Destination: The Library of Congress


This past weekend I continued my quest to visit every DC Metro Station with a trip to the Capitol Hill area. I’ll cover each place I visited in separate posts over the next few weeks.

The Library of Congress

This was the very first time ever that I’ve set foot in the Library of Congress. I sometimes forget that places such as this, the largest library in the world, is just a few Metro stops away. The LOC is free to visit, so if you haven’t gone, I encourage you to do so! Below are my top tips to get the most out of your visit.

Tips and Suggestions:

  1. Entering the Library of Congress is a lot like traveling through airport security. Keep these things in mind for your next visit:
    • You’ll need to remove outerwear such as winter jackets;
    • You might be asked to remove your shoes;
    • If you’re carrying a laptop, you’ll need to remove it from your case.
  2. For the best pictures, plan to visit the building during the afternoon. The majority of the natural light into the Library of Congress comes from the West side of the building.
  3. If you are interested in gaining access to browse the stacks and have access to the reading rooms, it is possible to request a Reader Identification Card. These are valid for two years.
  4. Tours happen throughout the day. Don’t feel like you need to stick with them throughout your visit.
  5. For more information, check out the visitors guide.

Photos of the Library of Congress

The facade of the Library of Congress. Front entrance of the Library of Congress

Statues in front of the Library of Congress.

Statues outside the Library of Congress 

The Giant Bible of Mainz.

 The Giant Bible of Mainz

The Gutenberg Bible

Gutenberg Bible 

Abel Buell’s Map of the United States. As a lover of maps, I spent a good 20 minutes in this exhibit reading all the different place names on these old maps!

 Abel Buell's Map of the United States

The view of the main reading room.

Library of Congress Reading Room

Shots of the stunning architecture and interior design of the Main Hall.

Statues in the Main Hall

LOC Architecture #3

LOC Architecture #1

LOC Architecture #2

 LOC Architecture #4

How much time to visit the Library of Congress?

Minimum 30-45 min., more if you’d like to stay for a guided tour, register for a Reader Identification Card, and browse the various exhibits.

Hours of Operation

  • Open: Monday – Saturday: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Guided Tours:
    • Monday – Friday, every hour, from 10:30 am – 3:30 pm.
    • Saturdays, every hour, from 10:30 am – 2:30 pm.

How to Get There

The entrance to the Library of Congress is located on 1st. St. SE & Independence Ave SE., right across the U.S. Capitol Building. The Capitol South Metro Station is the closest station, located just two blocks away from the main entrance to the LOC.