Washington D.C. may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

WashingtonUnited States of America

National treasures, American history and international politics take center stage in the U.S. capital city. 

Washington D.C., or “D.C.” as locals call it, was founded in 1791. As the epicenter of American politics, a visit to the nation’s capital isn’t complete without a trip to the White House. This is where America’s presidents have lived and worked for more than two centuries. Next door is the National Mall where you’ll find many of the country’s most revered landmarks. You can’t miss the towering Washington Monument, a 555-foot (169-meter) marble obelisk. Make your way up to the elevated U.S. Capitol Building for a breath-taking view across the Reflecting Pool towards the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that crowds gathered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

The National Mall showcases tributes to the nation’s patriots and heroes. These include the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and World War II Memorial. It’s also home to the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Gallery of Art. The revered Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has most of its 19 exhibit halls on the mall. These include the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum. Use the wide, tree-lined sidewalks around the mall to explore the sights on foot or by hired bike.

Public transportation in D.C. is fast and easy. The DC Circulator bus stops in a number of districts, including Rosslyn, which is close to the Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and the Iwo Jima Memorial. In the historic district of Georgetown you’ll find 18th-century architecture and modern-day shops and cafes. For nighttime entertainment, head to the U Street Corridor in the Shaw neighborhood where jazz legend Duke Ellington used to play nightly.

Washington D.C. hosts many lively festivals year round. Join in one the nation’s largest Independence Day celebrations on July 4. Each April film buffs from around the world enjoy the Washington DC International Film Festival. Music lovers gather every June for the DC Jazz Festival. The city also has a thriving theater scene. See a live stage show at The National Theatre, walking distance from the White House. The Shakespeare Theatre Company gives free performances throughout the year at the Sidney Harman Hall in Downtown D.C.

Be prepared for humid weather in summer and snowfall in winter. Visit Washington D.C. in spring and you may be lucky enough to catch one of the city’s most spectacular displays: for just a few days in March or April, some 1,600 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin burst into bloom.

Best time to visit Washington, D.C.Peak Season: From March through June, expect higher rates as tourists flock to the city for the cherry blossoms and Congress finishes up its session.

Value Season: September and December are your best bets for great hotel deals and shorter lines. July and August are also good for travel bargains, but expect humid weather.

Washington Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Washington

Downtown Washington D.C. featuring night scenes, street scenes and a city

Downtown Washington D.C.

4.5/5Wonderful!(269 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums and important monuments, there's plenty to explore in Downtown Washington D.C.. Check out top attractions like International Spy Museum and Capital One Arena, and jump on the metro at McPherson Sq. Station or Center Station to see more of the city.

Downtown Washington D.C.
Dupont Circle featuring a statue or sculpture and a monument

Dupont Circle

4.5/5Wonderful!(138 area reviews)

Visitors to Dupont Circle love its fantastic nightlife, and you can check out Dupont Circle and Phillips Collection. If you want to see more in the area, you can get around town on the metro at Dupont Circle Station.

Dupont Circle
Georgetown featuring street scenes, a house and a city

Georgetown

4.5/5Wonderful!(17 area reviews)

Georgetown is known for its abundant dining options, and you can plan a trip to Georgetown Waterfront Park and Tudor Place while you're in town.

Georgetown
Capitol Hill featuring a park, an administrative building and heritage elements

Capitol Hill

4/5Very Good!(121 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums and important monuments, there's plenty to explore in Capitol Hill. Check out top attractions like United States Capitol and Washington Navy Yard, and jump on the metro at Capitol South Station or Eastern Market Station to see more of the city.

Capitol Hill
Georgetown - Foggy Bottom featuring a memorial, a city and a statue or sculpture

Foggy Bottom

4.5/5Wonderful!(64 area reviews)

Important monuments and popular shops are a few of the things travelers enjoy most about Foggy Bottom. A visit to Watergate Complex or World Bank is also recommended, and you can jump aboard the metro at Foggy Bottom Station to get around town.

Foggy Bottom
Washington which includes street scenes, night scenes and a city

Chinatown

Abundant dining options, interesting museums and important monuments are just a few things travelers love about Chinatown. Sights like Capital One Arena and International Spy Museum are top spots to explore, and you can get around the greater Washington area at Gallery Place Chinatown Station.

Chinatown

Top Hotels in Washington

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Yours Truly DC
Yours Truly DC
4 out of 5
1143 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
The price is CA $146 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of George Washington University, White House and Lincoln Memorial. Walter E. Washington ...

4.3/5Excellent! (36 reviews)

"Your Truly is an amazing hotel! The staff and environment make you feel comfortable and inviting. I highly recommend staying there if you are visiting DC."…"

Reviewed on Aug. 6, 2020

Yours Truly DC
Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf
Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf
3.5 out of 5
725 Wharf Street SW, Washington, DC
The price is CA $187 per night

Located in District Wharf, this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of L'Enfant Plaza, Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and Museum of the Bible. National ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (1,589 reviews)

"The view of the river...Nice location with many accommodations. Highly recommended"…"

Reviewed on Jul. 21, 2020

Hyatt House Washington DC/The Wharf
AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown
AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown
4 out of 5
1112 19TH STREET NW, Washington, DC
The price is CA $136 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 10-minute walk of World Bank and Dupont Circle. George Washington University and White House are ...

4.6/5Wonderful! (58 reviews)

"The hotel is clean and everything is perfect!"…"

Reviewed on Aug. 4, 2020

AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Downtown

Popular places to visit in Washington

White House
Image for White House

White House

4/5(388 reviews)

Explore the home and workplace of the president of the United States. See entertainment areas and state rooms and learn about the history of this famous building.

National Mall
Image for National Mall

National Mall

4.5/5(198 reviews)

Inspiring architecture, magnificent museums and the icons of American history await on Washington’s famous two-mile (three-kilometer) strip. 

Washington Monument
Image for Washington Monument

Washington Monument

4.5/5(349 reviews)

Centerpiece of the National Mall, America’s tribute to the country’s founding father stirs the soul while offering superb views from the top.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Image for Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

4.5/5(91 reviews)

Heaven for aviation enthusiasts, this museum takes you on an uplifting journey through the history of flight and space travel.

Lincoln Memorial
Image for Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

4.5/5(356 reviews)

Epic words, exceptional architecture, and an inspirational view combine in this stirring tribute to America’s 16th president.

United States Capitol
Image for United States Capitol

United States Capitol

4.5/5(267 reviews)

Sitting on top of Capitol Hill is a Washington landmark that’s been the home of American democracy for more than 200 years.

Top things to do in Washington

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

CA $57
Per adult
Famous Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. Wax Attraction
Image for Famous Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. Wax Attraction

Famous Madame Tussauds Washington D.C. Wax Attraction

CA $31
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
DC at Dusk Night Tour
Image for DC at Dusk Night Tour

DC at Dusk Night Tour

CA $79
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour
Image for Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

CA $67
Per adult
NEW International Spy Museum Admission Passes
Image for NEW International Spy Museum Admission Passes

NEW International Spy Museum Admission Passes

CA $36
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
6-12 Hour Private Driver (DC)
Image for 6-12 Hour Private Driver (DC)

6-12 Hour Private Driver (DC)

CA $648
Per adult
100% of travellers recommend

Reviews of Washington

4.5

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
256
5 - Excellent 57.27069351230425%
4 - Good
164
4 - Good 36.68903803131991%
3 - Okay
23
3 - Okay 5.145413870246085%
2 - Disappointing
3
2 - Disappointing 0.6711409395973155%
1 - Terrible
1
1 - Terrible 0.22371364653243847%

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

Mar 17, 2020

Been here before. It's a nice place to visit if you don't have to worry about a pandemic cutting your visit short.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Mar 9, 2020

A wonderful place to visit, so much to do. Between all the museums and places to eat, its the perfect balance of over eating and walking it off.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 18, 2020

Loved it. Beautiful place..lots of grandeur. People were very friendly and helpful. Would visit again. If you have dietary restrictions (vegan/vegetarian..look up restaurants in advance)

5/5 - Excellent

Traveller

Jan 8, 2020

You need at least a few hours to a day to see all the memorials depending on your walking speed, and another set of hours to go to the museum of natural history which is amazing!

3/5 - Okay

TouristfromYVR

Jan 7, 2020

Not a friendly city.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

Jan 4, 2020

Great place to bring a family. Lots to do and see. Many of the museums and attractions are free. Great subway system to get around.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Washington

Image for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert in Washington DC

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert in Washington DC

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Dessert in Washington DC
Image for Turning Washington’s National Mall into D.C.’s Best Gym: A 5-Mile Running Circuit in the Capitol

Turning Washington’s National Mall into D.C.’s Best Gym: A 5-Mile Running Circuit in the Capitol

Turning Washington’s National Mall into D.C.’s Best Gym: A 5-Mile Running Circuit in the Capitol
Image for Healthy Restaurants, Cafes and Bars in Washington DC

Healthy Restaurants, Cafes and Bars in Washington DC

Healthy Restaurants, Cafes and Bars in Washington DC

Cities near Washington

Alexandria featuring café lifestyle, a small town or village and street scenes

Alexandria

Arlington featuring zoo animals and cuddly or friendly animals as well as an individual female

Arlington

Silver Spring

Silver Spring

Other places like Washington