Touring Options & Requesting Group Tours
There are several ways to experience the rooms. Guided tours are available year round for organized groups of ten or more people, with a reservation made in advance. Self-guided recorded tours are applicable for the individual tourist or small group and are available only at certain times of the year, dependent on classes being in session or not (see below). You can also "tour the rooms" online through pictures, videos, and audio.
For general questions about touring email the Tour Coordinator. Basic questions related to getting here and parking can be found on the Hours/Location webpage.
To request a guided tour, read below and use the webform at the bottom of this page to make your group tour request.
To request a short presentation to your school or organization, please use the form found here.
The annual Open House, a celebration of the Nationality Rooms, is the first Sunday in December. In 2016, it is on Sunday, December 4th. Hours are 12:00-4:00. Admission is free. Performances every fifteen minutes will occur in the Commons Room. The Rooms will be open for touring, and costumed guides will be available in each Room to present information. Proceeds of Committees' sale of food, beverage, and souveniers goes to the Nationality Rooms' Scholarship funds. Look on the News section in Fall for more visual information.
Guided group tours are available for groups of ten or more; reservations must be made two weeks in advance. Group tours booked when school is in session can only visit available rooms not in use for classes. To request a guided, group tour, contact the Tour Coordinator using the webform at the bottom of this page. It will enable you to refine your tour request, and the Tour Coordinator will receive your submitted form and reply if there is availability in the schedule for your request. A submitted webform request is not confirmation of a scheduled event; please allow for an emailed confirmation.
Youths (6-18 years) $2
The self-guiding, audio tour requires the same admission, and utilizes a handheld audio device for narrations of the first floor Nationality Rooms. One player is issued to a small group. Reservations are not accepted for the self-guiding, audio tour. It is first come, first served.
When school is in session the rooms function as university classrooms. Give great care to not disturb classes that are occupying rooms. Audiotape tours are only available on weekends when school is in session.
- Fall Term (late August to the December recess)
- Spring Term (January to the term's end in April)
School is out of session from the end of April to the beginning of the Fall Term in September. During this time, audiotape tours are available Sundays through Saturdays.
Guided, group tours will go to a selection of rooms that happen to be open during the time that the group is here. Expecting certain rooms to be open during a school day is not likely, and the availability changes from hour to hour. If particular rooms are especially desired by a group, weekends are best since classes do not occur in Nationality Rooms on weekends.
Prepare for your visit or experience the rooms via an online "tour". View the movies of each room on the Rooms page.
Interested University of Pittsburgh students train every year to become guides. If interested in becoming a guide, contact the Tour Coordinator and Quo Vadis Advisor. Over the years, many highly-talented students invest a semester of their time to acquire a thorough and accurate knowledge of each Nationality Room which enables them to interpret the classrooms and to knowledgably answer any questions that might be asked. The history of the Cathedral of Learning is included. Trainees are required to pass both a written and oral exam before becoming a member of the organization.