Moving to any new place has a learning curve as you try to figure out how to know your surroundings. If it's your first year in D.C. as a student, intern, or a young professional, you probably figured that out when you first visit D.C.
There are a lot of famous places you might want to visit in your free time. If you want to discover the city, we are covering a list of must-visit places for you.
So let's get started.
Best Places to See in Washington D.C.
Before we start our list, I would like to share a piece of advice; If you plan to discover the city by driving, just don't
Washington DC is like a labyrinth, the traffic circles, and one-way streets will turn your experience into a big headache, so leave your car at home and try public transportation instead.
1- The U. S. Capitol
The Capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. The Capitol building is full of lawmakers and politicians that help decide what goes on in the country.
It is a symbol, not only of the city but also of the United States. If you step inside and see the dome building you’ll understand why.
You can register for free tours, learn more about the building and its functions, get a pass to watch the Senate in session, and visit various parts of the magnificent building.
Tour guides are kind and explaining all the history of the building. There is an acoustical effect t some spots and tour guides will demonstrate how this works and give you a chance to try it out yourself during the tour.
2- The Lincoln Memorial
One of the major places in D.C. is the Lincoln Memorial. It is a significant monument constructed to honor Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president of the U.S.
Without a doubt, one of the best free things to do in Washington. D.C. is visiting the Lincoln Memorial. It is open 24 hours a day, if you don't like crowds then visit in the early hour of the day.
3- The White House
The next place to visit on our list is the White House, one of America's most recognizable historical and political symbols is also the home and office of the President of the United States.
Not just the city, but the whole nation is known because of this pure white building. Also, the tour of the White House is not one to be missed. The only downside of it is the scheduling process.
You can not go visit inside the White House when you want. You need to request a date about 90 days in advance and also for obvious reasons, security here is tight.
4- The National Mall
The open area of gardens, fountains, trees, and monuments stretching nearly two miles between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
From the Lincoln Memorial, you can see all the way to the other end. A must-do for a DC tour. It is a long way (2.2 miles) from Lincoln to Capitol Hill so be prepared to walk.
It's an amazing experience to look in any direction and see history. It's also a place for lots of people speaking different languages to enjoy themselves.
5- National Gallery of Art
There are lots of historical places in D.C. and our next stop is the National Gallery of art. By the way, if you feel tired, take a deep breath because we are just getting started.
There is so much to see in this Gallery. If you are a fan of Art, don't miss it. Many of the old masters are displayed here.
The National Gallery of Art—the nation’s museum—preserves, collects, exhibits, & fosters an understanding of works of art.
The Gallery's collection includes some 141,000 paintings, drawings, prints, photographs, sculptures, decorative arts, and new media.
6- International Spy Museum
Spy Museum is the place for James 007 Bond funs, the museum covers the techniques, technology, history, and contemporary role of espionage.
In total, 39 countries are featured in the museum, with spies from Asia, Europe, and the Middle East all showcased so you'll see international exhibitions.
On the museum’s fifth floor, you can immerse yourself in the stories of spies, Aldrich Ames, Robert Hanson, and John Walker, the actual methods and tools they used to spy on the United States.
7- National Air and Space Museum
The next stop is The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. It is the best museum in Washington, D.C. to entertain visitors of all ages. This huge museum maintains the largest collection of historic air and spacecraft in the world.
Actually, you can spend a week here, there is so much to see. The Air and Space Museum will take you to the sky, showcasing the amazing technological achievements of space exploration throughout the last century.
You will have a chance to see the only portion of the Apollo 11 spacecraft that returned to Earth and The Boeing Aviation Hangar has nearly 200 aircraft on display, including an Air France Concorde.
8- Washington National Cathedral
If you like historical places build with gothic architecture then this one is definitely a must-visit place for you. This Gothic-style cathedral is the sixth-largest in the world and took 83 years to build, from 1907 to 1990.
The stained glass is stunning with a piece of the moon in the center. Words and pictures can't describe this amazing structure.
If you have time, take the guided tour. You will learn all the history of the cathedral and a lot more. Also, check the towers, the best views of DC are from the towers.
9- The Pentagon
And at the last stop, we have the Pentagon. This huge building is the headquarters of the United States Department of Defense and one of the safest buildings in the world.
Like the White House, there are some security rules. If you'd like to get a tour to the inside of the Pentagon, you need to book up your tour 90 days in advance.
The entrance for the tours is on the opposite side to the 9/11 memorial (which is a must-visit itself). Part of the structure of the building is secret, so, during the tour, you will only visit certain areas.
Although there are 17.5 miles of corridors, spread out over 5 floors, it only takes a maximum of 7 minutes to get anywhere on foot.
Ok, this is it for today. So far we have covered the best places to see in D.C. As always if you like our content, you should stay tuned.