House of Cards, the hit Netflix show starring Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright, follows the world of cutthroat Washington, DC politics, but much of the action is actually shot out of town. Check out the guide below to see which locations are here and those that aren’t.
Frank Underwood spends the majority of his time with his Chief of Staff and accomplice Doug Stamper in the Capitol, so head to the Visitor’s Center to schedule a tour. For an insider’s guide to visiting the United States Capitol, check out the Capital Hill Hotel blog here.
If the interior of the US Capitol looks a bit different than you thought it would, it is because the shots from the show are actually filmed in the Maryland State House in Annapolis, which dates back to 1772. The White House and Capitol Hill are shot on a soundstage in Joppa, Maryland, 30 minutes from Baltimore, as is the inside of Frank’s home in the first two seasons (which is supposedly set in DC’s historic neighborhood Georgetown).
East Capitol St NE and First St SE
Frank Underwood knows that the best thing to do is hide in plain sight. In Season One, Frank meets intrepid reporter Zoe Barnes and the two sit together on a bench at the National Gallery in DC. You can do the same in front of the same painting, The Biglin Brothers Racing by Thomas Eakins, in the West Building of the Gallery.
National Gallery of Art
6th and Constitution Ave NW
Two miles from Capitol Hill Hotel is a statue of John Marshall that appears in the opening credits of the show. According to Trivia Happy, John Marshall was a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court who, among other things, ruled in favor of Aaron Burr, the political rival of Alexander Hamilton who Burr killed in a duel. Sounds like someone with whom Frank Underwood would have worked well.
John Marshall Place Park
Penn Ave NW between 4th and 5th
In the opening credits of House of Cards, there’s a shot of a lion looking up to the starry night sky. That lion, authorized by Congress in 1901, is one of the four sitting at the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial by the Capitol Reflecting Pool. For a history of the lions (and hundreds of other interesting articles on the history of DC), check out Ghosts of DC. And bonus, the Capitol Reflecting Pool is less than a mile walk from the Capitol Hill Hotel..
Capitol Reflecting Pool
First Street SW
Frank Underwood tends to arrange his meetings in untraceable locations. In the show, many encounters take place in the city’s Metro stations, including his murder of Zoe Barnes (Kate Mara) in the premier episode of Season Two. Frank and Zoe have also met at the Archives-Navy-Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro station, which is frequently used in movies due to its brutalist and photogenic ceiling.
Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro Station
7th Street between Pennsylvania and Indiana Avenues
Claire Underwood’s daily runs in the show take her to DC’s Congressional Cemetery. Like most fictitious shows based in Washington (Veep, West Wing, Scandal), the shots are actually from surrounding cities. The Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery is the actual location where the running scenes are filmed, so head to Belair Road to get a shot next to the famous entrance gates.
Baltimore Hebrew Cemetery
7401 Park Heights Ave