Hours and Days 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 begin Monday through Saturday no later than 10:00 a.m. for walk-in visitors (9:00 a.m. for groups by appointment), with the last tour commencing at 4:00 p.m. On Sunday, guided tours are available beginning at 1:00 p.m., with the last tour commencing at 4:00 p.m. In addition, self-guided tours are available during operating hours each day.
Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Capitol Use Policies

The Virginia Capitol, one of the most historic structures in the Western Hemisphere, every year welcomes thousands of Virginia citizens and visitors from around the country and throughout the world. The Virginia Capitol is unique among historic sites because it also is a working government building. It is important to respect and safeguard the historic nature of the Capitol as well as preserve the public’s access to their government without impeding the day-to-day operations of state government and the conduct of the people’s business.

In accordance with local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations, interim rules regarding the Capitol and the House and Senate galleries have been established jointly by the Clerk of the House and the Clerk of the Senate at the direction of the General Assembly’s Committee on Joint Rules.

Capitol, Gallery and Mezzanine Use Policy – House

Capitol, Gallery and Mezzanine Use Policy – Senate

Groups interested in holding an event on Capitol Square will need a permit. Please see the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Division of Engineering and Buildings (DEB) webpage for information on obtaining these permits.

 

Dining and Catering

Meriwether’s at the Capitol
Meriwether’s, a Dining Management Company headquartered in Lynchburg, Virginia, offers several dining options and venues for guests visiting the Capitol. The cafe in the new Capitol Extension.

Cafe Schedule:
Monday – Friday from 8:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Guests can enjoy a meal in the cafe, which does have 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-centry portion of the Capitol.

General Assembly Building:
Meriwether’s also operates a cafeteria in the General Assembly Building on the 6th floor. The cafeteria offers some hot meals, as well as sandwiches and beverages. There is also a sandwich express window open during session each year.

Cafeteria Schedule:
Monday – Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Vending machines are located in the basement and floors 2, 3, and 7.

 

Parking

Handicap parking

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. 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, as well as rates, are available via Ridefinders Downtown Commuter Guide web page.

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 capitoltourguides@house.virginia.gov

Capitol Entrances and Exits – Bank Street

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.