Washington DC is one of the hottest tourist destinations that any traveler would yearn to venture into. Some of the supreme highlights of the city include the wide range of architectural attractions, eclectic lifestyle, unique culinary culture, happening nightlife etc. Without a doubt, the neighborhoods in the capital city of the United States would be an ideal choice for your next holiday destination. The fact that there are numerous free things to see and do here, just adds to the wisdom in visiting.
Still, an amateur traveler may face many doubts on what to get up to, especially on their maiden Washington DC tour. You would generally wish to know the best neighborhood to stay in DC, the best times to explore the standing attraction, stuff to do and see, how to get around, etc. To help with that, below are some vital points that you must keep in mind when planning your first Washington DC tour.
Get Washington DC Explorer Pass
Touring Washington DC for the first time can be really challenging and hectic because there is a dizzying range of things to do and see in this city. It is quite natural to get mentally stuck when considering options to spend your hard earned money on. Thankfully, you can plan your Washington DC tour effectively using the Washington DC explorer pass. This card helps plan your itinerary well, so that you get to enjoy stress-free sightseeing an activity while you are here.
The Washington DC explorer pass is actually a multi-attraction card which can be used to get access up to 3, 4, or 5 high-end attractions in the American capital city, at lowered prices. Some of the popular options that you can enjoy with this pass include panoramic night tours, Newseum tour, Madame Tussauds tour, etc. You can add a hop-on-hop-off bus tour as well to the card, and enjoy seeing your favorite attractions at a relaxed pace. Furthermore, you can purchase your Washington DC explorer pass either online or offline. The former would allow a more hassle-free purchase.
Before purchasing your card, choose the type of pass that really matches your interests. After your purchase, download the card on your mobile so that you can show it at attraction entrances, and simply walk in. Normally, this type of card will be valid for up to a month after you visit the first highlight. However, you can extend validity to 12 months if needed. Note that you can save up to 47% on your overall Washington DC tour expense with this pass.
Visit DC on Weekends
A lot of people hold the misconception that it is cheaper visiting DC on the weekdays. Actually, Washington DC caters mainly to business travelers, which means most hotels in the city hike up their prices during the weekdays. When it comes to weekends, you see prices drop so as to attract the maximum number of tourists. In fact, you can even reasonably expect great discount deals most of the time. Just check out affordable accommodation by browsing online, and decide which option suits you best. Make sure that the hotel you pick is a reputed one, especially in terms of services. You can refer to online customer reviews for that. Besides, choose an accommodation option which is at an accessible distance from your shortlisted destinations. This way, you will be able to save a good amount of your transportation expenses, as well as time.
Best Ways to Get Around in DC
Metro trains are the most reliable, convenient, and fast way to get around in Washington DC. If you will be in the city for more than a week, it is wise to purchase a smartrip card so as to save your money as well as time on metro rides. Note that you can skip the long lines in front of the ticket vending machines by using this card. In case you are in the city only for two or three days, it would be better purchasing your metro tickets in bulk. Although that would not make much difference in what you spend, you do end up saving precious time, which can be really useful during short trips.
Another convenient and affordable way to explore DC is by means of hop-on-hop-off bus. This should be a great option for tourists that love to explore in the city at their own pace. The main attractions listed in hop-on-hop-off bus tours include the Capitol Hill, National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian Museum, etc. You can choose the perfect option that meets your requirements. Note that the major monuments in the city are nowhere near as close as they appear in the maps. Hence, this option should serve well if you want to get to all those national monuments without much hassle while on your Washington DC tour.