What to see in Washington DC

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Joel Fulleda

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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  • Top 10 things to see
  • Your holiday is two clicks away from here!
  • Book your hotel!
  • Washington itinerary in 2 days
  • Day 1
  • Day 2

Capital of the United States since 1880, Washington DC overlooks the Potomac River and its prefix DC (District of Columbia) is essential to distinguish it from the state of the same name. Seat of all the administrative offices of the country, it was chosen thanks to the fact that it was a city appreciated by both South and North Americans.

Let's see together what are the best attractions not to be missed in Washington DC:

Top 10 things to see

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The Mall

It is the avenue of the city that incorporates all the major monuments starting from the Lincoln Memorial.

F.D. Roosvelt Memorial

It is the memorial that recalls the life and speeches of President Roosevelt, from the years of his first term to those of his illness.


Institute that houses 9 museums and a Zoo, many with free admission.

National WW II Memorial

National War Memorial of WWII, located along The Mall.

Martin L. King Memorial

It is the memorial dedicated to Martin Luther King which is located just opposite the memorial dedicated to Jefferson.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

It is the war memorial that celebrates the fallen during the war with Vietnam, inaugurated in 1982.

Adams morgan

Multicultural neighborhood of the city, populated mainly by Hispanics and African-Americans, it is full of shops, restaurants and nightclubs.


Birthplace of President Kennedy, as well as home to the famous Georgetown University.

Washington Memorial

It is the city's obelisk commemorating the unforgettable President George Washington, inaugurated in 1888.

Union Station

It is the main station of the city, a small jewel of modern architecture declined in neoclassical art.

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Washington itinerary in 2 days

Useful information before leaving

Before leaving for our exploration, we must first know what is the best way to move from one point of the city to another. The two main public transport systems in the city are Metrorail e subwaybus, both operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority. There Metro it is a practical and convenient way both to get around the city and to reach the surrounding areas of Maryland and Virginia, and is composed of 6 lines: red, blue, orange, yellow, green and silver. Popular Metro destinations include Union Station (red line), Smithstonian (orange, silver and blue lines), Woodley Park Zoo / Adams Morgan (red line), Gallery Place - Chiantown (red, green and yellow). To date, Metro observes the following times:
  • Monday to Thursday, from 05:00 to 23:00
  • Friday, from 05:00 to 01:00
  • Saturday, from 07:00 to 01:00
  • Sunday, from 08: 0 to 23:00.
Let's move on to rates. The cost of the ticket is not charged based on the duration of the trip, but based on the number of stops. To access the Metro you must buy one SmarTrip Card, a sort of rechargeable electronic ticket, on which the amount necessary for the trip will be loaded. Fares are divided into two categories: those that are applied during peak hours (open at 09:30 am and from 15:19 pm to 00:2,15 pm), ranging from a minimum of $ 5,90 to a maximum of $ 1,75, 3,60; and those that apply during the less crowded hours, from $ XNUMX to $ XNUMX. The bus is a valid alternative to the Metro, by public transport operational 24 hours a day which also reach Virginia and Maryland. The lines that serve the most popular areas of the city, including the National Mall and the White House, are: 30N, 30S, 32, 33, 34 and 36. Let's move on to fares. Regular rides cost $ 2,00, while Express Bus rides cost $ 4,25. In addition to the inevitable Hop - On, Hop - Off buses, which touch all the main attractions of the city, to move around the National Mall area, there is the possibility of using the bus - shuttle of the DC Circulator service: at the price of just one dollar, you can move around the whole Mall area; moreover, if the payment is made through a SmarTrip Card, it is possible to get back on the bus several times, without paying the ticket again.

Day 1

National Mall Monuments, Library of Congress, National Mall Museums

Capitol Hill
Well, we are finally ready to go on our exciting 2 day tour discovering Washington DC! In addition to the White House and the Pentagon, in the capital of the United States there are numerous monuments, which celebrate great personalities and moments in the country's history. The most important are enclosed in the famous monumental avenue known as The National Mall, between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial. There first day of travel it will revolve around the National Mall, its monuments and museums. Let's start with one of the most popular buildings, that of Capitol Hill. If you want to take part in a tour, this must be booked in advance, or you can queue up and hope to get one of the day tickets without a reservation, although the second option is not recommended, because, especially in periods with greater tourist flow, you risk not being able to get it. After the Capitol tour we get on one of the DC Circulator shuttle buses to reach the starting point of our do-it-yourself tour of the monuments of the National Mall, that is the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, dedicated to one of the Founding Fathers and third president of the United States, which, in the spring, is the centerpiece of the Cherry Blossom Festival. The second stop is the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, a monument divided into four "rooms" in the open, with statues and murals that tell facts that span a period from the Great Depression to World War II, and where President Roosevelt is represented. with a bronze statue. The third stage is the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial , an imposing representation in stone where the famous shepherd, leader of the battle for civil rights, is represented in a moment of the famous speech "I have a dream". We continue with the fourth stage, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, consisting of 19 statues representing a military patrol team, and, behind them, a mural consisting of photos of the men and women who served in Korea.
Lincoln Memorial e la Reflecting pool
The fifth stop involves visiting one of the most important and popular monuments of the tour, theAbraham Lincoln Memorial: a neoclassical monument with a statue of Abraham Lincoln reflected in the waters of the Reflecting Pool. After a long journey, we have reached the penultimate stage of the route, which lasts approximately three hours. Now we are faced with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, a monument dedicated to the fallen of the Vietnam war, divided into three parts: the statue of the soldier, the Vietnam's Women Memorial and the most famous part, the Veterans Memorial Wall. The last monument on our ideal map is the Washington Monument, an imposing obelisk built in honor of George Washington and considered one of the tallest stone structures in the world. We have concluded our tour of the monuments! After about three hours of walking, we deserve a snack: Union Station is the best place to eat and relax, perhaps doing some shopping. Outside the station we can admire the statue of Christopher Columbus.

Afternoon at the museum

Smithsonian Castle
After a good lunch and a few moments of relaxation, we are ready to resume our visit to Washington: time is short, we must not idle! During the afternoon of the first day of travel we stay in the vicinity of the National Mall: after the monuments it is the turn of the museums. I don't know exactly how many we will be able to visit, but these are certainly the most important ones:
  • Smithsonian Castle, is the ideal place to start your exploration. In addition to admiring the impressive architecture, inside we can find information on the museums of the National Mall;
  • National Air & Space Museum, which houses the largest collection of aerospace aircraft and vehicles;
  • National Museum of Natural History, one of the most visited museums in the world, includes a collection of 127 million artifacts, which are rotated periodically;
  • National Museum of American History, which includes thousands of items relating to American history, from the famous hat of Abraham Lincoln to the kitchen of Julia Child;
  • National Museum of American Indian, a museum that celebrates the cultural, historical and linguistic diversity of the indigenous people of the American continent.
To spend a perfect evening, it is worth embarking on a cruise on the wonderful nave Odyssey and admire the view of the city from the Potomac River while enjoying a fine dinner.

Day 2

Arlington Cemetery, Library of Congress, White House National Archives Building, International Spy Museum

National Archives Building
Ready to start the second day of travel? No?! So maybe it's time to have a nice breakfast. Among the best places to enjoy a great breakfast are Founding Farmers on Pennsylvania Avenue, Lincoln's Waffle Shop on 10th Street, Ted's Bulletin on XNUMXth Street and Astro Donuts & Fried Chicken. Now we are ready to leave for the first stage of the day: the famous Arlington Monumental Cemetery. After reaching it by Metro (it can be reached from the Pentagon station, served by the silver and yellow lines), we can start our tour. The starting point is the Visitor Center, where you can find detailed maps of the cemetery and all the information you need to embark on a pleasant visit. Among the points of interest that you absolutely cannot miss are: President Kennedy's Tomb, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington House, Flower Garden, Old Memorial Amphiteater, Wallace Randolph Cannon, USS Maine Memorial. After our tour, we arrived at lunch time: there are several places nearby that serve excellent dishes, such as Quarterdeck, Potomac Restaurant & Lounge and Bonchon Arlington. After lunch we get back on the Metro, and return to Downtown, where we will spend the second part of the day. A few months ago, we took care of booking a visit to the White House (to do this you must go to the consulate and apply to a member of Congress): our appointment with one of the symbols of world power awaits us. After our exciting tour, we continue our exploration of Washington DC with the National Archives Building where, among other documents, the first draft of the Constitution is kept, the Library of Congress and, if there is still some time, theInternational spy museum, the largest museum in the world dedicated to espionage. For dinner, we go to the characteristic district of Georgetown, the only one in which the houses have kept their original appearance unaltered, when the neighborhood was still a city in its own right.
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