How to get to DC
Depending on whether you plan to make DC your only destination on your trip or just a part of a longer journey there are some different ways to travel to the city.
- If you plan to fly, there are two big airports close to the city center. The closest one is Ronald Reagan Washington National airport (DCA) and it would be the most convenient one for anyone visiting DC for the first time. From DCA you can reach the city center very easily by metro, which departs from the airport and will take you straight to the heart of DC.
- Washington Dulles international airport (IAD) is a big airport about 26 miles west of downtown DC. From my experience it’s cheaper to travel to IAD than to DCA. There is no metro departing from IAD yet (though it is under construction and expected to be completed in 2018) but transporting yourself to downtown is not a hard mission to complete. There are plenty of taxis driving into the city and you can take it all the way or to Wiehle-Reston East metro station (about 9 miles away) and take the silver line to DC.
- Traveling from New York? DC is easy to travel to and from New York. Take the bus or the train. Buses are cheap and will get you to downtown DC in about 4 hours. Boltbus and Megabus are the most convenient bus companies to travel with (there are cheaper ones but from my experience there are often delays, cancelations or other problems travelling with these).
Washington DC is the city for sightseeing. Here you can spend days visiting museums, walking around the monuments or visit some of the Untied states most famous landmarks. Most of the best sightseeing spots in DC is easy to access by public transportation and is close to the very city center.
- The monuments in DC is a must when visiting. I have no idea how many times I have visited them and I cannot get enough. While living in the city I always took visitors on a little walk through the most important ones and it is a great day-activity!
- I used to start with the White house and then continue to the National mall - Washington monument, National world war two memorial, Lincoln memorial, Vietnam Veterans memorial, Korean War Veterans memorial to continue around the Tidal Basin visting Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosvelt memorial and Thomas Jefferson memorial on the way. This is a great walking tour - it’s easy to find the memorials, it’s beautiful nature and it will take you at least three hours (depending on how long you want to stop at every memorial). Tired of walking? Rent a city-bike that is located around the city and you can bike from memorial to memorial! Here is a map over the memorials to get a better idea of where they are located: https://www.tripsavvy.com/washington-dc-monuments-and-memorials-map-3858781
- United states capitol is another must when visiting the city. The capitol is located a little bit further away from the rest of the monuments but is easy to reach by metro. The capitol is the home of the United states Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S federal congress. The capitol has it’s own visitor center but is also very beautiful to watch from the outside. For more information:https://www.visitthecapitol.gov/
- Smithsonian institute is the world’s largest museum and research complex. Around DC you will find Smithsonian museums and most of them are free for visitors! Wether you like art, history, zoo’s or galleries there are museums for everyone in DC! My favourites are the Air and Space museum in Washington DC (there are another one located close to the Dulles international airport), American Indian museum, Natural history museum and American art museum. For more museums and information visit the website:
- United states Holocaust museum is another museum worth a visit, that’s not a part of the Smithsonian institute. The admission is free but the museum suggests that you book tickets in advance. The museum can often, especially during spring and summertime, be crowded and to make sure you will be able to visit the museum it’s a great thing to do. Book your tickets here: https://www.ushmm.org/information/visit-the-museum/admission-tickets
- Madame Tussauds wax museum is the place for anyone who wants to take a selfie with the Untied states president, sing a duet with Michael Jackson or look like you have been golfing with Tiger Woods - all in Wax-dolls! Admire the creative arts and learn more about how to build with wax. For tickets: https://washingtondc-support.madametussauds.com/hc/en-us/categories/115000249852-Our-Tickets
- Arlington National Cemetery is a United states military cemetery and is one of my personal favourite sightseeing spots in DC. It’s a beautiful but yet so respect rewarding place. Make sure to visit the Tomb of the Unknown solider and watch the changing of guards, John F Kennedy Gravesite and the memorial Amphitheater. Just remember to walk into the cemetery with respect and follow the instructions - it is a place for peace and honor. Plan a visit by visiting the website: http://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/#/