Washington, DC, the U.S. capital and seat of three branches of government, is a city on the banks of Potomac River, between states of Maryland and Virginia. It is famous for vast collection of admission free, public museums and many nations’ monuments and memorials. The central tourist area is the National Mall, large green promenade with many of those monuments and memorials are placed.
- Name: Washington, DC
- Founded: 1790
- Population: 703,000
- Area: 68.34 sq mi (177.0 km2)
- Known as: The US Capital, ‘The American Rome’
Famous historical figures, such as Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson and Martin Luther King Jr, are remembered in their impressive memorials and monuments. The Museum of Natural History, Air and Space Museum are just a two of incredible museums of Smithsonian Complex, offering massive collections of valuable exhibits.
Apart from historical monuments and museums, Washington is a modern city with Victorian era houses and streets that offer high end shopping, dining and nightlife experience worthy of this global metropolis.
Main attractions in Washington DC
There are plenty of attractions in Washington DC, both inside the city and in immediate surroundings. We are listing here only top 20-25 of them.
United States Capitol. Known simply as Capitol Building, this iconic building houses U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, and it is open for guided tours.
Lincoln Memorial. Impressive marble monument in honor of the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln. Contains 19-ft. marble statue of the president, murals and a pool.
White House. The seat and a home of America’s presidents. World known landmark, built in year 1800, offering guided tours for visitors.
Smithsonian Institution Offices. Founded in 19th century, this complex of museums, research and cultural centers and a zoo is a must see when visiting US capital. Free admission. National Mall. Vast memorial parks with a promenade, with several monument and memorials, such as Washington Monument, Lincoln memorial, MLK, FDR, WWII and Vietnam memorials. Washington Monument. Opened in year of 1888, this landmark obelisk is honoring first US president, George Washington. It became recognizable symbol of Washington, worldwide.
National Air and Space Museum. Part of the Smithsonian complex, this amazing museum documents and features space exploration and avionics industry evolution and achievements.
National Museum of African American History and Culture. Another Smithsonian museum with very unique exhibits. Featuring collections about African American history, culture and art.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Columned rotunda in the style of famous Rome’s Pantheon, this memorial was opened in 1943 in honor of one of the most important funding father of American Nation.
Arlington National Cemetery. Laying on a vast land of more than 620 acres, across the river Potomac, this military cemetery has many notable monuments, such a s JFK’s eternal flame, Memorial Amphitheater and Tomb of the Unknowns. Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A massive monument to fallen U.S. service members of Vietnam War era. Featuring a wall with over 58,000 names of dead and missing US Army soldiers.
National Zoological Park. Famous zoo with free admission, part of Smithsonian complex, housing thousands of animals, including popular giant pandas.
National Gallery of Art East Building. Renovated in 2016, this gallery features American and European art in two buildings and also a sculpture garden.
Capitol Hill. Famous neighborhood in Washington, DC, a synonym with US government as United States Capitol, Senate, Houses of Representatives and the Supreme Court is located there. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Hosting incredible collection of 145 million species and artifacts, this museum is very popular and famous for its exhibitions. Part of the Smithsonian complex.
Washington Union Station. A major train station, transportation hub in general and famous landmark and meeting point in Washington, D.C. Opened in early 20th century, this is second busiest train station in the country.
The Pentagon. Massive, iconic seat of U.S. Defense Department, across the river Potomac, in Arlington County. Pentagon shaped headquarters is offering guided tours. World War II Memorial. Tribute to Americans’ Second World War efforts and sacrifices. Honoring 16 million Americans who served during World War II.
From other attractions in Washington DC area we recommend: National Museum of American History, International Spy Museum, Dupont Circle, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, Ford’s Theatre and John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
Top things to do in Washington DC
As many attractions are free, we believe visit to Washington will be very exciting and probably exhausting as you will want to see and visit many places. Apart from National Mall where many memorials, monuments and museums are located, we recommend also: Monuments by Moonlight Night Tour, Cherry Blossoms Tour (in spring), lunch or a Spirit of Washington Dinner Cruise tour.
If you have enough time and budget allows it, you can go for visit of Niagara Falls.
Festivals and events in Washington, DC
Here are just a few of many annual events in Washington, DC: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (January), National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade (March-April), Passport DC (May), Memorial Day (May), Citi Open (July), H Street Festival (September), National Christmas Tree Lighting (December).
Read more: Festivals and events in Washington, DC.
Interesting facts about Washington, DC
Here are some interesting facts about this amazing city:
- The White House was called President’s Palace or the President’s House until 1901.
- The Washington Monument, is the world’s tallest obelisk, standing at over 555 feet.
- There is no letter ‘J’ used in numbering (lettering) of streets in Washington.
Read more: More interesting facts about Washington, DC.
Best time for flights to Washington DC
The peak season for flights to Washington DC is April, May and December. The low season for purchasing tickets is January, February and November.
Washington is served by these airports: Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Direct flights to Washington are offered by 28 airlines
Top hotel offers in Washington DC
These are current top hotel offers in Washington DC. The list is updated automatically when page is refreshed.