Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Iris Sinilong
Home to several iconic infrastructures such as the Capitol Building, the infamous White House, Lincoln Memorial, and National Air and Space Museum – there is a lot to look forward to when visiting the vibrant metropolitan of Washington. An ideal destination for families and historical buffs – there’s something about Washington that just pulls on to your heartstrings. I admit, I may be slightly biased. I fell in love with it as soon as I stepped foot on Independence Avenue and the culturally diverse neighbourhood of Adams Morgan. But you just have to trust me, Washington is a place you’d want to include in your bucket list. In support of anyone dreaming about visiting this vivacious capital, the tripcentral.ca team compiled a comprehensive travel guide just for you!
Arriving in Washington. Washington is served by three area airports. Washington Dulles is the biggest and busiest, located about 30 minutes west of DC in Virginia. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is located in Arlington Virginia and is closest to the city centre. Baltimore/ Washington International Airport (BWI) is about 30 minutes east of DC by highway. It’s a more convenient and occasionally less expensive option to DCA.
Getting Around. Visitors can navigate from the airport to the city via DC Metro, shuttle buses, cabs, and car rentals. Out of these options, the DC Metro may be the best as it can take you to popular attractions like the National Zoo, Smithsonian Museums and National Mall. Fares are based on distance and time of travel. A single fair during non-rush hour starts at $1.60 and goes up to $1.95 during busier hours. Day passes cost $9, while a seven-day pass sells for $45.
Where to Stay
The Ritz-Carlton (4.5 stars)
A sophisticated sanctuary of luxury and relaxation, the Ritz-Carlton is the perfect option for travelers wishing to explore the centre of Washington.
Four Seasons (4.5 stars)
Ranked as the second top hotel in Washington, Four Seasons promises luxury and unparalleled service to guests. It is nestled amidst the historical treasures of the capital, guaranteeing a Washington experience like no other!
Carlyle Suites (4 stars)
Situated just 3 blocks from the famed Dupont Circle fountain, Carlyle Suites is an affordable option for travelers planning on staying in Washington. Offering sleek art-deco finishes with modern amenities, your stay here will be a time of comfort.
US Capitol Building | US Supreme Court | White House
Gain understanding of the divisions of power within the US Government and explore these three infrastructures during your visit.
- Capitol Building: Open to visitors from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm from Monday to Saturday. Guided tours are also available (free of charge) from 8:50 am to 4:20 pm. Tours must be booked in advance as spaces fill up quickly.
- Supreme Court: Open to visitors from 9:00 to 4:30 pm from Monday to Friday.
- Self-guided tours at the White House are available from 7:30 am to 11:00 am Tuesday through Thursday; 7:30 am to 12:00 pm on Fridays; 7:30 am to 1:00 pm Saturdays. Tours are scheduled on a first come first serve basis. Requests can be submitted up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days in advance.
Home to the Smithsonian Information Centre as well as the institution’s administrative headquarters, the Smithsonian Castle is open to visitors every day (free of charge) from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm.
In here, the 16th president of the United States sits immortalized in marble as an enduring symbol of unity and wisdom, with the engraved words of: “In his temple, as in the hearts of the people for whom he saved the Union, the memory of Abraham Lincoln is enshrined forever.”
The Lincoln Memorial is open (free of charge) 24 hours a day, with rangers on duty from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm.
Featuring quirky restaurants, specialty shops, coffee houses, bars, and bookstores, Adams Morgan is a must-see to fully experience the real essence of Washington. While here, taste your way through Ethiopian, Vietnamese or Japanese food. Immerse yourself in all the exciting entertainment, and come home with impressive stories to tell your friends!
To learn more about our Washington Tours, we invite you to speak with a tripcentral.ca travel agent who’s been there! Call us toll free at 1-800-665-4981.