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Spectator Information

Know Before You Go - Be prepared for what to expect on Inauguration Day.


Historically, hotels in the District begin to fill up soon after the General Election. Therefore, we suggest making hotel accommodations early. Destination DC 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. is the main resource for visitors and meeting professionals seeking information about Washington, DC helping inform the nearly 18 million people who visit the city annually about the hotels, restaurants, attractions and cultural experiences available in the nation’s capital.


The 57th 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 Trip Planner.

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 Inaugural parade route, the White House reviewing stand and the Inaugural balls:

  • Aerosols
  • Ammunition
  • Animals other than helper/guide dogs
  • Backpacks
  • Bags and signs exceeding size restrictions (8"x6"x4")
  • Bicycles
  • Balloons
  • Coolers
  • Explosives
  • Firearms
  • Glass or thermal containers
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace / Pepper spray
  • Packages
  • Structures
  • Supports for signs and placards
  • Weapons of any kind
  • Any other items determined to be potential safety hazards

Signs and placards must be made only of cardboard, poster board or cloth and have dimensions no greater than three feet in width, 20 feet in length and one-quarter inch in thickness. Surrendered items will not be returned, nor available for pick-up.

The following items will be prohibited from the ticketed viewing areas at the US Capitol grounds:

  • Aerosol sprays
  • Air horns
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Animals (other than service animals)
  • Backpacks
  • Coolers
  • Duffel bags
  • Explosives of any kind (including fireworks)
  • Firearms and ammunition (either real or simulated)
  • Glass containers
  • Knives, blades or sharp objects (of any length)
  • Large bags
  • Laser pointers
  • Mace and/or pepper spray
  • Packages
  • Pocket or hand tools, such as “Leatherman” tools
  • Portable chairs (other than those for disabled persons)
  • Posters
  • Signs
  • Sticks or poles
  • Strollers
  • Suitcases
  • Thermoses
  • Umbrellas
  • Other items that may pose a threat to the security of the event as determined by and at the discretion of the security screener


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

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

Extra consideration should be taken when planning to bring infants, young children, the elderly, or anyone with a weakened 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

Please check back for information about proposed arrival times.

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

Additional information about security screening entry points, prohibited items, and other security matters is forthcoming.

*Note: Some links provided on or other DC government websites may display vendor logos, banners, or similar identification. Such links are used for operational reasons only and do not constitute or imply any endorsement of any vendor or its product.