White House
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White House: Tours & Tickets

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Top sights in Washington, DC

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Architectural Facts About The White House

The architecture of the White House is classical while regal, honoring royal British and ancient Greek times. In a neoclassical and Palladian style, the presidential residence has seen many changes throughout its history.

The Men Behind The House

The Men Behind The House

The inspiration for the building came from the only president that didn’t live there, George Washington, who designed it like an English country house with architect James Hoban.

The First Resident

The First Resident

John Adams moved into the White House in 1800 for just 4 short months at the end of his term. With over 100 rooms, Adams frequently commented the residence was "too big."

Fire in 1814

Fire in 1814

In the War of 1812, British troops marched to Washington and set the White House ablaze, destroying everything but the outer walls. Hoban restored it by 1817.

How The White House Was Named

How The White House Was Named

The building was first painted white after the fire. Although commonly called the “White House,” it wasn’t official until 1902 when Theodore Roosevelt made it so.

Withstanding The Test of Time

Withstanding The Test of Time

Despite a second great fire, the same outer walls and classical style that Hoban designed remain intact today -- a cultural icon that has withstood over 200 years.

Our insider tips

Inside the White House

Tours through the White House are in fact available. The tour is free and self-guided, but requires quite a bit of planning in advance. It’s required to apply through your member of Congress or foreign U.S. Embassy 6 months to 21 days in advance. Find your representative here: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/.

When You Can’t Plan Ahead

Alternatively, if timing doesn’t allow, the White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. is open 7 days a week until 4:00PM. Here you’ll find exhibits and more information on this history behind the building and its legendary residents.

Good to know

  • When should I visit?
    Tues - Thurs 7:30AM to 11:30AM. Fri - Sat 7:30AM to 1:30PM.
  • Is it expensive?
    Free!
  • Will I need a guide?
    Nope! Hard as it is to believe, you can roam the White House alone!
  • How to get there
    Take the Metrorail to Federal Triangle or Metro Center.
  • Additional information
    There are a number of prohibited items so be sure to take a gander at the rules and regulations before you visit.

What people are saying about White House

Fun informative and scenic ride through Washington

We really enjoyed this trip. The cycling was not too hard but a great way of seeing the main sights in one day. Our guide was friendly and knowledgeable. I would strongly recommend taking this trip.

Washington, DC 3-Hour Bike Tour Reviewed by Ruth, 04/14/2019

We got to see a lot& guide & driver was excellent.

We had Brittany & Bryan who made our trip a lot of fun. Tour allowed us to see a lot. Really enjoyed all of it.

Washington D.C. Twilight Evening Bus Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide customer, 04/06/2019

Very nice trip, everything you need to see

one day for D.C. is just enough, we saw everything which is worth visiting, first Arlington and JFK grave, then we went next to Pentagon and the Marines monument, then we stopped to see Washington monument and Lincoln memorial, also Korean War veterans memorial, there is enough time to see everything. Later you go to visit museums and you have free time to see one of the them which you like most (air & space/art gallery and so on), at the end you visit the capitol. While going by bus you can also see FBI building and streets of D.C. Very polite, cheerful and wise guide!

Washington, D.C. Day Trip from New York Reviewed by Julia, 03/27/2019

Fantastic night, saw so much and it was beautiful.

Annonomys aka Steve was our guide and was a wealth of knowledge. His humor was also hysterical. Great night for sure.

Washington D.C. Twilight Evening Bus Tour Reviewed by Lynn, 02/04/2019

We loved every part of it and, Joey, our guide was simply fantastic!

Seeing the memorials at night was breath-taking! Our guide, Joey, made it so interesting and answered all our questions and then some. No one should miss seeing these sites when visiting D.C. We were on a bus with 34 people and were given some free time with a timeline. Since it was pretty cold, we kept the pace moving. Joey gave us great background info to help us appreciate everything we were seeing or about to see. It was a night I will never forget! Thank you!!

D.C. at Dusk: Night Tour of the National Mall Reviewed by Linda, 11/19/2018

Things to do near White House