Library of Congress

Library, Historic Site, and Government Building · Southeast Washington
101 Independence Ave SE (btwn 1st & 2nd St SE), Washington, D.C. 20540, United States
None listed (See when people check in)

People tend to check in during these times:

  • Today
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Thu
    • 8:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Fri
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Sat
    • 10:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Sun
    • None
  • Mon
    • 9:00 AM–5:00 PM
  • Tue
    • 8:00 AM–5:00 PM

The Library's mission is to support the Congress in fulfilling its constitutional duties and to further the progress of knowledge and creativity for the benefit of the American people.


Based on 565 votes

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  • What you need to know
    Shannon Y.
    "Having fun isn't hard when you've got a library card!"(8 Tips)
    Tasha M.
    "free tours to really get the most out of this visit!"(4 Tips)
    Joslyn B.
    "underground tunnel for those times"(4 Tips)
    "Love the majestic and elaborate architecture of the building."(6 Tips)
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147 tips and reviews.

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  • books
  • tours
  • architecture
  • library card
  • historic sites
  • scenic views
  • free Wifi
  • concerts
  • café
  • films
  • tunnels
  • exhibits
  • prints
  • fountains
  • tourism
  • arts
  • knowledgeable staff
  • photography
  • elevators
  • gift shop
  • Jorge H.

    The building is a marvel of North America. You will not find another place full of symbols and beauty to this magnitude elsewhere.

    Jorge Herrera · August 27
  • Shakira E.

    A must when in DC!

    Shakira Edgington · August 13
  • Caleb H.

    Evening reading room access on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. Enter through back door of the Jefferson building. If you don't have a reader card, they can help at the check-in desk to the M.R.R.

    Caleb Hays · August 10
  • Daniel M.

    Nothing to see here btw.

    Daniel Mokin · July 25
  • Lydia S.

    The building is a must see! There are wonderful gift shops and tour offered all day! Amazing building!

  • Mike D.

    Not just a bunch of books.

    Mike Davis · June 23
  • Katie W.

    Look into actually taking a tour. Or get a membership. Otherwise it involves a lot of aimless wandering around.

    Katie Willard · June 21
  • Island Bruin

    Check out Thomas Jefferson's personal library on the 2nd floor of the Jefferson Building.

    Island Bruin · June 20
  • Eric L.

    They have pretty much every book you'll ever want to read

    Eric Liu · June 4
  • Erika

    Amazing architecture!

    Erika · May 23
  • John O.

    Take the free tour

    John Olsen · May 20
  • Aaron S.

    Going to the Capitol?! Take the underground tunnel! Most people miss it and you can skip security because you've already been cleared!

    Aaron Smith · May 13
  • Rachel

    Incredible architecture! Definitely worth checking out on a trip to DC!

    Rachel · April 17
  • CNN

    The library houses more than 36 million books and printed materials, as well as more than 121 million maps, photographs and other items. Free guided tours are offered several times each day. Read more

    CNN · April 13
  • Christopher N.

    Old books.

  • Eric T.

    Wonder tours.

    Eric Torrez · March 16
  • Ria S.

    Best Place to Read!!! 💋❤️😍😘💌

    Ria SweetRaw · February 21
  • Fabian M.

    If you are thinking about skipping it, don't.

    Fabian Moya · January 18
  • Fabian M.

    Most beautiful place I've been in my life.

    Fabian Moya · January 18
  • Greg G.

    Plan to spend time here. This place is gorgeous and full of wonderful things to see and experience

    Greg Gordon · January 13
  • Yu-siang C.

    nicr place to rest a little while.

    Yu-siang Chang · January 7
  • Michael L.

    Awe-inspiring architecture. Wonderfully pleasant staff.

    Michael Lambert · January 6
  • Chris t.

    Controversially I find the interior (outside the reading room) a bit comical. Great Dome though.

    Chris the vegetarian · December 30, 2014
  • The Ritz-Carlton

    When visiting on a weekday, make sure to go to the sixth-floor Madison Cafeteria for sweeping views of the National Mall without the crowds.

    The Ritz-Carlton · December 29, 2014
  • Sandra R.

    I used to be sad I never got my Hogwarts letter. But then I found another institution with ornate corridors, reading rooms, and underground tunnels.

    Sandra Rubinchik · December 14, 2014
  • Nathan K.

    There's a free tour a few times a day, which lasts an hour and a half and is fascinating. If you only have time for either the Capitol tour or this one, no doubt - take this one. Far more informative.

    Nathan Kunicki · November 29, 2014
  • Christopher N.

    If you are conducting extensive research or well will be using materials for more than a short time, ask for a study shelf.

    Christopher Nettles · November 12, 2014
  • Puck P.

    Use the underground tunnel between the Capitol and the congress library. Than you don't need to go to an extra security check and more lines.

    Puck Peijnenburg · October 19, 2014
  • Dee D.

    What ever you do, make sure to see the Library of Congress in DC! Absolutely stunning building! Check out only one of 3 copies of the Gutenberg Bible, the only copy in north america.

    Dee D'Alessandro · October 9, 2014
  • Robert P.

    That we maintain a collection of our written history, as a culture, is so mind-bogglingly cool that it takes a bit to fully appreciate. How can I suggest just one thing to check out?

    Robert Packard · September 26, 2014
  • Emily M.

    Happiest place on earth!

    Emily McNish · August 16, 2014
  • Jacob F.

    Featuring the nation’s best and most plentiful drinking fountains.

    Jacob Ford · August 9, 2014
  • Alberto C.

    You must have an invitation to get inside de reading room. You can get in a government office nearby

    Alberto Carvalho · August 7, 2014
  • Patrick

    "Dang! What's up with all these books?" Anders Holm

    Patrick · May 31, 2014
  • Sarah I.

    Free admission

    Sarah I · May 5, 2014
  • Lauren B.

    Closed sunday

    Lauren Bacon · March 24, 2014
  • 🐾 🐩 Philanthropist V.

    The Building is P H E N O M E N A L !!! The Jefferson collection and the Gutenberg Bible are a treat !

  • Morgan S.

    There are some great mini-exhibits in this building, which is largely used by researchers and ignored by tourists. Make sure to check out the 6th floor and basement.

    Morgan Sawicki · January 22, 2014
  • boonlalala

    just can see the main room through the big glass unless you have a library card. fortunately the library card is free and it takes about 30 mins to have one

    boonlalala · January 22, 2014
  • Tim P.

    Despite Riley's skepticism, Nicholas Cage comes up with a plan.

    Tim Pate · January 13, 2014
  • Joann T.

    Make sure you go online b4 trip to receive permission to enter reading room for research and fill out application for a Library of Congress library card.

    Joann Tyree · November 4, 2013
  • cliff e.

    First public building in the US to have electricity.

    cliff eby · October 30, 2013
  • Bill R.

    Watch "National Treasure 2" to see some cool scenes filmed at the Library. There is also a special feature on the DVD about the Library

    Bill Ruvinsky · September 25, 2013
  • Mo C.

    National Book Festival Gala

    Mo Chiav · September 20, 2013
  • Chad Y.

    Don't forget a library card from the Madison building.

    Chad Yelinski · September 13, 2013
  • Da Z.

    check out that grand reading room!

    Da Zhang · September 5, 2013
  • Cozmik

    The cloakroom guy that worked today mumbles & when you ask him what he said he gets super rude with you. Another huge asshole who obviously hates his job and his mediocre life. You hold bags, woohoo.

    Cozmik · August 26, 2013
  • Tom S.

    Leave itself twice as my h time as u think u should. Don't rush this experience

    Tom Sakell · August 26, 2013
  • Jose C.

    If you really want to get a great, in-depth tour, try to get Tom Hoban. He's great!!

    Jose Caballero · August 17, 2013
  • Armie

    On the second floor, visitors can explore Thomas Jefferson's Library, featuring thousands of original volumes that provided the foundation for the Library of Congress & it's universal collections

    Armie · August 6, 2013

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