Tours and 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.


Behind the Scenes Tour

Our most popular guided tour! Discover the Cathedral’s hidden stories as you marvel at the building’s artistry and engineering. Journey through stone stairwells and passageways to see stained glass windows up close. Step out secret doors to witness magnificent views from the heights. Tours are scheduled according to docent availability.

Note: this tour is not for those with fear of heights or those with limited mobility. Be prepared for close quarters, stair climbing, and heights. For ages 11+. Those 11-17 must be accompanied by an adult.

Thematic Tours

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. Thematic tours are best suited for ages 10+. Tours are scheduled according to docent availability.

Tower Climbs

These adventurous climbs take you through hidden stairwells, past stunning stained glass and charming gargoyles, and end with panoramic vistas from the highest geographical point in DC. Three options are offered: Bell Tower Climb, Angels & Monsters Climb, and Combination Climb. Learn about the options and get tickets below.

Note before purchasing tickets: Prepare for rigorous activity. Not for those with a fear of heights or enclosed spaces, or for those with limited mobility – stairs include both enclosed stone staircases and also open metal, spiral stairs. Must be at least 11 years old; minimum height requirement: 48 in (4 ft). Infants cannot be carried on Tower Climbs.

Self-Guided Tour

Explore some of the most beloved Cathedral features, including the new Now and Forever Windows, 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.

Upcoming Sightseeing & Tours

Full Calendar