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Washington, MD
Travel Guide

United States Capitol showing an administrative buidling, heritage architecture and autumn leaves

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

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.

Washington Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Washington

Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center
Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center
3.5 out of 5
627 H Street NW, Washington, DC
The price is $84 per night from Jul 7 to Jul 7
Located in Chinatown, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Smithsonian American Art Museum and CityCenterDC. Capital One Arena and Walter E. Washington Convention ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (1,836 reviews)
"Staff was consistently helpful, friendly, polite and went the extra mile."

Reviewed on Jun 12, 2021

Motto by Hilton Washington DC City Center
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
3 out of 5
901 L Street NW, Washington, DC
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $130 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Ford's Theater, and Capital One Arena. ...
4.4/5Excellent! (843 reviews)
"Hotel automatizado, mucho lujo y confort para sus estrellas"

Reviewed on Jun 7, 2021

Courtyard by Marriott Washington Downtown/Convention Center
Washington Plaza
Washington Plaza
4 out of 5
10 Thomas Circle NW, Washington, DC
The price is $100 per night from Jun 21 to Jun 21
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lafayette Square, Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and White House. CityCenterDC ...
4.3/5Excellent! (2,156 reviews)
"Great location, great pool, friendly staff."

Reviewed on Jun 12, 2021

Washington Plaza
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
WhyHotel Washington DC National Mall
WhyHotel Washington DC National Mall
2.5 out of 5
600 4th St SW, Washington, DC
The price is $96 per night from Jul 3 to Jul 3
Located in Capitol Hill, this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Museum of the Bible, National Mall, and Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. International ...
WhyHotel Washington DC National Mall
Sonesta Simply Suites Falls Church
Sonesta Simply Suites Falls Church
3 out of 5
205 Hillwood Ave, Falls Church, VA
The price is $114 per night from Jun 20 to Jun 20
Situated in the historical district, this aparthotel is 1.3 mi (2 km) from Eden Center and within 6 mi (10 km) of Inova Fairfax Hospital and Tysons Corner Center. ...
4.4/5Excellent! (628 reviews)
"Awesome place to stay. Modern and clean. It was tucked back off the road to give you privacy."

Reviewed on Jun 9, 2021

Sonesta Simply Suites Falls Church
Sonder | The Grace
Sonder | The Grace
3.5 out of 5
805 King Street, Alexandria, VA
The price is $121 per night from Jun 16 to Jun 16
Located in Old Town Alexandria, this apartment building is 2.3 mi (3.8 km) from Potomac River Waterfront Park and 2.8 mi (4.5 km) from Birchmere. MGM National ...
2/5 (5 reviews)
"Very clean, great location, 10/10 would recommend!"

Reviewed on Apr 2, 2021

Sonder | The Grace
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Getting around Washington

Unlike many American cities, Washington D.C. is easy to navigate without access to a car of your own. Reach all the major points of interest using the Metrorail and Metrobus systems, which you can pay for with a reloadable SmarTrip card. The card also covers the DC Circulator, an affordable bus. Taxis are widely available and fairly inexpensive too. Rent a car if you plan to travel outside D.C. Visit the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) website. Browse Washington rental cars.

Best time to visit

Summer can get very hot and very busy in Washington, so aim to avoid the warmest months and visit in spring or fall instead. The city’s cherry trees usually blossom at the end of March and in early April. This annual spectacle tends to draw a high volume of visitors to the city. See it for yourself, however, and you will most likely decide it was worth braving the crowds for this lovely sight.

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