Visitor Rules and Etiquette 

At the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a sign urges silence and respect

More than three million people visit Arlington National Cemetery each year. Many come to pay respects at graveside services, or to visit a loved one's final resting place. Please remember that Arlington is an active cemetery — a place of honor, grieving and reflection. We ask that visitors abide by the following guidelines. 

  • Speak quietly and use headphones if you are listening to something, so that your experience does not distract or disturb other visitors. 

  • Enjoy the space appropriately. You are encouraged to explore the cemetery (you may walk on the grass to find a grave) and attend a public ceremony. However, activities such as running, climbing, bicycling, playing sports or picnicking are not allowed. 

  • Leave your pets at home. Only approved service animals and military working dogs are permitted. 

  • Respect the property. Do not damage or sit on monuments, gravestones, plants or other property. They are historic features of this sacred site, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  

  • Respect funeral services by staying at a distance. If you encounter a funeral procession, please step aside and wait for the procession to pass. If your exploration of the cemetery brings you near a funeral service, please move along to an area that is not the site of active mourning. 

  • Show respect to the flag. When a flag is used in a ceremony or service, or a bugler plays Taps, civilians should place their right hand over their heart. Military service members and veterans may salute.  

  • Drink water. Food and alcoholic beverages are not allowed. The cemetery grounds are vast, and the weather is often hot during the summer; stay hydrated! You may bring bottled water or purchase it at the Welcome Center, and our ANC Explorer mobile app will help you locate water fountains throughout the cemetery. Do not drink from spigots, as they do not contain potable water. 

Additional Visitor Tips