It was as amazing as the White House, if not more, and would definitely recommend to anyone visiting DC. It is fascinating for almost any age, and was overall just incredibly beautiful, and has books in 470 languages while being the biggest library in the world.
    Visited April 2023
    Written 17 April 2023
  • jill2bz
    Green Bay, Wisconsin88 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Reservations Needed and Worth it!!
    I’ve never been here before and didn’t look up anything beforehand. Absolutely loved it!! Marble, paintings, the history. Everything was amazing. Elevators are available. Questions? Many docents are around to ask them. Biggest thing everyone needs to remember is to make reservations!!! This includes almost everything that you want to do in DC
    Visited April 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 18 April 2023
  • Samantha M
    Sacramento, California57 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Understated history and beauty, engaged us all
    This was actually my favorite of all the landmarks and historical buildings we visited in DC. The mosaics and quotes about wisdom were breathtaking. The “I Spy” activity given to kids upon entering engaged my 6- and 9-year-old (as well as me, to be honest!). The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, explaining the Latin, etc. My husband spent most of the time waiting in line for a reader’s card, so he could access the stacks. He is so proud to have it, even though we’ll return to California and likely not use it. It’s a fun souvenir! We’re so blessed to be able to celebrate wisdom and learning!
    Visited May 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 28 May 2023
  • tonyl46
    Baltimore, Maryland22 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Old World Craftsmanship and Styling - Awesome
    We joined a local photography group, Washington Photo Safari, for our visit into the Library of Congress. Excellent experience, no need to be concerned if you are a photo beginner, novice, or experienced....cell phone, DSLR, or a new mirrorless camera...all levels are handled through an expert guide who explains to your level and satisfaction. And, there was lots of "free time" to meander, look, and explore the interior details as well as take a "few" pics. I was awestruck with the colors and architectural details inside our US Library...and the LC staff is very knowledgeable and polite. We visited in the late afternoon (2:30) and the crowds were light.
    Visited June 2023
    Travelled with friends
    Written 5 June 2023
  • Shana M
    Lubbock, Texas8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Tour guide not always needed
    This was not a great tour, but definitely handy for getting in and seeing many of the spots you might skip over. Because this was a combo tour, we didn't spend much time on any one thing...but that was ok too. I think I would recommend either starting earlier in the day or just doing one place at a time.
    Visited July 2023
    Written 15 July 2023
  • flo220
    New York City, New York331 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Self guided tour of the Thomas Jefferson building is very interesting
    We love libraries and how could we miss the national one? Entry to the Thomas Jefferson building (the only one you can get to) is free but you do need to make advance reservations. We were there when kids were in school and tourism was low so it was easy to get reservations and then we got right in. No guided tour but you walk around yourself following their map and see the beautiful building, the main reading room and more.
    Visited February 2023
    Travelled with family
    Written 27 July 2023
  • Miss Savvy Travels
    Palm Bay, Florida65 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Grandest Library of them all!
    I was looking for something to do after our work obligations for myself and a few coworkers and because the Library of Congress is open Thursday evenings until 8 pm, this was chosen. I had NO idea when I picked this (because it was free and open) that is was going to be so grand! It was also raining so we stayed longer than planned, opting not to go explore the monuments of the National Mall in the rain. We reserved our free tickets online, some of us reserved them just a couple hours prior. We arrived, went through security and realized we were more in a museum than a library. The feel of the architecture and arches, marble, columns and intricately decorated spaces was breath taking. We went into several of the reading rooms and while we were more browsing everything, some of my coworkers did opt to get library passes which are good for two years and allow for certain benefits. If you plan to return more than once, I recommend getting the card. I have been impressed by the NY Public Library, and this is on that level of architectural quality. This being the largest library in the world, housing some very unique collections certainly holds them all significantly. It feels huge, and creates the feeling of awe. I do have a blog where I write about visiting in more detail, giving tips and traveling tricks for DC and itinerary building help. My link is in my bio if you are planning a trip there soon and want more information. I appreciate affordable stops and high-quality experiences! After we did walk to Mr. Henry's for dinner and it was a short walk through a lovely area.
    Visited August 2023
    Travelled on business
    Written 6 August 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles9,140 reviews
Excellent
7,162
Very good
1,590
Average
327
Poor
43
Terrible
18

tinacaro
United States81 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Family
Took my 9yo. She enjoyed the trip. She thought Jefferson’s library was very cool.

We had timed tickets but arrived 30 minutes early and were allowed in.

Gave my kid a scavenger hunt to do while looking around, which she loved.
Written 13 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BF826
Birmingham, UK89 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Washington DC truly have some of the most amazing buildings.
You must reserve your free time slot and visit. You will not regret walking around and soaking up how beautiful the architecture is. The building is truly stunning. Words and pictures don’t do enough, you need to see it with your own eyes.
Written 8 January 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Bea
703 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
A must visit. We have booked this tour in advance and it was free. We first went to visit the Capitol Hill and after visiting Capitol Hill you can easily reach the library through an underground passage.
The building of the library is truly spectacular. In the library you can see for example Thomas Jefferson’s books and the Gutenberg Bible. We were truly impressed.
Written 13 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick S
2 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Had to select a visit date, but haven't actually been there in decades. But we discovered a family treasure in these walls. The library contains a 776-page book of my family geneology published in 1940 with my family history documented back to 1303, over 1000 years, in Switzerland. I recently purchased the last five copies from the publisher for handing down to family members.
Written 24 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Maryann W.
Gloucester, MA13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Family
Beautiful historical building. I don't know why I thought there would be a huge amount of books there. There wasn't.
Written 23 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

David W
Dallas, TX142 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
The Library of Congress was an unexpected surprise. The areas open to the public are stunning. Whereas the multitudes of books aren't visible, it was interesting learning from the volunteers how the LoC works and where everything is stored. And fortunately for us, we happened to be there on a day where the main reading room was open to the public. No lines, no quick in-and-out visits. We walked in, talked to some of the volunteers, and sat at one of the study tables and took in the grandeur and history of that room. (Logistically speaking, visiting the LoC is convenient to lump with the Capitol and Supreme Court.)
Written 19 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Reuben J
292 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Nov 2023 • Couples
Absolutely stunning building, amazing. This has to be at the top of every visitors must see list. Nothing more needs to be said, go and see for yourself.
Written 16 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LQ4L
Kalamazoo, MI174 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Solo
This is a beautiful, historic building. I was able to use the Main Reading Room and do my research. There are several areas to visit at the LOC to view exhibits, including the gift shop. This is a must see. Highly recommend.
Written 4 November 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jessica G
Denver, NC25 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
The most beautiful building. My, personal, favorite from our trip. Make sure to pre-register for a library card. Talk to the staff about the library. I loved learning from them.
Written 31 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

LisaMNUSA
Saint Paul, MN990 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2023 • Family
The great hall is gorgeous, but you can't to get in. The whole building looked very nice.
It's free, but you need book a timed entry pass on their website. The tour is self guided.
We visited there on a Wednesday late afternoon, it wasn't crowed.
Written 27 October 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Library of Congress, Washington DC - Tripadvisor

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