Washington DC is one of the most dynamic cities of the United States. Washington night tours, private tour guide Washington DC, or hop on and hop off tours to the city would offer you a glimpse of the DC’s iconic museums and historic monuments, the Capitol, and the White House. You could also find eclectic neighborhoods, different cultural events, and exciting places to eat in the city. There are so many things to see, eat, and do here that planning your trip to DC may leave you a bit confused. So below are some of the important points to remember on your first trip to the beautiful city.
How to Travel
There are three main airports in Washington DC: Ronald Regan National Airport (DCA), Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD), and Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI). All these airports feature both international and domestic flights. The closest one to Washington DC among the three airports is the Regan National Airport. You would be able to reach this airport through metro along the Blue and Yellow lines or it is also possible to get there by taxi.
Washington Dulles International Airport is a distance of 26 miles away from DC city center. You could get there by a taxi. Similarly, you would be able to reach Washington DC downtown from BWI through Amtrak for about $15 to $30.
In case you would like to reach there by train, Amtrak usually provides hourly services from New York City to the Northeast. It would take about three hours to reach there and you would be able to get awesome discounts if you purchase the tickets in advance.
It is always best to avoid driving through the Washington roads. This is because the maze of traffic circles and one-way streets in the city could be very confusing and are most likely to drive you crazy. It would always be a good idea to have your car parked at your place of stay.
Exploring Washington DC
Most of the tourists and locals make use of the public transportation options available like the Metro and bus system to explore the city. You would be able to find six color-coded lines, which include Blue, Silver, Yellow, Orange, Green, and Red in the metro. Each of the lines connects to one another at the transfer stations. Below are some of the metro stops that are close to popular tourist locations in the city.
- Smithsonian: This metro stop could be reached by traveling along the Silver, Blue, and Orange lines. The popular tourist lactations near this stop are Smithsonian Castle, National Museum of American History, National Museum of Natural History, and National Gallery of Art.
- Arlington Cemetery: You would be able to reach this metro stop by the Blue line. Some of the interesting tourist sites close to this stop are Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery, and Lincoln Memorial.
- Farragut West: This stop could be reached by traveling along the red line. The important locations near this stop are White House, Renwick Gallery, and Washington Monument.
- Archives: You would be able to reach this stop by traveling through the Green and Yellow lines. The International Spy Museum, National Archives, Newseum, and Crime and Punishment Museum are the prominent touristic locations near this stop.
- Federal Triangle: You would be able to reach this metro stop by the Silver, Blue, and Orange lines. Popular tourist sites near this stop are middle portion of the National Mall, the White House, Washington Monument, National Museum of American History, and National Museum of Natural History.
- Federal Center: This stop could be reached through Orange, Silver, and Blue lines. Touristic sites near this stop are National Air and Space Museum, east end of the National Mall, United States Botanic Garden, Hirshorn Museum, US Capitol Building, Library of Congress, and National Gallery of Art.
- McPherson Square: You could reach this stop by the Orange, Silver, and Blue lines. The tourist sites near this place are Washington Monument, White House, and Renwick Gallery.
- Foggy Bottom: This stop could be reached by traveling along the Orange, Silver, and Blue lines. Popular tourist sites near this stop are the West end of the National Mall, WWII Memorial, and Lincoln Memorial.
- L’Enfant Plaza: You could reach this stop by traveling along Orange, Silver, Yellow, Green, and Blue lines. The touristy spots near this stop are Sculpture Garden, Hirshorn Museum, Jefferson Memorial, and Tidal Basin.
- Chinatown/Gallery Place: This metro stop could be reached through the Yellow, Red, and Green lines. Penn Quarter, Smithsonian American Art Museum, National Building Museum, Capital One Arena, and National Portrait Gallery are the popular tourist sites near this stop.
- Woodley Park/Zoo: You would be able to reach this metro stop by traveling through the Red line. National Zoo and National Cathedral are the popular tourist sites near this stop.