Boasting a vast array of iconic landmarks, US capital city Washington DC has sights and sounds to suit every taste.
The city is located on the banks of the Potomac River, a location chosen by George Washington, and the city’s design was largely the work of French-born city designer Pierre Charles L’Enfant, who took inspiration from plans provided to him by Thomas Jefferson of European cities including Paris, Amsterdam and Milan.
Six of the ten most popular works of architecture in the US are located in Washington DC, including the White House, the Washington National Cathedral and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.
The city also boasts a thriving cultural scene, with hundreds of museums, galleries and entertainment venues, as well as professional teams in every major US sport
Things to do
The White House
The most famous building in the US, the official residence of the President of the United States is recognised worldwide as a symbol of the prestige of the presidency.
The US Capitol
The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature.
Civil War to Civil Rights
“Civil War to Civil Rights” commemorates the 150th anniversary of the war and DC’s unique position in the fight for civil rights. Inspiring experiences can be found at dozens of attractions, landmarks, organizations and historic sites throughout the capital region, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, which opens in August 2011.
Since 1999, Washington Walks guides have been leading visitors and locals alike along the streets of America’s capital city, revealing the stories and sites that abound on the National Mall and beyond.
Washington National Cathedral
Standing at one of the city's highest points, this soaring Gothic cathedral pierces the city's skyline. The church's grandeur is evidenced in its stunning features, including vaulting, sparkling stained glass windows and intricate carvings.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial
The Thomas Jefferson Memorial stands as a symbol of liberty and endures as a site for reflection and inspiration for all citizens of the United States and the world.
Rock Creek Park
A rustic expanse of 1,754 acres surrounding Rock Creek. Includes nature centre, riding stables, tennis courts, a golf course, 30 picnic areas, playing fields and an extensive network of trails for walking, jogging and cycling.
Enjoy thousands of exotic animals, educational animal demonstrations, giant pandas on the Asia Trail and many other exhibits.
National Air and Space Museum
The National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall houses famous icons of flight: the original Wright Flyer, the Spirit of St. Louis, SpaceShipOne, the Apollo 11 command module and a touchable lunar rock.
DC always has something to offer sports fans. September is very much baseball season, and at Nationals Park, the Washington Nationals play three games against the Florida Marlins on 16th, 17th and 18th September before taking on the Atlanta Braves on 23rd, 24th and 25th September.
One of the most renowned teams in the NFL, the Washington Redskins will also be in action at FedEx Field in September, with the schedule for the 2011 season set to be released in the coming months.
Soccer team DC United are the most successful MLS club of all-time, and they have home matches at RFK Stadium against Chivas USA on 21st September and Real Salt Lake on 24th September.
Washington Dulles International Airport
Located 26 miles west of Washington, DC and offering a full range of domestic and international flights.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Located south of the city along the Potomac River and offering a full range of domestic flights on major, regional and commuter carriers.
Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport
Located 31.7 miles northeast of the city, BWI is notable for its variety of low-cost carriers and selection of international flights.
The DC taxi cab system is a meter system. Fares begin at $3, plus 25 cents per each additional 1/6 mile and 25 cents per minute of wait time, $1.50 per additional passenger.
Union Station in DC is home to Amtrak and multiple commuter rail services; 3.8 million Amtrak passengers travel through DC each year.
Metrorail & Metrobus
The Metro system is the nation’s third-largest (with 5 rail lines, 106 miles of track and 86 stations) and the nation’s second-most utilised transport system (carrying 206 million riders each year).
3 bus routes service 2.2 million riders each year, connecting Union Station with Georgetown, the National Mall with Walter E. Washington Convention Center, and a seasonal loop around the National Mall, priced at just $1 per ride.