Washington National Cathedral
Set on 59 acres (24 hectares) of grounds, including gardens and forests, the Washington National Cathedral is more than a place of worship. It is a community meeting place, a center for advocacy and change, and the final resting place of more than 220 significant individuals, including Hellen Keller and President Woodrow Wilson.
Join a weekly service or pick an experience from its extensive program of events. The cathedral offers a variety of concerts and specialty tours that cater to all tastes. There are art and architecture tours, a behind-the-scenes look at little-known stories and details, a formal English tea service, and a guided climb up the cathedral’s towers to inspect some of the 112 gargoyles built into its exterior.
Things to Know Before You Go
The Washington National Cathedral is ideal for the faithful, architecture fans, and all first-time visitors to Washington DC.
There is a fee to enter the cathedral; children under age 5 are free to enter. Admission is free for everyone on Sundays.
The cathedral holds an organ recital program (check the website for details), and cathedral choristers sing Evensong at 4pm Sunday.
An on-site café offers coffee and light food options.
Washington DC can have extreme weather, so check the forecast and dress accordingly.
The cathedral is accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
The Washington National Cathedral is located in northwest Washington DC, northwest of downtown and north of Georgetown, at the corner of Massachusetts and Wisconsin avenues. It is easily accessible by bus, and while there are paid underground parking garages nearby, parking is very limited.
When to Get There
The cathedral is open year-round for worship and tours. Check the website for program schedules and up-to-date weekly worship times. The sprawling grounds and manicured gardens are best enjoyed in the spring and fall.
A Children’s Cathedral
The Washington National Cathedral offers a robust experience to kids. It is home to a rare children’s chapel scaled to the proportions of a 6-year-old child, with a mini pipe organ and low, fan-vaulted ceiling. The cathedral also offers special tours and programs designed for young visitors, such as a scavenger hunt that explores hidden delights built into the cathedrals stained glass windows and ornate exterior.
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