A trip to Washington would not be complete without visiting the world’s most recognizable residence. Witness the comings and goings, and you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of the man himself, the President of the United States. Due to heightened security, internal tours are not possible, although, there is a visitor center that offers a ’virtual’ tour.
Children will be in their element here. Airplanes and spaceships from Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed to World War II spitfires are on display along with re-enactments of the first moon landing and educational workshops. Also contains an IMAX cinema, simulators and a Planetarium.
The National Gallery is home to one of the most expansive art collections in the world. Both the Neo-Classical West building and more modernistic East building reflect the range and quality of the works within. Educational programs are offered for visitors, not only in person but virtually as well. The Sculpture Garden, a huge outdoor space with monumental sculptures, is attached to the National Gallery.
The Mall comprises the main stretch of significant sights in Washington. Among these are the National Gallery and Sculpture Garden in addition to an abundance of Smithsonian institutions, including the National Museum of American History. Monuments include memorials to Presidents Lincoln and Roosevelt, as well as those remembering veterans of the Vietnam and Korean wars.
The National Museum of American History is Washington’s patriotic tribute to American history, detailing events in U.S history from The Civil War to the assassination of JFK. There are different programs for the public, such as demonstrations, tours, lectures, music and filming programs.
Rising up from the Mall, this impressive monument symbolizes steadfast American democracy. The Capitol is regarded as an important museum and bears testament to America’s governmental prowess. The Capitol with its own collection of art is open for tourists and attracts millions every year. The Capitol Visitor Center makes the Capitol even more accessible for visitors and offers an educational environment with an insight into the history and development of the building.
Not many cemeteries would list among a city’s top 10 sights, but Arlington is an exception. Catch the ceremonial changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, where soldiers keep a 24-hour watch in honor of the unidentified dead from World War I, World War II and the Korean War.
The Library of Congress with its collection is the largest library in the world. The three buildings - Thomas Jefferson Building, James Madison Memorial Building and the John Adams Building - are beautiful historical buildings that even offer a free tour. Exhibitions, gallery talks, guided tours, concerts, lectures and other events are offered for the visitors in the library.
The Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception is the largest Roman Catholic church in the United States of America. This building is a beautiful structure that offers free guided tours for the visitors. Among all the churches in the world, this basilica is one of the largest.
The Botanic Garden is a small but lovely and calm place with beautiful plants in Washington DC, close to the Capitol. Exhibitions, programs are offered for all ages in the garden. It has plenty of outdoor and indoor space where the visitors can find some peace in the busy city and enjoy walking around the gardens.
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is located close to the Lincoln Memorial in the capital of the United States. The arts center brings the world a bit closer for those who visit. There is a lot to see here; there are different performances, such as ballet, jazz, contemporary dance, festivals and a lot more!
Learn the history of this massive and gorgeous cathedral by taking a guided tour, led by friendly and knowledgeable staff. A national treasure with a peaceful atmosphere, beautiful stained glass and the architecture is just amazing – well worth the time to visit! There is even a café and gift shop inside the cathedral.
Unique Georgetown has a reputation for great shops, the trendiest restaurants and quaint cobblestone streets. It’s the place to be in DC and is a haven for the city’s students. If you visit Georgetown, you end up in a beautiful historic place that offers more than 450 shops, including dining and entertainment possibilities. A trip to this charming part of Washington is a must.
The building of the Supreme Court was built in just 4 years, in between 1931 - 1935. As a visitor, you can tour the building on your own, watch the educational movies and participate in different programs. While the exhibitions about the history of the Supreme Court are located on the Ground Floor, you can find the Courtroom on the First Floor.
One of the most well-known structures of Washington is the Washington Monument with its almost 555 feet height. The tallest building in Washington DC is visible from all the parts of the city. If you take the elevator to the top, you will have a picturesque sight of the capital of the United States!
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a permanent exhibition but also is a host of several other special exhibitions. They also offer different educational programs and films for their visitors. After wandering around the museum, you can stop by the Museum Cafe to grab something to eat!
The U.S. National Archives is located close to the National Mall. The original copies of Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights are exhibited for the public in the main chamber of the building. When entering the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom - the main chamber - you can take a look at the most important documents of the United States of America. Flash photography is forbidden!
Visiting the National Zoological Park is fun for everyone and provides an unforgettable experience for each and every member of the family! If you stop by and spend some hours at the park, you can meet wild animals, go on a carousel and have your own personal guide. The admission to the park is free!
The Lincoln Memorial is located at the west end of the Mall, in the heart of Washington. Walk up the stairs - the same steps where actually Martin Luther King Jr delivered his famous speech called `I have a Dream` - and you can get a close look of the 19-foot statue of Abraham Lincoln!
Undoubtedly the most authentic Italian pizza in Washington. Made for healthy appetites, pizzas are large and topped with the freshest ingredients. Pizzeria Paradiso is open every day of the week, in Gerogetown, Dupont Circle and in Old Town as well, from around lunchtime till late in the evening.
If you are up for some seafood, Pearl Dive Oyster Palace is the right place for you in Washington! This restaurant has a friendly staff and a lovely atmosphere. If you decide to have dinner here, you could choose out of several kinds of oysters; such as Old Black Salt Oysters, Kumamoto Oysters, Kusshi Oysters and so on!
Prepare yourself for an once-in-a-lifetime dining experience here at Minibar by José Andrés. The most imaginative menu is offered where the creations combine art and science as well as tradition and technique. Enjoy the avant-garde cooking in an intimate setting and be ready to take an amazing culinary journey.
Founding Farmers is a place owned by real farmers! They are aiming for the best quality by using natural ingredients. If you are a vegetarian, it is the perfect place for you to stop by. The services is fast and friendly and the food is great! It is recommended to reserve a table before popping in.
Joe's seafood restaurant in Washington is just a few steps from the White House. Fresh seafood, delicious steaks and desserts are offered by this restaurant in a charming atmosphere with an outstanding service. Gluten free and vegetarian meals are also on the menu!
Old Europe Restaurant opened back in 1948! They offer delicious meals inspired by the European cuisine - especially Germany, wines and crafted beer from different European countries. If you are up for trying out some real traditional German cuisine, this restaurant is the right place for you!
The more than 20 year old Spanish restaurant, Jaleo, offers traditional Spanish dishes in the American capital, Washington. The restaurant receives critical acclaim for its Spanish tapas. Opt for simple paella or more exotic eggplant flan, just two examples of choices on a menu of more than 40 tapas dishes.
The Red Hen DC is a restaurant located in an eclectic part of Washington, Bloomingdale. The vibe of the place is great with a lovely atmosphere that you can experience as soon as you step inside. Their menu is mostly inspired by the Italian cuisine. If you can, book in advance.
Eden is a four floor club/lounge complete with a beautiful rooftop. Walking up to the first floor, you will instantly feel as though you have been transported to a hedonist’s paradise. The mock waterfalls behind the bamboo-fronted bar, jungle-esque decor and leveled VIP provide an instant escape from office and government buildings throughout Washington. Eden's second floor provides a more traditional, club-like atmosphere, with extended VIP, top 40/mash up and club kids dressed to impress. The third floor, known as the Forbidden Room, is open based on capacity. Its intimate setting allows for an up close and personal experience with the DJ as well as a calming alternative to the fruitful garden below.
Bar-Code provides comfort built on a high-end backdrop of marble, open-air and illumination. The venue boasts a 45 ft bar, HDTV's, massive booths, a lounge area with projector, dining area/dance floor and sliding glass-door-panels in the spring/summer to create an indoor/outdoor ambience. A no cover/no dress code policy promotes a relaxing vibe in a modern setting. The music format is generally top 40/pop-house/popular hip-hop.
The Jam Cellar should be your choice if you want to dance in a beautiful place. The club is located in The Josephine Butler Parks Center. If you are up for some swing dancing, you should definitely visit this place on a Tuesday night! They offer an inviting atmosphere and the best swing DJs of Washington.
The Union Pub is worth a visit if you are in the United States' capital! This pub has different happy hour specials every night. They even have an event every Tuesday, called Quizzo (from 8pm to 10pm) where everyone is welcome! This place really is a great gathering place for all.
If you are up for some chill out with great music, some snacks and drinks for a reasonable price, than All Souls Bar is the place you are looking for! Stop by this place either alone or with your friends and have a cocktail! It is a small, intimate space where you can have a great talk - even with the friendly bartenders - or just chill out.
Downtown is DC’s department store center. Downtown Washington borders Pennsylvania Avenue, the direct route between the White House and the Capitol. A few central malls including the Old Post Office Pavilion and The Shops at National Place are quieter alternatives to the suburban giants further out of town. Wafts of sweet and sour pork are also likely to drift by in the Downtown area since you are just around the corner from Chinatown.
Next stop Maryland. In the far northwest of the city, the swanky Friendship Heights area is home to some of the most exclusive retail outlets in DC. Along with designer stores including Banana Republic and the furniture manufacturer Pottery Barn, the Mazza Gallerie mall is another upscale establishment featuring a variety of costly boutiques. Neiman Marcus fashion is based here while a short walk further along Wisconsin Avenue will get you to Tiffany, St-Laurent Rive Gauche and Cartier.
The New U District is the new home to some of the trendiest shops in the city. You’ll find the quirky, the kitsch and the truly bizarre spilling out of second-hand and alternative boutiques along U Street and 14th St, NW. If you’re tired of seeing the same brands again and again elsewhere, look for gems like Home Rule (1807 14th St, NW), selling original variations on regular home wares.
If you are visiting the capital of the United States, you definitely should stop by the White House Gifts shop! There are different stores around the city but the main one is located on the 15th Street. If you want to have the opportunity to take a picture right behind the Resolute desk, this store is the place to be for you! This picture is probably the best gift to give to yourself during your stay in Washington DC.
The ’daddy’ of places to shop in DC, Georgetown has something to keep everyone happy. This is where most of the big chains are located - Zara, Urban Outfitters, H&M and Victoria’s Secret are based here and, despite Georgetown’s cobbled street charm, retail development is ongoing. Seek out Barnes & Noble’s wonderfully old-fashioned flagship store where book lovers will be in their element. For designer fiends, Ralph Lauren is among several high-class stores scattered about the neighborhood. There are plenty of smaller, more alternative boutiques in addition to an abundance of music, art and antique shops to keep bargain hunters busy. Look out for Georgetown’s largest gallery, Creighton-Davis (3222 M St, NW), and Village Art & Craft (1353 Wisconsin Ave, NW) for funky, ethnic jewelry and knick-knacks.
If you are looking for a place where you can buy some seafood, fresh fish, shrimps or crabs, this is the right market for you! Maine Avenue Fish Market is a great place to eat - raw or cooked meals -, visit or shop. This waterfront place is definitely a hit for seafood lovers!
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe is the perfect place for those who are fans of good books and coffee. The famous Bookstore/Cafe is one of Washington`s most lovable after-work places. You can stop by for breakfast, lunch, dinner or late supper; and during the weekends you are even welcome to pop in for brunch! Visit Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe and enjoy different wines, draft beers and some live music.
Tiny Jewel Box, an antique jewelry store, is for jewelry lovers - and everyone else! This store has everything you could think of when it comes to jewelries; engagement and wedding rings, gifts, necklaces, bracelets, different accessories such as desk or everyday ones. Four floors are fulled with several collections from the best designers and fresh ones as well!
Eastern Market Pottery is located in the basement of the Market and has a lot of potteries for sale from different artists. You can even participate in a pottery making class! They offer evening classes from Monday to Thursday, from 7pm to 10pm. On Thursday mornings you can participate in a morning class between 9.30am to 12pm. It is definitely worth a visit if you have enough time!
Miss Pixie`s store is open every day and awaits for the customers from 11am to 7pm! Pop in to see something interesting, fun pieces of movable articles that you can even buy. If you step inside, you will find a huge variety of vintage furniture. They have new items arriving every Wednesday so it is suggested to stop by the next day.
Georgetown Flea Market is an outdoor market offering a variety of items. If you visit, you can find antiques, art pieces from different parts of the world, Chinese pottery, jewelry, old books and even furniture! Usually the market is open from 8am to 4pm but it really is up to the weather! You can even have some snacks here, as they offer different kinds of food in the territory of the market.
If you are a fan of old books, Capitol Hill Books bookstore is the place for you to be! They are open every day, just a few steps from the United States Capitol or The Supreme Court. You can even look up some of the books they have on their website before you decide on visiting.
National Airport is accessible by Metro (Yellow/Blue Line). The Washington, DC Metrorail system has an important Metrorail station connected to Terminals B and C at Reagan National Airport. The Metrorail system offers easy and affordable access to different locations throughout Washington, Virginia and Maryland. You can buy your ticket from the machines located at all entrances to the Airport Metrorail station. SuperShuttle offers door-to-door service and based on demand. For information or to schedule service, call 1-800-BLUEVAN or go to supershuttle.com. To get in touch with shared ride services, go to the outside curb or contact a SuperShuttle representative. After hours, call 1-800-258-3826 and press 1 for dispatch or 2 for reservations. Another way is to rent a car. Rental car counters are located on the first floor in Terminal Garage A. You will find the taxi stands outside the terminals. A taxi to National Airport from the National Mall takes approximately 15 minutes.
Washington Dulles International Airport is an international airport in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of downtown Washington, D.C. Travelling to Dulles is easy with Silver Line Express bus service, connecting Dulles International to downtown Washington, D.C. and beyond. You can buy your tickets for the Dulles International Airport Silver Line Express at the ticket counter located inside the vestibule of Door 4 on the Arrivals Level of the Main Terminal. www.washfly.com Metrobus Route 5A to and from Washington, D.C. and Rosslyn, VA Bus operates to and from L'Enfant Plaza, Rosslyn, Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride and Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Curb location 2E. www.wmata.com Washington Flyer Shared-Ride Service You can also choose shared van service to and from points all around the metropolitan region. No reservations required. Go to the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Centers down the ramps from Arrivals Door no 2 or no 7 or call 1-800-258-3826 (SuperShuttle) / 1-800-590-0000 (Supreme Airport Shuttle). Washington Flyer Taxi There is also Taxi service from the airport. No reservations required. Visit the Washington Flyer Taxi counter at the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Centers down the ramps from Arrivals Door no. 2 or no 7 or call 703-572-TAXI.
Baltimore/Washington International is a major airport serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States. Situated next to the CDP Linthicum in northern unincorporated Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the airport is about 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Washington, D.C. Here are some options how to travel to and from the airport: Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metro now offers BWI Express Metro bus service between BWI and the Greenbelt metro station. The service offers a direct connection between BWI and the Greenbelt Metro Station. The BWI Express/B30 service runs every 40 minutes, 7 days a week to the Greenbelt Metro Station, which is situated on the Green Line of the Washington Metro System. For more information call 202-637-7000 or go to www.wmata.com. Amtrak From Washington, DC: You can also take Amtrak Train to BWI from Washington's Union Station. You can contact Amtrak Passenger Services at Union Station by calling 202-906-3260 or go to their website www.amtrak.com. MARC Train From Washington, DC: Take MARC Trains at Washington's Union Station situated at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE. Here you will find hours and information. The BWI Marshall Rail Station is on MARC's Penn Line. To contact the Union Station ticket office, please call 202-906-3104. MARC Train service operates seven days a week. Taxis The taxi stand is placed just outside of the baggage claim area of the Lower Level of the BWI Marshall terminal. BWI Marshall taxicabs are forbidden from charging flat rates. For more information, call 410-859-1100 or visit www.bwiairporttaxi.com.
Public transport in Washington consists of the super-efficient Metrorail and bus services. Computerized fare cards are available from self-service machines at the stations. One-day passes and weekly ones are available. The bus service in DC provides services throughout the city and to outlying suburbs. Stops are marked by red, white and blue signposts. Kids travel free. Be sure to have exact change ready for the automatic fare machines.
Taxis are everywhere in the city, just hail one down. DC is based around eight geographical zones, and a cab fare is determined by how many of these you cross during your ride, as well as the time of day you travel and the number of passengers. Three major taxi companies are: Diamond +1 202 387 6200 Yellow +1 202 544 1212 Capitol +1 202 636 1600