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

Good itinerary coupled with a great guide

Our guide was Montie. The cart had a family of 4 plus my wife, my 7-1/2 year-old grandson and me. Montie was very good at explaining the attractions and their histories in a way that engaged all of us. As a bonus, Montie had funny anecdotes to tell us about them. He was very open to any questions our group had and, being quite knowledgeable, knew the answers to most. My family all learned a lot on the 2 hour tour and, perhaps the best accolade was that my grandson asked if we could do another tour with Montie!

Our tour with signature tours was great for adults and children alike.

We brought two little kids with us on the 3 hour evening tour. We were able to get on and off the sites, the guide was knowledgeable and helpful and we saw so much!

Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 05/28/2019

Excellent bike tour. Great guide, bikes, facility and value.

My son and I were in town for the weekend for an ice hockey tournament and we needed an activity to kill a few hours. A friend suggested we rent a couple of bikes and ride around DC. In searching for bike rentals, I came across the Fat tire bike tours. We could not be happier with our experience. The facility was clean and cool, to accommodate the hot day. We were greeted at the door, and everyone was super friendly. After a brief tutorial, they set us up with some very nice bikes, clean helmets and bottled waters and we were on our way. If only I could remember our tour guides’ name, to give credit where it’s due. He was very knowledgeable, engaging and looked out for the safety of our group. If you are in DC, this is a must do. And for the thirty some odd dollars for the tour, it was well worth it.

Washington, DC 3-Hour Bike Tour Reviewed by William, 05/27/2019

Small group tour with lots of information shared

Our tour was me, my coworker and another couple. This made our tour close to a private tour and our guide walked with us and gave us so many fun facts along the way. I was blown away by how much our guide knew, how many years she has been a guide and the amount of time she's spent in D.C. This tour was definitely worth the money and I am glad I picked this one from all the other tours offered,

Worth the trip for sure. Efficient program.

Absolutely recomend this if you are in NYC for some days and also wish to see washington

Washington, D.C. Day Trip from New York Reviewed by Anonymous, 05/12/2019

Things to do near White House