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Washington National Cathedral Entrance and Tour tickets

Gate Prices Adult $22.00
Child (7-12) $22.00

The National Cathedral is a majestic structure, built in the early twentieth century in a striking Neo-Gothic style. It’s actually the second largest church building in the entire country, and is certainly among the most magnificent pieces of architecture in all of Washington, DC. In fact, it often makes the list of must-see buildings in DC according to architecture buffs and history fans!

Some of the artistic and architectural highlights of this building include the famed Rose Window, the ex nihilo sculpture, sculptures of St. Peter and St. Paul, and the Space Window (which actually includes a real lunar rock as part of the window design). There are also a number of fun and silly little gargoyles, including the “yuppie gargoyle” and the “master carver gargoyle.” Among other can’t-miss details? A sculpture of Darth Vader, located on the “dark side” of the church.

While the idea of a national place of worship was first conceived of by D.C. city planner Pierre L’Enfant, the National Cathedral today remains a site of worship for people across the entire city and throughout the nation. The Cathedral houses an active Episcopal congregation, but welcomes members of all faiths. They also welcome visitors who want to explore the Cathedral’s iconic art and architecture without participating in service.

If you’d like to tour the National Cathedral, you can choose one of three options with the Washington DC Explorer Pass (all subject to availability): an audio tour, a close-up tour, or a behind-the-scenes tour. Here’s some information about each of the tours to help you decide which is best for you.

Audio Tour

  • Enjoy a symphony of voices on this audio tour that tell the story of the Cathedral’s many worshippers and community members.
  • It will feel personal and intimate, with headphones that allow you to proceed at your own pace.
  • Highlights include a recounting of Martin Luther King’s last Sunday sermon, and the creation of the National Cathedral’s iconic stained glass.
  • This tour is available on a daily basis.

Close-up Tour

  • This tour emphasizes the architecture and artistry of the Cathedral’s construction.
  • You’ll focus on specialized topics of construction such as stonework, glass, ironwork, wood-carving, and more.
  • This tour is only available on select dates, and the specific topics vary monthly.

Behind-the-Scenes Tour

  • This tour highlights lesser-known facts and hidden stories about the Cathedral and its construction.
  • You’ll get to walk through unique areas of the building such as stairwells and passageways to get to the best places to see the gorgeous stained glass.
  • This tour has a limited group size and is not offered on Saturdays.

Please note: all tours are subject to availability and assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Advanced reservations are not available.

The Washington DC Explorer Pass is the best choice for maximum savings and flexibility. Choose to use your pass for Washington National Cathedral Entrance and Tour tickets, then look to the list of other top attractions for your other Explorer Pass admission choices!

Getting In

Specialty tours are assigned on a first-come, first-served basis at the time of redemption. All tours are subject to availability. No phone reservations will be accepted.

Please follow signs to the main visitor entrance. Enter through the small set of wooden doors on the left-hand side of the building.


Monday – Saturday at 10am; last entry 5pm Monday – Friday, 4pm Saturday.


Hours of operation vary due to special events and worship services. Please check our scheduling interruptions page for changes to our schedule. Not all special tour add-ons will be available at all times.


3101 Wisconsin Ave NW
Washington, DC 20016

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