Plan Your Visit
When you visit the Cathedral, there’s always something new to discover – something about yourself, our history or your place in God’s world.
Our sightseeing hours vary day-to-day to accommodate the wide range of activities and ministries offered at the Cathedral. Our wide variety of options cover every interest level, from docent-led group tours to behind-the-scenes access to specialty tours on specific topics. Explore on your own, or with our new visitor app, or with a knowledgeable guide. Let’s discover something new!
Upcoming Sightseeing & ToursFull Calendar
Explore some of the most beloved Cathedral features at your own pace during our posted sightseeing hours. Self-guided tour brochures are included with admission, and self-guided digital tours are available through the Bloomberg Connects app. A limited number of audio tours are available for purchase upon arrival.
→ Adults (18+): $15
→ Youth (5-17): $10
→ Seniors (65+), students, active military and veterans: $10 (*ID required)
→ Kids under 5: free
Advance reservations are not required but strongly encouraged. Booking in advance will help ensure a smooth check-in. Groups of 20+ must request a reservation in advance.
Tours & Tower Climbs
Our wide variety of tours offer options for every interest level, from docent-led group tours to behind-the-scenes access to specialty tours on specific topics. Or ascend to the heavens for a one-of-a-kind Tower Climb experience that includes the most magnificent views of the DC-area.
Browse options below or view availability of all upcoming tours & tower climbs.
Explore the Cathedral at your own pace with a complimentary self-guided brochure, or download our app for a digital guide. You may arrive any time during our open hours on your ticket's day.
Free with Sightseeing Admission and offered on-site when available. This 30-45 min docent-led tour of favorite and iconic Cathedral features is tailored for first-time visitors.
Take your experience to the next level with an Insider Access tour, where you’ll travel hidden staircases to get a behind-the-scenes look at the Cathedral’s secret treasures. Enjoy breathtaking vistas and exclusive access to see art and architecture like never before.
Go in-depth on Cathedral art and architecture with a themed tour, led by a knowledgable docent. These small-group tours focus on thematic topics or specific areas of the Cathedral, including voices of history, sacred art and architectural topics.
Looking for an only-in-DC experience to wow your family or that special someone? The Cathedral offers private tours to small groups with advance booking.
Climb through hidden stairwells, past stunning stained glass and charming gargoyles, for a unique experience that will take your breath away. Enjoy panoramic vistas from the highest geographical point in the nation’s capital.
Visit & Tour FAQ
Your sightseeing admission helps support the Cathedral in keeping our doors open to everyone who wants to visit.
It costs about $1,700 an hour to maintain the Cathedral, and we do not receive any direct operating support from the federal government or a national church body. Every dollar we raise is given by generous donors who cherish this national treasure and want to share it with others.
Your admission fee helps sustain the Cathedral for future generations, and allows us to offer you a memorable experience. Your support fuels outreach in the city and across the nation, and also helps fund repairs from the 2011 earthquake.
Worship services and private prayer are always free, and the Cathedral is free to visit on Sundays. Discounted admission is available for children, seniors, students and active military and veterans. Thank you for your support!
Groups (20+ people) are required to have a reservation to visit the Cathedral for any reason.
Please refer to the Group & School Visits page for details on how to request a reservation. Every year, the Cathedral is privileged to welcome groups from around the world to visit. We can’t wait to meet your group!
We recommend parking in the Cathedral’s underground parking garage. There is very limited parking on the Cathedral grounds and in the surrounding neighborhood.
Underground Parking Garage
- Entrance: Enter via Wisconsin Avenue, at the traffic signal just south of Woodley Road.
- Garage Hours: 6 am to 11 pm.
- Maximum height: 7’ 6” including rooftop accessories. No trailers or RVs are permitted in the garage or on the grounds.
- Accessible parking spaces: located on each level of the garage near the elevators.
- Security office: located on level B1 of the garage next to the Wisconsin Avenue entrance.
- Pay station machines: located by the elevator lobbies on the B1 and B2 levels and also at the Wisconsin Avenue exit. Pay machines accept cash or credit cards. Credit cards or small denomination bills preferred. Change is issued in coins.
- During select events, special rates may apply.
The Visitor Entrance is located directly across from the parking garage elevators, on the northwest corner of the Cathedral (closest to Wisconsin Ave).
Yes. Please visit Open City at the National Cathedral’s website for hours and other information.
As a living and active community of faith, the Cathedral’s schedule and ability to welcome visitors is subject to unexpected changes. If a conflict arises and we cannot be open for touring at the date/time you have purchased, we will contact you by email and your credit card will be refunded.
By purchasing admission in advance, you acknowledge that our schedule is subject to change.