Fundamental period of vibration appears to be one of the most critical parameter for the seismic design of buildings because this period strongly affects the magnitude of seismic forces. In this paper, an empirical formula for estimating the fundamental period of reinforced concrete structures is recommended, on the basis of the vibration analysis of 20 different real building configurations. These structures have already been constructed in Greece, and they are analyzed by using in detail 3-D finite element models and modal eigenvalue analysis. These models take into account the presence of external and internal infill walls, which are usually ignored as nonstructural elements. This neglect leads to unreliable evaluation of period because the infill walls' contribution to the lateral stiffness and therefore to the fundamental period of vibration is also ignored. Furthermore, taking into account that the flexibility of soil elongates the fundamental period, the soil–structure interaction effect is also considered. To achieve a unique, simple, and effective empirical expression for the fundamental period of vibration, a comprehensive nonlinear regression analysis is applied for the datasets of buildings under consideration. This empirical expression is also compared with the similar expressions from the pertinent literature. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.