Must-See Things in Washington, DC
The nation’s capital, Washington, DC, is a very convenient place to visit. It has many free attractions, great public transportation and biking network, and many museums and monuments. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just a regular tourist who wants to see everything, this city will give you what you’re looking for. You have many things and do in Washington, DC, but the following ones have to be at the top of your itinerary.
If you’re planning to have a true American adventure this year, there are lots of great resources on where to stay in Washington DC, which will give you the perfect base to explore from. So hit the road and connect to the American nation at its core!
Tour the National Mall
When visiting the District, a National Mall tour has to be the first thing to do. This strip has many free monuments, memorials and museums, including the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials and National Museum of African American History and Culture. While strolling next to the Reflecting Pool, you will feel a connection to the American nation more than ever and feel the sacrifices made by thousands of soldiers and activists fighting for freedom, equality and democracy.
Visit the White House
When in DC, you must visit the President’s house—a one-of-a-kind experience. The White House visit is free, but you have to contact your congressional representative much in advance to schedule your visit.
Have a guided tour
DC is accessible both by foot and bicycle so that you can have interesting tours all over the city completely sustainably. The city is a tourist centre, but you can find many surprisingly affordable bike rentals and tours that will give you the freedom to explore. Bike rentals even offer trailers and tag-a-longs for kids, so it’s a perfect way for a family to see the city. You also get helmets, baskets, locks and illustrated maps, so you’ll be completely ready for your adventure.
Explore the Smithsonian Museums
The Smithsonian Museums are America’s museums, meaning they are free. All museums in the complex have interactive components and a huge collection of artefacts—the hardest part is choosing which of the 17 museums to visit. The most popular museums are the National Air and Space Museum that allows you to explore a journey into space. The National Museum of American History takes you deep into the nation’s past.
Stand in awe of the Library of Congress
If you’re a fan of books, you must visit the Library of Congress, the biggest library in the world. Besides its incredible collection of books, papers, maps and other documents, the building offers a great visitor experience with its gorgeous Gilded Age architecture.
Cross the river
There’s a joke going around that Washington DC residents are afraid to cross the river. Don’t feed this myth but head across the Potomac and venture into Arlington to watch the guard change at Arlington National Cemetery. You can also visit the Iwo Jima Memorial or see Washington and Northern Virginia from above at the new Observation Deck. You can find colonial Alexandria speckled with riverside dining, unique shops, and picture-perfect historic houses just a little downstream. Alexandria is a centre of the revolution, and Washington, Jefferson, Adams and Hamilton all left their imprints at this location.
Across the Anacostia River lies Mount Vernon, where you can visit Frederic Douglass’ Cedar Hill and learn all about abolition. South of that is National Harbor, full of Las Vegas-style fun with casinos, stores and lux resorts.
Sure, the main attractions are a must but don’t be scared to venture off the beaten track for tourists. DC has many hidden gems that are worth your time, especially if you’re staying for longer. Visit the Technicolor Church—an abandoned church turned into a work of art. And make sure to bring your camera since the entire neighbourhood is a fun hub for artists. If you’re looking for some peace and romance, visit Lover’s Lane Pool that will surround you with nature and relaxation.
Dine like a boss
Finally, you will probably get super hungry from all the exploration. But don’t worry—Washington DC is a true dining destination with its 16 Michelin-star restaurants. Fourteenth Street and H Street are where you want to eat great food since they are lined with innovative eateries. There’s also Union Market in NoMa, with its unique food stalls and full-service restaurants.