Library of Congress
- Type: Museums, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 1 to 2 hours
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The Library of Congress is actually comprised of three buildings, which contain about 21 million books, among other manuscripts, sound recordings, maps and photographs. The most famous building in the trio is the Thomas Jefferson Building, which was raised in 1897 and holds one of the Gutenberg Bibles, among other exhibits. Although you can't check books out (unless you're a member of Congress or some other VIP), the Library of Congress provides a quiet and cool respite from an otherwise frantic (maybe) and hot (if visiting in the summer) tourism agenda.
One TripAdvisor traveler says this: "This place is spectacular, easily as beautiful as some of the grandest cathedrals of Europe. I could have spent hours just looking at the ceiling and walls." Another also enjoyed it but advised against bringing kids, saying "they would get bored and restless."
Open Monday through Saturday, you can visit the Library of Congress for free. Find it off the Capitol South metro stop.