Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is the place to begin your visit to the battlefield. Here visitors will find information on how to visit the park and what to see around Gettysburg.
Closed - Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day
Early Closure - 1 pm on Christmas Eve
Visit our Operating Hours & Seasons page for more information.
For more information about fees for the Museum, Film, Cyclorama painting, Licensed Battlefield Guides, David Wills House, please visit our Fees & Passes page.
To make reservations for the Museum, Film, Cyclorama painting, Licensed Battlefield Guides, David Wills House, please visit the Gettysburg Foundation Ticket Prices and Packages page.
Accessibility and Safety
Information about accessible parking, restrooms, temporary wheelchair use, service dogs, and more can be found on our Accessibility page.
Pets are not allowed in the Museum and Visitor Center but service dogs are welcome. Visit our Pets page for more information.
The Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is owned and operated by the Gettysburg Foundation, which also owns and administers the grounds and parking lots adjacent to the building. The carrying or possession of any type of weapon on the grounds of the visitor center or in the building is prohibited with the exception of law enforcement officers or officials that are within their jurisdiction.
Firearms in National Parks: The law governing possession of firearms inside a national park changed on February 22, 2010. Visitors may possess firearms within a national park unit provided they comply with federal, state, and local laws. The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting. Please remember that federal law prohibits firearms in certain park facilities and buildings. These places are marked with signs at public entrances. The role of the responsible gun owner is to know and obey the federal, state, and local laws appropriate to the park they are visiting. For more information about gun laws in Pennsylvania, please visit the Pennsylvania State Police web site.
Backpacks are not permitted in the Museum and Visitor Center. Exceptions are backpacks that are considered to be medical and/or first-aid packs, camera bags, or baby essential bags. Security guards were proactively added to the Museum and Visitor Center with the ever-changing level of security being incorporated at museums and parks around the country. They will help ensure the safety of all visitors to the complex, which accommodates more than one million visitors each year.
Bicycles are not permitted on the sidewalks or walking paths. Bicycles are to be parked at the bike racks provided in Bay #1 of Parking Lot #1. They are not permitted to be locked to the building, trees, or signs.
National Park Service Information Desk
Stop by the National Park Service Information Desk and talk to a friendly park ranger to find our more about your visit. Our rangers will be able to provide more information about the offerings in the Museum and Visitor Center and explain all your options for touring the battlefield. Pick up a park map and guide to help you navigate park roads and ask about other seasonal publications that list special ranger-led programs and tours and where and when they meet.
What if the Museum and Visitor Center is Closed?
The ongoing pandemic has caused many changes to all of our schedules. But what if your visit brings you to the battlefield when the Museum and Visitor Center is closed? You will still need a park map and you might want to take a tour with a Park Ranger as well. Be sure to stop by our kiosk, near the Museum and Visitor Center, for a park map and brochure (one per family please).
Inside the brochure is a map that shows the sixteen stop, self-guided Auto Tour. The park map is also available here. The brochure provides insight to the significance for each area of the battlefield on the Auto Tour. But if you want a more in-depth version of this tour with a Park Ranger, then we suggest visiting our Virtual Tour page! On our Virtual Tour page you will find a video for each of the sixteen stops, provided by one of our knowledgable Park Rangers, that provides in-depth analysis of what took place at each of these strategically important locations on the battlefield.
Museum, Film, and Cyclorama PaintingThe Museum and Visitor Center is owned and operated by the Gettysburg Foundation. The Gettysburg Foundation is the non-profit philanthropic, educational organization operating in partnership with the National Park Service to preserve Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site, and to educate the public about their significance.
Although the building is free to enter, there are fees for the following:
To make reservations for the Museum, Film, and Cyclorama painting, please visit the Gettysburg Foundation Ticket Prices and Packages page.
Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil WarThe Gettysburg Museum of the American Civil War, featuring items from one of the largest collections of Civil War relics in the world, is available for viewing during regular center hours. With 22,000 square feet of exhibit space, the museum features relics of the Battle of Gettysburg and personalities who served in the Civil War, inter-active exhibits, and multi-media presentations that cover the conflict from beginning to end as well as describe the Battle of Gettysburg and its terrible aftermath.
Film - "A New Birth of Freedom"A 20 minute film, A New Birth of Freedom, narrated by award winning actor Morgan Freeman, about the Battle of Gettysburg is shown every 15 minutes throughout the day during the summer and every 30 minutes during the winter. The film will orient you to the battle and Gettysburg's place in the American Civil War.
Cyclorama PaintingFrench artist Paul Philippoteaux took brush to canvas and created the Battle of Gettysburg Cyclorama painting. He spent months on the battlefield researching the battle with veterans, a battlefield guide and a photographer. It took Philippoteaux and a team of assistants more than a year to complete the painting.The result is a breathtaking canvas that measures 377 feet in circumference and 42 feet high. Longer than a football field and as tall as a four-story structure, the Gettysburg Cyclorama oil painting, along with light and sound effects, immerses visitors in the fury of Pickett’s Charge during the third day of the Battle of Gettysburg.
Ticketing DeskVisit the Ticketing Desk to obtain tickets for the following fee related programs and tours:
Licensed Battlefield GuidesFor more than 100 years, Licensed Battleield Guides have helped thousands of park visitors better understand the Battle of Gettysburg. Licensed Battlefield Guides are rigorously tested and licensed by Gettysburg National Military Park and provide a vital cornerstone to the visitor experience and play a key role in the park's mission. Licensed Battlefield Guides offer two-hour car tours and bus tours from the Museum and Visitor Center. Tours are available daily on a first-come, first-served basis. You may also make advanced reservations.
Car Tour Fees
1-6 people per vehicle = $75.00
7-15 people per vehicle = $100.00
16+ people per vehicle = $150.00
Bus Tour Fees
Adults (age 13+) = $35.00
Youth (ages 6-12) = $21.00
Children (5 and under) = FREE
To make reservations, please visit the Gettysburg Foundation Ticket Prices and Packages page.
Visit our Work With Us page to learn more about the Licensed Battlefield Guide examination process and when the next exam is scheduled.
Visit the Association of Licensed Battlefield Guides website to learn more about the history of the guides, tours, and more.
David Wills House
The home of Gettysburg attorney David Wills was the center of the immense clean-up process after the Battle of Gettysburg and where President Lincoln put the finishing touches on his Gettysburg Address, the speech that transformed Gettysburg from a place of death and devastation to the symbol of our nation's "new birth of freedom."
The house includes a museum that features six galleries, including two rooms that have been restored to their 1863 appearance: Wills' office, where he received letters from families looking for loved ones after the battle and began planning for a cemetery and its dedication; and the bedroom where Lincoln stayed and prepared the Gettysburg Address.
Eisenhower National Historic SiteEisenhower National Historic Site is the home and farm of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Located adjacent to the Gettysburg Battlefield, the farm served the President as a weekend retreat and a meeting place for world leaders. With its peaceful setting and view of South Mountain, it was a much needed respite from Washington and a backdrop for efforts to reduce Cold War tensions.
Visit our Eisenhower National Historic Site page for more information about how to visit the home of Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower including hours of operation, tours, reservations, transportation fee, and more.
Other Helpful InformationThe Museum and Visitor Center also includes food and drink options at the Refreshment Saloon and Battlegrounds Cafe, the Museum Bookstore with Gettysburg and Civil War related books for the novice and the aficionado alike, as well as the McKenna Foundation Resource Room that provides free access to the public to research the Battle of Gettysburg and the Civil War.
Refreshment Saloon and Battlegrounds CafeIt's been a long march and your canteen has run dry and you've exhausted the last morsals of hardtack and salt pork from your haversack. What now? The Refreshment Saloon and Battlegrounds Cafe offer sandwiches, salads, soups, chili, fruits, desserts, beverages, and much more. They're a great place to rest for weary troops after a long march.
The Museum Bookstore, located in the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, is your first stop for books, DVD's, audio battlefield tours, postcards and other items that will make your visit to Gettysburg a memory to last. The store also offers a variety of books on President and Mrs. Eisenhower and other areas of interest in the Gettysburg area. The Museum Bookstore is open during regular visitor center hours and operated in partnership with the Gettysburg Foundation by Event Network, Inc.
For information on books, videos, DVD's, and other mechandise offered by the Museum Bookstore, call (717) 334-2288 or visit the bookstore online.
McKenna Foundation Resource Room
McKenna Foundation Resource Room gives visitors free access to information using Ancestry.com, Fold 3 and National Park Service Civil War Soldiers and Sailors databases. Some of these resources also allow you to go beyond the Civil War and look up information about soldiers that served more recently. Pension records, census data, birth, death, and marriage records and much more are only a click away. No reservations are needed.
Whether you are visiting Gettysburg for just a day, or if you live in the local community and love genealogy, we hope you find the new McKenna Foundation Resource Room at Gettysburg National Military Park a useful tool to uncover your family history.
Last updated: July 27, 2022