Visit the White House, Washington DC

For those who are tempted by the idea, a visit to the White House is possible and is one of the places to visit in the USA. This practice has been allowed since Thomas Jefferson, in 1805, when the American president decided to open the doors of the presidential palace to the general public.

Prepare your trip and plan a visit

First, start by obtaining your ESTA travel authorization. This document replaces the regular visa, and is mandatory for those who wish to enter or transit the United States for less than 90 days.

Afterwards, plan your visit to the United States, and especially to the White House. It will take from three weeks to five or even six months in advance to obtain a visit permit. The application is made at the French Consulate in Washington. Applicants will be subject to rigorous investigations by U.S. authorities for validation of applications (which explains the slow procedures). Please note that the procedures are the same for everyone, and there are no exceptions for US citizens.

The visit of the White House

Once on site, visitors will need to bring their passport. No personal effects will be allowed during the visit. For security reasons, phones and cameras are also not allowed on the tour.

Only a few rooms in the White House are open to the public. In general, a visit lasts half an hour on average. During the tour, visitors will have the privilege of visiting the Blueroom, the Greenroom, the famous Oval Office, the East Room where press conferences are held at the White House, the Roosevelt Room, the very chic Vermeil Room, etc. Visits are only made in groups since the September 11 attacks.

The previous president of the United States, Barack Obama, allowed a virtual tour in 360°, of two beautiful rooms of the White House. This is his former office, the Oval Office, and the Situation Room, one of the most important rooms from which all major issues relating to American strategy are decided.

Visiting the White House guarantees an extremely rewarding experience, which you should try when visiting the United States.