Walk the corridors of power and see where presidents entertain heads of state at one of the most famous residences in the world, the White House. The neoclassical-style mansion has been the home and office of every U.S. president since John Adams in 1800.
Start your tour in the Visitor Center. View exhibits and films covering the history of the White House and its famous occupants. Make your way to the mansion’s magnificent Entrance Hall and the Grand Staircase where presidents and their guests descend prior to state dinners. They pause for press photos at the foot of the stairs while the United States Marine Band plays Hail to the Chief. See busts of presidents and portraits of first ladies lining the Ground Floor Corridor.
Step into the East Room, the largest room in the mansion, used for state dinners, press conferences and concerts. Observe the famous full-length portrait of George Washington by Gilbert Stuart. Look over the Steinway grand piano with gilt American eagle supports; it was given to the White House by the manufacturer in 1938. Just off the East Room is the Green Room where Thomas Jefferson hosted dinners and James Monroe used to play cards. Among the other rooms included in the tour are the State Dining Room, the Library and the Blue Room.
The White House is located at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW in Washington D.C. There is no on-street car parking near the mansion. The White House advises visitors to come by public transportation. The nearest metro stations are Federal Triangle, Metro Center and McPherson Square.
Free self-guided public tours of the White House are available from Tuesday through Saturday, except federal holidays. Tour requests must be made through a U.S. resident’s member of Congress, three weeks to six months in advance of an intended visit. Non-U.S. residents will need to contact their embassy in Washington D.C. for help in submitting a tour request. All visitors aged 18 and over must bring valid proof of identification. A passport is the only acceptable form of ID for foreign nationals.