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Washington, D.C. Maps – Washington Tourist Maps

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Are you looking for a Washington DC map to plan your trip? Look no further because I’ve compiled all the maps you need. The Washington tourist area is relatively small. You can get just about everywhere by walking, so these maps will help you find the main attractions in the city.

Below you’ll find the best 10 maps of Washington DC that you can print out or save on your smartphone so you can check them at any time.

  • Washington DC tourist map
  • Interactive map of Washington DC
  • Washington DC National Mall Map
  • Washington DC street map

Washington DC neighborhood map

  • Washington DC public transport map
  • Washington DC road map
  • High-resolution map of Washington DC

Map of the United States

  • Map of Washington DC for downloading

Washington, DC tourist map

To give you an initial idea of what the capital of the United States is like and what to do in Washington D.C , check out the following tourist map of Washington, DC:

The tourist map of Washington

Interactive Map Of Washington, DC

The following interactive map of Washington, DC will show you where all the attractions are and help you get to know the city in depth. I’ve marked the main memorials to the US presidents, museums, the White House, and much more.

Did I miss a tourist attraction? Leave me a comment and I’ll add it.

At the end of the article, I explain how you can check this map offline so you can always carry it with you and have it on hand .

Washington, DC National Mall Map

Below is a map of the main attractions of Washington, DC, with most of them located in the National Mall. Additionally, it includes a map of the Smithsonian where the main museums in Washington are.

The map of the National Mall of Washington D.C.

Map of the National Mall in Washington, DC

Washington, DC street map

With this Washington, DC street map, you’ll never get lost in this great city!

The street map of Washington D.C.

The following Washington, DC neighborhood map is also very useful. You can quickly and easily locate any point in the city with it. I also recommend you use it to find where to stay in Washington D.C.

Washington neighborhood map

Washington, DC neighborhood map

Washington DC Public Transport Map

Although I think the best way to get to know Washington, DC is by walking, sometimes it’s necessary to use public transport. This metro map of Washington, DC can help you move around the city when you’re short on time.

metro map of Washington D.C.

Washington, DC Public Transport Map

Washington, DC road map

I don’t recommend getting around the city by car, although a Washington, DC road map always comes in handy if you’re going to visit the surroundings or if you’re getting to Washington, DC by car.

The road map of Washington D.C.

Washington, D.C. road map

High-resolution Washington, DC map

On the following high-resolution Washington, DC map, you can zoom in and find any point in the city. It’s perfect so that you don’t miss out on anything in the capital of the United States.

Washington D.C. map

Below is a map of the United States so you can see where Washington, DC is. Thanks to it, you’ll be able to locate the capital within the country.

Washington D.C. map, United States

Washington, DC map for downloading

The Washington, DC map for downloading is the last one. For me, this type of map is a must when I plan any trip.

Washington DC map for downloading

If you’re going to be offline, don’t worry because you can check it any time from your smartphone. Just download the Maps.me and Dropbox apps. Once installed, search Washington, DC in Maps.me and download the KML file to save it in Dropbox. Finally, open this file from your phone with the Maps.me app so that all the tourist attractions are saved on your phone.

And that’s it! Now that you have all the maps of Washington, DC , you can start enjoying your trip.

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Official Visitors Guide & Request Form

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old town trolley tour washington dc

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Old Town Trolley Tours Washington DC 4.2

Union Station

50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002

Tickets Sold at this Stop

Massachusetts Ave. and Columbus Circle NE. Enter Columbus Circle, make first left, follow lane C. Stop is in front of Union Station just east of the main crosswalk.

National Japanese American Memorial

400 New Jersey Ave NW

New Jersey Avenue NW between E and D streets NW. In front the Hyatt Regency between the entrance and exit of the circular driveway.

U.S. Capitol

1st St NW, Washington, DC 20016

First Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Stop is at the Peace Monument Circle at Pennsylvania and 1st Street, NW.

Smithsonian Air and Space Museum

200-250 6th St SW, Washington, DC 20024

Sixth Street and Independence Avenue, SW. Stop is on the south side of the building at 6th Street and Independence Avenue, SW.

The Wharf - Boarding for Water Taxi Boat Cruise

Maine Ave SW at 9th street SW

900 Maine Ave SW. Between the intersection and the Metro bus stop.

International Spy Museum

700 L’Enfant Plaza

Washington Monument

1398 Independence Ave SW

Corner of 12th and Independence Ave. Just west of the Wilson Memorial Arch at the end of the Department of Agriculture Building at the light pole.

Jefferson Memorial

East Basin Dr. & Ohio Dr. SW.

Stop is at the intersection of East Basin Drive and Ohio Drive, SW, across from the George Mason Memorial .

FDR Memorial/ MLK Jr. Memorial

1695 West Basin Dr SW, Washington, DC 20418

West Basin Dr. and Ohio Dr. SW. North on West Basin Dr. - Stop is just after the taxi stand & bus loading and unloading sign.

Lincoln Memorial

11 Daniel French Dr SW, Washington, DC 20245

Daniel French Dr. & Independence Ave. SW. North on Daniel French Dr. into Lincoln complex. Stop is next to the Concession Stand. Transfer for Arlington National Cemetery Shuttle.

National Museum of American History

1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560

14th & Constitution Ave. NW. East on Constitution Ave., stop is just before first driveway entrance by the fire hydrant.

National Portrait Gallery/African Art Museum

F Street NW at 8th Street

At the intersection between the two crosswalks in front of the steps of the Donald Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture

Washington Welcome Center

1001 E St NW, Washington, DC 20004

At the intersection of 10th and E Streets, NW. Across the street from Ford's Theatre and the Peterson House.

The White House

1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW , Washington, DC 20004

15th and Pennsylvania Avenue NW. Next to the green fire hydrant, in front of the Willard Hotel.

National Archives

800 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

9th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. NW. East on Pennsylvania Ave. Stop is in front of the Research Center entrance. Across from the Navy Memorial .

Arlington National Cemetery

1 Memorial Ave. , Ft. Myer, VA 22211. Arlington Welcome Center loading zone.

Eisenhower and Arlington Cemetery Circle; under the pavilion just outside of the rear doors of the Arlington Visitor’s Center. Transfer for tour of the Cemetery (must have separate ticket).

John F. Kennedy Gravesite

Grant Drive, west of Sheridan

On Grant Drive just west of Sheridan’s intersection near the shrubbery at the benches.

Coast Guard Memorial

Jessup and Dewey

On Jessup in between the Coast Guard Memorial and the lone bench

Pershing Gravesite

Clayton at Grant

On Clayton at the intersection at Grant near the stop sign.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Porter and Memorial Drive

At the entrance of the Amphitheater about 50 feet to the left of the stairs

Arlington House

Sherman between Sheridan and Lincoln

Out the rear of Arlington House along the street at the row of benches

Iwo Jima Memorial

Ord and Wetzel Drive

Across the street from the gate near the walkway at the “no vehicles allowed” sign

Sections 55 and 59

McClellan and Halsey

Weekend Stop Only.

In the grassy area next to the grave markers.

Columbarium and Niche Wall

Patton and York

At the Patton side of the intersection near the stop sign on York.

Pentagon Group Burial Marker

Patton Circle near Marshall Drive

On the circle next to the pine tree at the trash receptacle.

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union station in Washington DC

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national postal museum exhibit in Washington DC

Smithsonian National Postal Museum

library of congress in Washington DC

Journey back to the days of the Pony Express and see first-hand how the mail was delivered in colonial America, through times of war and into the present day. At the Smithsonian National Postal Museum , visitors learn about the amazing history of the American postal service and how it evolved to become what it is today. Located on the lower level of the old Post Office Building just next door to Union Station, the building was constructed in 1914 and served as the Washington DC post office until 1986 .

Shopping

A grand symbol of the United States Government, the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill is recognized across the world as one of our country’s most prominent icons of Democracy. The striking white dome acts as a focal point to the building which welcomes thousands of visitors every year. Both a working legislative building and a national monument, guided tours are offered all day long and provide an inside look into how our United States government works.

Dining

U.S. Supreme Court

library of congress in Washington DC

Upon arrival at the Supreme Court, visitors are often struck by the imposing marble building. Architecturally magnificent, the neoclassical structure was built in 1935 to become the permanent home to the Supreme Court. Walking along the hallway towards the Courtroom, guests are greeted by busts of all the former Chief Justices. The Supreme Court is the highest judiciary authority in the United States and hears about 100 cases each year, although more than 7,000 are submitted before them. Visitors can tour the Supreme Court building, hear lectures on the history of the court and how it works, sit in on sessions on specified days and times and view various exhibits throughout the year.

Library of Congress

library-of-congress

The Library of Congress is unlike any other library in the world. The world’s largest library, it is home to more than 100 million books, maps, recordings, manuscripts, films and photos including items from Thomas Jefferson’s personal collection. Former President Jefferson stepped in to help the new Library after the War of 1812. In 1814, the British burned the small congressional library’s north wing. Jefferson offered to sell his extensive library of 6,487 books to “recommence” its own library.

union station in Washington DC

Welcome to Washington DC! The spectacular Union Station was originally designed to be the gateway to the city and since it opened over 90 years ago, has become the most visited site in DC. Its unique architecture makes it popular for photos. Locals, tourists and even presidents make it a point to visit this magnificent historic mall and train station.

national law enforcement museum exhibit featuring a police car in the center with a door open and the words 'Indiana State Police' and in the background, glass case with a truck mounted on the top

National Law Enforcement Museum

union station in Washington DC

Visitors will explore the history and many facets of American law enforcement in an experience you won’t find anywhere else!

Admissions

U.S. Botanic Garden

us-botanic-garden

No matter what time of year it is, the lush greenery and gorgeous plants are always thriving at the United States Botanic Garden. Located just next door to the Museum of the American Indian at the foot of the Capitol, the Botanic Garden is an oasis of beautiful plant life and flowers and home to 4,000 living species. The conservatory houses exhibits that focus on the importance of plants to people and on the ecology and evolution of plants.

US capitol in Washington DC

Museum of the American Indian

hirshhorn gallery garden in washington dc

The Museum of the American Indian is the only museum solely dedicated to the history, study and preservation of the American Indians. You’ll be instantly captivated by its masterful architecture. The curved limestone building appears to be a natural rock formation facing towards the sun and is surrounded by acres of authentic crops of the American Indian. Its very design stands out among the many granite and marble neoclassical structures in the National Mall . Once inside, you’ll be treated to an up-close look at the life, languages, history, art and traditions of the Native Americans.

Entertainment

Hirshhorn Gallery & Sculpture Garden

hirshhorn-gallery-garden

The founder of the Hirschhorn Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Joseph Hirschhorn left an impressive legacy of art and inspiration to the American People. He had an immense passion for art. So much so that at one time he had more than 6,000 pieces in his collection housed at several private locations. It was Hirschhorn’s adoration for the arts that inspired a new museum of art in Washington DC in the late 1960’s. The Hirschhorn Gallery and Sculpture Garden opened its doors in 1974, featuring Joseph Hirschhorn’s personal collection of paintings and sculpture, which he generously donated so that all of the American people could enjoy it as much as he did.

air space museum in Washington DC

One can only imagine the exhilaration that Neil Armstrong felt as he took the very first steps on the moon in 1969 or the incredible thrill that the Wright brothers experienced as they took that first flight in 1903. At the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, you can get an idea of how they felt when you see first-hand the original Wright 1903 Flyer and the Apollo 11 Command Module which carried astronauts Neil Armstrong, Michael Collins and Buzz Aldrin on their mission to the moon. These historic air and spacecrafts are among a collection of more than 30,000 artifacts at the Air and Space Museum.

The Wharf – Boarding for Water Taxi Boat Cruise

holocaust memorial museum in washington dc

Holocaust Memorial Museum

smithsonian castle in washington dc

The museum serves as a memorial to the millions of people who were murdered during the Holocaust. Open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. everyday, except Yom Kippur and Christmas Day. Timed passes are distributed on a first–come first–served basis.

Bureau of Engraving and Printing

smithsonian castle in washington dc

See where millions of dollars are printed every day. Discover all of the steps to producing currency from the blank sheet of paper to a crisp bill. As the security printer for the US Government, the Bureau is responsible for the design, printing and engraving for all US currency.

Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art - Smithsonian Castle

smithsonian-castle

Located near the National Mall, the Smithsonian Institution Building was completed in 1855. Designed by James Renwick, Jr., the red Seneca sandstone edifice features a faux Norman architectural style that incorporates late-Romanesque and early-Gothic details. Although slaves were not used in the construction, they were used to quarry the stone. Colloquially known as the Smithsonian Castle, the building initially held the institution’s entire collection of art and other objects. Designated a National Landmark in 1965, its Victorian arched windows, dark woodwork and terrazzo floor evokes the serene ambiance of a house of worship. The 4.2-acre Enid Haupt Garden is situated adjacent to the Castle.

george mason memorial in washington dc

George Mason Memorial

fdr memorial in washington dc

What many folks don’t know about George Mason, they can learn while visiting his memorial right next to the Jefferson Memorial . Known for his authorship of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, George Mason’s work and beliefs were a major influence into the writing of the United States Bill of Rights. He earned the nickname, the reluctant statesman, after refusing to sign the United States Constitution because it did not abolish slavery.

Tidal Basin

fdr memorial in washington dc

The Tidal Basin is a beautiful part of the National Mall in Washington DC. Bordering monuments and memorials , the Tidal Basin is home to thousands of Cherry Trees that were given as a gift to the United States by Japan. Luring visitors to take a stroll or rent a paddle-boat for a tranquil break from sightseeing, the Tidal Basin is a favorite spot to many tourists throughout the year.

FDR Memorial

fdr-memorial

The FDR Memorial is located along the Western edge of the Tidal Basin, between the Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials . Built in 1997, the memorial is known for its unique design, its tribute to our 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and for the fact that it tells the story of America during the years of FDR’s Presidency. Four outdoor rooms portray the President’s terms in office, each with different statues and quotes. Beginning with a likeness of him riding in a car during his first inaugural speech and ending with him seated in a wheelchair, the memorial traces his twelve years of office as well as the many changes our country went through during that era.

view of Jefferson Memorial made up of a dome and columns sitting on the tidal basin in Washington DC

Tours in Washington DC are not complete without a stop at the Jefferson Memorial. A tribute to the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson, the memorial is a recognized symbol of democracy and independence. As one of the founding fathers of our country and the author of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s significant impact on the shaping of our government is known throughout the world.

view of Jefferson Memorial made up of a dome and columns sitting on the tidal basin in Washington DC

Martin Luther King Junior Memorial

martin-luther-king-jr-memorial

Opened in August of 2011, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is located on four acres in the West Potomac Park and is part of the National Park Service. Its official address, 1964 Independence Avenue, is in reference to the year the Civil Rights Act became Law.

fdr memorial in washington dc

Lincoln Memorial – Transfer for Arlington National Cemetery Shuttle

vietnam veterans memorial in washington dc

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

picture of vehicle at Arlington National Cemetery in front of amphitheater

Often referred to as the wall that heals, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial beckons visitors of all ages, races and nationalities. It was created to honor and remember the men and women who served in the Vietnam War and to help our country heal after the controversial, emotional conflict ended. The enormous black wall lists 58,209 names of those who are missing or were killed during the war.

Korean War Memorial

picture of vehicle at Arlington National Cemetery in front of amphitheater

To remember those who fought in the Korean War, The United States Congress approved a Korean War Memorial to be constructed in the National Mall . The memorial has several interesting aspects to it including the “Field Of Service” which has 19, larger-than-life-size stainless steel statues of servicemen from all four of the armed forces. The men appear to be a squad on patrol and are dressed in full combat gear. 

World War II Memorial

picture of vehicle at Arlington National Cemetery in front of amphitheater

Honoring the 16 million people who served in the United States Military during the war, the more than 400,000 who died and the countless others who supported our troops from home, the World War II Memorial is a stunning tribute to the sacrifices that were made.

arlington-national-cemetery-tours-old

Explore the Rich History from the Comfort of our Tour Vehicles. Arlington National Cemetery is an enduring tribute to those who’ve dedicated their lives to defending the ideals of our nation. A visit here will leave an indelible impression on your spirit. There are more than 624 acres of hallowed ground and they’re best explored aboard Arlington National Cemetery Tours.

lincoln memorial in washington dc

The Lincoln Memorial was opened on Memorial Day in 1922, 57 years after Abraham Lincoln, the 16th President of the United States, was assassinated. 
The immense Greek Temple stands in front of a gleaming reflecting pool and is a stunning spectacle during the day and especially at night.

This is also the trolley stop where you transfer to the shuttle that takes you to Arlington National Cemetery. The first Arlington shuttle departs the Lincoln Memorial at 9:30 am. The last shuttle from the Lincoln Memorial to Arlington National Cemetery is at 3:30 pm. The last shuttle from Arlington National Cemetery to the Lincoln Memorial is at 3:45 pm.

air space museum in Washington DC

Museum of African American History and Culture

smithsonian museum natural history in Washington DC interior

The National Museum of African American History and Culture chronicles America’s journey toward enshrining freedom, equality and democracy for all citizens. The museum houses a collection of more than 37,000 pieces related to a variety of areas, including slavery, segregation and civil rights as well as family, religion and the performing arts.

smithsonian museum natural history in Washington DC interior

One of the most celebrated and spectacular sights on the National Mall , the Washington Monument, stands as a grand tribute to our nation’s first President, George Washington. The 555 foot obelisk is also one of the oldest and most recognizable memorials in the City. While construction began in 1848, the monument was not completed until 1884 because of financial difficulties during the Civil War.

Get MORE out of your summer in DC aboard the iconic Old Town Trolley and see the best first!

Smithsonian Museum of Natural History

smithsonian-museum-natural-history

Ever wonder if there’s any truth to the curse of the famous Hope Diamond? Or wish you could see for yourself the fossils of an ancient mammal or a dinosaur? Then step inside the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Millions of people come each year to get a close look at some of the world’s most intriguing, beguiling specimens that the Museum has on display.

picture of star spangled banner

Step inside the National Museum of American History and experience the passion, creativity and inspiration of the American people. Walk through the fascinating exhibits and collections and transport yourself through hundreds of years of history, culture and the lives of our people.  Over 3 million artifacts will amaze and enlighten you, including the original Star-Spangled Banner and Abraham Lincoln’s top hat.

National Portrait Gallery

exterior shot of National Museum of African Art

Complete Guide To Museum of African Art

museum-african-art

One of the country’s first institutions dedicated solely to artistic expression on the African continent, the National Museum of African Art opened to the public in 1987. The attraction boasts a collection of more than 9,000 pieces in a variety of media spanning from ancient times through the modern era. In addition to textiles and jewelry, the museum has sculptures, pottery and paintings representing nearly every country in Africa, including Arab North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa. Although it is one of the Smithsonian’s smallest museums, the institution has the largest single collection of African art in the United States.

fords theatre in Washington DC

Ford's Theatre

Madame tussauds image

The chilling story of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination comes to life in the very place he was mortally shot on April 14, 1865. After being closed for 103 years, Ford’s Theater was restored and reopened in 1968. Serving as a tribute to Abraham Lincoln and his love of the performing arts, the Theater is a live, working theater that plays host to a variety of plays by some of the country’s most talented playwrights, actors and artists. Ford’s Theater is also home to The Lincoln Museum, which gives visitors a look at the elaborate conspiracy planned by actor John Wilkes Booth, a supporter of the Confederate States of America, to assassinate the President, the Vice President and the Secretary of State.

Petersen House

Madame tussauds image

After a visit to Ford’s Theater , a stop at the Petersen House is most definitely in order. It is in this house that Abraham Lincoln died after frantic doctors worked to save him throughout the night. The house, now a National Historic Site, has been restored to its original condition and even the bed on which Lincoln passed away is much like the actual one . Now furnished with period pieces, guests can see the front parlor where Mary Todd Lincoln spent the night with her son, Robert and the back parlor where Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton held a cabinet meeting and questioned witnesses. Visitors can take self-guided tours to see the solemn, yet intriguing Petersen House.

Madame Tussauds

madame-tussauds

When you visit Madame Tussauds, take a remarkable interactive journey through American history! You will be able to stand next to each of the US Presidents. From the shortest, President Madison to the tallest… President Lincoln and President L. B. Johnson.

old town trolley welcome center in Washington DC

For an official DC welcome, stop by the Washington Welcome Center. Here, you’ll find maps, brochures, tips and advice on all the area attractions and points of interest. Also, Welcome Center staff will give you great insight into activities and sightseeing spots you won’t want to miss. Souvenirs and snacks are also available and the center serves as the transfer stop for the Uptown Loop (Hotel Shuttle).

white house visitors center in Washington DC

White House Visitors Center

Washington DC department of treasury

At the White House Visitor Center, people from around the world can learn about the amazing history of the White House and the United States Presidency. Discover facts about the architecture and furnishings of the White House, the first families, social events, and relations with the press and world leaders . Visitors can also watch a 30-minute video, entitled “Where History Lives” and see six historical exhibits. A gift shop offers a variety of souvenirs and mementos related to the White House and Washington DC. Park ranger talks, military concerts, and special traveling exhibits are also of interest to guests and available at different times.

Department of Treasury

department-of-treasury

The Treasury Building took 33 years to build from 1836 – 1869. It was primarily designed by the same man, Robert Mills, who was the architect of the Washington Monument . At the time of its construction, the Treasury Building was one of the largest office buildings in the world. It served as a barracks during the Civil War and a temporary White House for President Andrew Johnson after President Lincoln’s assassination. Built in the Greek Revival style, Treasury was the first Departmental building in the nation’s capital thus influencing the design of many of the others.

white house in Washington DC

Since 1800, the White House has been a symbol of the United States government, the president and the people of America. It has also served as the home of every U.S. president except George Washington. Remodeled and restored many times over the years, the White House is recognized around the world as an emblem of American democracy. For many, the most famous room in the residence is the Oval Office where the president conducts business and meets with his advisers. Maintaining a stately presence in the nation’s capital, the White House is one of most significant landmarks in Washington, D.C.

national gallery of art in Washington DC cherub fountain

National Gallery of Art

old post office in Washington DC

The National Gallery of Art DC was created in 1937. Through the generosity of Andrew W. Mellon, a financier who was also a public servant, the Museum gained its first collection. Mellon had a passion for art and his large collection of old master paintings, sculpture and other works were intended for all of America to enjoy. After his death, Congress accepted his collection and thus the National Gallery was born.

U.S. Navy Memorial

old post office in Washington DC

The US Navy Memorial is a truly spectacular tribute to those who served or are currently serving in the nation’s sea services. A stunning plaza paved in granite forms a 100-foot diameter of the world. Fountains, pools, flags and historic panels surround the deck of the plaza tracing the achievements of the Navy, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines. The famous Lone Sailor statue stands as a representation of the men who joined the service to fulfill their patriotic duty; a striking sight, it is perhaps one of the most well-known aspects of the memorial.

Old Post Office Pavilion & Bell Tower

old-post-office

For a spectacular view of the city and a journey back to the early 1900’s, the Old Post Office and Bell Tower is a must see. It was Washington’s first skyscraper, measuring in at around 300 feet from the ground. In its day, it was the largest and tallest government building in the city and was used as the post office for several years before plans for a newer, more modern facility were implemented. Thanks to the Great Depression, the classic building was saved from destruction and today visitors can enjoy an exhilarating ride in a glass elevator all the way to the top.

national archives in Washington DC

Journey back in time as you view the original founding documents of the United States written by the patriots who created a nation conceived in liberty. Established in 1934, the National Archives is the repository for the priceless documents that have shaped American history and defined our democracy. These include the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, which are collectively known as the Charters of Freedom. The Archives also contain other treasured heirlooms like an original copy of the Magna Carta from 1297, the Louisiana Purchase Treaty signed by Napoleon Bonaparte and Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation.

arlington national cemetery tomb of the unknowns

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

tomb-unknown-soldier

In 1921, Congress approved the burial of one unknown serviceman killed during World War I in the plaza of the newly built Memorial Amphitheater. To ensure that the choice was truly random amongst the options, four service members were exhumed from four separate cemeteries in France. Army Sergeant Edward Younger, a recipient of the Distinguished Service Cross, was selected to pick one of the four identical caskets. He placed a spray of white roses on the third casket from the left. While the chosen soldier was transported back from France on the USS Olympia, the others were reburied in the Meuse Argonne Cemetery.

picture of arlington national cemetery vehicle driving past arlington house and tombstones in foreground

A lasting tribute to the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our nation, Arlington National Cemetery is visited by millions of people each year. These hallowed grounds are where more than 400,000 service men and women and their family members are laid to rest. There are nearly 30 funerals held each day, honoring those who have given their life to defend the values and ideals of America. If you’re planning a vacation to Washington DC, a visit to Arlington is something you must do.

President John F. Kennedy Gravesite

arlington cemetery

Section 5 Supreme Court Justices

arlington-section-5-supreme-court

Section Five is often referred to as the Supreme Court Justice Section because there are approximately half a dozen US Supreme Court Justices buried here. Notables include Chief Justices William H. Rehnquist and Warren Burger and Associate Justices Oliver Wendall Holmes, Potter Stewart, and Thurgood Marshall. Marshall was the first African American to serve on the Court. Prior to becoming a Justice, he argued before the Court most notably during the Brown V. Board of Education case.

Image of the flat stones and memorial plaque dedicated to John F. Kennedy that surrounds the Eternal Flame in the Arlington National Cemetery

The original Kennedy gravesite was very small, only 20 feet by 30 feet, and surrounded by a white picket fence. The minute plot was not enough to withstand the incredible amount of mourners visiting the President’s grave.  A decision was made to create a more permanent and sturdy site which is what you will see today. The circular granite walkway is 210 feet in diameter and 3.2 acres are set aside in President Kennedy’s memory. The low-lying wall is inscribed with quotes from Kennedy’s inaugural address and just behind the wall is the grave of the President, two of his children, his wife Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and the Eternal Flame. Today President Kennedy’s grave is the most visited site at the cemetery.

US Coast Guard Memorial

Cementery

Robert Peary and Matthew Henson

arlington-robert-peary-matthew-henson

Rear Admiral Peary is credited with being the first to reach the North Pole. He directed a six man team which included Matthew Henson. Henson was an African American explorer and a close companion of Admiral Peary. It was Henson who planted the U.S. flag on the North Pole.

The U.S. Coast Guard Memorial which appears as a triangular slab of marble emblazoned with the Coast Guard Crest accompanied by a bronze eagle in Arlington National Cemetery

Dedicated in May of 1923, the marker memorializes the 150 sailors who lost their lives on the cutter ships Tampa and Seneca which sank within a week of each other during World War I. Today the memorial is for all Coast Guard service members. Adorned with a seagull which represents the tireless vigil of the guard and the words Semper Paratus meaning “Always Ready”, the motto of the Coast Guard, the memorial is a must see for all.

John J. Pershing

Cementery - Photo

Pershing is not the only notable you should visit at this stop. Other notables include Corporal Ira Hayes who was one of the six men to raise the flag on top of Mt. Suribachi at Iwo Jima, General Henry “Hap” Arnold who was the only person to receive a five star rank in two branches of the service, the Army and Air Force, and Corporal Frank W. Buckles who was the oldest surviving World War I veteran. He died in 2011 at the age of 110.

arlington-section-3

Section three is near the Pershing gravesite stop.  A short walk down the street will take you to the graves of astronauts Roger Chaffe and Virgil Grissom who perished aboard the Apollo I spacecraft and medical figures Jonathon Letterman, the Surgeon General of the Army of the Potomac during the Civil War, and Major Walter Reed who confirmed that mosquitoes were the cause of yellow fever.

Close-up of the headstone General John J. Pershing overlooking rows of white headstones in Arlington National Cemetery

Pershing is the highest ranked military officer buried at Arlington and the second highest ranked officer in history. He was promoted to General of the Armies in 1919, which is equivalent to a six star General, and was put in charge of all branches of the military service. He led the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I and was mentor to many generals including Patton, Eisenhower, Marshall, and Bradley. The only other person to obtain this rank was General George Washington who earned the rank posthumously in 1976.

Arlington Cemetery Columbia and Challenger memorials

Challenger and Columbia Memorials

USS Maine Mast

Just across the street from the Memorial Amphitheater are the memorials for the Space Shuttle Challenger and the Space Shuttle Columbia . The Challenger exploded on January 28, 1986 just a few seconds after takeoff. All seven crew members, including civilian teacher Christa McAuliffe, perished. The Columbia disintegrated during re-entry on February 1, 2003 killing all seven crew members.

Audie Murphy

USS Maine Mast

He became one of the most highly decorated soldiers from World War II after being turned down by the Marine Corp for being too short and then turned down by the paratroopers. He received 28 medals, three from France and one from Belgium, all before he turned 21. His military record and good looks landed him in Hollywood. He acted in over 40 films including “To Hell and Back”, which was autobiographical. He died in a plane crash at the age of 46.

USS Maine Memorial

arlington-uss-maine-memorial

This is the actual mast from the USS Maine , which exploded off the Havana Harbor in 1898. Although the cause of the explosion was unknown, the press in the U.S. blamed the Spanish. The rally cry became “Remember the Maine.” Thus, the United States entered the Spanish- American War. Surrounding the memorial are the remains of many of the men who lost their lives on the ship.

Section One

arlington-section-1

Right across the street from Arlington House is Section One. It holds the remains of many officers from the Civil War. The headstones are for the most part extremely large and elaborate. One such marker is the white sarcophagus for Montgomery Meigs, the man responsible for turning the Custis Lee plantation into a cemetery.  Other notables include Abner Doubleday, a civil war general often falsely credited with being the inventor of baseball, and Anita Newcomb McGee, the first female Army surgeon and founder of the Army Nurse Corps. You can also find the reinterred remains of service members from the American Revolution and the War of 1812.

James Tanner Amphitheater

arlington cemetery

The first and original amphitheater on the Arlington grounds was built in 1873 for the fifth Decoration Day (known today as Memorial Day).  The celebration quickly outgrew the amphitheater and that’s why the new Memorial Amphitheater was built. The name was changed to the James Tanner Amphitheater in May of 2014 as part of the 150 th anniversary of the cemetery. Tanner was a Civil War veteran and served as President Lincoln’s stenographer. He is buried in Section Two very close to the amphitheater.

Tomb of the Civil War Unknown

arlington-tomb-civil-war-unknown

The Tomb of the Civil War Unknown is located near the Arlington House. It holds the remains of 2,111 unknown soldiers from the Battle of Bull Run. The monument was erected by order of General Montgomery C. Meigs with the intent of deterring the Lees from returning to the Arlington grounds.

Arlington House

Arlington House was built by George Washington Parke Custis as a memorial to his adopted grandfather, George Washington. The house is full of history. It is more commonly known as the Robert E. Lee Memorial because Lee lived there for approximately 30 years. Lee married Parke Custis’ daughter Mary. They lived on the grounds until the start of the Civil War in 1861. During the war, the house, which was located on strategic high ground, became a campsite for Union troops. Arlington House sits on a hill overlooking the Potomac River and the District. You do not want to miss this panoramic view of our nation’s capital. Other things of interest on the grounds include a museum about the Lees, a book shop, and a former slave quarter.

US Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima

Netherlands carillon.

arlington cemetery

The bell tower, located just outside the Ord and Weitzel gate, is a gift from the Netherlands to the U.S. for liberating them from the Nazis during World War II. The tower contains 50 bells which weigh approximately 30 tons. The bells play a medley of the armed forces anthems at noon and 6 PM and they chime every 15 minutes.

Arlington Section 27

arlington-section-27

The oldest section at Arlington contains the remains of nearly 4,000 former slaves; their headstones are marked by the words “citizen” and “civilian.” This section also holds the remains of approximately 1,500 United States Colored Troops (USCT), which the official designation was given to all African American units serving in the U.S. Army during the Civil War. Additionally, this section is the resting place for Private William Henry Christman. Interred on May 13 th 1864, Christman was the first military burial on the Arlington grounds.

iwo jima memorial

Just outside the gates of the cemetery is the United States Marine Corps War Memorial which is for all Marines who have given their lives in service since 1775, but it is often called the Iwo Jima Memorial because it depicts the famous flag raising on top of Mt. Surabachi. The memorial was dedicated November 10, 1954, the 179 th birthday of the Corps. It is one of the world’s largest bronze statues and it’s quiet breathtaking to see in person.

Arlington Sections 55 and 59

arlington welcome center

Sections 55 and 59, the first stop on the weekend route, show us that Arlington National Cemetery is still a very active cemetery conducting up to 30 funerals each day, Monday through Saturday. Both sections are considered active burial sections, meaning a number of funerals take place in the sections during the week.

Arlington Niche Wall Columbarium Courts

Arlington section 60.

arlington-section-60

Accessible from the Columbarium stop, Section 60 holds the remains of those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan. It is often referred to as the saddest section in the cemetery because family and friends visit regularly and leave flowers and mementos.

columbarium court wall

Half of the funerals that are conducted at the cemetery are for cremated remains. A niche space is a small rectangular slot that can hold approximately 2-3 urns. The Niche Wall runs along the eastern border of the cemetery and is approximately half a mile in length. The Columbarium Courts are structures that have niches built into them. There are nine courts in total. Court nine is the newest and largest with 20,000 niche spaces.

Arlington Pentagon Group Burial Marker

Pentagon

Arlington 9-11 Memorial

arlington-9-11-memorial

On September 12, 2002, a funeral service was conducted at the Memorial Amphitheater for the 184 victims of the terrorist attack on the Pentagon on 9/11. Following the service, a group burial was held in Section 64. A five-sided memorial marks the group burial. It resembles the Pentagon, which is in visible distance, although the five sides are meant to memorialize the five victims whose remains were not recovered. The names of all the victims are listed on the marker in alphabetical order.

pentagon burial

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SELECT YOUR lOCATION

  • 1 STOP Union Station
  • 2 STOP National Japanese American Memorial
  • 3 STOP U.S. Capitol
  • 4 STOP Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
  • 5 STOP The Wharf - Boarding for Water Taxi Boat Cruise
  • 6 STOP International Spy Museum
  • 7 STOP Washington Monument
  • 8 STOP Jefferson Memorial
  • 9 STOP FDR Memorial/ MLK Jr. Memorial
  • 10 STOP Lincoln Memorial
  • 11 STOP National Museum of American History
  • 12 STOP National Portrait Gallery/African Art Museum
  • 13 STOP Washington Welcome Center
  • 14 STOP The White House
  • 15 STOP National Archives
  • 1 STOP Arlington National Cemetery
  • 2 STOP John F. Kennedy Gravesite
  • 3 STOP Coast Guard Memorial
  • 4 STOP Pershing Gravesite
  • 5 STOP Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
  • 6 STOP Arlington House
  • 7 STOP Iwo Jima Memorial
  • 8 STOP Sections 55 and 59
  • 9 STOP Columbarium and Niche Wall
  • 10 STOP Pentagon Group Burial Marker

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Washington Dc Tourist Attractions Map PDF

Printable Map of Washington Dc Attractions, Walking Tours Map

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Washington Dc Tourist Attractions Maps | City Tours Map

Washington DC is the USA’s capital city and the seat of its government. The city is also home to some of the country’s most popular monuments and landmark. It’s also a great city to shop, dine, and experience a vibrant nightlife. Of course, its neoclassical buildings and historical sights are worth checking out.

The best way to get around the city is by taking the Metro, which is why it’s important that you have a copy of the Washington metro map. With this map, you can take the city train to visit the city’s most popular sights. The Washington Transport Map is truly very useful for travelers who want to save money and time when exploring the Washington DC.

The Washington Tourist Sightseeing Map is very useful for tourists who wanted to see the city’s famous sights and attractions. You can refer to this map to find out how to reach the city’s popular sights that include White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and the capital. If you want to visit some of the city’s best museums, this map will also come in handy.

If you’re someone who prefers to explore on foot, then taking part in a walking tour in Washington will suit you best. For this, the Washington Walking Tour Maps is what you will need. The map will provide information about how you can visit certain sights on foot, which is truly very useful for your tour. Depending on what you want to see, you can find a walking tour map that includes the city’s famous museums, landmarks, monuments, etc.

But the most convenient way to explore Washington is by taking the Hop on Hop off Bus tour. With this tour, you’ll be sitting on a comfortable bus as it travels to the city’s most famous sights. So grab a free printable copy of our Washington Hop on Hop off Bus map now.

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Washington Map: The Attractions

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25 Top Tourist Attractions in Washington D.C.

By Carl Austin · Last updated on June 26, 2024

The capital city of the United States, Washington D.C. is fittingly packed with incredible things for you to see and do. Aside from being home to the legislative, executive and judicial branches of the government, it has dozens of world-class museums, while countless marble-clad monuments and memorials are situated along the National Mall.

A federal district of its own, the vibrant metropolis lies along the east bank of the Potomac River, sandwiched in between Virginia and Maryland. While the rest of the city is well worth a look due to its thriving dining and nightlife scenes, most people simply head straight to the National Mall, which is where almost all its top tourist attractions in Washington D.C. can be found.

This is because the lush, green parkland is not only bordered by both the White House and Capitol Building but contains the Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument and numerous Smithsonian museums too.

25. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Not far from both the National Mall and Lincoln Memorial you can find the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. One of the best places in all of D.C. to watch a show, the state-of-the-art venue hosts more than 2000 performances each year, ranging from ballet and opera to concerts, plays and dance shows.

First opened in 1971, the huge cultural center is named after the former president and lies alongside the Potomac River. Besides an elegant Opera House and Concert Hall, the campus encompasses the refined Eisenhower Theater, as well as several other smaller venues. In addition, there are also some brilliant restaurants and rooftop terraces to try out.

24. International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

One of the most fun things to do in Washington D.C., the International Spy Museum unveils the techniques and technologies used by spies throughout the ages. Set just south of the Smithsonian Castle, its galleries are packed with interactive exhibits, artifacts and even equipment that cover thousands of years of espionage’s hidden history.

A firm favorite with both adults and children alike, the museum was founded in 2002 and is now located at L’Enfant Plaza. While exploring the world’s largest collection of international espionage artifacts you’ll not only see concealed cameras and weapons but ingenious gadgets and disguises too. Guests can also crack codes and try out their spying skills, while fantastic photos and displays teach you all about important spies, scientists and covert missions.

23. Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery

Another of the most popular and picturesque places to explore around DC is the atmospheric Arlington National Cemetery . Established during the American Civil War, it is now the final resting place for many of the most revered military veterans and influential figures from throughout the United States’ past.

Situated just across the Potomac River, the lush, green graveyard and its amazing monuments and memorials overlook the city from a prominent hillside. While many go to pay their respects at JFK’s grave, other people instead head to the moving Iwo Jima Memorial or grand Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Aside from ambling past rows and rows of well-maintained graves, you can also stop by the attractive Arlington House or peek into the Pentagon next door.

22. Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Smithsonian's National Zoo

Boasting an incredible selection of exotic animals, birds and reptiles, the superb Smithsonian’s National Zoo can be found just fifteen minutes’ drive north of downtown. Sprawled across a huge area, its spacious enclosures and exhibits are home to everything from orangutans and elephants to gorillas, giant pandas and komodo dragons.

One of the oldest and most prestigious zoos in the States, it was founded in 1889 and is very highly thought of for its excellent research and conservation work. In total, it now impressively contains over 2,700 animals that represent more than 390 species from as far afield as Africa, Asia and South America. On top of this, interesting talks and live demonstrations constantly take place in the zoo.

21. United States Botanic Garden

United States Botanic Garden

Right next to the majestic Capitol Building is another very pleasant outdoor space for you to enjoy: the United States Botanic Garden. Lovingly landscaped, its gorgeous grounds and gleaming glass conservatory are a treat to stroll around with pretty plants, flowers, trees and shrubs wherever you look.

The oldest continually-operating botanic garden in the country, it was first established in 1820 with exquisitely manicured lawns and colorful flower beds found next to lovely water features and fountains. Inside the conservatory are scenic sections dedicated to desert plants and orchids, jungle species and primeval trees with marvelous Mediterranean and medicinal areas also on show.

20. Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial

One of the many must-see monuments in D.C. is the striking statue that makes up the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Dedicated to the inspirational leader of the Civil Rights Movement, it lies at the northwest corner of the Tidal Basin, just off of the National Mall.

Only erected in 2011, the 30-foot memorial is inscribed with motivational and moving quotes from King’s speeches and sermons. Thanks to its powerful symbolism, beautiful design and the profound impact that he had on the country, the magnificent monument is now a popular spot to visit and photo with countless other memorials also lying nearby.

19. National Archives Museum

National Archives Museum

Situated on the north side of the National Mall you can find the National Archives Museum which is home to some of the nation’s most important documents. Sure to delight history aficionados, it contains not only the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution but the Bill of Rights too.

Built in 1933, the imposing building features exquisite architecture with a fantastic facade fronting the renowned and resplendent rotunda within. Here you can examine the Charters of Freedom before moving on to other equally interesting chambers that display the Emancipation Proclamation, Louisiana Purchase Treaty and an original Magna Carta dating to 1297.

18. Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

Set on the southwestern side of the Tidal Basin is yet another monument that is well worth checking out when in town: the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Dedicated to the 32nd President of the United States, its four outdoor ‘rooms’ represent each of Roosevelt’s terms in office, highlighting the considerable challenges both he and the country faced in the thirties and forties.

Water features prominently throughout the various outdoor areas of the memorial with a single large drop and cascading waterfalls symbolizing the Great Depression and World War II. Dotted about the tranquil gardens are stones engraved with his speeches and sayings and stunning sculptures of the President in his wheelchair, the First Lady and their dog Fala.

17. World War II Memorial

World War II Memorial

One of the most prominent and popular parts of the National Mall after the Washington Monument and Lincoln Memorial is the massive and impressive World War II Memorial. Located at the eastern end of the Reflecting Pool, it commemorates the Americans who served in the armed forces during WWII and the civilians who supported them on the homefront.

Surrounding an oval plaza and fountain are granite pillars that represent each state and US overseas territory and two triumphal arches for the Atlantic and Pacific theaters. In addition to snapping some photos of iconic scenes of the war experience etched on bas reliefs you can also pay your respects at the Freedom Wall, which is dedicated to those who lost their lives during the war.

16. National Portrait Gallery

National Portrait Gallery

While it is most known for hosting images of every previous president, the National Portrait Gallery also contains countless other portraits, paintings and photos of notable American citizens. Housed in the historic Old Patent Office Building, its enticing exhibits and artworks can be found just a short walk north of the National Mall.

Established in 1962, the exceptional art museum now boasts a large collection of some 23,000 items including drawings, statues and engravings. While wandering around its light and airy galleries you can see amazing depictions of everyone from Abraham Lincoln and Barack Obama to Frida Kahlo, Benjamin Franklin and Pocahontas with temporary exhibitions and talks also regularly taking place.

15. National Museum of African American History & Culture

National Museum of African American History & Culture

The latest addition to the Smithsonian’s many institutions is the superb National Museum of African American History & Culture. Opened in 2016 on the National Mall, its extensive array of artifacts, artworks and audio installations shine a light on the cultures and communities of African-Americans in the country and the colossal challenges they have faced over the centuries.

The only national museum of its kind in the US, its interesting and interactive exhibitions focus on diverse themes like African craftsmanship, the breakdown of segregation and the fight for equality. Aside from seeing items owned by famous figures such as Muhammad Ali, Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner, you can also enjoy the astonishing architecture of the building which is based on the three-tiered crowns found in Yoruban art.

14. National Gallery of Art

National Gallery of Art

As it is widely considered to be one of the best museums in the States, the National Gallery of Art is definitely not to be missed when in D.C. Packed with incredible paintings and photos, sculptures and prints, it showcases masterpieces by everyone from Raphael and Rembrandt to Monet, Picasso and van Gogh.

Founded in 1937 on the National Mall, the museum consists of the neoclassical West Building, the strikingly modern East Building and a gorgeous outdoor sculpture garden. Each focuses on various artistic mediums and epochs covering not only modern and contemporary artworks but the medieval period too with astounding pieces by European masters and American artists featuring throughout.

13. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

A very sobering yet important place to visit, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is set just south of the National Mall. Home to thousands of historic artifacts, photos and oral testimonies, it educates people on the atrocities committed during WWII, confronts genocide and antisemitism and remembers the survivors and victims of the Holocaust.

As soon as you enter the museum you are immediately confronted by the past as you are handed an identification card of an actual person who experienced the Holocaust. While wandering through its well-designed galleries full of shocking images and original artifacts, visitors learn about everything from Hitler’s rise to power and Aryan ideology to the horrors of Kristallnacht, ghettos and the Final Solution. Particularly moving parts are its Tower of Faces and candle-lit Hall of Remembrance.

12. Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials

Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials

Yet further thought-provoking and powerful spots for visitors to stop by are the Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials. Located not far from one another, their striking statues, plaques and memorial walls can be found towards the western end of the National Mall.

One of the most visited monuments in DC, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial has a black granite wall emblazoned with the names of the fallen for you to walk along, as well as a Women’s Memorial and a bronze sculpture called The Three Servicemen. Equally impressive and emotive is the memorial to the Korean War Veterans that features stunning statues of a platoon on patrol and a peaceful Pool of Remembrance where you can pay your respects.

11. Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Another of the biggest and best museums in not just D.C. and the States but the world is the excellent Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Lying along the National Mall, its almost endless galleries are crammed with awe-inspiring artifacts, exhibits and specimens that look at everything from Ancient Egypt and Korean culture to dinosaurs, epidemics and meteorites.

A firm favorite with families, the massive museum is a delight to explore with its collection now numbering a whopping 145 million items in total. Asides from seeing replicas of giant whales and skeletons of triceratops, you can also watch tarantulas be fed in the Insect Zoo, wander through the colorful butterfly pavilion or catch a show in its IMAX theater.

10. Washington National Cathedral

Washington National Cathedral

The U.S. government likes to separate church and state, so it doesn’t have a formal national cathedral, but if it had one, it would have to be the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul in the City and Diocese of Washington, which is considered the spiritual home of this nation.

More commonly known as Washington National Cathedral, this Neo-Gothic structure is the sixth largest cathedral in the world. Funerals for Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford were held here. Worship services are free, but admission is charged to tour the rest of the cathedral.

9. Library of Congress

Library of Congress

The Library of Congress is today the largest library in the world. But it had more humble beginnings, being founded in 1800 to house early documents of the United States that were transferred from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. For the first 100 years, it was mainly a reference library for Congress, but today is home to 158 million items that include 36 million books in 460 languages and 69 million manuscripts.

It has the largest collection of rare books in North America. The library is open to the public, but potential users are asked to check the library’s list of holdings on online before they come to make research materials more easily findable when they arrive. The main reading room is known as the Sacred Room, and is absolutely stunning.

8. Georgetown Neighborhood

Georgetown Neighborhood

Georgetown is an historic district that was established in Maryland decades before the U.S. government was established in Washington, D.C. It became part of the nation’s capital when Congress created the District of Columbia in 1871. Today Georgetown is a trendy place to live, work and play. It is home to a top university, several embassies and the Old Stone House, the oldest unchanged building in D.C.

Located in northwest Washington, D.C., the area has served as home to such notables as Thomas Jefferson, when he was vice president of the United States; Francis Scott Key, who wrote the Star Spangled Banner following a War of 1812 battle; and John F. Kennedy, who left his home there to move into the White House.

7. National Air and Space Museum

National Air and Space Museum

Visitors don’t have to be kids to be fascinated by the National Air and Space Museum. Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Air and Space Museum offers plenty of hands-on activities for kids of all ages, from eight to 80. The museum is a treasure trove about America’s air and space programs.

Exhibits include everything from the 1903 Wright Flyer to the Apollo 11 moon-landing expedition to exhibits on how scientists are exploring space today. The best part? Admission to the basic museum is free, though fees charged may be charged for features such as IMAX.

6. Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

The Jefferson Memorial is a tribute to the US’ third president, Thomas Jefferson, and incorporates many of his thoughts on architecture. Its formal style resembles the Pantheon in Rome. This design created a controversy because some felt it looked too much like the Lincoln Memorial. The debate was settled by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone in 1939.

Located on the National Mall, it features a statue of Jefferson looking toward the White House, and is intended to memorialize Jefferson’s views as a statesman and philosopher. Because Japanese cherry trees had to be torn down for the memorial, it now hosts Washington’s annual Cherry Blossom Festival.

5. Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial is a stunning tribute to the 16th president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated as he attended a theatre performance. A mammoth statue of the seated president is surrounded by a Greek Doric style temple. The memorial was dedicated in 1922, with Lincoln’s last surviving son, Robert Todd, in attendance.

Located at the west end of the National Mall, the memorial is where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech in 1963. It also has been featured in several movies ranging from 1939’s Mr. Smith Goes to Washington to Nixon to an episode of the Simpsons. The memorial is open 24 hours a day, with National Park rangers on hand from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.

4. Washington Monument

Washington Monument

One of the most distinctive and defining landmarks in DC, the brilliantly bright white Washington Monument rises dramatically above the National Mall below. Towering 555 feet in height, the enormous obelisk commemorates the First President of the United States and his significant military achievements during the American Revolutionary War.

The tallest monument column in the world, it makes for a stupendous sight as it looms above the Reflecting Pool and Lincoln Memorial. Besides taking photos of the majestic marble structure, you can also take a trip up to its lofty observation deck. From here you can enjoy simply phenomenal views over many of the city’s most important and impressive monuments, museums and memorials.

3. United States Capitol

United States Capitol

The United States Capitol is where Congress meets. Sessions of the Senate and House of Representatives are open to the public when the bodies are in session. Visitors need free passes, which can be obtained from their congressmen’s office. At the same time, they can also get passes to tour the Capitol building, as guided tours do not include visiting legislators in action.

The Capitol was one of the first buildings constructed by the fledgling U.S. government following the Revolutionary War. Construction began in 1793, with legislators meeting there for the first time in 1800. Central to the Capitol building is the rotunda, which lies under the dome. This is where honored citizens, such as presidents, lie in state.

2. White House

White House

The White House serves many purposes. It is where the President works and lives with his family. It is also the symbol of the United States to the rest of the world. It is where the President officially meets with leaders of foreign nations and hosts them at state dinners.

The site for the White House was selected by George Washington, first president of this new nation, but President John Adams was the first to live in it. It was burned by the British during the War of 1812, but later reconstructed. Self-guided tours are available for visitors who plan ahead. They must request a tour through their congressman’s office 21 days to six months in advance.

1. National Mall

National Mall

Visitors to Washington, D.C., won’t want to miss a stroll on the National Mall, a greenway that will take them past many of the capital’s important sites. Located downtown, the National Mall stretches on the west from the US Capitol building to the Potomac River and on the east from the Jefferson Memorial to Constitution Avenue.

Across the streets from the mall, but still considered part of it, are a variety of Smithsonian museums and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. To the east, nearby attractions include memorials to Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and James Garfield, and the Reflecting Pool. With about 24 million visitors a year, it is the top tourist attraction in Washington.

Map of Washington DC

Map of Tourist Attractions in Washington DC

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25 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Washington, D.C.

Written by Lana Law , Becca Blond , and Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Jun 7, 2024 We may earn a commission from affiliate links ( )

Whether you are marveling at its white marble monuments and memorials, learning about history in one of its free Smithsonian museums, or getting a feel for how locals live in one of its vibrant neighborhoods, Washington, D.C. emits a pulsating energy not found anywhere else in the U.S. The District of Colombia is a city you can explore dozens of times and have a completely different experience with each visit.

Sunrise at behind Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial

Designed by Pierre-Charles L'Enfant at the request of George Washington, America's capital city sits on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia. It is located on land specifically set aside after the Revolutionary War to keep the federal government from being in a single state.

L'Enfant planned for D.C. to feel larger than life with its wide avenues, inspirational marble buildings, public squares, and a magnificent "public walk," the National Mall. The city is split into four quadrants: NW, NE, SW, and SE and its layout is a street grid intersected by avenues.

First-time visitors flock to its list of must-see attractions like the White House, Capitol Building, and museums, monuments, and memorials, perfectly spaced along its park-style National Mall. But beyond these famed attractions, you will find another DC. One ruled by locals and influenced by the host of long-term international residents, and filled with eclectic neighborhoods including U Street, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, and Georgetown.

This is a city where you can eat your way across the world's food scene in the space of a few miles. It is also a city that boasts a world-class arts scene and outdoor experiences from paddleboarding on the Potomac River to walking or biking along the C&O Canal towpath.

If you can avoid visiting D.C. in the summer, do so. Besides being unpleasantly hot and humid, summers are when you'll see the biggest crowds. The best times to visit Washington are spring and autumn.

Plan your trip to the nation's capital with our list of the top attractions in Washington, D.C.

1. United States Capitol and Capitol Hill

2. the lincoln memorial, 3. the national mall and veterans memorials, 4. the white house, 5. the washington monument, 6. national air and space museum, 7. national museum of natural history, 8. national gallery of art, 9. library of congress, 10. national museum of african american history and culture, 11. united states holocaust memorial museum, 12. national museum of asian art (freer gallery of art and the arthur m. sackler gallery, 13. national museum of american history, 14. jefferson memorial and tidal basin, 15. the john f. kennedy center for the performing arts, 16. national zoological park, 17. national archives, 18. international spy museum, 19. arlington national cemetery, 20. washington national cathedral, 21. georgetown historic district, 22. smithsonian american art museum and national portrait gallery, 23. u.s. botanic garden, 24. u street corridor, 25. the wharf, tips and tours: how to make the most of your visit to washington, d.c., best time to visit washington, d.c..

Statue in the roundabout in front of the Capitol dome

Recognized around the world as a symbol of the United States, the Capitol is the seat of the House of Representatives and the Senate. The huge dome, based on the dome of St. Peter's in Rome, stands out above all other Washington buildings.

Like Washington itself, the building has grown over the years since the central portion was built between 1793 and 1812. The last addition, in 1958-62, enlarged the main façade where presidents take the oath. On the other side, a marble terrace offers beautiful views over the mall and the city.

The front steps of the Capitol

The interior is resplendent with frescoes, reliefs, and paintings, especially the rotunda under the great cast-iron dome with a ceiling painting by Constantino Brumidi and huge paintings of scenes from American history on the walls. Beside it is the former Chamber of the House of Representatives , with statues of leading historical figures. The small Senate Rotunda leads into the beautifully restored Old Senate Chamber , where the Senate met until 1859, and the Supreme Court until 1935.

Tours can be reserved online and begin at the visitor center on the lower floor, where there is an interesting exhibition on the building's history. Free tours on weekday afternoons explore the ornate paintings on the walls and ceilings of the corridors in the Senate wing, designed by Brumidi between 1857 and 1859. To visit the Senate or House in session, you need to contact your Senator or Representative for a pass; foreign visitors can arrange visits through the visitor center.

The Capitol, Washington, D.C.

East of the Capitol are the Supreme Court Building; the Library of Congress; and Folger Shakespeare Library, home of the world's largest collection of the printed works of William Shakespeare .

The Capitol Hill neighborhood extends southeast, with the lively Eastern Market, a farmers market with craft vendors, as well.

The Capitol is located at the east end of the National Mall. While on this side, you can combine it with a visit to the nearby United States Botanic Garden.

United States Capitol - Floor plan map

The best-loved of all Washington's memorials, the Lincoln Memorial stands at the far west end of the mall, separated from the Washington Monument by the Reflecting Pool. At its center is a 19-foot marble statue of a seated and pensive President Abraham Lincoln surrounded by 36 columns, one for each of the states that existed at the time of Lincoln's death.

This is the most famous work designed by noted sculptor Daniel Chester French. Jules Guerin painted the murals on the inside walls, showing important events in Lincoln's life.

The Lincoln Memorial from the grounds of the Washington Monument

Since its completion in 1922, the Lincoln Memorial has been the scene of several historic events . In 1939, when the all-white Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) refused to let celebrated African American singer Marian Anderson perform at a concert in nearby Constitution Hall, President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt arranged for her to give an open-air concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, attended by 75,000 people and broadcast to millions of radio listeners.

Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous "I have a dream..." speech from the memorial steps in 1963, again making history here.

View of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial

Visiting this and other Mall monuments is one of the favorite things to do in Washington, D.C. at night. The monuments are all lighted , and many, like the Lincoln Memorial, are open 24 hours. The statue of Lincoln is especially powerful lighted at night inside the darkened interior of the temple and framed by the floodlit white columns.

Lincoln Memorial Reflection Pool

Address: 2 Lincoln Memorial Circle, NW, Washington, D.C.

The WWII Memorial and the Washington Monument on the National Mall

The National Mall is a spacious swath of lawns and pools that form a wide greenbelt from the Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial , and it is the site of many of Washington's landmark buildings, monuments, memorials, and museums. Most prominent at its center point is the Washington Monument . This is the best place to get an overview of the entire area. It's a high point and allows you to see from one end of the Mall to the other.

View of the Capitol from the Washington Monument

War Memorials

Visitors at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial

On the north side of the Lincoln Memorial is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial . This poignant wall inscribed with the names of all American servicemen and women who lost their lives or are missing, is one of Washington's most visited memorials. Nearby are the Vietnam Women's Memorial , a bronze sculpture of three servicewomen helping a wounded soldier, and the Three Servicemen statue.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

On the south side of the Lincoln Memorial is the Korean War Veterans Memorial , which contains 19 steel sculptures of soldiers.

At the east end of the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool is the World War II Memorial , a beautiful oval plaza with sculptures and water features.

WWII Memorial

The newest is the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial , dedicated in 2014, but this is located near the United States Botanic Garden, closer to the Capitol.

Not on the Mall, but also significant is the WWI Memorial , located in the 1400 block of Pennsylvania Ave NW.

World War I Memorial, on Pennsylvania Ave NW

Museums on the National Mall

At the center of the National Mall is the huge Washington Monument. Continuing east from the Washinton Monument, you'll find many of Washington's most important museums. This includes the National Museum of African American History and Culture, The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, The National Gallery of Art, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of Asian Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, and others. These museums are all free of charge but a couple require a reservation, which gives you a timed admission.

The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Events and Festivals

Along with providing a park for walking, running, and picnicking, the Mall is a place for celebrations and festivals. Best known of these is the annual Independence Day celebration with fireworks around the Washington Monument.

Also in July, the Smithsonian American Folk Life Festival fills the Mall with music, crafts, performances, storytelling, cultural programs, and food from various regions around the country. The Smithsonian Kite Festival is held here in late March or early April.

On summer evenings, you can often find military bands performing at venues along the Mall. The US Navy Band has concerts at the Capitol steps overlooking the Mall on Mondays and on Tuesdays at Navy Memorial. The US Air Force Band performs on the capitol steps on Tuesdays and at the Air Force Memorial on Fridays.

Location: Between Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue, Washington, D.C.

White House from Lafayette Square

The White House is the official residence of the President of the United States . The home of every president except George Washington, it was originally built by James Hoban in 1792, and after being burned down by British forces in 1814 was rebuilt in 1818.

Although tours of the interior that include the East, Blue, Green, and Red Rooms; the Ballroom; and the State Dining Room must be reserved well in advance through your Congressional office or embassy, every tourist to Washington will want to see this iconic building, at least from the outside.

The White House

The free White House Visitor Center , a short distance away, off 15th St. NW on Pennsylvania Avenue, has excellent interactive exhibits related to the White House and the presidential families. It includes furniture of past presidents, a model of the residence, historical changes, and videos with insights from presidents about their time living there.

The Ellipse , a 54-acre stretch of lawn stretching to Constitution Avenue, hosts summer concerts by the US Army Band. Next door to the White House is the elaborate 1833 Greek Revival Treasury Building and the 1871 Executive Office Building , one of the most striking old government buildings in Washington.

From Lafayette Square , one of the city's best-known, statues of Lafayette and others look over the White House.

Lafayette Square

If you're looking to grab lunch or dinner near the White House, the Old Ebbitt Grill is a wonderful and historic option. Established in 1856, this is a bit of a Washington institution and the city's oldest saloon. It's been frequented by politicians and famous entertainers, contributing to its colorful history. Although it's an upscale restaurant, tourists will feel comfortable here in street clothes, and the menu features plenty of casual fare.

Old Ebbitt Grill

Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: http://www.nps.gov/whho/index.htm

The Washington Monument

The 555-foot white shaft of the Washington Monument is a familiar icon of the National Mall, and a beautiful sight, especially when mirrored in the long Reflecting Pool at its foot. Construction of the obelisk to honor the nation's first president did not proceed smoothly. The plan was approved by Congress in 1783, but ground wasn't broken until 1848.

When the tower reached 156 feet in height in 1854, political wrangling and lack of funds stopped the project for several years, and the Civil War caused further interruption so that the tower was not capped until 1885, when it was finally completed by the Army Corps of Engineers.

The Washington Monument seen from the WWII Memorial

You can still see the separate stages of its building through three changes in the color of its facing stones; inside are engraved stones from states, cities, foreign countries, individuals, and civic groups, many of them donors who helped in its private funding stages. You can take an elevator to the very top for aerial views over the mall and much of Washington. The base of the monument is surrounded by a circle of 50 American Flags.

The Washington Monument

Address: 15th & Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum is one of the world's most popular museums, with a collection of history-making air and spacecraft that includes the original 1903 Wright Brothers Flyer and Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis , the first plane to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.

More recent flight history is represented here by the Apollo 11 command module , part of the first manned lunar landing mission. Permanent and changing exhibitions illustrate the science, history, and technology of aviation and space flight, covering topics like the use of air power in both world wars, the space race, flight pioneers, and up-to-the-minute flight and space technology.

Many of the exhibits are interactive, and all contain actual historical objects, such as a moon rock you can touch. Not only do permanent exhibits illustrate the history, they also show the how and why of flight and space science, explaining how things fly, how jet engines work, and what keeps the International Space Station in orbit.

In addition to the exhibits, there is the Albert Einstein Planetarium , an IMAX theater, and the Public Observatory on the east terrace, where you can examine lunar craters and see planets and other astronomical features through telescopes. Flight simulators (fee charged) allow kids and adults to fly combat missions with aerial maneuvers like 360-degree barrel rolls or experience naval aviation in an F-18 Super Hornet.

The museum is also the home of the Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, adjacent to Dulles Airport, and has even more historic aircraft and space exploration artifacts, including a Concorde and the space shuttle Discovery . You can watch from observation walkways through the hangars where experts are restoring historic aircraft.

The Air and Space Museum is undergoing an extensive makeover that will transform not only the arrangement of 23 galleries but also the way it interprets the history and science of flight. Some areas of the museum are currently closed.

Address: 600 Independence Avenue SW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: www.nasm.si.edu

National Museum of National History

One of the most popular things to do with children in Washington, the Museum of Natural History explores the natural world with permanent and changing exhibits to interest all ages. From the minute you walk in, you're greeted with enormous, eye-catching displays, beginning with the huge African elephant in the rotunda.

Favorite exhibits include the renowned Hope Diamond and the dazzling collection of gems and minerals around it, and Ocean Hall with its stunning underwater photography and replica of a 45-foot North Atlantic Right Whale.

Dinosaurs at the National Museum of National History

Also popular is the National Fossil Hall with numerous skeletons, including a T. rex and other giants towering over you.

The Hall of Human Origins follows human evolution over six million years in response to a changing world. Children will especially like the interactive Discovery Room where they can touch and play with various artifacts.

Entrance to the National Museum of National History

Like most museums in Washington, the Museum of Natural History is free and does not require reservations . You can pop in at any time. This is a busy, fun, and loud museum, where families will feel right at home.

If you're hungry, you can grab a bite from one of the food trucks right outside.

Food trucks outside the National Museum of National History

Address: Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: http://www.si.edu/Museums/natural-history-museum

National Gallery of Art, West Building

Housed in two separate buildings connected by a tunnel , the National Gallery of Art is one of the world's premier art museums and one of the most popular in the U.S. Based on the sizable collection of financier and later Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, its large and diverse collection includes masterpieces of European and American paintings, sculpture, and decorative arts.

Frequent temporary exhibitions add to this outstanding permanent collection to highlight arts from cultures around the world. Among the highlights is Ginevra de Benci, the only Da Vinci painting in any American museum. Others include works by major French Impressionists - Monet, Degas, and Renoir -- and other masterpieces by Rembrandt, El Greco, and Vermeer.

The West Building of the National Gallery of Art

The newer East Wing features sculptures by Henry Moore, a mobile by Alexander Calder, and other modern works.

Between the East and West buildings is the Sculpture Garden , along with the lovely Pavilion Cafe. You can enjoy a meal while looking out over the garden, or wander through the artwork.

Free concerts are held at the National Gallery on Sunday evenings from fall through spring.

Pavilion Cafe overlooking the Sculpture Garden at the National Gallery of Art

Address: 600 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: www.nga.gov

The Library of Congress

An underground passage with historical exhibits leads from the Capitol Building to one of Washington's little-known places to visit, the Library of Congress. It's the world's largest library , modeled on the Opera House in Paris. You can visit portions on your own, but free tours disclose even more of its beautiful interior.

Displayed here are one of the three surviving complete Gutenberg Bibles, an earlier hand-printed Bible, Thomas Jefferson's draft of the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson's personal library, and galleries filled with exhibits focusing on topics as varied as the musical careers of the Gershwin brothers and the work of editorial cartoonists and graphic artists.

Address: Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

Official site: https://www.aoc.gov/

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Focusing on themes of history, culture, and community, the newest of the Smithsonian museums explores changing definitions of American citizenship and equality, at the same time highlighting African American culture and that of the entire African diaspora.

Various themes are covered in changing exhibits, which center on themes such as African American food traditions and chefs, the influence of African American sports stars on the breakdown of segregation, and African craftsmanship.

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Historic artifacts on display include a section of the original Woolworth lunch counter that was the scene of the Greensboro, N.C. sit-in in 1960, and the aircraft known as the "Spirit of Tuskegee." In World War II, it was used to train African American airmen in the Army Air Forces, men whose work helped trigger the desegregation of the military.

Address: National Mall at Constitution Avenue, N.W., between 12th and 14th Streets

Official site: https://nmaahc.si.edu/

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C.

Near the Smithsonian museums, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum documents, studies, and interprets the history of the Holocaust with the dual purpose of memorializing the victims and helping the world to confront hatred and prevent genocide.

Permanent exhibits examine the rise of the Nazis and the Aryan ideology, the ghettos, key events such as Kristallnacht, the concentration camps, and the Nazi atrocities. An exhibit on Americans and the Holocaust examines US reaction to Nazis, the war, and genocide, while another features personal accounts by US soldiers and citizens who witnessed the evidence of Nazi atrocities.

The presentations draw on the enormous collections of more than 12,750 artifacts, 85,000 historical photographs, 9,000 oral history testimonies, as well as archival footage and records of survivors and their families. A visit to the museum is a sobering experience.

Address: 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: https://www.ushmm.org

National Museum of Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art

Also part of the Smithsonian Institution and located on the mall are the two museums that comprise the National Museum of Asian Art. These are the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery .

The Freer collection includes nearly 30,000 pieces of Asian artworks, including Buddhist sculptures and Persian manuscripts, one of the most extensive collections in the world. The Cosmic Buddha Vairochana is one of the most important pieces of the collection. The Freer also features 19th-century and early 20th-century American art, most notably a large collection of work by James McNeill Whistler.

National Museum of Asian Art, The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery , located adjacent to the National Museum of African Art, houses more than 1,000 pieces, including an extraordinary collection of Chinese jade and bronze, Chinese paintings and lacquerware, and ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metalware.

The design of the building means you enter the Sackler Gallery at ground level and descend to the lower floors to see the collections.

National Museum of African Art

Right next door and definitely worth visiting, the National Museum of African Art displays thousands of objects representing diverse artistic styles throughout the African continent, including sculptures, masks, costumes, household objects, and ceramics. This museum is almost a mirror of the Sackler, with collections held in below-ground galleries.

These museums are free and do not require a timed admission reservation.

Official Site: https://asia.si.edu/

Entrance to the National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History covers an extensive range of topics and is likely far more entertaining than you might expect. From treasured national historical artifacts like Thomas Jefferson's desk to rock icon Prince's guitar, you'll find a real mix of exhibits.

One of the most popular of the Smithsonian's many museums that line the mall, The National Museum of American History traces the political, cultural, scientific, and technological history of the U.S. since the Revolution. It displays important pieces of Americana, including, one of Edison's light bulbs, and the original flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to The Star Spangled Banner .

But beyond these treasured national artifacts, exhibits also examine how people lived, what they ate, where they worked, how they played, what they wore, how they traveled, how they worshiped, and how they governed themselves.

National Museum of American History

Illustrating these multiple themes are artifacts that include everything from gowns, work by First Ladies, and Julia Child's complete kitchen to the Muppets and the actual ruby slippers Judy Garland wore in the film Wizard of Oz . With all the historical things to do in Washington D.C., you might think your family has had enough history. But this engaging museum houses some fascinating exhibits and artifacts of our collective past that will appeal to all ages.

Address: 14th Street NW at Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: http://americanhistory.si.edu

Jefferson Memorial with spring cherry blossoms

The design for the domed white memorial to Thomas Jefferson, the third US president, is based on the Roman Pantheon, its low dome supported by 54 Ionic columns. Inside, appearing in a dramatic silhouette through the columns is a 19-foot statue of a standing Jefferson , and around are engraved excerpts of the Declaration of Independence and other writings.

Interior of the Jefferson Memorial

The monument stands alone at the far end of the Tidal Pool, which reflects the monument on its surface, and all around the edge of the water are cherry trees, a gift from Japan. These are one of Washington's greatest attractions when they bloom each spring, surrounding the basin with a cloud of pink flowers and celebrated with the Cherry Blossom Festival .

Along the Cherry Tree Walk around the Tidal Basin, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial reflects twelve years of American History through four outdoor rooms. Each one is devoted to one of FDR's terms of office as he guided the country through the Great Depression and World War II. Unveiled in 2011, the 30-foot-high Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial is the newest along the Tidal Basin.

View of the Washington Monument through the columns at the Jefferson Memorial

In the summer, you can rent a paddle boat and head out on the Tidal Basin to enjoy the water and get fantastic views of the monument. The blue boats are located at a dock across from the monument, off Maine Ave SW, at Floral Park.

Address: 900 Ohio Drive SW, Washington, D.C.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Opened in 1971 and named in memory of President John F. Kennedy, the National Cultural Center overlooks the Potomac River in a state-of-the-art building designed by architect Edward Durell Stone. It is home to the National Symphony Orchestra, which hosts some of the world's greatest guest artists each year, and the Washington National Opera , one of the nation's leading opera companies.

Its three main stages and several smaller stages present over 2,200 performing arts shows and events each year, about 400 of which are free. These represent all types of music and theater, both classical and contemporary.

Joining the Los Angeles Music Center and Lincoln Center in New York as one of the three most important venues in the United States, the Kennedy Center is a major stop for visiting overseas opera, dance, and drama companies on tour.

Address: 2700 F Street NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: www.kennedy-center.org

A bear at the National Zoological Park

The National Zoo is the most popular of the Smithsonian attractions. It is one of the world's best zoos, not only for the quality of the experience but for its leadership in areas of animal care and sustainability.

Nearly 2,000 different animals, birds, and reptiles live in habitats replicating their natural environments as closely as possible. Of the several hundred species represented here, about a quarter are endangered.

One of the zoo's star attractions, the giant pandas left the zoo in late 2023 but they are coming back in late 2024. Other highlights include red pandas, Sumatran tigers, western lowland gorillas, Asian elephants, cheetahs, white-naped cranes, and North Island brown kiwis. You can also watch otters play, or walk through the aviary to enjoy birds flying overhead.

Red Panda at the National Zoological Park

In the Amazonia exhibit, you can glimpse the colorful underwater life of the Amazon, where one of the world's largest freshwater fish swims beneath a living tropical forest.

Along with the cheetahs at the Cheetah Conservation Station, you can see Grevy's zebras, dama gazelles, vultures, and red river hogs, and at the highly popular Elephant Trails, you can see the multigenerational herd and learn about the elephants' life at the zoo and in the wild.

Check the day's schedule for feeding times, demonstrations, educational games, and talks. As you might expect, this is one of Washington's favorite places to visit for children.

Otters at the National Zoological Park

Although the zoo is free, you must book a timed entrance admission. You can book an entry time up to one hour before closing.

The zoo is north of downtown, quite a distance from the main attractions but you can easily take public transit. The closest metro stop is about a four-block walk from the entrance and a bus stop is right outside the zoo. Metro cards (SmarTrip) are good for trains and buses.

Address: 3001 Connecticut Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: http://nationalzoo.si.edu

Front of the National Archives

The National Archives holds permanent records of the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, District of Columbia courts, and some federal agencies, as well as pre-World War I military service records for U.S. Army and Confederate veterans, and pre-1940 vessel and station logbooks for the U.S. Navy.

Fountains in front of the National Archives

The records are open to researchers, and in the Rotunda, you can see the Declaration of Independence , Constitution , and Bill of Rights . Exhibition galleries feature a 1297 Magna Carta and a changing group of other historically significant documents. An exhibit, Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote, includes documents from the suffrage movement, and in other areas are interactive exhibits and hands-on activities for all ages.

In front of the building is a large pond and fountains with benches around the edges for relaxing.

National Archives

Address: 701 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: https://museum.archives.gov

International Spy Museum

The place for 007 wannabes, the museum covers the techniques, technology, history, and contemporary role of espionage. Many of the exhibits are interactive, and throughout the building are actual examples of real espionage equipment (including a poison dart umbrella designed by the KGB), from declassified hardware and captured equipment to movie props used in the James Bond series.

Photographs, audio-visual programs, and special effects combine to give a picture of strategies and methods behind secret espionage missions. The collections include historic spy artifacts from the Revolution and Civil War, along with a wealth of ingeniously concealed and disguised cameras and weapons, even the famous Enigma cipher machine that broke the Nazi codes in World War II.

International Spy Museum

The top floor is dedicated to real-life spies Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanson, and John Walker, detailing the actual methods and tools they used to spy on the United States, with videos describing how spies were caught. The lower floor moves from fact to fiction, filled with information and actual props used in James Bond movies.

Highlighting these is the Aston Martin DB5 that first appeared in the 1964 film Goldfinger , equipped with machine guns, oil jets, a dashboard radar screen, an ejector seat, tire slashers, a bulletproof shield, and a rotating license plate. The car actually inspired intelligence agencies to add similar features to their own vehicles.

Upon arrival, you are given your own spy mission, complete with a fake identity, cover story, and a card. As you progress through the exhibits you can use your identity card at terminals set up throughout the museum to get updates on your mission. This is completely optional but can be fun if you are looking for an interactive experience.

Address: 700 L'Enfant Plaza, SW; Washington, D.C.

Official site: www.spymuseum.org

Arlington National Cemetery in the fall

On a hillside overlooking the city from across the Potomac River, Arlington National Cemetery is filled with memorials to American history and the men and women who were part of it. Its best-known landmarks are the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier , President John F. Kennedy's gravesite, and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial depicting the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima in World War II. The Welcome Center has maps, information (including the locations of specific graves), and exhibits telling the story of Arlington National Cemetery and its monuments.

Among these are memorials to nurses, Iran Rescue Mission casualties, and various battles and groups, including one at the graves of Lt. Cmdr. Roger B. Chaffee and Lt. Col. Virgil I. "Gus" Grissom, who were killed in a fire aboard their Apollo spacecraft. Another commemorates the seven Challenger astronauts.

In a solemn and impressive ceremony, the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is changed every hour on the hour from October 1 to March 31, and every half hour from April 1 through September 30. Although the cemetery is not right in the city, both the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority's Metrorail system and Metrobus have stops close to the gate.

Official site: https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil

Washington National Cathedral

The English-style, Neo-Gothic National Cathedral, one of the world's largest cathedrals, took 83 years to build, from 1907 to 1990. It follows the Gothic building style and techniques, with flying buttresses and solid masonry construction of Indiana limestone. Throughout the cathedral are artistic details to see, from its stained-glass windows to the hand-embroidered kneelers that commemorate war heroes and historic events.

Special tours, reserved in advance, explore hidden parts of the building and its art; families should ask for the brochure Explore the Cathedral with Children for a scavenger hunt to find wrought-iron animals, tiny carvings, and gargoyles. Be sure to look for the gargoyle of Darth Vader high up on the northwest tower.

The cathedral is the burial place of President Woodrow Wilson and Helen Keller , and state funerals for Presidents Eisenhower, Reagan, and Ford took place here. The top of the 300-foot central tower is the highest point in Washington.

The Bishop's Garden

The Bishop's Garden , on the south side of the cathedral, includes plants found in medieval gardens, plants mentioned in the Bible, and others native to the area, along with a fish pond. The 59-acre Cathedral Close, designed by the eminent landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr in the early 20th century, is an urban oasis modeled on the walled grounds of medieval cathedrals.

Carillon recitals are held each Saturday at 12:30pm, and the peal bells are rung on Tuesday evenings from 7 to 9pm and after Sunday services. On Mondays and Wednesdays at 12:30pm, a cathedral organist discusses the Great Organ here, followed by a mini-recital.

Address: Massachusetts & Wisconsin Avenues NW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: www.cathedral.org

Georgetown Historic District

The neighborhood from 27th to 37th Streets, between Rock Creek Park and K Street NW, is the city's oldest, with origins in the early 1700s, before Washington itself. Georgetown University , the nation's oldest Roman Catholic and Jesuit College, is located here.

Today, Georgetown's tidy streets of historic homes and its boutique shops, cafés, restaurants, and small museums make it a popular respite from lines at the mall attractions. The C&O Canal , the 184-mile waterway paralleling the Potomac River, begins here, and its towpath is a favorite place for walking and cycling.

Dumbarton Oaks is a 16-acre estate with formal gardens and a valuable Byzantine and Christian art collection. Federal period Dumbarton House features Federal-style furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics, and is home to one of five original known copies of the Articles of Confederation.

Tudor Place is an early 19th-century mansion built by Martha Washington's granddaughter, Martha Custis Peter, and her husband. Items from George and Martha Washington's Mount Vernon home are shown here, and the Federal-period gardens contain plants and trees from the early 19th century. The Kreeger Museum displays a wide collection of art from the 1850s to the 1970s including paintings by Monet, Renoir, Sisley, Chagall, Gauguin, and Picasso.

If you're looking for places to eat in Washington or things to do at night, this is one of the places to visit. The neighborhood is filled with restaurants and cafes, along with live music venues.

Dupont Circle

The nearby Dupont Circle neighborhood is another great place to head for dining and nightlife. This area, east of Georgetown in the northwest corner of downtown Washington, is near several embassies and offers lovely outdoor spaces and a fantastic mix of restaurants.

You'll find excellent high-end dining, casual restaurants, and an assortment of different ethnic foods. Try Balos Estiatorio for something upper-end and Mediterranean, or head next door to Colada Shop for a laid-back atmosphere and tasty Cuban food. If you just want to relax, walk to Dupont Circle Fountain and kick back in a chair on the lawn.

Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery

Sharing the historic Old Patent Office Building with the National Portrait Gallery, the Smithsonian American Art Museum holds one of the world's largest and most inclusive collections of American art, representing more than 7,000 artists from the colonial era to the present.

The collections record the wonder of artists capturing the beauty of American landscapes as the nation expanded westward, and the changing face of American cities and towns. Special collections represent works by more than 200 African American artists, collections of Latinex works, an outstanding array of contemporary American craft and folk arts.

The National Portrait Gallery focuses on famous Americans, from the time of the first colonies to present-day leaders and important public figures, including the only complete collection of presidential portraits outside of the White House.

Address: 8th and G Streets NW, Washington, D.C.

Official sites:

  • https://americanart.si.edu/art
  • https://npg.si.edu/

U.S. Botanic Garden

At the foot of Capitol Hill, the U.S. Botanic Garden is an oasis of tropical gardens in the center of the city. Surrounded by outdoor gardens, the huge glasshouse is the hub of a museum of living plants. Permanent interior exhibits create environments for plants at home everywhere from the desert to rainforests, while outside is a showcase of plants that thrive in the Middle Atlantic states.

The greenhouse contains two courtyard gardens and 10 garden rooms, and the outside displays include a pollinator garden, rose garden, kitchen garden, and water garden. There's always something in bloom, and benches in the vast conservatory invite a stop to enjoy the fragrances and the lush green surroundings.

Address: 100 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C.

Official site: https://www.usbg.gov/

Row houses near U Street

D.C.'s U Street Corridor is one of the city's top historic neighborhoods and served as the epicenter of Black culture in America between 1862 and 1948. Designated a historic district in 1998, this neighborhood is filled with colorful buildings housing plenty of shops, restaurants, and theaters.

It is anchored by 14 th Street on its west side and the recently renovated Howard Theatre on its east end at the edge of the Shaw neighborhood. Constructed in 1910, this was the center of Black Broadway for the first half of the 20 th Century. It fell into decline but underwent a magnificent renovation and reopened a decade ago.

Duke Ellington was born in this neighborhood and a sculpture honoring the famed jazz musician can be seen at the intersection of Florida Ave and T Street. Also check out a concert at Lincoln Theatre , built in 1922, where Ellington and other jazz greats like Billie Holiday, Nat King, Cole, and Louis Armstrong all used to play.

U Street is known for its delicious food scene. Here you'll find the acclaimed Ben's Chili Bowl , which has served everyone from Anthony Bourdain to Barack Obama. Its restaurants span the globe, however. If you are craving authentic Ethiopian fare, head to "Little Ethiopia" on the east end of U Street.

The Wharf

With its second phase only completed in 2002, The Wharf is D.C.'s hottest new waterfront neighborhood, home to more than 80 restaurants and shops, an iconic fish market, four hotels, and a popular live music venue. Running along the Potomac River for one mile, the neighborhood was created as part of a larger development plan for what had been a neglected portion of the SW quadrant.

Just about a 10-minute walk from the National Mall, The Wharf's waterfront location provides a totally different vibe than the memorial and museum area. The Municipal Fish Market is the country's oldest continuously operating open-air fish market, originally opened in 1805. Until the redevelopment of The Wharf, it wasn't really on the tourist map anymore. Today it is buzzing with hungry travelers and locals alike, who come here to dine al fresco on fresh fish.

If you want to get out on the Potomac River yourself, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore. There are also seasonal water taxis running from The Wharf to Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, across the river. Alexandria is known for its stately 18 th - and 19th-century buildings and brick streets. It's a great place to wander around for an afternoon. Water taxis also run to Georgetown.

Come evening, book a luxe riverboat dinner cruise on Potomac. These offer a wonderful way to relax after an action-packed day, and river sunsets can be phenomenal.

Official site: https://www.wharfdc.com/

Sightseeing by Day:

  • Washington, D.C. has so many famous sites that it's difficult to keep track of all there is to see and do. One of the best ways to explore this city is on a classic Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour , seeing the sites from an open-top red bus and getting on and off wherever you choose.

Sightseeing by Public Transport

  • The public transport system in Washington is excellent. You can buy a SmarTrip card at any metro stop, load it with money, and use it to ride the trains and buses and to pay for parking. If you aren't sure how to work the ticket machine, ask an attendant for help. Metro Central Station is the main hub for sightseeing.

Sightseeing by Night:

  • At night, Washington is transformed as the floodlights are beamed up the monuments, giving them a completely different look from their daytime appearance. The Washington, D.C. Monuments by Moonlight Night Trolley Tour is a 2.5-hour guided tour that provides an easy way to see the city at night.

Sightseeing by Bicycle:

  • Active travelers will enjoy the Washington D.C. Monuments Bike Tour to visit the Washington Monument, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, and Jefferson Memorial on a three-hour ride. Hybrid bikes and the relatively level terrain make this suitable even for those who are not avid cyclists. As many places to visit have security checkpoints and do not allow backpacks, it is wise to carry as little as possible while touring.

Weather wise, the best time of year to travel to Washington, D.C. is between the months of March and May and September to November . You'll hit cherry blossom season (usually from late March to early April), ogle spectacular fall foliage (especially in October through November), and enjoy a long stretch of great weather free from frigid and sweltering temps.

More Related Articles on PlanetWare.com

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Places to Visit Close to Washington: If you have time to explore outside the city, there are many easy Day Trips from Washington, D.C ., and our page on Top-Rated Weekend Getaways from Washington D.C. can give you plenty of ideas for longer excursions.

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Exploring Maryland : There are a number of tourist attractions in Maryland , including those in historic Annapolis and Baltimore with its lively harbor area. The state is also famous for its beaches and oceanfront resorts, many of which are within easy weekend reach from Washington. You can learn more about these on our page Top-Rated Resorts in Maryland.

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Discovering Virginia : The District of Columbia lies between two states, and to its south, you can visit attractions in Virginia , including those in the capital city of Richmond . Or you could spend a weekend immersed in colonial history with the help of our page Top Tourist Attractions in Williamsburg & Easy Day Trips .

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District of Columbia Travel Guide

Washington DC top tourist attractions city travel maps

Inner city centre detailed street travel guide with must-see places, best destinations to visit & nearby hotels - washington dc top tourist attractions map.

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Maps of best attractions in Washington DC, USA

Washington DC maps will guide you to the best destinations in this magnificent city. They show the layout of streets, landmarks, activities and Metro stations, and are oriented to show how to get to more than 50 tourism points of interest easily on foot or using the Washington, DC’s excellent Metro transport system. Washington has a great number of monuments and memorials honoring America’s key figures and historic events. Use our maps to find the locations of the most well-known among these - Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Memorial). Our maps will help you plan a perfect itinerary to make the most of your trip. You can find the detailed locations of the must-see sights including White House Visitor Center, U.S. Capitol Building, Washington Monument, Capitol Hill, Library of Congress, National Air & Space Museum, Museum of American History, Supreme Court, Gallery of Art, Arlington Cemetery, Natural History Museum, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian Institution Castle, Tidal Basin, Georgetown, Verizon Center - just click on a selected map to access a high resolution version that can be downloaded and printed; or saved onto your mobile device.

Free street names map of the Mall & surrounding area showing main landmarks, most popular sights & great art spots - Washington DC iconic tourist attractions map

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You can view, download or print a full, high resolution (detailed, large) version of this image by clicking on the plan itself

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Satellite image of a walking trail route with best points of interest including Washington Monument, White House, US Capitol - Map of Washington DC tourist attractions

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Trolley Tours stops itinerary planner to explore major central sites worth visiting such as the National Air & Space Museum - Washington DC free city map

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Big Bus city sightseeing hop on hop off double decker open top coach tour showing Pentagon, World War 2 Memorial - Washington DC printable sightseeing map

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Metrorail Metro lines transit (subway, underground, tube) diagram showing railway train Union Station & shopping malls - Washington DC large scale map

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List of must-do hotspots such as National Mall, museums, memorials, gardens, galleries, government buildings - Washington DC offline map

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Three-day trip list of attractions - What to see, where to go, what to do - US Naval Observatory, Tidal Basin - Washington DC pop up map

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Simple overview & outline directions to fun things to do with family & kids in the Capitol Hill & downtown neighborhoods - Washington DC online map

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District Columbia area Metrobus - Official public transportation network system visitor information - Washington DC simple map

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Map of top 10 attractions in Washington DC

The typical top ten attractions are listed below. You can find the detailed locations of these places on the maps above.

  • White House - The area surrounding the official residence of the US President is filled with grand architecture and political history, and the views from the Ellipse lawn are breathtaking.
  • U.S. Capitol - The famous dome of the nation's seat of government is one of the largest in the world.
  • Washington Monument - One of the most enduring images of Washington, this 555-ft (170-m) marble obelisk can be seen from all over the city.
  • National Gallery of Art- This superb gallery houses paintings and other works of art, such as this terracotta bust of Lorenzo de' Medici, that chronicle the history of art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
  • National Air & Space Museum - Washington's most popular museum has exhibits from aviation and space history, including the Wright Brothers' first airborne plane and the Apollo 14 space module.
  • Lincoln Memorial - This emotive and inspirational marble figure has often been the focus of civil rights protests.
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial - When visiting this dramatic memorial your will be confronted by a sobering list of names of over 60,000 servicemen on the V-shaped granite walls.
  • National Museum of American History - The National Museum of American History preserves a collection of artifacts from the nation's past.
  • National Museum of Natural History - The National Museum of Natural History, which opened in 1910, preserves artifacts from the earth's diverse cultures and collects samples of fossils and living creatures from land and sea.
  • Supreme Court - Admire the Neoclassical façade of highest court in the land.

What are some interesting facts about Washington DC?

The Capitol Building is the 4th tallest masonry dome in the world, surpassed by only St. Peter's Basilica in Rome, St. Paul's Cathedral in London and St. Issac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg.

The United States Capitol has its own underground subway line that connects the Capitol to the House and Senate office buildings.

If you like to make a visit in Washington DC, you may come to the most popular museum in the city. It is called as Smithsonian Institute's National Air & Space Museum. Since its first public opening, this museum can attract more than 219 million visitors.

Some claim that the back of Abraham Lincoln's head of the statue at the Lincoln Memorial is actually is a face of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Many people aren't aware that the Lincoln Memorial is where Martin Luther King Jr. made his 'I Have a Dream' speech in 1963.

When it was completed in 1884, the Washington Monument was the tallest structure in the world. It was soon passed by the Eiffel Tower, and numerous other buildings have eclipsed it since then. At 555 feet, the obelisk remains the tallest object in DC.

Every time a soldier is buried, an Arlington Lady is present. There are about 65 Arlington Ladies, and since 1973, the Arlington Ladies have ensured that no Soldier is ever buried alone.

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Map of Washington DC — Best attractions, restaurants, and transportation info

What’s on this map.

We’ve made the ultimate tourist map of Washington DC, District of Columbia for travelers! Check out Washington DC’s top things to do, attractions, restaurants, and major transportation hubs all in one interactive map.

Visiting Washington DC? See our Washington DC Trip Planner.

How to use the map

Use this interactive map to plan your trip before and while in Washington DC. Learn about each place by clicking it on the map or read more in the article below. Here’s more ways to perfect your trip using our Washington DC map:

  • Explore the best restaurants, shopping, and things to do in Washington DC by categories
  • Get directions in Google Maps to each place
  • Export all places to save to your Google Maps
  • Plan your travels by turning on metro and bus lines
  • Create a Wanderlog trip plan (link to create a trip plan for the city) that keep all the places on the map in your phone
  • Print a physical map to bring it on your trip

dc tourist maps

Top 20 attractions in Washington DC

Lincoln memorial, vietnam veterans memorial.

Navigate forward to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

Navigate backward to interact with the calendar and select a date. Press the question mark key to get the keyboard shortcuts for changing dates.

dc tourist maps

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Smithsonian national air and space museum, smithsonian national museum of natural history, national gallery of art, library of congress, world war ii memorial, national mall, martin luther king, jr. memorial, thomas jefferson memorial, united states capitol, the white house, franklin delano roosevelt memorial, united states holocaust memorial museum, national museum of african american history and culture, georgetown university, smithsonian national museum of american history, hillwood estate, museum & gardens, washington national cathedral, top 10 restaurants in washington dc, rose's luxury.

dc tourist maps

Ben's Chili Bowl

dc tourist maps

Old Ebbitt Grill

dc tourist maps

Thip Khao Restaurant

Transportation in washington dc, nearby airports, ronald reagan washington national airport, dulles international airport, baltimore/washington international thurgood marshall airport, highways and major roads.

  • Interstate 395
  • Interstate 495 (Capital Beltway)
  • Interstate 66
  • U.S. Route 50
  • U.S. Route 1
  • Rock Creek Parkway
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway
  • Pennsylvania Avenue NW
  • Constitution Avenue NW
  • M Street NW

Top searches in Washington DC

Popular road trips from washington dc, what's the weather like in washington dc.

It depends on when you visit! We've compiled data from NASA on what the weather is like in Washington DC for each month of the year: see the links below for more information.

  • Weather in Washington DC in January
  • Weather in Washington DC in February
  • Weather in Washington DC in March
  • Weather in Washington DC in April
  • Weather in Washington DC in May
  • Weather in Washington DC in June
  • Weather in Washington DC in July
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All road trips from Washington DC

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Visiting Washington DC for the first time can be a life changing experience. The Sightseeing Pass is here to help you make the most memories and the most of your pass. Before you arrive we recommend that you learn a little about the neighborhood in which you are staying including the attractions and amenities nearby. Another good idea is to familiarize yourself with your local transit routes and stops so that the beginning of each day of discovery won’t start with a panic to find where to begin. The Sightseeing Pass and its accompanying guide is an ideal companion if you want to walk the city’s streets, visit historical places or simply undergo some retail therapy.

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30 essential places to visit in D.C. right now

From lesser-known museums to some of the region’s finest parks

There are parts of Washington, D.C. that tourists never visit and, more often than not, never even know about. Are they worth visiting, though? Heck yeah.

Below, Curbed compiled 30 must-see locations in the District that are less on the touristy side (the Washington Monument, the White House, etc.) and more about what makes D.C. home for more than 700,000 people . These sites give you an up-close look at the nation's capital, its landscape, and its residents—beyond what visitors normally see. Happy hunting.

  • Looking for things to do with kids this fall? Here’s a list of family-friendly places to visit in and around the Beltway .
  • Speaking of fall, are you ready to gawk at some foliage but don’t know where to go? Leave it to us.
  • Getting in the mood for Halloween? Visit the District’s most haunted locations and the area’s best pumpkin patches .
  • Need a new couch or table? See our map of the best furniture and design stores in the area.
  • Need to pick up some fruit and veggies at a local farmers market ? We’ve got you covered.
  • Want to grow your own produce instead? Sign up for one of the city’s community gardens .
  • Now take a hike . Literally.

Rock Creek Park

At more than 1,700 acres, Rock Creek Park is more than twice the size of New York’s Central Park. It’s also one of America’s oldest city parks , established in 1890 by Congress. Enjoy the shade and the streams, and keep an eye out for woodland creatures.

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An area in Rock Creek Park in Washington D.C. There is a body of water and a bridge is spanning over the body of water. There are trees surrounding the area.

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Washington National Cathedral

Even if you’re not religious or spiritual, you can still appreciate how ornate and immense the National Cathedral is. It’s the fourth-tallest structure in D.C., the sixth-largest cathedral in the world. and the second-largest cathedral in the U.S. It also has a Darth Vader sculpture on the top of its west tower.

The exterior of the Washington National Cathedral. The facade is tan and there are elaborately designed towers.

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Smithsonian’s National Zoo

At no cost, you can see pandas nearly every day of the year. The National Zoo is one of the oldest zoos in the U.S., and it houses a variety of species including cheetahs, elephants, and apes. The zoo also hosts events for humans of all ages, like ZooLights and Brew at the Zoo .

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Dumbarton House

The historic Dumbarton House was repaired and reprogrammed from October 2016 to June 2017. Now reopened, the charming Federal building boasts architecture, decorative furniture, paintings, textiles, silver, and ceramics, all dating back to the late 18th and early 19th centuries .

The exterior of the Dumbarton House. The facade is red brick with white columns and a chimney.

Theodore Roosevelt Island

You can relax or hike at Theodore Roosevelt Island , a living memorial to America’s 26th president located on the Potomac River. The car-free island is somewhat secluded and is great to view from a kayak or canoe.

An area on Theodore Roosevelt Island in Washington D.C. There is a courtyard surrounded by trees. In the courtyard is a monument with a statue of a man.

Anderson House

When this mansion was constructed in 1905 as the winter residence of a U.S. diplomat, it was known as one of the city's most fashionable. The 50-room home offered a walled garden, tennis court, and three-story carriage house. Presidents William H. Taft and Calvin Coolidge were regular visitors. The property later reopened as a house museum in 1939.

The interior of the Anderson House in Washington D.C. The walls have heavy tapestries with art hanging. There are multiple chandeliers. The floor is patterned and tiled.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

You don't need to cough up too much money to enjoy a performance at the Kennedy Center, the nation’s living memorial to President John F. Kennedy. Though big-ticket shows can carry a hefty price, the center offers free performances daily at the Millennium Stage , no tickets required. The center is set to expand in 2019.

The exterior of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The facade is white and there are trees in front.

The Phillips Collection

The Phillips Collection is a must-see for art lovers. In 1921, this Dupont Circle museum became the first museum of modern art in the U.S. Inside, you can find works from artists like Renoir, Rothko, and Monet.

The interior of the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. There are works of art hanging on the wall and an arched doorway.

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Meridian Hill Park

At the southern end of Columbia Heights , Meridian Hill Park—also known as Malcolm X Park—is a sight to behold. During the warmer months, the park offers a serene escape from the city with a tranquil waterfall and a regular drum circle. In the winter, it’s a great place to have a snowball fight.

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Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

This basilica in Brookland is the largest Catholic church in North America, one of the ten largest churches in the world, and the tallest habitable building in D.C. Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, among other luminaries, have visited the church.

The exterior of the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception. The facade is ivory with a tower and a domed roof.

Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America

In Brookland , the public can discover this oasis of peace, home to a thriving Franciscan community. Guests are able to walk in for a tour, but groups of six or more require a reservation.

The exterior of the Franciscan Monastery of the Holy Land in America. The facade is ivory with a blue roof and columns.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

Welcome to the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to women and their artwork. With approximately 4,500 works in the museum by over 1,000 women artists, visitors can learn a lot about significant artists like Mary Cassatt, Frida Kahlo, and Joana Vasconcelos.

The exterior of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The facade is glass.

Gravelly Point

Technically this park is located in Arlington, Virginia , but it's worth the bike ride or jog to go see. Prepare yourself a picnic and enjoy views of the District. Expect some noise, though: The park is right faces the runway of Reagan National Airport , so expect a plane to rush overhead every few minutes.

A person lounges in a chair in a large grassy field as an airplane flies overhead. In the distance are trees.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden

Adjacent to the West Building of the National Gallery of Art , a 6.1-acre block hosts a sculpture garden, a cafe, and a fountain used as an ice-skating rink in the winter. Touching the sculptures is forbidden, as is riding a bicycle or skateboard.

A portion of the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden. There is a large metal abstract sculpture on a grassy lawn.

U.S. Botanic Garden

Near the U.S. Capitol, you can walk inside one of the oldest continually operating botanic gardens in North America . The garden features rare and endangered plants as well as roses, orchids, and fruit. Located outside is the Bartholdi Fountain , an elegant cast iron structure that stands 30 feet tall and weighs more than 15 tons. It was designed by Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the French sculptor behind the Statue of Liberty.

A fountain and greenhouse at the U.S. Botanic Garden in Washington D.C.

Culture House

Housed in a colorful former church, Culture House —formerly known as Blind Whino —is a nonprofit arts club and event space featuring exhibits, events, live performances, and artist workshops. It showcases some of the coolest local art in D.C.

The exterior of the Blind Whino Culture House in Washington D.C. The facade has a colorful mural painted on it.

The Yards Park

This park is relatively recent to the District and quite fun to visit. Along with several retail and restaurant options nearby, you can also enjoy the view of the Anacostia River, dip your toes in the pool, and have a picnic on the grass. Be sure to take a stroll along the award-winning, 200-foot  pedestrian bridge .

Circular arches on a bridge in Yards Park in Washington D.C.

Shakespeare Theatre Company (Multiple Locations)

Each year, this award-winning company puts on myriad comedies and tragedies, by more playwrights than just the Bard. The group was formed in 1970 and operates both Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street NW) and the Lansburgh Theatre (450 7th Street NW).

The exterior of the Shakespeare Theatre Company in Washington D.C. The facade is glass with many windows.

Eastern Market

In addition to fresh meats, cheeses, and produce, you can also find handmade items sold at Eastern Market, in Capitol Hill . At its flea market, jewelry, vintage records, and furniture abound.

The exterior of Eastern Market in Washington D.C. The facade is red with arched windows and doors.

Union Market

This unique food market in Northeast offers over 40 vendors as well as an Angelika Pop-Up with specialty film programming. Expect all sorts of events hosted at the market, including food festivals, yoga, and movie screenings.

The exterior of Union Market in Washington D.C. There is a parking lot in front.

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Atlas Performing Arts Center

When this site opened in 1938, it was one of the city’s earliest movie theaters. But during the 1968 civil unrest that rocked D.C., the site was damaged and closed. It reopened in 2006 as a vibrant performing arts space on H Street NE .

The exterior of the Atlas Performing Arts Center in Washington D.C. People are walking up to the theater.

National Arboretum

The 446-acre arboretum hosts the columns that originally supported the U.S. Capitol building’s old East Portico. The site also features a major center of botanical research as well as a 390-year-old bonsai tree that survived an atomic bomb . What a great place to see foliage!

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Kenilworth Park and Aquatic Gardens

Managed by the National Park Service, this 700-acres site is perfect for scenic, quiet walks removed from city life. Expect an array of rare waterlilies and lotuses in addition to Kenilworth Marsh—the District’s only remaining tidal marsh.

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Anacostia Park

Relax by the water, exercise at the fitness station, skate at the skating pavilion. There's so much to do at Anacostia Park, and it's all for free. Spanning over 1,200 acres, this is one of D.C.’s biggest parks, so you can easily find a place to unwind without having to worry about crowds.

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Hillwood Estate, Museum, & Gardens

Built in the 1920s, this 25-acre estate allows visitors to get an inside look at the former home of cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post. The former mansion houses a collection of imperial Russian and 18th-century French decorative art. Outside, there are green spaces that include a rose garden and a Japanese-influenced garden.

A body of water surrounded by rocks and trees.

Frederick Douglass National Historic Site

Situated on a hill in Historic Anacostia , the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site preserves the home the abolitionist icon occupied while living in D.C. Tours usually last about 1.5 hours and happen regularly. The site also offers one of the city’s greatest views of the National Mall and downtown .

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President Lincoln's Cottage

Among other historic homes in the District, Lincoln’s Cottage, located east of Petworth on the grounds of the Old Soldiers’ Home, stands out for its tranquil setting. The home, where Lincoln lived for more than a quarter of his presidency, hosts tours and events, including weddings .

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Entertainment & Sports Arena

Opened in Southeast on the St. Elizabeths East Campus last year, this events and concert venue is becoming more of a destination for cultural activities east of the Anacostia River. It also serves as a practice arena for the Washington Wizards and home court for the Washington Mystics.

The interior of a sports arena in Washington D.C.

Capital One Arena

During the fall, be sure to check out a Washington Wizards or Washington Capitals home game at Capital One Arena, located in Penn Quarter across from the National Portrait Gallery. There are a few concerts and other events scheduled at the arena as well.

A sports and entertainment arena sponsored by Capital One. The facade is made of glass.

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Georgetown Waterfront

Before it gets too cold, have a picnic or go for a jog or walk along the Georgetown Waterfront. It’s a peaceful place for pedestrians and you can admire the Francis Scott Key Bridge from the walkway.

A young woman looks at out a river, where a person is kayaking. There is a large, arched bridge in the background.

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World Map » USA » City » Washington Dc » Washington Dc Tourist Attractions Map

Washington, D.C. tourist attractions map

Washington, D.C. tourist attractions map

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Washington, D.C.   Travel Guide

Courtesy of Kevin Voelker Photography | Getty Images

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31 Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.

Many of Washington, D.C.'s main attractions relate to its principal enterprise: politics. These include the  White House and the U.S. Capitol , of course, as well as monuments and historic sites dedicated to notable historical figures. The capital

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The Tidal Basin The Tidal Basin free

If you've never been to Washington, D.C. before, plan to spend some time along the Tidal Basin, an approximately 107-acre pond encircled by a 2.1-mile loop trail. Constructed to use the strong tides of the Potomac River to clear silt from the Washington Channel and to maintain steady water levels in the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pools , it now also serves as the backdrop to some of D.C.'s best-loved sites. Every spring, the Tidal Basin bursts with color as cherry blossom trees (gifted to the city from Tokyo ) bloom into cotton candy-colored tufts, and they attract hordes of visitors. The cherry blossoms typically hit peak bloom (defined as when 70% of the cherry blossoms are open) in March or April. The National Park Service website makes "bloom watch" updates on its website , where you can check the progress of the trees and see when peak bloom is expected for the year. You can follow the path that leads around the basin, but recent visitors recommended testing the waters in a paddleboat. Paddleboats are available to rent from spring until fall for $28 to $40 per hour (depending on the day) for a four-passenger boat. You can pick up a paddle boat on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the boat dock near Maine Avenue.

Even if you don't make it to town for the cherry blossoms, you won't want to miss the three major memorials that can be found along the Tidal Basin's shores: the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial . A memorial to Virginia Declaration of Rights author George Mason, also stands nearby.

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The White House and the Washington Monument The White House and the Washington Monument free

Even if you're only in town for a short trip, visiting the Washington Monument and the White House – two marble symbols of the U.S. – is a must for any first-time D.C. visitor.

Standing just shy of 555 ½ feet, the Washington Monument was the tallest structure in the world at its completion in 1884. Nowadays, you can ride one of the monument's glass-encased elevators to the top observation deck to enjoy 360-degree views of the city, which invariably impress visitors. You can explore the attraction's exterior for free 24 hours a day, but National Park Service rangers are only available from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. to answer questions. The monument itself is open to visitors every day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Free timed-entry tickets can be reserved up to 30 days in advance via Recreation.gov . (There is a $1 nonrefundable service charge for each ticket.) Some same-day tickets are distributed daily on a first-come, first served basis. The ticket window opens at 8:45 a.m.; be prepared for a line. The Smithsonian Metro stop is closest to the monument. Visit the National Park Service's Washington Monument page for more information.

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Lincoln Memorial Lincoln Memorial free

U.S. News Insider Tip:  The best time to see this monument is after dark when it's illuminated. You'll still contend with crowds, but it will be worth it. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District's many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers' favorites. History buffs might enjoy reading Lincoln's  two famous speeches – the Second Inaugural Address and the Gettysburg Address – which are both etched into the memorial's north and south walls, respectively. Meanwhile, art history and architecture aficionados will enjoy admiring the building's striking design by Henry Bacon, complete with 38 Doric columns, 36 of which signify the states in the Union at the time Lincoln passed away.

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World War II Memorial World War II Memorial free

U.S. News Insider Tip:  While it's pretty during the day, the memorial is incomparable at night. Visit after sunset. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

The World War II Memorial was dedicated in 2004 to the 16 million American military members who served during World War II, including the thousands of individuals who lost their lives during the fight. A circle of 56 columns (representing the U.S. states and territories from the era) looks over the Rainbow Pool. At night, with lights shining, this memorial can be quite ethereal. The structure also has a wall of more than 4,000 gold stars – one for every 100 Americans who died in the conflict.

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National Mall (The Mall) National Mall (The Mall) free

Stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol Building , the National Mall is a tree- and museum-lined grassy expanse that becomes the focal point of many tourists' DC sightseeing. And although it might look like an easy jaunt from one end to the other, from tip to tip it's about a 2.5-mile venture, so make sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring some water. There are several different walking paths along the mall to choose from and you can stop and admire various monuments and memorials along the way, including the Washington Monument and the World War II Memorial. Many visitors find the National Mall a fantastic spot for kids to run around on the grass or for a picnic lunch (whether you bring supplies with you or grab a bite to eat from one of the food trucks that line up on Constitution Avenue, 17th Street and 14th Street).

Recent travelers say the National Mall – either toured by day and popping in museums and around memorials or toured by night and enjoying the sights by moonlight – is a quintessential DC experience. Many say the park rangers on-site to answer questions and direct visitors are very friendly and helpful as well.

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Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials free

One of the most moving war memorials, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – or "the Wall," as it's commonly referred to – is a long black granite wall with the names of more than 58,000 Americans who perished during the Vietnam War emblazoned on its surface. Recent travelers said their visits to the site were heartbreaking but thought-provoking and powerful, adding that even the toughest of individuals will find it hard to not become emotional while reading the wall's names. If you're looking for a specific person, keep in mind that the soldiers' names are ordered by the date they died, not alphabetically. Also, reviewers recommend using the attraction's name books and visiting during the day when there's ample sunlight.

When you're wandering along the eastern side of the Mall, venture to the Korean War Veterans Memorial. Paying tribute to the 1.5 million who served in "The Forgotten War," this privately funded site contains 19 stainless steel statues of soldiers in combat. In a triangular area known as the Field of Service, soldier statues march toward an American flag. Next to the soldiers is a 164-foot-long granite wall that pays homage to the unnamed troops that fought in the Korean War. Another highlight of the memorial is the Pool of Remembrance, a tranquil place for reflection. However, some past travelers cautioned that the memorial lacks signage, so younger visitors may not understand as much as those who lived through the war.

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial free

Located on the northwest rim of the Tidal Basin , this 30-foot granite memorial pays homage to civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Everything from its address at 1964 Independence Ave. (a reference to the year the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was passed by Congress) to its design (which shows King emerging from a "mountain of despair," a reference to his "I Have a Dream" speech) are meant to reflect King's significant contribution to American history. What's more, this towering sculpture opened to the public in 2011, making it one of the newest memorials to open in the District. It is also the National Mall's first memorial dedicated to an African American.

Previous visitors raved about this memorial, adding that its powerful symbolism and beautiful design will give you chills. Plus, the sculpture's proximity to other memorials and monuments like the Korean War Veterans Memorial and the World War II Memorial make it convenient to reach. However, some reviewers wished there was more information on King's life, legacy and commitment to nonviolence around the statue.

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Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum free

Note: Beginning in 2018, the museum embarked on an ambitious, multiyear, multimillion-dollar effort to renovate and reimagine all of its exhibits and put 1,400 new objects on display. It's reopening galleries in stages, but the IMAX theater is closed. Check the website to see what's on display before you go.

Attracting millions of people each year, the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum contains a trove of celebrated aircraft, including Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Vega 5B, the Apollo 11 Command Module, Charles Lindbergh's Spirit of St. Louis and Wilbur and Orville Wright's 1903 Wright Flyer, among others. Exhibits include flight simulators, an IMAX theater and the Einstein Planetarium. And parents beware: The gift shop is huge, so get ready for pleas from your kids. 

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Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture free

U.S. News Insider Tip: When hunger strikes, don't miss the Southern comfort offerings at Sweet Home Cafe, including fried chicken, collard greens and fish po'boys. The food is surprisingly delicious for a museum eatery. – Nicola Wood, Senior Editor

Designed to replicate the three-tiered crowns found in Yoruban art from West Africa, with bronze-colored latticework accents that honor the ironwork of enslaved African Americans, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture opened on the National Mall in 2016. More than 40,000 artifacts are displayed inside, including photographs of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights activists, boxing headgear and a robe used by Muhammad Ali, and a fedora once worn by Michael Jackson. Themed guided tours are offered on select dates. Additionally, museumgoers can download the attraction's free mobile app for audio stories about some of the museum's exhibits.

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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum United States Holocaust Memorial Museum free

You need to be in the right frame of mind to visit this sobering museum that focuses on the atrocities of the Holocaust. Through film footage, photographs and historical artifacts, it confronts subjects such as Hitler's rise to power, anti-Semitic propaganda and the horrors of the Final Solution. In addition to its permanent exhibition, "The Holocaust," the museum mounts several special exhibits. The facility also has a Hall of Witness, a three-story chamber beneath skylights; a Hall of Remembrance, a space with an eternal flame intended for individual reflection as well as public ceremonies; the Holocaust Survivors and Victims Resource Center; a library and a reading room.

Past travelers felt moved by this powerful museum but cautioned that its graphic collection is not ideal for younger children. (Indeed, the museum itself has age recommendations for its exhibits, signaling that some material may not be suitable for kids.) Many were especially impressed with its informative, thorough and respectful displays, adding that you can easily spend a few hours perusing its halls.

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National Gallery of Art National Gallery of Art free

U.S. News Insider Tip: There are two things you won't want to miss here: the rooftop terrace, which affords panoramic views of the city and a photo op with a giant blue rooster, and the only Leonardo da Vinci oil painting on permanent exhibition in the U.S. – Catriona Kendall, Associate Editor

If you're any kind of art connoisseur, you should make a stop at the National Gallery of Art. Composed of the East Building, which houses the gallery's more modern works (think: Henri Matisse and Mark Rothko), and the West Building, which contains the collection's older works (from Sandro Botticelli to Claude Monet), this museum has enough to fill an entire afternoon. Visitors often remark on the museum's large size and expansive collection. Pace yourself and maybe order a coffee, gelato or lunch at one of the gallery's five bars and cafes.

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The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

U.S. News Insider Tip:  Even if you don't have time to catch a performance, head to the rooftop of the Kennedy Center to grab a drink and see an incredible sunset from the terrace. The on-site REACH art gallery and sculpture garden (free) are also fun to wander around. – Erin Evans

Many travelers highly recommend a visit to The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, built and named for America's beloved Camelot president. The Kennedy Center houses the National Symphony Orchestra and the Washington National Opera and hosts numerous other dance, theater and musical performances throughout the year. Although ticket prices can run a bit high, you can take in a performance for free on the Millennium Stage. The Kennedy Center debuted a new permanent exhibit in 2022: Visitors can explore the free "Art and Ideals: President John F. Kennedy" immersive exhibit to learn about the relationship between Kennedy's presidency and the arts. The facility also includes the REACH, an indoor/outdoor complex comprising an art gallery, sculpture garden, classrooms and studios, lecture halls, a video wall and more interactive spaces.

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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History free

With a collection of more than 147 million items, this robust Smithsonian museum on the National Mall attracts millions of visitors each year. Some of the museum's highlights include replicas of giant whales and other marine life in the Sant Ocean Hall. There's also a 2,000-pound, 52-foot model of a mega-tooth shark suspended above a dining area. In addition, you can venture to the Butterfly Pavilion for some fluttery fun with multicolored bugs. No stop at this museum would be complete without stopping by the David H. Koch Hall of Fossils – "Deep Time" exhibit features approximately 700 specimens, including Tyrannosaurus rex and triceratops dinosaurs. Other permanent exhibits explore human evolution, ancient Egypt and geology, among other topics.

Although this museum is especially appealing to families, past visitors said there's something for everyone here. However, the property can get quite crowded on weekends, holidays and during the busy summer season, so consider arriving on a weekday or in the offseason to avoid crowds. Recent museumgoers also suggested saving some time for the Hope Diamond, which is on display in the geology exhibit.

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Washington National Cathedral Washington National Cathedral

U.S. News Insider Tip: Opt for a tour instead of exploring on your own, especially if you want to spot some of the cathedral's weirder gargoyles (like the famous Darth Vader). – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Construction first began on this massive cathedral – the sixth largest in the world – in 1907, but it wasn't actually completed until 1990. (Though work on the building continues, including extensive and ongoing repairs after an earthquake damaged the structure in 2011.) Designed in the Gothic style, the Washington National Cathedral sits surrounded by gardens, creating a pleasant atmosphere for visitors. Take a stroll around the cathedral and peer at its high vaults and flying buttresses, keeping a close eye out for gargoyles (there's one of Darth Vader!). Step inside to admire the building's intricate stained-glass windows.

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Arlington National Cemetery Arlington National Cemetery free

Arlington National Cemetery sits in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The cemetery spans about 1 square mile and serves as the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members, veterans and their families. Visitors should be sure to spend some time viewing the Memorial Amphitheater, the John F. Kennedy Gravesite and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Additionally, finding the grave of a notable veteran, family member or friend proves to be a powerful experience, according to visitors. The cemetery also has a downloadable app available to help you pinpoint the location of a grave.

Previous travelers appreciate the trolley tour from Arlington National Cemetery Tours, but they warn that the excursion is a bit pricey at $19.50 for adults, $10.75 for children ages 4 to 12 and $15 for seniors ages 65 and older. (There are discounted prices for service members, veterans and their families.)

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Planet Word Planet Word

The world's first voice-activated museum, Planet Word strives to provide an immersive language experience through multiple exhibits and interactive galleries. Its word-centric exhibits span three floors and explore such topics as how people learn to speak, words’ origins, the world’s diversity of languages, famous speeches (which visitors can recreate using teleprompters), songs (which you can deliver karaoke style), jokes and how advertising uses language to persuade consumers. It also has a library, of course, as well as recording booths for listening to others reflect on the power of words and for preserving your story. Its Lexicon Lane contains multiple "puzzle cases" with themed word puzzles that can be solved using various clues deposited around the room. The museum, which opened in 2020, also has a restaurant and a gift shop.

Visitors frequently enthuse about this museum with adjectives like "clever," "creative," "fascinating" and "innovative." Many say its well-executed interactive activities make it an especially engaging place for families. Plan on spending at least a couple hours here.

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U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress U.S. Capitol and the Library of Congress free

Arguably the most magnificent building in Washington, the U.S. Capitol is where visitors go to witness politics in action. Inside, members of both houses of Congress debate and create national policy and law, while visitors explore the building's north and south wings and circular centerpiece: the Rotunda. This iconic hall houses paintings, frescoes and sculptures depicting famous scenes from American history, not to mention an iconic cast-iron dome added to the structure in 1868. Though some travelers express mixed reviews on whether the U.S. Capitol warrants the time and effort spent (both making reservations and going on the actual tour), most agree the site is well worth a visit.

If you're not that stoked about exploring the building's innards, consider taking a stroll outside of the building. It's located on the National Mall nearby the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Air and Space Museum . The easiest way to reach the Capitol is via the Metro to the Capitol South or Federal Center SW stops (both on the Blue, Silver and Orange lines) or the Union Station stop (on the Red Line). Additionally, there are bike racks outside the Capital Visitor Center and Capital Bikeshare stations nearby. For more information, check out the official U.S. Capitol Visitor Center website .

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National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum free

U.S. News Insider Tip:  For an exhilarating night out after a day at the museums, check out the nearby ax throwing bar Kraken Axes. Then, when you work up an appetite, one of the best places to eat in Chinatown is Reren Lamen & Bar. – Catriona Kendall, Associate Editor

The National Portrait Gallery most notably houses images of every previous president, allowing visitors to reminisce about each political figure as they progress through the hall of portraits. The presidential portraits aren't alone, though, as the National Portrait Gallery also houses artistic renderings of notable American citizens ranging from sports figures to civil rights leaders. Moreover, the National Portrait Gallery only takes up half of the building and shares the space with the Smithsonian American Art Museum. This museum showcases rotating exhibits, which have previously exposed visitors to work created in response to the Vietnam War, glasswork, native women artists and more. The Smithsonian American Art Museum also operates a separate branch, the Renwick Gallery, devoted to contemporary craft and decorative arts.

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Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute Smithsonian's National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute free

More than 1,800 animals reside at the Smithsonian's 163-acre National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute, from Asian elephants to cheetahs to sea lions. Look up every now and then as you stroll beneath the Orangutan Transport System (called the O Line): You may spot orangutans swinging along cables between steel towers. Or, if you're more intrigued by animals native to South America, head over to the Amazonia exhibit, home to creatures like titi monkeys and multiple frog species. The Great Cats exhibit features Sumatran tigers and African lions, among other feline predators. The zoo also has a playground and other attractions geared toward kids. If you time your visit for the holidays, swing by the zoo after dark for its ZooLights exhibition, when animal lanterns and lights bedazzle the park.

Recent visitors praised the zoo's pleasant surroundings and broad selection of species. Others warn future travelers to temper expectations: It's popular during the spring and summer seasons and there are long lines for (somewhat overpriced) food. Though some said the zoo could be more exciting and have a broader array of animals, keep in mind the more than 360 species are free to visit.

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Union Market Union Market free

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're visiting with a group of people, buy a few different dishes from the various stalls and enjoy a little self-guided food tour of the market's best offerings. – Erin Evans

A massive food hall and gathering place for locals and tourists alike, Union Market is a fun place to spend a morning, afternoon or evening. Anchoring the Union Market District in Northeast D.C., the warehouse-style building features a plethora of food stalls, restaurants, bars and shops. The building originally opened to the public as the Union Terminal Market in 1931 and has transformed over the years to become the bustling hub of food, drink and socializing it is today. Dining options include coffee bars, Korean-Mexican fusion food stalls, specialty charcuterie and cheese shops, chocolatiers, pizzerias, doughnut spots and more. There are several upscale restaurants nearby as well, such as St. Anselm and Masseria.

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Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery free

The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery combine to comprise the Smithsonian National Museum of Asian Art. Opened in 1923, the Freer Gallery showcases American paintings from the late 19th century aesthetic movement, plus art from China, Egypt, India, Japan, Korea and the Islamic world. The Sackler Gallery opened in 1987 in the adjacent building, and it displays Thai earthenware, a Tibetan Buddhist shrine, Iranian artifacts and a host of rotating exhibits.

Past visitors particularly appreciated the Peacock Room, a gilded blue and gold room filled with frescoes of peacocks and pottery. The Sackler Gallery's underground exhibits also serve as a boon for sweltering tourists during the District’s hot summer months, which delighted recent travelers. The general consensus is that there are some remarkable works of art here.

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Rock Creek Park Rock Creek Park free

A large urban park extending from the Washington, D.C.-Maryland border to the Potomac River, Rock Creek Park is a destination for an expansive array of outdoor activities. It has more than 32 miles of hiking trails and 13 miles of horseback riding trails while bicyclists can use its paved trails and roads. It has a nine-hole golf course and tennis courts. Fishing and paddleboating on the Potomac River are additional options. The park also boasts plenty of built things to see, such as scenic bridges, fountains and statues.

In addition to its more than 1,750 acres of outdoor space, the park encompasses multiple noteworthy structures. The Nature Center features a book- and game-filled children's Discovery Room, displays of live turtles and snakes and an observation deck. It provides hiking information and serves as the starting point of the half-mile Woodland Trail. The Peirce Mill operated as a grist mill from 1829 to 1897, making the historical building the last one of its kind in the area. The Old Stone House, constructed around 1766, ranks as the oldest building on its original foundation in Washington D.C. Its former kitchen contains historical exhibits.

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National Archives Museum National Archives Museum free

If you love history, you'll enjoy visiting this museum. A treasure trove of the United States' founding documents, the National Archives Museum is high on travelers' to-do lists and almost always has long entrance lines. But once you do get inside, you'll see the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, along with one of the surviving copies of the Magna Carta. Other interactive and kid-friendly exhibits fill the museum, which is located off the Archives-Navy Memorial-Penn Quarter Metro station on the Green and Yellow lines. Conveniently, the museum is also a popular stop on many of the city's best bus tours .

Though the museum welcomes visitors every day from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., visitors are not permitted to enter after 5 p.m. A gift shop, cafe and restrooms are on-site. 

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9:30 Club 9:30 Club

U.S. News Insider Tip: If you're attending a concert at this venue, plan to arrive early, as the line can stretch around the block for popular artists. And if possible, avoid using the coat check (unless you want to be stuck waiting in line for hours after the show).  – Alissa Grisler, Associate Editor

The 9:30 Club has often been heralded as one of the best live music venues in America. The iconic club began earning its accolades around the time it opened in 1980, though, and has hosted groups like Nirvana, R.E.M., Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fugazi and Public Enemy, among others. While the 9:30 Club relocated and expanded over time, the club is still small enough to feel intimate. Its location near the bustling U Street corridor means that travelers will have no shortage of options for a pre-show dinner or a post-show drink (the staple Ben's Chili Bowl is just a few blocks away). Alternatively, the 9:30 Club offers a small menu of quesadillas, nachos and tacos if you want to eat there.

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Nationals Park Nationals Park

Nationals Park is home to the Washington Nationals, the city's Major League Baseball team. The stadium opened in March 2008; it's located in the popular Navy Yard neighborhood and seats 40,000-plus fans. Nats Park welcomes visitors and locals to see the games typically from March through October, so check the schedule to see if they're in town when you're visiting the city and buy tickets for a fun-filled afternoon or evening of baseball. There's not a bad seat in the stadium and there are plenty of concession options, including barbecue, tacos, sandwiches, pizza, hot dogs, ice cream, beer, cocktails and an outpost of the DC-famous Ben's Chili Bowl.

If the team isn't in town when you are, you can still check out the stadium on a two-hour tour (for $25). Tours are available on non-game days at 10:30 a.m., noon, 1 and 2:30 p.m. and take travelers to see the media box, the dugout, the bullpen and the visiting team's locker room.

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United States Botanic Garden United States Botanic Garden free

Billed as a "living plant museum," the United States Botanic Garden features dozens of intriguing plants and flowers across its indoor conservatory and outdoor gardens. Colorful orchids, roses, irises and lilies, and rare and exotic plants are just a few examples of what you can see on a visit here. The area includes a conservatory, outdoor gardens and the Bartholdi Fountain and Gardens; there are pathways to walk through each of the sections to enjoy a self-guided tour of the flora. A fun fact to note: The garden was established in 1820 and it is the oldest continually operating public garden in the U.S.

Travelers say this is a lovely spot to wander through and see beautiful flowers and plants. Many say the orchid room (with 5,000-some orchids) is a showstopper and must-visit part of the garden.

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National Building Museum National Building Museum

U.S. News Insider Tip:  The permanent exhibits are a bit technical, but special exhibits are accessible (and often hands-on!) for everyone, regardless of their knowledge of architecture. – Marisa Méndez, Senior Editor

Washington boasts countless examples of iconic architecture, but the National Building Museum fittingly stands out from the rest. The gargantuan former Pension Building, which completed construction in 1887, once housed the United States Pension Bureau as well as a variety of political events like inaugural balls. In 1985, the building completed its transition into a museum, and it was officially renamed the National Building Museum in 1997. Currently, the museum showcases various interesting intersections of architecture and design throughout American history and culture via approximately 100,000 photos, 130,000 architectural drawing and prints, and more than 20,000 objects ranging from building materials to toys.

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Frederick Douglass National Historic Site Frederick Douglass National Historic Site free

Like other parts of the South, the Washington metropolitan area – which includes Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C. – was once home to numerous plantations that profited off the labor of enslaved African Americans. To learn more about one of the region's most famous former slaves, visit the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the district's Anacostia neighborhood.

At this historical site, you'll learn all about Frederick Douglass, who had been born into slavery in 1818 who fled from Maryland to New York City in 1838. After becoming a free man, Douglass devoted his life to speaking against slavery, producing abolitionist newspapers and writing about his experience as a slave. In 1872, Douglass and his then wife, Anna, moved to Washington, D.C. The couple moved into the house known as Cedar Hill in 1878. After the death of his first wife in 1882, Douglass married Helen Pitts in 1884 and continued to live in the house until his death in 1895.

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Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden free

The Hirshhorn Museum is a contemporary art museum that features eye-catching exhibits and hosts stimulating events. The museum states its mission is "to share the transformative power of modern and contemporary art by creating meaningful, personal experiences in which art, artists, audiences and ideas converge." Exhibits at this museum often rotate in but examples of art you might encounter include abstract paintings, interactive multimedia and text- and image-based art. The Hirshhorn Museum also hosts many family-friendly events and activities to immerse kids in the art world. Meanwhile, several outdoor galleries make up the sculpture garden, which sits across the street from the museum. (Note: The sculpture garden is currently closed for an ongoing revitalization. It is expected to reopen later in 2024 or in 2025.)

Recent visitors recommend stopping by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden to explore its modern art exhibits. Since it's free, it's easy to spend as much (or as little) time as you want inside. Several said they appreciated how often the exhibitions on display change, so there's always something new when they visit. Some noted though that if you're short on time, this is not a museum to prioritize seeing in D.C. as some of the other options are more interesting or engaging.

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U.S. National Arboretum and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum U.S. National Arboretum and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum free

Note: Due to the discovery of boxwood blight, the arboretum has closed its Boxwood Collection and adjacent Perennials Collection in order to prevent spread of the disease. It is closed until further notice.

Located northeast of downtown Washington, D.C., the United States National Arboretum rewards its visitors with beautiful outdoor spaces. The arboretum's outdoor collections range from dogwoods to azaleas to magnolias, but none of the plants are the area's primary attraction. Instead, most travelers make the trek here for the National Capitol Columns and the bonsai collection. The National Capitol Columns were built in 1828, decorated the Capitol building until 1958 and found their way to the arboretum in the 1980s. Now, the columns serve as an excellent place to snap photos or enjoy a picnic. The area's bonsai trees sit in the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, which boasts an astounding 300 miniature trees that staff members rotate through the museum's three pavilions and special exhibits gallery.

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Heurich House Museum Heurich House Museum

German-American immigrant and brewing entrepreneur Christian Heurich built the mansion that now bears his name in the late 19th century. Now, its stands as both an example of Richardsonian Romanesque residential architecture as well a testament to the business-owner's legacy. (It also, appropriately enough, serves as the headquarters of the District of Columbia Brewers Guild, a nonprofit trade organization serving the city's craft brewing industry.) The museum aims to preserve the building, its grounds and its collections while demonstrating the relevance of Heurich's version of the American dream to the modern day.

Visitors typically find the tour guides highly knowledgeable and enjoy seeing the fine period furniture and the well-preserved, intricately decorated structure.

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Visitor Information in Washington DC

For visitors from out of town, the city and its major attractions are all staffed with knowledgeable and helpful workers that can provide the latest and most curate information. Washington DC visitor information centers can be found at all major airports, metro stations, shopping malls, museums, and galleries, as well as at local community centers like libraries and schools. Many of these centers also sell tickets to major events being held in the area and can provide recommendations on where to go for sightseeing, dining, and entertainment.

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Washington DC tourist map

You can find on this page the Washington DC tourist map to print and to download in PDF. The Washington DC tourist attractions map presents the monuments, museums, parks and points of interest of Washington DC in USA.

Washington DC sightseeing map

Map of Washington DC points of interest

The Washington DC sightseeing map shows all tourist places and points of interest of Washington DC. This tourist attractions map of Washington DC will allow you to easily plan your visits of landmarks of Washington DC in USA. The Washington DC tourist map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free.

National symbols of Washington DC such as the Capitol and the White House are accessible to visitors, along with dozens of other tourist attractions, which include world-class museums and important monuments as its mentioned in Washington DC tourist map. Many of the most important things to see and do are in the northwestern quadrant along the National Mall and are best seen on foot. Summer can be unpleasantly hot and humid, so the best times to visit Washington DC are spring and autumn.

Washington DC, is one of the most important capital cities in the world. It may not be as large as other capital cities, but it still packs a wallop when it comes to seeing and doing things. Washington DC is a great place to learn about the history of America, from viewing precious documents to seeing Congress in action. Dozens of museums abound in the central area as you can see in Washington DC tourist map. An efficient subway system makes it easy to get around the city and see most of the top tourist attractions in Washington D.C.

There is so much to see and do in Washington DC, it is really easy to forget the sights and tourist attractions just outside the city. You can stay in Washington DC, and then take a day traveling to a few of these places and still be back in time to get a good night rest in your hotel room so you are ready for your adventures the next day (see Washington DC tourist map).

Washington DC attractions map

Washington DC sights map

Map of Washington DC tourist places

The Washington DC attractions map shows the main monuments, museums and parks of Washington DC. This tourist places map of Washington DC will allow you to easily plan your visits of tourist attractions of Washington DC in USA. The Washington DC attractions map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free.

Washington DC, on the Potomac River between Maryland and Virginia, was set aside as the nation capital, so that the federal government would not be located in any single state. Pierre-Charles L'Enfant was commissioned by George Washington to plan the city, and you can clearly see L'Enfant layout of a street grid intersected by broad avenues as its shown in Washington DC attractions map. The most important of these is Pennsylvania Avenue, connecting two iconic buildings: the White House and the impressive domed Capitol Building. Alongside and maintaining L'Enfant vision of an open and spacious city stretches the wide National Mall with its museums and monuments attraction.

Beyond the traditional Washington DC attractions – the Smithsonian museums, the U.S. Capitol, the monuments – you will find fresh food, arts and nightlife scenes as its mentioned in Washington DC attractions map. You can spend your morning perusing Washington DC cache of farmers markets and contemporary exhibits and your afternoon taking in the scenery from the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument before catching a show at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

There are parts of Washington DC that tourists never visit and, more often than not, never even know about. In Washington DC there are must-see locations and attractions that are less on the touristy side (the Washington Monument, the White House, etc. as you can see in Washington DC attractions map) and more about what makes Washington DC home for more than 700,000 people. These sites give you an up-close look at the nation capital, its landscape, and its residents—beyond what visitors normally see.

Washington DC zoo map

Washington DC zoo park map

Map of Washington DC zoo park

The Washington DC zoo map shows recommended tours of the Washington DC Zoological Park. This zoo map of Washington DC will allow you to easily find out where each animal is and where to picnic in the Zoological Park of Washington DC in USA. The Washington DC zoo map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free.

The National Zoo of Washington DC is part of the Smithsonian Institute and is open every day but Christmas (December 25). The outdoor parts of the Washington DC zoo open earlier and stay open later than the buildings so you can explore many of the outdoor areas before the rest of the Zoo opens. The National Zoo is in Woodley Park neighborhood of NW DC, so a bit further afield of most tourist attractions (see Washington DC zoo map).

The Giant Pandas at the Washington DC zoo are the most popular exhibit as its mentioned in Washington DC zoo map. There are two adult Giant Pandas on loan from China, named Tian Tian (male) and Mei Xing (female). Their offspring born at Washington DC zoo are kept for a few years and then moved to a conservation center in China. Bei Bei last day at the National Zoo before he will travel to China on November 19 2019.

The Smithsonian National Zoo of Washington DC and Conservation Biology Institute began as the dream of William Temple Hornaday, chief taxidermist at the Smithsonian from 1882 to 1887. Washington DC zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution so you will find no admission prices or tickets to visit. As one of the oldest zoos in the United States, Washington DC zoo is sure to be a highlight of your visit to Washington, DC, especially for the young and young at heart (see Washington DC zoo map).

Carol Mendel's Washington D.C. Visitor's Map

map of Washington DC

All Tourist Map

Tourist Map of Washington DC

Not adding Washington on your route through the United States is a big mistake; it is the political and administrative capital of this huge nation. If you think about it, you’d be missing out on the main national monuments, areas where Romanesque and classical architecture have a great impact on the eyes of the millions of tourists who fill its streets every year. Tourists that you will see, in search of art, culture, history and beauty, but that are scattered among the different museums, most of them belonging to the Smithsonian Institute. You will be familiar with many of its monolithic places thanks to the magic of the cinema. Having so many places to visit, a real museum route is ideal, for that we take care in this tourist map of Washington DC in recommending the most relevant. Take note in this trip to the “city without skyscrapers”.

  • 1 Tourist Map of Washington DC
  • 2 Tourist Guide of Washington DC
  • 3 What to see in Washington DC
  • 4 Map of hotels in Washington DC

The city of Washington, or District of Columbia, was created and meticulously planned to serve as the nation’s capital. It is a large city with an urban environment that concentrates all political and institutional power. Washington’s tourism reveals with its numbers the interest in the history of the United States, which has had many characters, events and feats of forging a confederation of states. So most tourism is purely urban and is spread over a vast complex of Smithsonian museums, monoliths that mark an epicentre of the power of a major nation. The White House is one of the architectural works that many are eager to see in person, or the Washington Monument that matches the Reflecting Pool. It’s easy to get there if you’re in Virginia or visiting Maryland.

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A clean and tidy city like this really does bring out the best in you. And there are so many places to visit; just think that its museums have free access, and you’ll have the opportunity to give your companions a tour of the places they only get to see in movies. Finding a sense of patriotism in their colossal statues, pillars and museum themes will make you reflect on how jealous they are of their identity. One thing you can do is take a full tour of Georgetown, perhaps the most prominent neighborhood in the city and full of curious and beautiful places. The Capitol offers tours in which you can even access its plenary hall, while receiving the impact of its architecture. Lincoln Memorial is always at the forefront of any tour, and the message the statue conveys is overwhelming. Walking between headstones from different battles in the United States is priceless at Arlington Cemetery.

Tourist Guide of Washington DC

To make a complete tour you must have enough time. Generally many people come to the city as a complement to a route through the United States. This Washington DC Tourist Guide would say that it is not to take the city at a gallop, since you would be missing out on many museums, beautiful works that make us proud of the ingenuity and imposing Washington spirit. Help yourself to an exhaustive selection of the most relevant places, surely in the way of our traced routes you will be able to expand places where you will have much more to see and do. And of course our helpful hotel map will help you with your ideal accommodation.

What to see in Washington DC

United states capitol.

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This congress hall is the icon of democracy. It is the current venue for the meetings of the Senate, the House of Representatives. As an image of classical architecture this capitol is familiar to the eye. Its enormous dome with sculpted details, having white as a representative color. In the skylines of Washington DC, this building usually stands out from the others and it is not by chance that it sits on the Capitol Hill. It shows predominance in the city allegorizing the political power of the United States. It is usually the end of two important roads, such as Pennsylvania Avenue and Maryland. Part of its interior is accessible to the public, thanks to the Visitor Center. Here you can learn about the history of Congress, as well as the construction of the Capitol. And of course you can enter but with special permission to the Senate chamber.

Lincoln Memorial

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Just the size of his statue makes us see how incredible it is to feel patriotic, for this important president in the history of the United States. But it is his work and phrases that remain in the memory. They are produced in this temple erected to his life and figure. Looking at the Washington Monument, the almost 20 feet high statue of Lincoln is astonishing. The Doric art of its columns is synchronized in number with the states recognized during his mandate.  Inside, the building is separated by rooms for speeches by the president and engraving works that reflect the values promoted. This place, specifically its steps, is usually the scene of important political and civil events. It was the scene of Martin Luther King’s famous speech, in which he gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.

National Mall

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The Smithsonian museum complex, the route between the White House and the Capitol are demarcated by this great esplanade. It is also one of the main tourist attractions in the capital of the United States. In the tourist visits this area is never missing in the repertoires and guided tours. The place has much to say about the countless political and civil events that have marked the course of modern American history. If you have the opportunity to go in July, then you will have the joy of being there for one of the most important, colorful, and exciting national celebrations; the 4th of July, Independence Day. The esplanade is surrounded by about 17 important buildings to visit. But the element that gives it its monolithic character is the obelisk; neatness, dominance and relevance seen from any angle.

National Air and Space Museum of the United States

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We have all dreamed of having close to us those ships that have carried man through the clouds, the stratosphere and even the moon. In this museum you will have the opportunity to appreciate those original models and replicas; means by which man has been able to fulfill the whim of defying the heights. Immersion in this museum is to awaken that inner child who seeks emotions with flight and exploration. Mechanics, history, science and exploration are concentrated in a vast collection of vehicles, maps and didactic material achieved thanks to this technology. And since the collective memory cannot fail to manifest itself, the museum gives us the opportunity to be close to the airplane that launched the first nuclear bomb. Get to know the Apollo 11 spacecraft and samples of the lunar soil, together with authentic space mission suits and meteorite fragments.

Thomas Jefferson Monument

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Like the Lincoln monument, this monument is of a Greek neoclassical design. It ends with a dome and the figure of the third president of the United States, closely linked to the declaration of independence. Its bronze statue, about 9 meters high, is located inside. It seems that it crosses with the glance between its columns as if it was watching the environment beyond the esplanade. The ideal landscape for a photo in this building finished in marble becomes attractive in spring time, when the cherry trees adorn the surroundings with their fruits. Since this site is far from the rest of the high schools and monuments visited, it is usually a discreet and pleasant place for an evening. We assure you that the necessary walk to get there will be worth it.

Smithsonian National Zoo

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To talk about the Smithsonian Institution is to take into account this zoo, which happens to swell the list of places to visit in Washington DC. The purpose of the park is the protection and assistance of various species. The exhibition to the tourists disseminates the specimens in areas that total about 66 hectares. Hundreds of species come to life in this great urban reservoir that has been in operation since the end of the 19th century. In the enclosure, visitors have the opportunity to enjoy good food in its restaurant and to take a piece of the zoo from its souvenir shop. Keep an eye out for the repertoire of events that take place on various dates throughout the year. Among the species you will be able to observe giant pandas, crocodiles, several kinds of snakes, a wide range of amphibian mammals and insects.

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The Georgetown neighborhood has a reputation for being home to personal stories throughout history; from Thomas Jefferson to Kennedy, including some celebrities. To walk through its streets is to feel in a place that boasts the most beautiful houses that preserve the style of the 18th and 19th centuries. Many take advantage of this break to see what happens in the most select place in the city. Georgetown has no problem to show you the historical together with the modern. You can take advantage to make some purchases in the historical district. By the canal you can learn a lot about its history as you explore the antique store windows, or eat in the restaurants. The best views and moments along the Potomac River are possible at the Georgetown Waterfront, with beautiful vegetation and places to rest, cycle or kayak.

Arlington Cemetery

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This scenario may sound familiar to you in “Saving Private Ryan.” This holy ground is one of the most famous tourist sites in the United States. Its 250 hectares are made up of a careful and synchronized location of gravestones belonging to soldiers who fell in battles of various wars during the history of the United States. Today, millions of tourists come to breathe its serene air and the noise of the trees; a great place of eternal rest for national heroes. It can be accessed from the subway station that leads directly to the Holy Field, or if you are at the Lincoln Memorial. Upon arrival you will have a map of the site, where you can choose the sections to visit. Tombs such as John F Kennedy’s or the Iwo Jima Memorial are usually the most visited.

The Pentagon

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The difficult access to some of the safest buildings in the world will leave you wanting to at least get as close as possible. This military institution, the most important, most airtight and with more offices in the world. Today it gives tourism the opportunity to take a look at some of its facilities. The guides will take you to the southeast of the building, where the tour of the Hall of Heroes is done; military men who have been awarded for their gallantry in battle with the famous medal of honor. In addition, there is a shopping centre where you can go shopping or simply have lunch. It is one of the most visited places in all of Washington DC.

Map of hotels in Washington DC

As in the main capitals of the world, the most sensible option is to look for accommodation in their urban centres. The detail here is that hotels have a high cost.  Unless you are willing to pay for it, we recommend that you look for neighborhoods with good hotel offerings in the surrounding areas. The good thing is that its suburban centres have a good transport system, shops and places to have fun; in short, everything you need. Try Georgetown, Northwest or Dupton Circle. Our Washington hotel map shows you these places and many more, where the right accommodation is just a few clicks away. If you choose The Graham Washington DC Georgetown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton you will have your place by the Potomac River. The major sights will be just over a mile away.

Video of the most impressive sites in Washington DC

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Mayor Bowser and Federal Partners Release Traffic Plan, Security Map for the 2024 NATO Summit

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by local and federal partners to discuss preparations for the upcoming 75th Anniversary 2024 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, scheduled to take place July 9-11 in Washington, DC. The community is encouraged to plan ahead if traveling through DC and to sign up for alerts by texting NATODC to 888-777. A map of road closures and additional information about the summit will be posted on nsse.dc.gov .

“We have a lot of experience hosting large-scale events in DC, and with the support of our federal and regional partners, we are ready to make sure that next week is a safe and smooth experience for the dozens of world leaders who will be here,” said Mayor Bowser. “We’re encouraging residents and visitors to plan ahead, sign up for alerts, and leave extra time and have patience if you are moving to or through Downtown.” 

Increased local security measures will be in place in the days leading up to, during, and immediately following the 2024 NATO Summit. There will be traffic, pedestrian, and public transportation impacts in the Downtown area around the Washington Convention Center, Carnegie Library, Mount Vernon Square, Mellon Auditorium, and around the White House Complex. Residences and businesses inside the affected areas will generally be accessible, but vehicles and pedestrians may be required to undergo security screening prior to entering. Members of the community are encouraged to plan accordingly and expect delays throughout the week.

“We are leaning on Washingtonians to do what they have done time and time again: exercise patience and understand that these impacts are needed to keep both summit attendees, visitors, and all our DC residents safe,” said Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department Pamela A. Smith. “I want to assure all Washingtonians that MPD is prepared for the NATO Summit, and we’ll continue to work closely with our partners to ensure its security.”

Temporary road and sidewalk closures will be in effect intermittently beginning July 8 as temporary security measures, including anti-scale fencing, is installed. Official closures around the Mellon Auditorium will be in place on the morning of July 9 and will conclude late that evening. Enhanced security measures, to include intermittent street closures, around the White House complex will occur in the afternoon and evening of July 10. Official closures will begin July 8 and run through approximately July 11 in the area around the Washington Convention Center, Carnegie Library, and Mount Vernon Square.   “Though Washingtonians are accustomed to the city hosting international events of this magnitude, we strive to effectively communicate any potential impacts to allow people to make any adjustments to their routines,” said Matt Stohler, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service's Washington Field Office. “The U.S. Secret Service and our partners have been actively working with the community to provide the most secure environment while minimizing any impacts to the public.”

The public security map and comprehensive traffic plan, to include a complete list of parking restrictions, road closures, and maritime restrictions, will be available at nsse.dc.gov. The secure areas for the event are divided into a Vehicle Screening Perimeter, shaded in blue on the public security map, and a Pedestrian Restricted Perimeter, shaded in red.   

  • Rideshare/taxi drop-off and hot food delivery will be permitted in the Vehicle Screening Perimeter; drivers will just need to enter through a vehicle screening point.
  • Rideshare/taxi drop-off and hot food delivery will not be permitted in the Pedestrian Restricted Perimeter. 

Trash services, mail, and package delivery will continue in both perimeters; however, schedules will be shifted for service to occur in the overnight and early morning hours. All deliveries entering either perimeter must first go through the Remote Delivery Site located at New York Avenue NW at 6th Street NW for screening. The Remote Delivery Site will be open beginning July 10 at 6:00 a.m. and continue operations until approximately July 11 at 7:30 p.m. All drivers must have a valid driver’s license rated for the vehicle they are driving. Upon completion of the screening process, all delivery vehicles will be sealed and must proceed directly to the security checkpoint. If they arrive at the checkpoint with a broken seal, they will be required to return to the screening site for re-screening. 

Public transportation services operated by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) will also be impacted in the area around the event venues. Customers who use Metro stations or bus routes in this area should allow additional travel time to account for detours and delays. Please visit nsse.dc.gov for the latest impacts.

“Metro is proud to collaborate with our local and federal partners to make sure visitors, residents, and employees throughout the region can reach their destinations safely and efficiently during this very busy time for the District,” said Metro General Manager and CEO Randy Clarke.

“HSEMA is committed to helping District residents, businesses, visitors, and event attendees prepare for the NATO Summit,” said DC Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency Acting Director Clint Osborn. “It’s important to have real-time access to information during an event of this magnitude and we strongly encourage our community to sign up for the District’s free text service, putting critical and life safety event updates and information at the public’s fingertips.”

“The FBI Washington Field Office looks forward to working with our federal and local partners to ensure that the 75th NATO Summit is held safely and securely,” said FBI Washington Field Office Intelligence Analyst in Charge Nikki Floris.  

District and federal public safety agencies will utilize a free opt-in text service to provide public safety, street closure, weather, and transit updates throughout the NATO Summit. Residents, businesses, and visitors are encouraged to text NATODC to 888-777 to sign up for real-time updates.

The NATO Summit is designated a National Special Security Event (NSSE) by the Secretary of Homeland Security. This designation is based in part on the event’s significance, size, and attendees. Designating an event as NSSE allows for significant resources from the federal government, as well as state and local partners, to be used to ensure a robust security plan is in place.

Any media queries regarding the 2024 NATO Summit security plan or impacts should be directed to [email protected]  

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WTOP News

How to get around DC amid significant road, sidewalk closures for NATO Summit

Jessica Kronzer | [email protected]

July 8, 2024, 5:27 AM

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Listen live to WTOP for traffic updates on the 8s.

Prepare for significant road and sidewalk closures this week in downtown D.C. for the 75th Anniversary 2024 North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit.

It’s the first time in 25 years D.C. has hosted the NATO Summit, and in an effort to keep the event spaces secure for world leaders and other attendees, law enforcement and the D.C. mayor’s office have announced additional security measures that will impact drivers, pedestrians and those riding public transit.

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Those closures will be nearby Mellon Auditorium and the White House, as well as around the Washington Convention Center, where the summit will be held.

‘Call first:’ Downtown businesses near NATO Summit prepare for uncertainty

Many nearby businesses are recommending customers call first before heading out. Even the Smithsonian’s American History and the African American History and Culture museums will be closed Tuesday.

A couple of Metro stations will be closed temporarily and more than 20 bus routes will be affected. Even still, officials are encouraging those traveling in the area to opt for public transit for traveling through downtown D.C. rather than driving.

“We know that getting through downtown next week will require extra time, patience and planning,” Mayor Muriel Bowser said at a news conference last Monday. “There will be road closures, extra security and delays around the Washington Convention Center and Federal Triangle.”

The summit runs from July 9-11, but closures kick off ahead of time. Here’s what you need to know:

  • Roadway closures start on July 8 as anti-scale fencing is installed.
  • The area around the Mellon Auditorium will be closed on July 9, but it should reopen by the end of the day.
  • Areas around the White House complex will have enhanced security and rolling street closures during the afternoon and evening of July 10.
  • The area around the Washington Convention Center, Carnegie Library and Mount Vernon Square will be closed from July 8-11.

Most of the closures will go from Tuesday, July 9 through Thursday, July 11.

An intelligence analyst with the FBI said there are no credible threats to the NATO Summit, but it’s all hands on deck for law enforcement working to keep attendees out of harm’s way, among which are 37 world leaders. D.C. police, U.S. Secret Service officers and other agencies are helping to keep the closure points secure.

“It should be lost on no one that D.C. on a normal day is a target-rich environment for potential threat actors,” said Nikki Flores, the intelligence analyst with the FBI’s Washington Field Office. “As such, we would like to remind the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity to law enforcement.”

How to prepare

Officials are encouraging anyone headed to D.C. this week to sign up for alerts by texting NATODC to 888-777.

Those alerts will provide information on safety, street closures, weather and transit in real-time.

There’s an interactive map showing the closures on the District’s website.

At the news conference last Monday, officials asked people to plan ahead and budget extra time for traveling in restricted zones.

“We are working to minimize these impacts while ensuring the maximum security. We are leaning on Washingtonians to do what they have done time and time again — exercise patience and understand that these impacts are needed to keep both summit attendees visitors and all of our D.C. residents safe,” said D.C. Police Chief Pamela Smith.

Closures nearby the Washington Convention Center amid the 2024 NATO Summit in D.C.

Vehicle restricted zones

Drivers headed to a destination within the vehicle screening perimeter will need to enter through a checkpoint.

Ride share vehicles, taxis or food delivery workers will be able to get through too, as long as they get their vehicles screened.

“Please note that not all areas within the vehicle screening perimeter are accessible from every vehicle access point. So we recommend using the access point closest to your destination,” said special agent Matthew Stoller, with the U.S. Secret Service.

Anyone on foot or riding a bike can enter the perimeter from any area; they don’t need to use a checkpoint or have any special credentials.

Pedestrian restricted zones

There are some areas that are also restricted to pedestrians, unless they are event staff or attendees and have the proper credentials.

Personal vehicles won’t be allowed to enter — which includes ride-share, taxi or food delivery drivers.

Trash services and mail delivery will continue in both perimeters during the summit but their schedules will be shifted to on overnight or early in the morning. Those delivery trucks will be screened at New York Avenue NW at 6th Street NW.

Parking, traffic restrictions details on closures

In addition to the planned closures, there could be rolling traffic closures in the area near Rhode Island Avenue, 7th Street, O Street and 10th Street, NW.

Those closures would be aimed at addressing traffic congestion. People on foot would sill be able to pass through.

Near Mellon Auditorium and White House

These streets will be designated as emergency no-parking areas from Saturday, July 6 at 6 a.m. through Wednesday July 10 at 6 a.m. The roads will also be rolling traffic closures from July 6-July 8.

dc tourist maps

  • Constitution Avenue from 9th Street to 15th Street, NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 9th Street to 15th Street, NW
  • 12th Street from E Street to Madison Drive, NW
  • 13th Street from F Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • 14th Street from F Street to Independence Avenue, SW
  • Street from 12th Street to 14th Street, NW

Parking isn’t allowed on these streets from Monday, July 8 at noon until Thursday, July 11 at 11:59 p.m.

  • H Street from 15th Street to 17th Street, NW
  • Connecticut Avenue from H Street to I Street, NW
  • 16th Street from H Street to I Street, NW

Vehicles can’t drive on these streets from Monday, July 8 at noon through Thursday, July 11 at 11:59 p.m.

  • H Street from Vermont Avenue to 17th Street, NW

No parking is allowed on these streets from Monday, July 8 at 6:30 p.m. through Tuesday, July 9 at 11:59 p.m.

  • Constitution Avenue from 15th Street to 17th Street, NW
  • 11th Street from E Street to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
  • 10th Street from Pennsylvania Avenue to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • New York Avenue from 14th Street to 15th Street, NW
  • Street from 14th Street to 15th Street, NW

These streets will be closed to vehicle traffic on Tuesday, July 9, from 4 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.:

  • 10th Street from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • 14th Street from F Street, NW to Independence Avenue, SW
  • Upper Pennsylvania Avenue from 14th Street to 15th Street, NW
  • Inbound 14th Street Bridge ramp to Exit 1 (14th Street / National Mall to Independence Avenue, SW)
  • Inbound 14th Street Bridge HOV ramp to 14th Street / National Mall to Independence Avenue, SW
  • Inbound I395 Exit 3 to 12th Street Expressway/Tunnel
  • Westbound I395/Maine Avenue Split at Exit 4B – 12th Street Expressway/Tunnel ramp

Traffic will be blocked on these streets on Tuesday, July 9, from 2 p.m. until 11:59 p.m.:

  • 15th Street from H Street to Constitution Avenue, NW

Drivers won’t be able to travel on these streets on Tuesday, July 9, from 4 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.:

These streets are closed to vehicles on Tuesday, July 9, from 2 p.m. until 11:59 p.m.:

Vehicles won’t be allowed to park on these streets from Wednesday, July 10 at 6 a.m. through Thursday, July 11 at 11:59 p.m.:

  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 10th Street to 12th Street, NW (south side only)
  • 12th Street from Constitution Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (east side only)
  • 10th Street from Constitution Avenue to Pennsylvania Avenue, NW (west side only)

These streets will be designated as emergency no parking on Wednesday, July 10 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.:

  • 17th Street from H Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • 18th Street from E Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • Street from 17th Street to 19th Street, NW
  • Street from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • C Street from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW

These streets are closed to vehicle traffic on Wednesday, July 10, from 2 p.m. until 11:59 p.m.:

  • 17th Street from I Street to Constitution Avenue, NW
  • New York Avenue from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • F Street from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • G Street from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • Pennsylvania Avenue from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • H Street from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW
  • E Street from 17th Street to 19th Street, NW
  • D Street from 17th Street to 18th Street, NW

Near Washington Convention Center

No parking is allowed on these streets from Saturday, July 6 at 6 a.m. through Friday, July 12 at 6 p.m.:

  • 7th Street from I Street to O Street, NW
  • 8th Street from N Street to O Street, NW
  • 9th Street from H Street to O Street, NW
  • 10th Street from H Street to O Street, NW
  • Street from 6th Street to 11th Street, NW
  • Allen Y. Lew Place from 7th Street to 9th Street, NW
  • L Street from 6th Street to 11th Street, NW
  • New York Avenue from 6th Street to 10th Street, NW
  • Massachusetts Avenue from 6th Street to 10th Street, NW

These streets will be designated as emergency no parking from Monday, July 8 at 9:30 a.m. through Friday, July 12 at 6 p.m.:

  • I Street from 6th Street to 10th Street, NW
  • New York Avenue from 10th Street to 13th Street, NW
  • Massachusetts Avenue from 10th Street to 13th Street, NW

This street will be closed to all vehicles on Monday, July 8 at 9 a.m. through Friday, July 12 at noon:

  • L Street from 7th Street to 9th Street, NW

The Federal Triangle station will be closed on Tuesday, July 9 from 8 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. The Mt. Vernon Square Station will close from Tuesday, July 9 at 11 a.m. through Friday, July 12 at 5 a.m.

Trains will be able to pass through the stations, but riders won’t be able to get off.

Riders could use the Gallery Place-Chinatown or Shaw-Howard U stations instead, according to a traffic advisory from D.C. police.

Some of Metro’s busiest bus lines will also be detoured. Some routes will detour from 8 p.m. on Monday to 8 p.m. on Thursday.

These bus routes will be detoured starting on Monday, July 8, at 8 p.m. and lasting through Friday, July 12, at 5 a.m.: 3F, 3Y, 11Y, 16E, 16Y, 32, 33, 36, 52, 59, 63, 64, 70, 74, 79, D4, D6, G2, G8, P6, S2, Red Line Shuttle

Metro’s real-time service information through BusETA and Metro’s Trip Planner may not take the detours into consideration. Riders should budget extra time for their trips, officials said.

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© 2024 WTOP. All Rights Reserved. This website is not intended for users located within the European Economic Area.

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Jessica Kronzer graduated from James Madison University in May 2021 after studying media and politics. She enjoys covering politics, advocacy and compelling human-interest stories.

  • @kronzer_news

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    You may download, print or use the above map for educational, personal and non-commercial purposes. Attribution is required. For any website, blog, scientific ...

  19. 31 Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.

    The Peirce Mill operated as a grist mill from 1829 to 1897, making the historical building the last one of its kind in the area. The Old Stone House, constructed around 1766, ranks as the oldest ...

  20. Washington DC Visitor Information : The Official Washington DC Guide

    Washington DC visitor information centers can be found at all major airports, metro stations, shopping malls, museums, and galleries, as well as at local community centers like libraries and schools. Many of these centers also sell tickets to major events being held in the area and can provide recommendations on where to go for sightseeing ...

  21. Washington DC tourist map

    The Washington DC tourist map is downloadable in PDF, printable and free. National symbols of Washington DC such as the Capitol and the White House are accessible to visitors, along with dozens of other tourist attractions, which include world-class museums and important monuments as its mentioned in Washington DC tourist map.

  22. Washington D.C. Visitor's Map

    The other side includes an illustrated map of the Washington D.C. metropolitan area, information about visitor attractions, and an index. The map measures 24" x 18", folded to 4" x 9". It was first published in 1991. The most recent update was in 2016. Unfortunately, this map is now out of print, but the National Mall map is available ...

  23. Tourist Map of Washington DC in 2024

    1 Tourist Map of Washington DC. 2 Tourist Guide of Washington DC. 3 What to see in Washington DC. 4 Map of hotels in Washington DC. The city of Washington, or District of Columbia, was created and meticulously planned to serve as the nation's capital. It is a large city with an urban environment that concentrates all political and ...

  24. Mayor Bowser and Federal Partners Release Traffic Plan, Security Map

    (Washington, DC) - Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser was joined by local and federal partners to discuss preparations for the upcoming 75th Anniversary 2024 North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit, scheduled to take place July 9-11 in Washington, DC. ... The public security map and comprehensive traffic plan, to include a complete list of ...

  25. How to get around DC amid significant road, sidewalk closures for NATO

    Drivers won't be able to travel on these streets on Tuesday, July 9, from 4 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.: Constitution Avenue from 9th Street to 15th Street, NW Pennsylvania Avenue from 9th Street to 15th ...

  26. A summer wave of Covid-19 has arrived in the US

    Covid-19 levels have been rising in the United States for weeks as new variants drive what's become an annual summer surge. Covid-19 surveillance has been scaled back significantly since the US ...

  27. How to Check In

    Make your travel day even easier with the Fly Delta app. After download, check in as a guest, log in or register for a SkyMiles® account. From there, add your trip confirmation number to access your trips. When you're logged in, you'll be automatically checked in 24 hours before your flight, and you can use Today Mode to see your boarding ...