Updated 8/3/2021: Please see FAQs for revised tour schedule. All tours of ten (10) or more people must be be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

If you are interested in touring the Basilica at a future date, please complete the Tour Request Form.

To view the current Basilica schedule, click here.

Every year, more than 100,000 people visit the Basilica, making it one of Baltimore’s top tourist destinations.

If you haven’t already visited our beautiful Basilica, we invite you to come and experience one of America’s most historic houses of worship and a masterpiece of American architecture.

See the Tours FAQ below for Tour times and other pertinent information you may need. Once you’ve read through the Tours FAQ, please complete the Tour Request Form.

If you would like to donate to help us maintain America’s First Cathedral, please click here and select the “Historic Upkeep and Maintenance” fund. Thank you for your generosity.

Note: For information on the Baltimore Catholic Heritage Sites and Tours, click here.

Become a Docent at the Basilica of the Assumption

Do you like history?  Are you interested in Catholic history?  Do you enjoy talking to people?  If you answered yes to these questions, you may be interested in the unique volunteer opportunity of becoming a docent tour guide for the Basilica of the Assumption. 

Complete and Submit the form below to join us for a Docent Come & See Event on Tuesday, May 24 at 10am at the Basilica of the Assumption (409 Cathedral St, Baltimore, MD 21201).

As a volunteer for the Basilica, you learn all about the history of America’s first cathedral, including facts about the lives of Archbishop John Carroll, Maryland’s first bishop, James Cardinal Gibbons, and the great architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, who designed the Basilica which many believe is his greatest masterpiece. You gain knowledge of the many important historical events that took place in the cathedral as well as the many saints that have visited. 

You would join our knowledgeable and dedicated team of docents who give tours and answer questions from our visitors from around the world.  The time commitment could be as much as once a week or as little as once a month, working a four-hour shift in the morning or afternoon. 

For more information contact Ana Farias, ana.farias@baltimorebasilica.org

Tours FAQ

Q: When are tours offered?
A: Starting September 1, 2021, guided tours of the Basilica are offered Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, from 9am to 12pm (noon). Saturday tours are available but must be scheduled at least two (2) weeks in advance. Tour are not offered on Sundays. There are no guided tours offered during Holy Week or the week of Christmas. Please note that we have a team of exceptional volunteer docents. Occasionally, because of schedule conflicts, a docent is not available at one of the above-mentioned times. In those cases, visitors are encouraged to take the self-guided tour, which is an educational and enjoyable experience.

Q: Can I visit the Basilica without taking the guided tour?
A: Yes. The Basilica is open to the public for visitation from 8:30am-8:00pm, M-F and 8:30am-5:30pm on weekends. Please be aware, however, that the Basilica is a working parish church. Please see our Worship Schedule so that you do not plan your visit during Mass time. Additionally, if you wish to visit on a Saturday, please email the Parish Office, as weddings and special services may be taking place.

Q: Do I need tickets or a reservation for the guided tour?
A: Tickets are not required to take a tour. Reservations are required only for groups of 10 or more, but there is no maximum number for tour groups. Please complete our online tour reservation form if your group is more than 10 persons, and please note that group tours must be confirmed in writing by the Basilica tour coordinator before they are considered scheduled.

Q: What does the tour include?
A: The tour includes all areas of the church, including the upper church, undercroft, Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Chapel, Crypt,and the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden (upon request.) The Adoration Chapel and any temporary exhibit space is not part of the guided tour.

Q: How long does the tour last/How much time should I allow for my group to be at the Basilica?
A: Tours last approximately 45 minutes to one hour. If you would like to incorporate the Pope John Paul II Prayer Garden into your tour, add another 15 minutes.

Q: Is there a charge?
A: The Basilica relies on contributions for its operations. A donation of at least $5 per person is requested (but not required) for all tours. If you are bringing a large group, please make your check payable to the Basilica Historic Trust and present it to your tour guide(s) when you arrive. If you are paying with cash, please place your donation in the Historic Trust donation box in the back of the church.

Q: Can we have a Mass?
A: Schedule permitting, groups are welcome to have a Mass at the Basilica, but you must provide your own clergy. Groups of 50 people or fewer can have a Mass in the Chapel, but larger groups must use the upper church. Your Mass will generally be scheduled either one hour prior to or following your tour. Priests from outside of the Archdiocese of Baltimore must email or fax a letter of good standing ASAP.

Q: Is the Basilica wheelchair friendly? Does the Basilica have wheelchairs available?
A: The Basilica is 100% ADA compliant. There are wheelchair ramps to gain entry from the street level into the church, and elevators inside, so that all areas of the church are accessible, however, the Basilica does not have wheelchairs available for use.

Q: How do we get there, and where can we park?
A: Please visit our “Schedule” page for directions, FREE public transportation in the downtown area, and parking information.

Q: Where do we meet our guide?
A: Tours will begin in the back of the church (by the Jesuit Seal in the floor) at the southwest corner. In other words, if you do not see the “TOUR STARTS HERE” sign in front of the gift shop, please go inside the church to meet your guide.

Q: Can we eat our lunch on the property?
A: The Basilica does not have eating facilities or vending machines. There are several restaurants and eateries in the neighborhood, however, some of which offer discounts to Basilica tour groups. Click HERE to see a list of restaurants in the area. If you are bringing a group, such as a school field trip, and wish to eat a bag lunch, you are certainly welcome to sit on the lawn and enjoy your lunch. However, we request that you bring trash bags and make sure the area is cleared of litter before you leave.

Q: Is photography permitted?
A: Photography inside the Basilica, for personal use only, is permitted. Flash photography is not allowed if a Mass or liturgical service is taking place.

Q: How can we make a donation?
A: You may make a donation in person via the “Donations” box or more simply, you can click here and contribute to the “Historic Upkeep and Maintenance” fund. Thank you for your generosity.

If you have any further questions about tours, please email them to maura.belton@baltimorebasilica.org.

Tour Photos

Below you will find some (but certainly not all) of what you will see on your tour. Enjoy!

Tour Request Form

Click below for an episode of the Cathedral Series as Duncan Stroik discusses the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, its influence on domed architecture, and its most recent renovation.

To see a short history of the Basilica, please play the video below. The Video was created by Docent John Igoe and narrated by Docent Bill Moeller.