Washington D.C. is an interesting place. As the capital of the country and with a mix of people from around the world, there is a lot of diversity here. While the members of congress and those who attend to them spend lots of money, students keep it cheap and lively, and tons of tourists from all over the world keep it rushed and eclectic. There is a lot of incredible and diverse food in D.C., cool bars, and a lot of history, museums, and monuments. D.C. is an eclectic and fun city that I always enjoy. There’s plenty to do here to keep you busy during your visit!
Top 5 Things to See and Do in Washington D.C.
1. Visit the Holocaust Museum
2. Explore the Smithsonian Museums
3. Take a walk through Georgetown
4. Visit Arlington National Cemetery
5. Check out the monuments
Other Things to See and Do
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1. Tour the White House
Take a tour of the spot where the most powerful person in the world lives. You have to apply in advance to get tickets through one’s Member of Congress, so if this is a must-see for your trip you have to plan well ahead of your trip. If you are a citizen of a foreign country you need to arrange tours through your embassy in Washington D.C. You will be asked to provide security information several weeks before your tour to be approved, and submit several forms of identification for entry.
2. Visit the Supreme Court
The Supreme Court is free to enter and there are 40-minute lectures in the main hall for free and will teach you about the history of the court and how it works.
3. Tour the Capital Building
The Capital offers free tours throughout the day. Tickets are available at 8:30am on a first come first serve basis.
4. Visit the National Zoo
A great activity, especially if you have kids. You can see a very wide selection of animals here and they often have special exhibits. Moreover, as part of the Smithsonian, this zoo is also free.
5. Visit the Spy Museum
One of D.C.’s most popular attractions happens to be a pretty fun one – the International Spy Museum. Learn a thing or two about espionage through the museum’s many interactive exhibits, artifacts and film clips. See shoes with fake bottoms, photos of infamous spies, and interviews with former intelligence officers. General admission adult tickets for the museum start at $22.
6. See the cherry blossoms
If you’re in Washington D.C. around March or April (or better yet, the transition between the two), you may be just in time for the Cherry Blossom Festival. The Tidal Basin has many cherry blossom trees, which were a gift from Japan to the United States. Their blossoming is marked by a celebration that includes concerts and fireworks. The flowers themselves are beautiful and make for wonderful photo opportunities.
7. Visit Old Town Alexandria
Craving some more history? Head across the river to Old Town Alexandria, a small town with cobblestone streets and dotted with colonial buildings and historic landmarks.
8. Explore the National Gallery of Art
This museum has enough to fill an entire afternoon. It’s two wings: the east wing, which houses the gallery’s more modern works (think: Henri Matisse and Mark Rothko), and the west wing, which contains the collection’s older works (from Sandro Botticelli to Claude Monet). You’ll see a lot of artists painting here and it’s fascinating watching them work to recreate these ancient works. During the summertime on Friday evenings, the Sculpture Garden has live jazz.
10. Visit Embassies during Passport DC
During this annual springtime celebration, more than 40 embassies open their doors to visitors, staging cultural demonstrations, food tastings, and music and dance performances. It’s an amazing way to spend a few days, learning about various cultures, countries, and eating tons of delicious food!