COVID-19 alert: Travel requirements are changing rapidly, including need for pre-travel COVID-19 testing and quarantine on arrival.

Library of Congress

Vacation Travel Guide
United States Capitol featuring an administrative buidling, heritage architecture and a city

In its dedication to the written word, this building is the pinnacle of everything literary. Visit this treasury showcasing the world through writing.

Washington, D.C.’s Library of Congress is the world’s largest library. With books and manuscripts from every part of the world, the amassed collection numbers more than 167 million items and grows by about 12,000 items every day. Tour this building to be awed by humanity’s literary contribution to society.

Visit the stately Italian Renaissance-style Thomas Jefferson building, built in the 19th century, the first building of three comprising the library complex on Capitol Hill. The other structures, John Adams Building and James Madison Memorial Building, were built in the 20th century.

Spend time viewing ongoing exhibits, including a popular one about baseball. The Law Library of Congress, the world’s largest law library with over 2.9 million volumes, contains valuable publications dating back to the birth of the nation.

Not only is the Library of Congress massive, it’s also the oldest federal cultural institution in the U.S. Imagine the horror when the original library, housed in the Capitol building, was destroyed by fire in 1814 by British troops during the War of 1812. A year later the core of a new library was established with procurement of President Thomas Jefferson’s personal library.

It wasn’t until the last half of the century, after the Civil War, that work began on constructing a new library, which opened in 1897. The rapidly increasing importance of the library took it beyond being mainly a depository for government publications and documents to the role of a public institution. Today’s digital world also has the library as a key player in national and world digital libraries. View a portion of the collection that includes the largest and smallest books, the former measuring 5 feet by 7 feet (1.5 meters by 2.1 meters) and the latter about the size of the period at the end of this sentence.

Library of Congress’ Thomas Jefferson Building is located on First Street, within sight of the Capitol building. It is closed Sundays and certain holidays. Admission is free, with self-guided and 1-hour conducted tours available. Use the walkway that connects the library with the Capitol to avoid double security checks.

Top things to do in Library of Congress

Top Hotels Close to Library of Congress

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC
Fully refundable
The price is $129 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 29
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and National Mall. Washington Monument and Capital ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,914 reviews)
"Is very well located for someone that travels and uses the metro. You have everything close by"

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2021

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
3 out of 5
901 L Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $134 per night from Aug 10 to Aug 10
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ford's Theater, and Capital One Arena. ...
4.4/5Excellent! (979 reviews)
"This hotel was nice for the price and in a great location."

Reviewed on Jul 27, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
3 out of 5
400 E Street SW, Washington, DC
The price is $144 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Mall and Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. United States Capitol and National ...
4.4/5Excellent! (1,134 reviews)
"it was an excellent place to stay convenient to downtown and very friendly staff"

Reviewed on Jul 28, 2021

Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Plan a trip to see Library of Congress

Thompson Washington D.C.
Hampton Inn by Hilton Silver Spring Washington DC
Georgetown Inn
Don't see what you're looking for?
See all available trips from Ashburn to Library of Congress
View all trips

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Library of Congress

Popular places to visit in Library of Congress

Library of Congress

Choose one or more items to build your trip:

Best Lodging Options Near Library of Congress

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC
The price is $129 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 29
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
3 out of 5
901 L Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $134 per night from Aug 10 to Aug 10
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
3 out of 5
400 E Street SW, Washington, DC
The price is $144 per night from Aug 22 to Aug 22
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
4 out of 5
400 New Jersey Ave NW, Washington, DC
The price is $161 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
Residence Inn Washington, DC /Capitol
Residence Inn Washington, DC /Capitol
3 out of 5
333 E St Sw, Washington, DC
The price is $159 per night from Aug 6 to Aug 6
Residence Inn Washington, DC /Capitol
YOTEL Washington DC formerly Liaison
YOTEL Washington DC formerly Liaison
4 out of 5
415 New Jersey Ave Nw, Washington, DC
The price is $143 per night from Aug 29 to Aug 29
YOTEL Washington DC formerly Liaison
Capitol Hill Hotel
Capitol Hill Hotel
3.5 out of 5
200 C St SE, Washington, DC
The price is $143 per night from Aug 21 to Aug 21
Capitol Hill Hotel
The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
4 out of 5
1400 M Street, NW, Washington, DC
The price is $169 per night from Aug 1 to Aug 1
The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
Spectacular 1 Bdr/1 BA Apt. Walk to Capitol!
Spectacular 1 Bdr/1 BA Apt. Walk to Capitol!
Washington, DC
The price is $132 per night from Aug 16 to Aug 16
Spectacular 1 Bdr/1 BA Apt. Walk to Capitol!
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.