The Tennessee State Capitol stands today much as it did when it first opened in 1859, and is a magnificent tribute to the people of Tennessee. The Capitol welcomes visitors for guided and self-guided tours. Scroll down for a short history of the building.
Visitors can take a 45-minute guided tour of the Capitol Monday through Friday starting at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00 a.m., 1:00, 2:00 or 3:00 p.m. Central Time. All guided tours begin at the first-floor information desk. Guided tours are offered on a first come-first serve basis.
Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the Capitol Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 4 PM Central Time.
Guided Group Tours:
We ask groups of 10 or more to schedule in advance by using the reservation form here or calling (615) 741-0830. Group tours will feature the first floor, including the Old Supreme Court Chamber and the main hallway, and the second floor, including the House and Senate chambers and the Legislative Lounge as available.
Visiting the Capitol
Visitors can enter at the South Motlow Tunnel entrance adjacent to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., across from War Memorial Plaza, or through the West step entrance facing the former Tennessee State Library and Archives and Tennessee Supreme Court.
No large bags or backpacks allowed. Small personal bags or purses are permitted.
Capitol staff and self-guided brochures are located at the first-floor information desk.
Visitors with special needs please see our accessibility page
Hand sanitizing stations are positioned throughout the building.
Planning Your Visit
Location and Access:
600 Dr. Martin L King, Jr. Blvd., at the top of Capitol Hill.
There is no private parking for the Tennessee State Capitol. During the week, visitors must park in paid lots or at street parking meters. On weekends, visitors may park free in the state employee parking lots around the State Capitol.
All street metered spaces are free to the public Monday-Friday after 6 p.m. and Saturday after 12 p.m. (Note: some meters may have reserved jackets and are closed to public use during these times.)
Click here for a complete list of parking lots and fees
Walking, Biking & Public Transportation:
The Tennessee State Capitol is centrally located in Downtown Nashville. Walking Tour maps that include tours of both downtown as well as in and around the area are available for purchase at Nashville Civic Design Center for $5.
Bike racks are located at 6th Avenue North and Union Street. There is also a Nashville Bi-Cycle bikeshare dock located in that area. Bikes can be rented at Nashville B-Cycle. Click here for more information about rates and stations.
The Tennessee State Capitol stands today much as it did when it first opened in 1859, and is a magnificent tribute to the people of Tennessee. This graceful structure was designed by noted architect William Strickland who considered it his crowning achievement. When Strickland died suddenly during construction in 1854, he was buried in the north facade of the Capitol.
The cornerstone for the building was laid on July 4, 1845, and construction finished in 1859. The grounds of the State Capitol contain statues honoring Sam Davis, Sgt. Alvin York, and Presidents Andrew Jackson and Andrew Johnson. The tombs of President and Mrs. James K. Polk are also located on the Capitol grounds.
One of the oldest working capitols in the United States, the Tennessee State Capitol serves as home of the Tennessee General Assembly and houses the governor’s office. The building, one of 12 state capitols that does not have a dome, was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 and named a National Historic Landmark in 1971.
Taking photographs is allowed in the State Capitol, but you must turn your flash off.
Language Assistance Policy:
The State Museum is committed to providing programs for the educational and cultural enrichment of all our visitors and program participants. We respectfully request that individuals or groups who wish to request language assistance because of a limited ability to speak or understand English please contact the museum at least five (5) business days prior to the date of the requested museum program or service. Please follow this link for more information.