Having visited the exterior of the U.S. Capitol a number of times, until 2012 I'd never really had the opportunity to see the interior and, once inside, I realized what I'd been missing.
|U.S. Capitol Building|
Booking your tour
The tour is free and it is advised visitors arrive 45 minutes prior to the tour. We did this, and actually received an earlier time slot, but during the spring months or other busy times, this may be less likely. Depending on the time of year, there may be a long line to get through security to get into the center, so you'll want to take this into consideration when planning your time in arriving.
Taking the tour
The process is typically very organized and fast-moving. I didn't get the chance to do much of this, but visitors can also explore the Exhibition Hall.
After leaving this room we headed up another set of stairs, entering the Rotunda and then the National Statuary Hall. Numerous tour groups are meeting simultaneously. Be sure to stay with your group so you don't go out of range.
Large portraits representing important moments in history are placed on each wall section in this room, along with several statues. The rooms are both exquisitely designed. (For more on the features, purpose and history of these rooms, please see this link and this one).