What spectators need to know


Historically, hotels in the District begin to fill up soon after the General Election. Therefore, we suggest making hotel accommodations early.

provides a list of hotels and accommodations in the area.

Visitor Information

We are glad you plan on visiting the Nation's Capital where there are plenty of activities and sites to experience to make your trip memorable.

To find where to stay, where to visit, and what to eat, visit the District government's visitor



The 56th Presidential Inauguration will be a historic one, and we are expecting tremendous turnout for the events. Therefore, we are urging spectators to use public transportation and arrive early. The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) is the area's main source of public transportation. To plan your trip via the Metro, use Metro's


Prohibited Items

The US Secret Service, Metropolitan Police Department, US Capitol Police, and other local and federal agencies are providing an unprecedented level of security for the Inauguration.

  • All parade and event attendees are subject to a thorough security screening before entering any of the Inaugural event sites.
  • Please allow for additional time for this security screening.

As a security precaution, the following items will be prohibited from all Inaugural event sites and locations:

  • firearms (either real or simulated)
  • ammunition
  • explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • knives, blades, or sharp objects (of any length)
  • mace and/or pepper spray
  • sticks or poles
  • pocket or hand tools, such as "leatherman"
  • packages
  • backpacks
  • large bags
  • duffle bags
  • suitcases
  • weapons of any kind
  • aerosols
  • supports for signs and placards
  • packages
  • coolers
  • thermoses, thermal or glass containers
  • strollers
  • umbrellas
  • bags exceeding size restrictions (8"x6"x4")
  • laser pointers
  • animals other than helper/guide dogs
  • structures
  • bicycles
  • signs and posters
  • animals (other than service animals)
  • alcoholic beverages
  • other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the descretion of the security screeners


There are no childcare facilities provided to attendees. Due to increased security and space constraints, strollers are not permitted on the Capitol grounds. Direct questions regarding the admittance of items required for child care to the US Capitol Police at (202) 512-1226.

The Swearing-in Ceremony is a outdoor event held on the West Front Lawn of the US Capitol. Inauguration day is typically cold - normally 37° F at nooon - and occassionally wet.

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakend immune system. A vast majority of attendees will be in standing room sections and should be prepared to be on their feet for several hours.

Arrival Time

Gates to the Inaugural Ceremony open at 9 am and the musical prelude begins at 10 am. Due to the expected large crowds, you should arrive early to get through several required security screenings before reaching the section indicated on your ticket. There will be no check room for prohibited items.

Ticket holders should walk or use Metro due to road closures and restricted access around the US Capitol.

More information about security screening entry points, prohibited items, and other security matters will be forthcoming.

Information from the Inaugural Portal website: www.inauguration.dc.gov