Capitol Visitor's Guide

With the reopening of Virginia's historical capitol building, there are a number of changes and new opportunities for visitors to the capitol.

The information below is also available as a downloadable Visitor's Guide for the Capitol.

This publication and many others are available on the publications page of the General Assembly Website.

Access to the the Capitol Building: Private vehicles with handicap tags are able to park and unload passengers on Bank Street between 9th and 10th streets, near the new public entrance. The new underground extension has wheelchair accessible restrooms, ramps and elevators. There is barrier-free access from the new extension to the original 1788 Capitol and the 1906 legislative wings.

Capitol Hours: The Capitol building is open to visitors Monday through Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Free guided tours are available from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, with the last tour starting at 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, free guided tours are available from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., with the last tour starting at 4:00 p.m. Guided tours are available for walk in visitors as well as groups with tour appointments. All groups of ten or more are expected to make tour reservations in advance. Individuals, couples, families and small groups with fewer than ten people may take guided or self guided tours during operating hours each day.

Newly Expanded Capitol: The working space of the Capitol has increased by about one third by means of an underground extension. This new working space features many visitor amenities, including public restrooms, meeting rooms, an exhibit gallery and a cafe.

Public Entrance: Commercial tour groups, school groups and the general public will enter the restored and expanded Capitol from a new entrance plaza near 10th and Bank streets.

Street Traffic Patterns: Bank Street has become a two-way thoroughfare between 9th and 14th streets, in order to make the new public entrance more accessible.

Handicap Parking: Private vehicles with handicap plates are able to park and unload passengers on Bank Street near the new public entrance. There is no public parking on the Capitol Square grounds.

Motorcoach Parking: Three or four spaces are presently available on Bank Street between 10th and 12th Streets. Buses should not stay on Bank Street longer than 2 hours. As of 2008 the former “Bus Loop” behind Old City Hall is no longer available to school or tour buses visiting the Capitol. Overflow bus parking is available at the Virginia War Memorial, on 2nd Street south of Spring Street. Group leaders will need to be in phone contact with their drivers.

Public Parking: There are four free general public spaces (1 hour) on the north side of Bank Street, between 9th and 10th Streets. A limited number of metered public parking spaces (2 hours) are located on the west side of 10th Street, between Main and Bank Streets, on Bank Street, between Governor and 14th Streets, on the south side of Main Street, between 9th and 12th Streets and on 12th Street between Main and Bank Streets.

Pay parking lots and decks are nearby on 8th and Grace Street and 7th and Marshall Streets.

Downloadable maps of nearby parking lots and decks are available, as well as rates for these areas.

Note: Due to the increasing construction in Downtown Richmond, some parking lots listed on the links above may not exist any longer. If you have any questions about parking lots in the capitol vicinity, please call the Capitol Tour Desk at (804) 698-1788 or email the Tour Desk at

Expanded tours: Indoor guided tours last about one hour and include two newly restored rooms that were not previously on tour. In addition to the Rotunda, Old House and Old Senate chambers, tour groups usually see one of the 1906 legislative chambers located in the wings (when the General Assembly is not in session).

Gift Shop: The Virginia Shop at the Capitol is open to the public in the new extension. Gift store hours are Monday - Friday 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Capitol Shop can be reached by phone at (804)698-7661.

Food Service: Meriwether's Cafe, offers several dining options and venues for guests visiting the Capitol. In the new Capitol Extension is a cafe, open to the public, Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Guests can enjoy a meal in the cafe, which has limited seating, or use Meriwether's take-out service. The cafe can be reached by phone at (804)698-7438.

A word of caution to our visitors: Food is not allowed in the original 18th-century portion of the Capitol.

Meriwether's also operates a cafeteria in the General Assembly Building on the 6th floor, open from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Monday - Friday. The cafeteria offers some hot meals, as well as sandwiches and beverages. There is also a sandwich express window open during session each year. The Vending machines are located in the basement and floors 2, 3, and 7.