Madams of DC Walking Tour

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From $25.58

47 reviews   (5.00)

Price varies by group size

Lowest Price Guarantee

Pricing Info: Per Person

Duration: 2 hours

Departs: Washington DC, Washington DC

Ticket Type: Mobile or paper ticket accepted

Free cancellation

Up to 24 hours in advance.

Learn more


* Starting in March 2023, this tour will be offered the first Friday and the 3rd Thursday of the month. Check website for exact schedule. All tours available for private tours.

The Madams in DC tour gives you a perspective of DC's history that you won't hear anywhere else. The Civil War completely transformed the Capital, and turned Pennsylvania Avenue into a red light district main street lined with bawdy houses, taverns, theaters, and commercial ventures. Hard to imagine, now that it's lined with monolithic government buildings! You'll learn about how the women who worked in these brothels made their way in life, and even had an impact on affairs of government.

What's Included

Two hours of fascinating information by an experienced guide. No entry fees necessary.

What's Not Included

Refreshments at Hill Country BBQ half-way stop.

Traveler Information

  • YOUTH: Age: 14 - 17
  • ADULT: Age: 18 - 64
  • SENIOR: Age: 65 - 100

Additional Info

  • Contactless payments for gratuities and add-ons
  • Face masks required for guides in public areas
  • Guests must be able to be on their feet for at least 2 hours.
  • Hand sanitiser available to travellers and staff
  • Not recommended for travelers with spinal injuries
  • Service animals allowed
  • Suitable for all physical fitness levels
  • Wheelchair accessible
  • All areas and surfaces are wheelchair accessible
  • Face masks provided for travellers
  • Face masks required for travellers in public areas
  • Guides required to regularly wash hands
  • Infants and small children can ride in a pram or stroller
  • Public transportation options are available nearby
  • Social distancing enforced throughout experience
  • Transportation options are wheelchair accessible

Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 24 hours before the scheduled departure time.

  • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
  • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
  • Experience may be cancelled due to Insufficient travelers
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund.

What To Expect

Freedom Plaza
Where Freedom Plaza is now once used to be the notorious neighborhood known as Murder Bay. As we walk through this spacious open area currently used for festivals and music events, you'll hear all about the taverns, gambling houses, and brothels popular with Northern Arm soldiers that used to stand there.

• Admission Ticket Free

On the block where the Trump International Hotel, formerly the Old Postal Office building, currently stands, was the 11th Street strip, a subsection of the Red Light district on Pennsylvania Avenue where the Military Provost Guard harassed and arrested some of the raucous Madams in the neighborhood.

15 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

The National Archives Museum
Continuing in our journey through time, you'll learn about the lives of prostitutes in Civil War DC and the part they played in society, as we pass by the former site of the largest central urban Market in DC.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

National Gallery of Art
The former site of Marble Alley, where two of DC's highest paid Madams had a vicious rivalry.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free

National Museum of the American Indian
An archeological dig discovered the remains of DC most notorious, and yet charitable, Madams. The tour ends at this, the most glamorous of DC's Civil War-era pleasure houses.

10 minutes • Admission Ticket Free


Strong, smart women have always been a part of D.C.!
glenncr, 30-08-2022
I most appreciated Katie's passion and respect for her subjects, as well as for her work and research to bring these strong, smart women to life for her guests! I'm a history buff myself and I really enjoyed the Q&A the entire tour. Katie was transparent about details she's still researching, or queries that hadn't come up before. Treat yourself to something different about D.C.'s history, and book this or one of her other tours whether you're a resident or a traveler!
So Unique! The best tours in DC!
davidmc76, 27-08-2022
Katie is the best tour guide ever! So full of information and always seeking more to add to the tour. She had many stories that really added to the experience and and put it all together. She is a total history buff and it shows. I’ve done two Off the Mall tours now with Katie and can’t wait to come back and do some more. These are not the typical DC tours as the name implies, they are very unique and focus on the real DC and it’s history. Can’t beat it!!
Fantastic tour for both visitors and locals
melissasD34GY, 01-08-2022
What a fantastic tour! Katie's knowledge of and love for DC shines through. Even after living in DC for almost 20 years, everything I heard on the tour was new and added layers of color to the DC history I thought I knew. Katie is full of energy and passion for DC and its history, her tour if fun and a great way for anyone to get out and see the city. I highly recommend this tour for DC visitors and locals alike.
Phenomenal Tour with Katie
866eugenes, 29-06-2022
Fantastic tour through downtown DC focused on Civil War times when this area was filled with brothels...fascinating history of the madames and the lifestyle that existed when the Union Army was occupying the city. Katie was spectacular. Highly recommend to tourists and residents alike!
reneesT725XY, 22-06-2022
We truly enjoyed Katie’s Madams of DC tour. She was enthusiastic, engaging and extremely knowledgeable about this topic! We were intrigued and captivated by the fascinating history of these women during the 1860’s. Her ability to tell a story and bring it to life was awesome! We highly recommend her tour and plan to go on another very soon!

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