White House Tips and Tricks

Visiting the White House is a dream for many, and for good reason. Steeped in history, elegance, and power, this iconic residence stands as a symbol of the United States’ enduring legacy. However, getting tickets to a White House tour can be tough to navigate. In this blog post, we’ll unveil a treasure trove of tips and tricks to ensure your visit to the White House is nothing short of unforgettable. Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or a first-time visitor to the nation’s capital, buckle up as we guide you through the ins and outs of touring one of the world’s most famous addresses.

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Getting Tickets to the White House

  • Get your tickets 90 days before you’d like to visit. Contact your Senator and/or your House of Representative. We were lucky to receive both but on different days. Just make sure to cancel whichever you aren’t using. The latest to request a tour is minimum of 21 days in advance.
  • Tours are free
  • Public tours are typically available from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, excluding Federal holidays or unless otherwise noted. Try to keep those time slots free when scheduling other DC attractions.
  • Wait for confirmation email. We were confirmed for our tour exactly two weeks to the date we requested. The subject line is: “White House Tour – CONFIRMED”
  • Times will be assigned by the White House.

Tips Before Entering White House

  • As with all things DC, using the Metro (subway) is a must! Get off at the Metro Center stop. Easy walk to White House.
  • Bags are not allowed. At all. Try using LuggageHero to drop off your bags.
  • We had a 9:30 tour so we were waiting in line around 9 a.m. and found the line already LONG.
  • There are NO bathrooms, so use them at the White House Visitor Center.
  • The first check point we showed our tickets and received our White House Junior Ranger books. They also turned away anyone that had a bag. At the second checkpoint IDs were checked and kids were asked their name and birth dates. The third checkpoint they asked for IDs again and birth dates. We then went through more security and metal detector screenings.

Touring the White House

  • The tour is self-guided and at your own pace. Pictures encouraged but no flash or video.
  • Download the WHExperience app for a self-guided tour via your phone. And yes, you can bring headphones that fit in your pocket.
  • We happened to visit during Easter week and they had just decorated for the Easter Egg Roll. So freakin’ cute! Signs of spring were seen just outside the windows.

  • We continued our tour of the East Wing. Some of the rooms we saw were the Movie Theater, The Library, Vermeil Room, China Room, Green Room, Blue Room, Red Room, State Dining Room, Entrance Hall and Cross Hall. Amazing!

  • If you’d like to listen to a tour, you can download the Before you leave, make sure to get the limited edition White House ornament only sold on tours. I also bought the 2024 ornament. I couldn’t decide between the two so both it was.

  • As you exit, make sure to take a pic of the north side of the White House.

After the White House Tour

  • Head across the street to the White House Visitor Center at 1450 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. You will need to go through security here.
  • Learn more about the White House
  • Get your National Passport Stamps here
  • Turn in your White House Junior Ranger booklet and get your badge!