White House Tour 2018

White House Public Tours: East Wing and the Residence

Public tours of the White House are free of charge and can be scheduled through your congressional representative. Refer to the ticketing section below for details.

Visitors will enter the White House complex from the south side of East Executive Avenue. After passing through the security screening area, guests will enter the East Wing of the White House and proceed down the East Colonnade following the route to the Residence depicted on the White House tour map below.

White House Tour Map

Photos Are Now Allowed on the White House Tour!

In 2015, the White House lifted its longstanding camera and photo ban on public tours. Guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and are encouraged to share their photos using the hashtag #WhiteHouseTour. Phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches are allowed.

West Wing Tours

While the standard public tour is interesting for architectural and historical reasons, nothing can beat the excitement of the West Wing Tour. These coveted tours are led by knowledgeable members of the White House staff and Secret Service. They take you into the working areas of the White House and allow you to witness our democracy in action.

From the West Wing Tour booklet:

"In 1902, President Theodore Roosevelt relocated his office from the second floor of the residence to this newly constructed building. The West Wing has expanded and undergone several renovations since then, but it has remained the official workplace of the President. In our country, the halls of government are not reserved for a privileged few, and the President’s workplace should be no exception."

West Wing Tour Map

White House Tour Tickets

Public Tour

Requests for the White House tour must be submitted through your Member of Congress in either the House or Senate. These self-guided tours are available from 7:30AM - 11:30AM on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday; and from 7:30AM - 1:30PM on Friday and Saturday. Tour hours are extended whenever the White House schedule permits. 

White House tours are scheduled on a first come, first served basis and they must be requested a minimum of 21 days in advance of your visit. Requests can be submitted up to three months in advance. The earlier, the better as only a limited number of spaces are available. 

The White House will notify you of your tour request status approximately two weeks before the tour date. Spring and summer tours fill up quickly, so make your request early. Want to see the holiday decorations? Submit your Christmas tour requests in September. All tours are free of charge. You can call the Visitors Office information line 24 hours a day at 202-456-7041 for updates about any last minute schedule changes or cancellations of tours. 

Secret tip: If your request for a White House tour is denied, you might be able to get in on a Congressional Member's Pass distributed monthly by the White House Visitors Office. 

West Wing Tour

At this time, there is no way for the general public to request a West Wing tour. These tours are by invitation-only.

Map of White House Grounds

White House Tour Security

All guests 14 years of age or older are required by the United States Secret Service to submit their name, date of birth, social security number and country of citizenship. All guests 18 and older will be required to present photo identification with information exactly matching the name previously submitted for clearance.

Prohibited Items

Prohibited items include, but are not limited to, the following: handbags, book bags, backpacks, purses, food and beverages of any kind, strollers, video cameras, selfie sticks, tobacco products, personal grooming items (make-up, hair brush or comb, lip or hand lotions, etc.), any pointed objects (pens, knitting needles, etc.), aerosol containers, guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, or knives of any size. The U.S. Secret Service reserves the right to prohibit any other personal items. 

Umbrellas, wallets, compact cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches, cell phones and car keys are permitted. Come prepared; there are no storage facilities on-site. 

Refer to the Tours & Events page of the White House website for detailed security requirements.


The closest Metrorail stations to the White House are Federal Triangle (blue and orange lines), Metro Center (blue, orange, and red lines) and McPherson Square (blue and orange lines). On-street parking is not available near the White House, and use of public transportation is strongly encouraged.


The nearest public restrooms to the White House are in the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion (the park area south of the White House) and in the White House Visitor Center. Please take advantage of these public facilities prior to your tour.

White House Gift Shop

The small gift shop located by the White House Mess is not open to visitors on the White House tour. You can purchase your White House souvenirs online from the official White House Gift Shop by clicking on the banner below.

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