The FBI Experience

The FBI Experience is a self-guided tour at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Open to the public, the tour features interactive multimedia exhibits, content, and artifacts—including a number of items from notable cases on display for the very first time—that help illustrate the importance of the Bureau’s work to protect the nation. 

Exhibits on display at The FBI Experience tour at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Visitors to The FBI Experience will learn how the Bureau operates in the field, at Headquarters, and within communities across the country. They will also gain a rare look inside the organization’s investigative divisions, laboratory resources, professional occupations, and more. The rich experience tells the story of the FBI’s internal operations and history, as well as how its cooperation with local, state, federal, and international partners helps further its unique role in national security and law enforcement.

Scheduling a Visit 

Visits to The FBI Experience must be scheduled no later than four weeks in advance of your desired visit date. Please follow the below instructions carefully to ensure your visit is properly arranged.

General Public

  • Contact your congressional representative’s office and ask to schedule a tour of The FBI Experience. You will then receive two emails regarding your tour request:
    1. Submission: Confirms your congressional representative scheduled the correct tour date and time.
    2. Security approval: Verifies your tour time and approval to enter FBI space and provides tour logistics you need to know prior to your visit.
  • Following your visit to The FBI Experience, you will receive a survey to request feedback on the tour.

Things to Know

  • All visitors to The FBI Experience must be U.S. citizens or valid green card holders (permanent residents).
  • Operating hours are Monday through Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., excluding federal holidays.
  • You can schedule a visit to The FBI Experience up to five months in advance but no later than four weeks prior to the desired visit date.
  • In the event of unforeseen operating delays and/or closures of the JEH building, tours during impacted hours will be cancelled. Tours must be rescheduled for a later date.
  • All visitors age 16 and older must present a government-issued photo ID upon entrance.
  • No storage facilities are available at FBI Headquarters. Individuals who arrive with prohibited items will not be permitted to enter.
    • Prohibited Items:
      • Bags larger than 8 ½” x 11”
      • Point-and-shoot cameras, SLR cameras, video recorders, and iPads
      • Strollers
      • Food or beverages of any kind
      • Tobacco products
      • Aerosol containers
      • Guns, ammunition, fireworks, electric stun guns, mace, martial arts weapons/devices, knives, or any pointed objects
    • Permitted Items:
      • Wallets, cell phones, car keys, and umbrellas
      • Purses and bags that are sized 8 ½” x 11” or smaller
      • Any items required for medical purposes (e.g., wheelchairs, electric scooters, glucose tablets, EpiPens, etc.)
  • All visitors are welcome to The FBI Experience. For assistance planning your visit or specific questions regarding accessibility, please contact your congressional representative.

Logo for the FBI Experience, a self-guided tour open to the public at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

History of the Tour 

The FBI tour became the public face of the FBI in 1937, when FBI Headquarters was located in the Department of Justice building in Washington, D.C. After the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building opened in 1975, the tour quickly became a highlight for visitors to the nation’s capital. However, due to security concerns following the events of September 11, 2001, the tour was closed.

Repurposing artifacts and information from the old tour, the FBI opened the Education Center in 2008 to provide an opportunity for new employees and law enforcement partners to learn more about the Bureau and its work.

In 2014, the FBI launched a pilot program that opened the Education Center to the public. This allowed the Bureau the opportunity to tell its story—including its history, capabilities, and ideas for the future—to a wider audience.

The Education Center closed in 2016 so the FBI could make way for a new, revitalized tour that explores the FBI and its mission to protect the American people and uphold the Constitution of the United States. The FBI Experience opened its doors to the American people on July 10, 2017 and has quickly become a popular site for visitors to Washington, D.C.

 Privacy Act Statement

Prior to visiting The FBI Experience, The FBI will perform a security check using information such as a constituent’s name, date of birth, and Social Security number. The FBI is authorized to collect and use this information in order to protect the security of its personnel, facilities, and information systems pursuant to one or more of the following provisions: Title 28, United States Code, Section 533; Title 40, United States Code, Section 1315; Title 28, Code of Federal Regulations, Sections 0.75(p) and 0.79; Title 41, Code of Federal Regulations, Section 102-81, and Department of Justice (DOJ) Order 2600.2D, Security Programs and Responsibilities (June 16, 2011). Constituent information is protected by the Privacy Act of 1974, Title 5, United States Code, Section 552a, as amended, and is maintained in the FBI’s Security Access Control System (SACS), DOB/FBI-013, notice of which was published in the Federal Register at 70 Fed. Reg. 7516 (Feb. 14, 2005) and which may be viewed at Constituent information may be disclosed in accordance with the routine uses contained in that notice or as otherwise authorized by law.