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.
Note: For information on the Baltimore Catholic Heritage Sites and Tours, click here.
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.
Q: When are tours offered?
A: Guided tours of the Basilica are offered Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday at 9am, 11am, and 1pm. On Thursdays, visitors may not be able to walk through the Undercroft due to Adoration. On Saturdays, please call ahead to confirm that a wedding will not be taking place during your visit. On Sundays, a public tour is offered at 12 Noon. Please also note that the Sunday tour is for walk-ups only, and groups will not be scheduled 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.
On Thursdays, visitors may not be able to walk through the Undercroft due to Adoration.
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. If your tour is at 11am or 1pm during a weekday, another option is that your clergy may concelebrate our 12:10pm daily Mass. 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” bo 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below you will find some (but certainly not all) of what you will see on your tour. Enjoy!