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Visiting the Washington National Cathedral

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This post is about visiting the Washington National Cathedral, covering direction and admission, as well as a self-guided tours and information about our guided private tours.

Washington National Cathedral

Directions, Hours and Admission

Visiting the Washington National Cathedral is certainly a highlight to any trip to DC.

Located just north of Georgetown, the Washington National Cathedral is the 6th largest cathedral in the world. Some visitors are surprised to learn that it took 83 years to complete the Cathedral, but a closer look at the magnificent structure reveals the intricacy and precision of the architecture.

The Washington National Cathedral held funeral services of former Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Gerald Ford. It also serves as the final resting place for Helen Keller and President Woodrow Wilson.

How to get here:

  • By Metro and Bus
    • The nearest metro stops to the Cathedral are the Tenleytown and Woodley Park Metro stops. Each is on the red line and is about a mile and a half from the Cathedral.
    • From Tenleytown you can take any 30 series bus south on Wisconsin Avenue until you reach Woodley Avenue and see the Cathedral to the left; from Woodley Park take the 96, 97, or X3 bus toward McLean until you reach the cross streets of Woodley and Wisconsin Avenues and see the Cathedral on your right.
  • By Taxi – The Cathedral is a  short cab ride from Georgetown or the DuPont area.

Hours

  • Daily, however there are many days the Cathedral is closed to sightseeing due to services or events. 10 am–5 pm (some days 3pm) (The Cathedral is open as much as possible around activities but hours vary.) - we offer tours most Wed, Fri and Sat that the Cathedral is open!
  • Sunday the church is open for services 8am-5pm

Admission:

  • Visitors do require admission if they are there for touring purposes.
  • Entering the Cathedral for worship is free.
  • $15 per adult, $10 per youth (ages 5–17), senior, military (active or veteran), or student. (as of April 2022)
  • Children 4 and under are free.


Highlights:

  • The Space Window on the south side of the Cathedral as it contains a chunk of lunar rock.
  • The beautiful music of the great organ during one of the many recitals held on varying Sunday evenings at 5:15pm. See full schedule here.
  • The Canterbury Pulpit, where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his final sermon.
  • The Darth Vader Gargoyle! How many cathedrals do you know that has a Darth Vader Gargoyle?!
  • Interested in attending a sermon or worship service? Here is the full schedule of services.

Tours of the National Cathedral

We offer guided tours of the National Cathedral on a private basis for small groups. Find out more on Guided tours of the National Cathedral.


About The Author

Canden Arciniega

Canden is a historian and tour guide in Washington DC with 4 published books about the city. She has written for HuffPost Travel and has been featured in the Washington Post, WTOP, and numerous other DC papers. She's also been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, Travel Channel and Discovery Family Channel. Canden is the producer of our podcast, Tour Guide Tell All With a M.A. in History from University College London and a B.A. in History from Elon University, she is an authority on D.C. history, and has led tours in the city for over 10 years. She currently resides in DC, but has also lived in London and South Korea, and has travelled to 28 countries. Her two children (both under the age of 4) have their passports and own frequent flier accounts.
Updated: April 18th, 2022
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