Tours

Tours

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.

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).

For more information on arranging guided tours, contact:

Tours are available daily of the underground extension and newly restored Capitol.
Tours are available daily of the underground extension and newly restored Capitol.

Capitol Square Guided Tours

capitoltourguides@house.virginia.gov

Capitol Guided Tours
c/o tour supervisor
Post Office Box 406
Richmond, Virginia 23218

Call our main voice number 804-698-1788 to verify daily tour schedules and make group tour appointments for groups of 10 or more people.

Please Provide the Following Information When Arranging:

  • Group name, tour coordinator, main telephone number, cell phone number, fax or e-mail.
  • Preferred date and time of visit (have alternate dates available if possible).
  • Total number in group, including chaperons. (Note: appointments for groups larger than 90 people are subject to availability of guides.)
  • Age/grade level of students.

Capitol Virtual Tour Website

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The General Assembly has released a state of the art virtual tours website that brings Virginia’s State Capitol to the citizens of Virginia. The website provides online tours of both the Capitol Grounds and the Capitol Building. Visitors to this interactive website will have the ability to explore areas on their own or view video presentations.

Please note the virtual tours website requires the Adobe Flash Player. You can download the Flash Player at the Adobe website at no charge. If you do not have the Flash Player plug-in installed, you will be prompted to install it before any content is shown.

For visitors with special needs: An accessible segment of this website has been created for those visitors who use technology other than standard web browsers to view web content.

Parking at the Capitol

Parking at the Capitol

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.

Because of the Capitol visitor entrance is not currently accessible from Bank Street, we suggest several parking options when traveling by vehicle when visiting. An interactive map is below along with instructions for groups traveling by bus via highways/interstate.

Directions to the Capitol

Directions to the Capitol

Directions to the Capitol

View a larger Google Map for directions.

Directions for tours by bus

Important changes to Bank St. traffic patterns will include:

  • A new “pedestrian plaza” extending from the Commonwealth (formerly Commonwealth Park Suites Hotel) to north 10th Street along Bank Street, between the Pocahontas Building and the Capitol extension public entrance. The plaza will serve as a safe space for members of the public, administration, legislators, state employees, teen pages and the media to move between the two buildings.
  • For school groups and other tour groups to unload visitors from buses. See a map of Capitol Square Auxiliary Bus Parking facility. The auxiliary parking is located at 2400 W. Leigh St. Richmond, VA 23220.
  • Bank Street will become one-way, from west to east, between 10th and 12th streets. Two-way traffic along Bank St. will resume east of 12th Street.
  • Traffic calming measures to prevent speeding will be placed on the north and south sides of Bank Street.
  • There will be no access to Bank St. from Franklin Street.
  • Right turns from 9th Street onto Bank Street will be prohibited for all but hotel traffic, buses for Capitol tours by appointment, and deliveries to the Pocahontas Building.
  • Capitol Police will control access to the pedestrian plaza through automatic gates.

These measures will remain in place while the General Assembly occupies the Pocahontas Building.

Buses that drop off school and other groups at the Capitol extension on Bank Street to visit the Capitol can unload inside the pedestrian plaza, then park at the Department of General Services Office of Fleet Management Services at 2400 W. Leigh St. Richmond, VA 23220.

Unless directed otherwise, buses will return to pick up their passengers along the traffic circle around the equestrian Washington monument located inside the Capitol Square gate at 9th and grace streets, one block uphill from (north of) the pedestrian plaza. Group leaders will need to have direct phone or text communication with their drivers, since buses will not be able to park on or next to Capitol Square.

Traveling I-95 North

By Bus: If traveling north on I-95 take exit 74C (Broad Street). At the fork in the exit ramp bear right (follow “Broad St. East” sign) and enter onto 17th Street heading south. At light turn right onto Broad Street and drive uphill (west) to the light at 14th Street. Turn left at 14th Street and go downhill (south) to the light at Main Street. Turn right onto Main Street and head west to the light at 9th Street. Turn right onto 9th Street and head uphill one block to the first light, at the intersection with Bank Street. Turn right onto Bank Street and stop at the entrance gate to the pedestrian plaza, staffed by the Division of Capitol Police.

Traveling I-95 South

By Bus: If traveling south on I-95 take exit 74B (Franklin Street). Be careful to slow down when taking this exit because it is a short downhill ramp ending at a traffic light. At the light turn right onto Franklin Street and proceed straight ahead to the light at the intersection with 14th Street. Turn left onto 14th Street and go downhill (south) to the light at Main Street. Turn right onto Main Street and head west to the light at 9th Street. Turn right onto 9th Street and head uphill one block to the first light, at the intersection with Bank Street. Turn right onto Bank Street and stop at the entrance gate to the pedestrian plaza, staffed by the Division of Capitol Police.

Traveling I-64 West

By Bus: If traveling west on I-64 get into the left lane while crossing a bridge into downtown Richmond and take the left ramp, exit 190, onto I-95 south. After a short distance take exit 74B (Franklin Street). Be careful to slow down when taking this exit because it is a short downhill ramp ending at a traffic light. At the light turn right onto Franklin Street and proceed straight ahead to the light at the intersection with 14th Street. Turn left onto 14th Street and go downhill (south) to the light at Main Street. Turn right onto Main Street and head west to the light at 9th Street. Turn right onto 9th Street and head uphill one block to the first light, at the intersection with Bank Street. Turn right onto Bank Street and stop at the entrance gate to the pedestrian plaza, staffed by the Division of Capitol Police.

Traveling I-64 East

By Bus: If traveling east on I-64 into downtown Richmond proceed straight ahead on 95 south (AVOID the right exit for I-64 East to Williamsburg) and take exit 74B (Franklin Street). Be careful to slow down when taking this exit because it is a short downhill ramp ending at a traffic light. At the light turn right onto Franklin Street and proceed straight ahead to the light at the intersection with 14th Street. Turn left onto 14th Street and go downhill (south) to the light at Main Street. Turn right onto Main Street and head west to the light at 9th Street. Turn right onto 9th Street and head uphill one block to the first light, at the intersection with Bank Street. Turn right onto Bank Street and stop at the entrance gate to the pedestrian plaza, staffed by the Division of Capitol Police.

Traveling I-195 East (Downtown Expressway)

By Bus: take the 7th/9th street (Rt. 60) exit and stay in the right lane of the exit ramp. Turn left onto 9th Street and proceed north through the intersection with Main Street and uphill one block to the light at the intersection with Bank Street. Turn right onto Bank Street and stop at the entrance gate to the pedestrian plaza, staffed by the Division of Capitol Police.

Hours

Hours

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.