A capital city in every respect
The world’s first planned city is really rather beautiful. Thanks to an 1899 act restricting the height of buildings, Washington DC isn’t dominated by skyscrapers and has numerous green spaces and fine views. The capital is full of interesting museums and exhibits, most of which are near the National Mall, and the Smithsonian Institution including 19 museums and a zoo, which are free to visitors. Of course Washington DC’s main industry is politics, and government buildings and monuments dominate the city. The White House, the US Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument are all a must for any visitor. But, there is more to the place than its smart-suited President, congressmen and lobbyists. Among other things, there’s Georgetown with its eclectic shops and stylish mall, Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan with their fine buildings, cafes, cocktail lounges and nightclubs.
Washington DC is crammed with things to do. Take a visit around the excellent museums that don’t cost a dime. Enjoy must-see historical and political buildings and monuments, and a great selection of city restaurants and cafes. For those looking to spend a buck browse through the stores and malls.
When to Go?
The best time to visit Washington DC is during spring or autumn when the weather is warm. In spring the city is at its most attractive and in autumn the crowds of summer visitors have left making it easier to see the sights. Summer can be unbearably hot and snowstorms in the winter can bring the city to a halt.
How to get there?
Three airports serve Washington DC: Ronald Reagan Washington National, Dulles International, and Washington International-Thurgood Marshall. Direct flights from London Heathrow to Dulles International (IAD) are available. Flights take around 8 hours in duration. Taxis or a frequent coach service into the city from Dulles International Airport take around 30 minutes.
Visit the US Capitol, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. At the Smithsonian you can pick up a map and information on all of the museums, and choose which ones you want to explore. Be sure to catch an IMAX movie at the Natural History Museum or at the National Air and Space Museum. Discover Georgetown, the capital’s historic waterfront and a great spot for eating and shopping. Head to Dupont Circle and stop by the Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café for a delicious mix of food and literature.