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New York State Office of General Services - Convention and Cultural Events - Capitol Tours
Visiting The Empire State Plaza
The New York State Capitol Tour Program
Capitol Sitting majestically atop Albany's State Street hill, the New York State Capitol has served as the seat of government for New York since the 1880s. The building is a marvel of late 19th-century architectural grandeur, built by hand of solid masonry over a period of 25 years. Today the building is undergoing extensive restoration to maintain and protect it for future generations of New Yorkers.

Visiting the Hall of Governors and Capitol exhibits: Governor Cuomo has reopened the Capitol's historic Hall of Governors to the public. Sweeping renovations have been made, including the addition of portraits, informational signs, and a timeline. Museum-quality exhibits on New York State's history have been installed throughout the building. For more information, visit the Hall of Governor's website at: www.hallofgovernors.ny.gov.

Please “like” the New York State Capitol Tour Program on

Tour Information and Reservations
PLEASE NOTE: During the renovations of the escalator and stairs that connect the Capitol to the Empire State Plaza Concourse, tours of the Capitol will begin at the base of the Senate staircase on the first floor of the Capitol. Signs will be posted directing visitors to this location.
Summer Plaza and Egg Tours Beginning June 30! Beginning Monday, June 30th through Friday, October 10th, the Visitor Center will be offering the Empire State Plaza/ EGG Tour.
This tour will be offered to the general public at the following hours:
Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, 11:15 am and 1:15 pm
This Tour will begin in front of the Plaza story board and EGG Monitor on the North Concourse level of the Empire State Plaza, lasts approximately 30 minutes and is FREE.
Walk-In Tours: Walk-in tours of the Capitol for the general public are offered Monday through Friday at 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., and 3:00 p.m. No reservations are required. In addition, visitors may download a self-guided audio tour to use while visiting the State Capitol. There are no public tours on Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays. For more information, please call the Plaza Visitor Center at 518-474-2418.

Group Tours: Online Registration for Groups of 10 or More: All groups of 10 or more (up to 45 persons) must reserve a tour online at least two weeks in advance.

Cost: Tours are offered free of charge.

Location: All Capitol tours begin on the first floor at the base of the Senate staircase.

Length: Tours last 45 to 60 minutes.

Accessibility: Please inform us of any special needs when making your reservation.

Group Size: A maximum of 45 participants.

Security: Visitors to the Capitol will be required to pass through metal detectors and have any bags scanned through an x-ray machine. Personal belongings such as backpacks and large bags should be left behind. Sharp objects, such as pocket knives and nail clippers will not be allowed into the building.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND CHANGING EXHIBITS
  • 1864-1965 Culminating Colors - A Civil War Tour at the New York State Capitol
    This special tour highlights Civil War connections with the Capitol and explores an 1864 through 1865-themed exhibit of eight historic flags from the New York State Battle Flag Collection, administered by the New York State Military Museum.

    When: First Thursday of the month, June 2014 - May 2015
    Time: 5:30 - 6:30 pm
    Location: State Street Lobby of the Capitol
    Reservations: Register Online or call 518-473-7582


  • The Hall of New York - Historic Landscapes of Every Region of New York State
    Where: Second Floor, North Corridor
    Learn More: www.hallofnewyork.ny.gov/


  • Restoring a Landmark - Overview of the Restoration of the New York State Capitol
    Where: First Floor, Senate Staircase
    Learn More: Restoring a Landmark Booklet
School Tours

Group Size: Maximum of 45 persons, including chaperones.

Chaperones: We suggest that one chaperone be assigned to 10 students. Chaperones should stay with their group at all times.

Appointments with Legislators: If a visit is scheduled with a legislator, please try to make the appointment for after your tour.

Arrival: Please plan to arrive 5 minutes prior to your scheduled tour. If you are going to be late, or must cancel a tour, kindly notify the Plaza Visitor Center as soon as possible. Due to the large volume of tours during the legislative session, it may not be possible to accommodate groups who arrive more than ten minutes late.

Pre-visit Resource Kit for Teachers: Teachers who plan to bring their classes to the Capitol may download the New York State Capitol Tour Program Resource Kit to help prepare their students for the tour or use as an enhancement afterward. All lessons were written in accordance with the New York State learning standards for social studies and the visual arts.

Additional Information