Hours of Operation

The Capitol building is open to visitors from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sundays. Self-Guided tours are available during operating hours each day our Capitol Visitors Brochure will help you get started.

Free one-hour guided tours Monday through Saturday are available beginning by 10:00 a.m. for walk-in visitors (or 9:00 a.m. for groups by appointment) and continue throughout the day, with the last tour offered at 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, guided tours are available beginning at 1:00 p.m., with the last tour offered at 4:00 p.m.

In addition, self-guided tours are available during operating hours each day.

The Capitol Building is closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Review the Capitol Tours Page for information about scheduling a guided tour.

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

Accessibility at the Capitol Building:

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.

Accessible 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.

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.

Capitol Cafe & Shop

The Virginia Shop and Meriwether’s café, both conveniently located in the Capitol Extension, welcomes visitors to enhance their visit to Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol with a charming keepsake and a tasty treat. The Virginia Shop offers a unique selection of gifts inspired by our Capitol and our Commonwealth. Meriwether’s café offers a distinctive menu, made to order using the freshest ingredients, of sandwiches, salads, sides and sweet treats.

The Virginia Shop at the Capitol
The Virginia Shop at the Capitol

The Virginia Shop at the Capitol (804)698-7661 is located in the Capitol extension. Gift store hours are Monday – Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The store is closed on Sunday. They offer a wide variety of state seal gifts, jewelry, books and more. If you are hosting a group trip to the Capitol, you can order gift bags for your guests in advance. Gift bags range from $2 per bag to $10 per bag.

After Exploring Mr. Jefferson's Capitol, stop by Meriwether's, for a made to order sandwich.
After Exploring Mr. Jefferson’s Capitol, stop by Meriwether’s, for a made to order sandwich.

Meriwether’s at the Capitol offers several options and venues for guests visiting the Capitol.

The Capitol Café located in the Capitol extension is open to the public, Monday through Friday. Guests can enjoy a meal in the cafe, which does have limited seating, or use Meriwether’s take-out service to enjoy on the lawn of the Capitol. Choices range from soup, salads, sandwiches and daily specials for lunch to snacks and fresh baked cookies. Or try a
specialty coffee drink for that afternoon pick-me-up, brewed with locally roasted, fair trade coffee. The cafe can be reached by phone at (804)698-7438

Breakfast Service Hours: open for breakfast beginning Thursday, July 20, 2017. Breakfast will be served from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. each weekday.

Lunch Service Hours: Lunch service will begin at 10:30 a.m. and continue through 3:00 p.m.

Hours During the Legislative Session: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., or half an hour after the adjournment of the General Assembly

Meriwether’s at the Suntrust Building

The cafeteria in the General Assembly Building (GAB) closed on June 30, 2017 due to the legislature’s move from the GAB to the Pocahontas Building. The cafeteria will reopen in a new location in the SunTrust Building (919 East Main Street, 3rdFloor – across the street from the Pocahontas Building) in October, 2017.

Hours – 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m.

During the Legislative Session – 6:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.

Due to the GAB Cafeteria closing, the transition to the new space, and the impact this will have on our exclusive caterer, Meriwether-Godsey, spaces in the Capitol will be unavailable to be reserved for special and after-hours events between June 19, 2017 and October 31, 2017. Special events sponsored by legislative groups will be considered on a case-by-case basis. You may contact Jennifer Welch with the Senate of Virginia at (804) 698-7460 or jwelch@senate.virginia.gov or Jay Braxton with the House of Delegates at (804) 698-1552 or jbraxton@house.virginia.gov for additional information.

Security Guidelines

Individuals visiting the Capitol, General Assembly Building and/or Patrick Henry Building will be asked to pass through metal detectors and all personal belongings will be searched. Due to these security measures currently in place, it is advisable to leave all non-essential personal items in your vehicle.

This information is also available to download as a PDF Visitor Guide for the Capitol. Order copies of this publication and many more on the Publications Page of the General Assembly Website.