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The Washington Monument

The Monument is now open!

After being closed since 2010, the Washington Monument is open again after an 18-month, $7 million dollar restoration by the Mount Vernon Place Conservancy. On July 4, 2015–200 years to the day after the Monument’s cornerstone was laid–the Monument was rededicated and reopened to a huge crowd.

Hours of Operation:

The Monument is open to the public year round, except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

• Wed. through Sun. 10AM – 5PM
• Open Wed. evenings during the summer for evening events in the park squares

Admission to the Monument:

Admission to the gallery and digital exhibits is free. Tickets to climb the tower can be purchased online or onsite:

• Adults: $6
• Children up to age 13: $4

Visitors are encouraged to purchase their climb tickets online ahead of time, but typically walk-ins can be accommodated. Only credit card payment are accepted at this time.

Climbs are scheduled every 20 minutes starting on the hour. The last climb will be offered 20 minutes before closing.

Please plan to arrive ten minutes before your scheduled time. If you have not checked in by your scheduled reservation or are a no-show, your reservation will be cancelled with no refund. Please note that there are NO REFUNDS or rescheduling.

All proceeds go toward the Conservancy’s operating costs, including keeping the monument open to the public and maintaining the monument structure.

Note: For the safety of visitors and staff, the monument is monitored by closed circuit cameras.


What can I see and do inside the Monument?

The interior of the Monument has two principal visitor spaces: The Gallery, which includes interactive digital exhibits, and The Stair Tower & Lookout.

The Gallery

Visitors to the Monument’s gallery are greeted by a heroic bust of George Washington that has faced the south entrance since 1843. In 1915, a handsome bronze memorial plaque was installed nearby commemorating the Monument’s Centennial.

The restored gallery space includes interactive touchscreens providing a virtual tour of the Monument, both exterior and interior. The virtual tour includes examples of views from the Monument’s several levels, including live camera feeds from the top showing the view in all four directions. The interactive screens also provide a beautifully illustrated history of the building of the Monument, and key moments in the development of the surrounding squares of Mount Vernon Place.  A separate video kiosk provides an overview of the history of the Monument and Mount Vernon Place, as well as videos regarding the Monument’s 2014-15 restoration.

The Stair Tower & Lookout

The stair tower consists for 227 marble steps that spiral to the top through nine rotations. At the top, a lookout area provides magnificent views in four directions.

What do I need to know about climbing?

The stair tower is about 130 feet from its base to the top (approximately 13 stories), so be prepared to get your cardio in for the day! We strongly recommend close-toed shoes with good tread–the Monument’s 227 steps have been climbed by countless visitors over the last 200 years, which has worn them in places. They are perfectly safe, but please take your time.

Each group is allotted 20 minutes to make your entire trip. We estimate it takes between 3-5 minutes to make the climb to the top. While there, you can catch your breath, look around and take photos, and then make your way back down. A staff member in the gallery will use an intercom at the top to let you know if you are nearing the end of your time.

If you have a heart or respiratory conditions, or are sensitive to close, tight spaces, the tower climb is not recommended. However, the touchscreens in the gallery stream live feeds of the views from the top, so you can share in your companion’s experience! Children under 14 must be accompanied by an adult.

Due to safety limitations, we can only let a maximum of five people in the tower at any given time. Sorry, children don’t count as half! If you want to climb by yourself, you absolutely can! If there are no other guests in your time slot, a staff member may be able to accompany you for your safety.

What can I do at the Lookout at the top?

When you reach the lookout area at the top of the climb, you will be able to see the city of Baltimore from approximately 250 feet above sea level–these vistas in four cardinal directions have captivated visitors for almost two centuries. For safety reasons we are not able to let guests onto the balcony at the top. But, you can revel in the accomplishment of having climbed 227 steps in order to enjoy such a view.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I bring on my visit?

A camera! Visitors are welcome to photograph and document their trip to the Monument. The use of tripods and drones is prohibited inside the Monument fence and the Monument proper. Commercial photography, or photography intended to promote commercial interests, is not permitted inside the Monument without the express written consent of the Conservancy. (For drone use in Mount Vernon Place, see our page on the Park Squares.)

Water! When the weather is warm, you may want to bring a bottle of water with a closed top. No glass bottles are allowed in the Monument.

What NOT to bring:

• Food and beverages (other than water of course!)
• Glass bottles.
• Pets, with the exception of service dogs.
• Large backpacks or other bags: There are no storage lockers onsite. Whatever bags you bring you will be required to carry at all times, including on the strenuous climb to the top, should you choose to do so.

Is the Monument air-conditioned/heated?

To protect the structural integrity of this masonry building, the Monument is not air-conditioned. Be sure to dress appropriately if you are visiting in the hot summer months.

In the wintertime the museum level is moderately heated, but the stair tower is not. The Conservancy reserves the right to limit access to the stair tower in the event of extreme heat or cold.

Are their restrooms or concessions at the Monument?

No. We encourage visitors to plan in advance if they think they might need to use a restroom or snacks while visiting the Monument.

Group reservations and tours:

The Conservancy is happy to accommodate group visits to the monument! Due to the intimate scale and physical capacity of the monument, groups larger than 15 people should contact staff to schedule a group tour. Staff availability permitting, gallery visits and tower climbs are sometimes possible before or after the Monument is open to the public. A fee will be charged. For more information on group climbs, please contact with your contact information, preferred date and the size of your party.

I’m not able to visit the monument. How can I learn more about it?

Please click on the “Digital Exhibits” tab on the homepage of our website to access the virtual visitor experience.  This is the same module that is available on-site, except that it does not incorporate live camera feeds from the top.  You can also access videos about the Monument Restoration process at Conservancy Videos or visit our Facebook page which served as a restoration blog during 2014-15 restoration–including many behind-the-scenes photographs of the project.

We hope you enjoy your visit to the reopened Washington Monument. Please email if you have questions or call 410-962-5070. Have a wonderful visit!

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