Washington Monument Tickets and Tours

After an almost-3-year restoration, this Washington, D.C., landmark is once again open to the public.

The Washington Monument is back.

The obelisk, which had been closed since August 2011 when an earthquake rattled it, required extensive repair of the mortar and cracked stones, and after an almost 3-year restoration process, the monument was reopened for visitor tours on May 12, 2014. 

Washington Monument tours take approximately 30 minutes and include access to an observation deck near the top of the monument (500 feet up) and a museum located at 490 feet. An elevator takes visitors to the observation deck, and an elevator also allows for the descent from the museum back to ground level. It may be one of your longest elevator rides yet—it takes two minutes and let’s visitors see the interior structure of the monument.

The monument, which memorializes President George Washington, is 555 feet tall and made of marble. It was constructed starting in the 1840s and completed in the 1880s; the first elevator for visitors was ready by 1888, and it has been a popular Washington, D.C., tour ever since. It is managed today by the National Park Service (visit the National Park Service's official website for the Washington Monument).

Washington Monument Tickets:

Same-Day Tickets: Tickets are required if you want to go inside the Washington Monument. The National Parks Service manages the monument and allows for same-day tickets that you can get at the ticket window at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street. The tickets are free but are given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Advance Tickets: If you’d like to schedule advance tickets (advisable because of the popularity of this national landmark, especially since it has been closed until today), you can order tickets from the National Park Service. While the tickets are free, there is a small service fee of $1.50 per ticket to book them in advance.

Security & Safety: Visitors should expect to go through a detailed security screening. Be aware that strollers and other large items are not allowed. The Washington Monument is accessible for the disabled; wheelchairs are allowed. Extreme weather may temporarily close the monument.

The Washington Monument under construction in the 1800s (NPS file photo)