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Known for Museums, Historical Buildings and Monuments

Visit the nation’s capital to admire presidential monuments, tour fascinating museums, watch professional sports and see modern history being created.

How do you get to Washington?

Washington D.C. is an important destination to learn about the U.S., its historic past and eventful present. Tour monuments and museums and appreciate nonpolitical aspects of this impressive city.

The National Mall and Memorial Parks is a good place to begin, with a 2-mile (3-kilometer) stretch of attractions. Stand on the steps of the Lincoln Monument and remember Lincoln’s actions in freeing slaves and establishing a path to race equality in the U.S. Gaze over the reflecting pool to see the tall Washington Monument for the nation’s first president at the center of the mall and the dome of the U.S. Capitol in the distance.

View poignant memorials recognizing American veterans of the Vietnam War, Korean War and World War II near the reflecting pool. Monuments to Franklin Roosevelt, Thomas Jefferson and Martin Luther King, Jr. surround the Tidal Pool just south of the mall. Take a paddleboat across the water for different monument perspectives. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is just east.

The Smithsonian has 13 sites along or near the National Mall. Stop at the Smithsonian Castle visitor center to plan your days of exploration, whatever your interests. Among the options are the Air and Space Museum, the Natural History Museum, the American History Museum, the American Indian Museum, the African American History and Culture Museum and the African Art Museum.

North of the National Mall is the president’s residence, the White House. For tours of the White House or observations of sessions in the U.S. Capitol, contact your member of congress or country embassy well in advance of your trip to D.C.

Other attractions in Washington D.C. include the National Gallery of Art, the Newseum, filled with interactive stories about freedom and free expression, and the Library of Congress, recognized as the world’s largest library. Ford’s Theatre, where Lincoln was assassinated, is now a working theater. Enjoy outstanding performances at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. See professional football, baseball, hockey and basketball in nearby venues.

Best neighborhoods to visit in Washington

Things to do in Washington

Explore the home and workplace of the president of the United States. See entertainment areas and state rooms and learn about the history of this famous building.

Inspiring architecture, magnificent museums and the icons of American history await on Washington’s famous two-mile (three-kilometer) strip. 

Centerpiece of the National Mall, America’s tribute to the country’s founding father stirs the soul while offering superb views from the top.

Walk around the campus of George Washington University, a well-known college in Washington. Add the area's notable monuments or shops to your travel plans.

Epic words, exceptional architecture, and an inspirational view combine in this stirring tribute to America’s 16th president.

Heaven for aviation enthusiasts, this museum takes you on an uplifting journey through the history of flight and space travel.

Sitting on top of Capitol Hill is a Washington landmark that’s been the home of American democracy for more than 200 years.

Enjoy the collegiate vibe with a visit to Georgetown University, a well-known college in Washington. Experience the area's acclaimed theater scene and great live music.

Tickets & Tours

Jump on a double-decker bus to explore Washington, D.C. at your leisure. As the authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service, this is the official tour of the National Mall and an ideal way to explore the Nation’s Capital.

Tickets & Tours

Take a day trip out of the city to soak up the history and architecture of another East Coast metropolis—Washington, D.C. Check out the monuments and memorials of the National Mall, see the White House, and dive into the fascinating exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum.

Tickets & Tours

Zip around Washington, D.C. with a hop-on hop-off pass that lets you design your own schedule. Visit iconic monuments, moving memorials, and esteemed institutions at your own pace, with more than 25 stops and frequent departures that keep you moving around the nation's capitol.

Tickets & Tours

Just across the Potomac River, climb aboard this observation wheel for the best bird’s-eye view of the United States' capital city. Soar above the waterfront and marvel at incomparable views of famous landmarks like the Washington Monument and the Masonic Temple.

Tickets & Tours

Delve into the African American heritage of the United States and its capital city on this local-led tour of D.C. Visit landmarks like Frederick Douglass' house and the Martin Luther King Jr.

Tickets & Tours

Immerse yourself in the world’s greatest news stories in the Newseum's 15 galleries and 15 theaters. Experience 5 centuries of news history, play reporter in an interactive newsroom, and take in panoramic views of the capital city from the terrace.

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Visitor guides from our travel experts

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