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Things to do in Washington DC

Things to do in  Washington DC

Welcome to Washington DC

The bustling US capital, Washington DC, bustles with attractions for those craving a look at history, art, and architecture, not to mention a hip nightlife scene. Join a walking or coach sightseeing tour to admire the famous monuments, including the United States Capitol, White House, Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Lounge on the National Mall, and get ready to explore the city’s bounty of museums. Choose from the Smithsonian, National Air and Space Museum, National Museum of Natural History, and National Museum of American History. Small-group tours with knowledgeable guides help you experience the history within all these attractions. Get a glimpse into the city’s contemporary culture on one of the many culinary and brewery tours in DC’s hip neighborhoods, such as Georgetown, Shaw, and Dupont Circle; or cruise down the Potomac River at sunset to see the city skyline light up. Just across the river lies charming Old Town Alexandria; take a walking tour to learn the history of the neighborhood’s Georgian, federal, and Greek Revival buildings. Round out a day trip with a tour of George Washington’s home at Mt. Vernon and a visit the Arlington National Cemetery.

Top 15 attractions in Washington DC

#1
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial commemorates the life and legacy of the renowned civil rights leader. Located in West Potomac Park and overlooking the Tidal Basin, the memorial includes a commanding 30-foot (9-meter statue of Dr. King and a 450-foot (137-meter Inscription Wall of quotes from Dr. King.More
#2
The White House

The White House

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The official residence of each US president since 1800, the 132-room White House in Washington DC draws visitors from around the world. Admire from afar; stop by the White House Visitor Center; or request access for a self-guided tour of the East Wing, State Dining Room, China Room, and the White House Rose Garden.More
#3
Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

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A 19-foot-tall (5.7-meter-tall) marble statue of President Abraham Lincoln dominates the Lincoln Memorial, situated at the edge of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on the National Mall in Washington DC. The most visited National Park Service site in the city is an homage to the 16th president of the United States, who helped to preserve the Union during the Civil War and delivered the Gettysburg Address and the Emancipation Proclamation.More
#4
U.S. Capitol

U.S. Capitol

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The U.S. Capitol dome towers above the Roman columns and manicured gardens of this iconic heart of American government. Topped by the bronze Statue of Freedom, the Capitol is the political and geographic center of Washington D.C. The building houses the legislative branch of Congress, with the Senate meeting in the north wing and the House of Representatives in the south wing. When Congress is in session, visitors can watch politicians debate all flavors of legislative issues, as they’ve done here since 1800.More
#5
Washington Monument

Washington Monument

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Erected in honor of the nation’s first president, the Washington Monument is the tallest building in Washington DC, reaching 555 feet (169 meters) high. The white, marble obelisk is also one of the capital’s most famous structures, made even more remarkable when seen with its mirror image reflected in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool.More
#6
Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, one of Washington DC’s most visited landmarks, is comprised of three parts—the Three Soldiers statue, the Women’s Memorial, and the main attraction, the Maya Lin–designed Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, engraved with the names of some 58,000 fallen and missing Vietnam War soldiers. Visitors arrive to pay their respects and leave notes and mementos at the wall.More
#7
National World War II Memorial

National World War II Memorial

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Set at the heart of the National Mall, the World War II Memorial honors the 16 million American soldiers who served in World War II. The site’s pillars represent each state and territory; it’s arches are dedicated to victories; and more than 4,000 stars symbolize the sacrifices made.More
#8
Korean War Veterans Memorial

Korean War Veterans Memorial

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The Korean War Veterans Memorial brings together life-like statues of a patrol squad with a walled triangle inscribed with scenes depicting the Korean War. The steel statues and granite walls lead to the center of a reflecting pool. Dedicated in 1995, the memorial honors the 5.8 million Americans who served in the Korean War (1950–1953).More
#9
Thomas Jefferson Memorial

Thomas Jefferson Memorial

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The Thomas Jefferson Memorial, commissioned by Franklin D. Roosevelt, is a tribute to the third president of the United States, founder of the University of Virginia, and key drafter of the Declaration of Independence. Its Pantheon-esque facade and bronze statue of Thomas Jefferson overlook the Tidal Basin and Washington Monument.More
#10
National Mall

National Mall

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Stretching from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, the grassy, tree-lined National Mall is a hub of activity in Washington DC. The open space—America’s most-visited national park—between Constitution and Independence avenues is fringed by Smithsonian museums, numerous monuments, and attractions, such as the National Archives.More
#11
Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

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The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial lies on the National Mall in Washington DC, on the edge of the Tidal Basin. The sprawling site comprises four distinct parts, portraying each of the 32nd president’s terms in office. Bronze sculptures and quotes engraved into the stone walls take visitors on a journey through FDR’s presidency and era.More
#12
Potomac River

Potomac River

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From its source in West Virginia to where it empties out in Chesapeake Bay, the Potomac River is rich in American history; in fact, it's even referred to as "the Nation's River." George Washington, the first president of the United States, was born along the river, and the entirety of Washington DC—the nation's capital city—lies within the watershed.More
#13
National Museum of African American History and Culture

National Museum of African American History and Culture

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The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture is the only national museum in the United States devoted to the African American experience. Its unique architectural structure—wrapped in an ornamental bronze-colored metal lattice—houses 12 galleries and 13 interactive exhibits. The 36,000-object collection tells the American story through the African American lens, covering themes from history, politics, religion, slavery, and segregation to music, sports, fashion, and art.More
#14
National Archives Museum

National Archives Museum

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Home to the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, the National Archives Museum displays many of America’s most pivotal founding documents. Housed in a Greek revival building on the National Mall in Washington DC, the landmark invites visitors to see the priceless works, engage with interactive exhibits, and more.More
#15
National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

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The impressive, green-domed Museum of Natural History on the National Mall in Washington, DC, was one of the first Smithsonian museums. Since it opened its doors in 1910, the museum has endeavored to inspire curiosity and learning through its collection of over 126 million natural specimens, artifacts, and photographs. It’s considered to be one of the world’s leading resources for scientific and cultural heritage.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Washington DC

Capitol Hill and DC Monuments Tour by Electric Cart
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Washington DC Premier Dinner Cruise
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Smithsonian Museum of Natural History Private Guided Tour
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Washington DC Premier Brunch Cruise
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Private Washington DC Guided Tour

Private Washington DC Guided Tour

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DC at Dusk Guided Night Tour

DC at Dusk Guided Night Tour

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$58.00
Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Electric Cart Tour
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Capitol Hill Guided Walking Tour with Entry to US Capitol & Library of Congress
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3-Hour Small Group Night-Time Tour Of The National Mall with 10 Top Attractions
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Recent reviews from experiences in Washington DC

star-5
A fantastic way to see...
Craig_M, Aug 2022
4-Hour Small Group DC Guided Tour of The National Mall with 10 Top Attractions
A fantastic way to see Washington DC coupled with some very informative and historical commentary.
star-5
Monuments Bike tour
Amanda_M, Jul 2022
Washington DC Sites at Night Bike Tour
This is my first trip to Washington DC and it was really cool to see the monuments and learn all the history behind them.
star-5
Fantastic, fabulous, and best way to see DC
Amber_L, Jul 2022
Private Washington DC Guided Tour
Take it my father to see Washington DC with his family!
star-5
Amazing adventure
Cameron_S, Jul 2022
Washington DC "See the City" Guided Sightseeing Segway Tour
Great way to see the highlights of Washington DC including monuments and the mall.
star-5
Great tour
Tina_A, Jul 2022
3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour
This my 1st time in Washington DC and I wanted to see the historical sites and only had a little time.
star-5
Beat the Summer Heat and Take an Evening Tour!
Karen_S, Jun 2022
Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Tour by Trolley
This was a great way to see a lot of Washington DC in a short amount of time!
star-5
This was a great...
Victoria_M, Jun 2022
DC at Dusk Guided Night Tour
This was a great experience and a very memorable way to see Washington DC!
star-5
Best tour hands down!
Olivia_T, Jun 2022
3-Hour Washington DC "Monuments By Night" Guided Night-Time Sightseeing Bus Tour
The tour guide was extremely knowledgeable and personable, there was plenty of bathroom opportunities, the bus was comfortable and clean and we got to see so much of washington DC in our time on the tour.
star-5
Awesome Way To See Washington DC
Shelley_C, Jun 2022
DC in a Day: 10+ Monument Stops & Seasonal Potomac River Cruise
You get to see quite a bit of Washington DC.
star-5
Enjoyable, educational, very professional
Dan_M, May 2022
Moonlight Tour of Washington DC
It was a great way to see multiple sites without the hassle of driving ourselves or taking public transportation.
star-5
Excellent way to see...
Linda_K, May 2022
Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Electric Cart Tour
Excellent way to see Washington DC at night.
star-5
My husband and I...
Amy_C, May 2022
Washington DC Moonlit Tour of the National Mall & Stops at 10 Sites
We would never have been able to see as many sites on our own, and our tour guide was extremely friendly and knowledgeable.
star-4
A safe & easy way to visit all the top sites in Washington DC
Brad_K, Apr 2022
Big Bus Washington DC Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
A safe & easy way to visit all the top sites in Washington DC.
star-5
DC Segway
Richard_E, Apr 2022
Sites by Segway Tour In Washington DC
This is a great way to see the main sites in a short time without walking!
star-5
Awesome tour by guide Tyrone
Dee_N, Apr 2022
DC in a Day: 10+ Monument Stops & Seasonal Potomac River Cruise
Superb way to see sights around Washington DC.
star-5
See the sites quickly
Josephine_C, Apr 2022
Big Bus Washington DC Open Top Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
I was there for a funeral, so I just wanted to see a little of the capitol and some of it's monuments.
star-5
Great tour and tour guide
Stephanie_L, Apr 2022
Private Washington DC Guided Tour
I would highly recommend this tour to anyone looking to see the sights in Washington DC.
star-5
Wonderful experience!
Mari_B, Mar 2022
DC at Dusk Guided Night Tour
It was amazing to see the monuments in the evening.
star-5
Great time in DC
Dennies_D, Mar 2022
Day or Night Grand Sightseeing Tour of Washington DC with Stops at 8 Top Sites
Ali drive us to all the places we wanted to visit around Washington DC from the Capitol to all different monuments.
star-5
DC Exploration
timothy_l, Mar 2022
African-American History Tour with Museum in Washington DC
This is something that I would recommend to family and friends that ever decided to visit Washington DC
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All about Washington DC

Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EDT (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English

People Also Ask

What's Washington DC known for?

Washington DC—the United States capital—is known for its iconic government buildings and landmarks, including the White House, US Capitol, Supreme Court, and the attractions at the National Mall, including the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial. The Smithsonian museums and springtime cherry blossoms are also unmissable.

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What is the #1 site visited in Washington, DC?

The most visited site in Washington DC is the Lincoln Memorial, which stands on the National Mall and is instantly recognizable for its colonnaded front and enormous sitting statue of President Abraham Lincoln. Other popular sites include the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, and US Capitol.

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How do you do Washington DC in a day?

Many of Washington DC's top monuments are clustered around the National Mall and Capitol Hill, so it's possible to see them in one day. Book a driving, bike, or Segway tour to sightsee efficiently. Then, cap off your trip with a visit to one of the city's free-to-enter Smithsonian museums.

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What's the best way to sightsee in Washington DC?

Washington DC has dozens of iconic government buildings, memorials, museums, and other highlights. To see more of the sights in less time, book a tour by coach, bike, Segway, or pedicab. Once you've gotten an overview, set off on a neighborhood walking tour to discover DC's local side.

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Is 2 days enough for Washington DC?

Yes. Two days is enough to see Washington DC's highlights. On day one, concentrate on the National Mall's monuments and museums and see government buildings like the White House, Supreme Court, and US Capitol. On day two, soak up the local feel in neighborhoods such as Georgetown and Adams Morgan.

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What do locals do in DC?

Washington DC locals frequent the city's museums and cultural institutions, as well as trendy restaurants and bars in the 14th Street Corridor, Adams Morgan, and Shaw. You'll find them hiking in Rock Creek Park, browsing the shelves at Politics and Prose, and attending concerts at the 9:30 Club.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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