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

citizenM Washington DC Capitol
citizenM Washington DC Capitol
4 out of 5
550 School St SW, Washington, DC
The price is $134 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and National Mall. Capital One Arena and Washington ...
4.8/5Exceptional! (169 reviews)
"Quirky and modern. Very cool decors. Professional service, friendly staff. All and all enjoyed my stay here."

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2021

citizenM Washington DC Capitol
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 $149 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 24
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and National Mall. Capital One Arena and Washington ...
4.2/5Very Good! (1,935 reviews)

Reviewed on Sep 19, 2021

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
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 $179 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 8
Located in Capitol Hill, this eco-friendly hotel is within a 10-minute walk of National Postal Museum and United States Capitol. Library of Congress and Smithsonian ...
4.2/5Excellent! (1,235 reviews)
"Close to Union Station and the Capitol. More food options needed."

Reviewed on Sep 20, 2021

Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
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.

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Best Lodging Options Near Library of Congress

Hotel Harrington
Hotel Harrington
3 out of 5
436 11th Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $92 per night from Oct 5 to Oct 5
Hotel Harrington
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 $149 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 24
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
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 $179 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 8
Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
citizenM Washington DC Capitol
citizenM Washington DC Capitol
4 out of 5
550 School St SW, Washington, DC
The price is $134 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
citizenM Washington DC Capitol
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 $179 per night from Sep 26 to Sep 26
Hyatt Place Washington DC/National Mall
Hilton Washington DC Capitol Hill
Hilton Washington DC Capitol Hill
4 out of 5
525 New Jersey Ave Nw, Washington, DC
The price is $161 per night from Oct 8 to Oct 8
Hilton Washington DC Capitol Hill
Grand Hyatt Washington
Grand Hyatt Washington
4 out of 5
1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $169 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 24
Grand Hyatt Washington
Capitol Hill Hotel
Capitol Hill Hotel
3.5 out of 5
200 C St SE, Washington, DC
The price is $151 per night from Sep 24 to Sep 24
Capitol Hill Hotel
YOTEL Washington DC
YOTEL Washington DC
4 out of 5
415 New Jersey Ave Nw, Washington, DC
The price is $155 per night from Oct 5 to Oct 5
YOTEL Washington DC
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.