Seeped in rich history, abundant with world-class museums and packed with plenty of dining and nightlife options, Washington D.C. is one of the most exciting cities in the USA. A couple of days in Washington is the perfect city break from Ireland and with the direct service from Dublin Airport to Washington Dulles International Airport with United Airlines, it's more accessible than ever. To help you plan the trip of a lifetime, here are 10 things to do in Washington D.C.
Probably the most iconic building in Washington D.C., if not the whole of the USA, the White House is a must see for anyone visiting the US Capital. Although many don’t know this, you can get a tour of the White House while in Washington! Before you travel to the USA, you can contact the local embassy in D.C. to pre-arrange a tour of the East Wing which includes a visit to the State Dining Room, the China Room and the Red, Blue and Green Rooms.
And, if you have an evening free, be sure to visit the POV bar at the W Hotel for a birds-eye view of the White House! We recommend pre-booking a table at this roof-top bar to avoid disappointment as it's very popular.
Known as America’s Front Yard, the National Mall is a must for anyone who visits Washington D.C. This National Park stretches along Downtown Washington and it's home to many iconic monuments and memorials. Along it, you will come across the Lincoln Memorial, the World War II Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Martin Luther King, Jr Memorial; to name but a few. If you’d like a tour guide to take you along the National Mall, we recommend Bike and Roll as their tours are not only educational, but they’re fun as well!
Built in honour of George Washington, the first President of the United States, the Washington Monument is located on the National Mall and it is the tallest building structure in the city. In fact, no building in DC is allowed to be taller than the Washington Monument!
The United States Capitol Building is one of the most iconic buildings in Washington D.C. and it's a must visit for those in DC. Although a working office building, the Capitol Building has a welcome centre on-site and it is also possible to do a tour of it. This tour needs to be pre-booked before you travel to Washington.
Made up of a collection of museums, the Smithsonian Museum is a must when visiting Washington D.C. Some of the more iconic museums include the American History Museum, the Air and Space Museum and the Natural History Museum. While visiting the Smithsonian, be sure to keep an eye out for the original American flag!
Most of the Smithsonian Museums are also free of charge to explore.
The Newseum is an interactive museum focused on the history of journalism and communications and it is famous around the world for its fantastic collection of news from over the years. The Newseum is home to seven levels of exhibits, with the most popular being the 9/11 Gallery, the Berlin Wall Gallery - which contains a piece of the original wall and the Pulitzer Prize Photographs Gallery.
Georgetown is a district of Washington D.C. that is growing in popularity year after year. Home to quaint houses, small boutiques and incredible dining, Georgetown is a must visit for those in Washington D.C. This historic neighbourhood is really accessible from Downtown Washington and is a twenty minute walk or a short metro trip away.
If you’re looking for something different to do in Washington D.C. outside of the museums and memorials, we recommend a visit to the United States National Botanic Garden. Seeped in history and tradition, the Botanic Garden is a living plant museum that’s home to many incredible plant species and exhibitions. From rain-forest plants to endangered plants and stunning roses, you’ll get to see many incredible species from around the world, in full bloom.
For a fun and informative afternoon, be sure to visit the International Spy Museum. This unique museum features the largest collection of international espionage artefacts in the world and throughout the exhibits, you will learn all about the world of being a spy as well as the important role spies play in both current and historic world events.
Spring is the most magical time to visit Washington D.C. because the cherry blossoms along Washington’s Tidal Basin are in full bloom! These beautiful trees bring out a side of Washington that is like something out of a fairy-tale and if you are visiting during Cherry Blossom season, be sure to bring your camera! Cherry Blossom season occurs during March and April.
So there you have it, 10 things to do in Washington D.C.! Washington really is a fantastic city to visit and it's so easy to get around and see all that we have mentioned. Packages to Washington D.C. start at just €699pp and include direct flights to Washington Dulles International Airport with United Airlines and three nights hotel accommodation. For more information on Washington D.C. visit our Washington D.C. destination page or call our travel experts on 01-8173562.
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Kathleen is a travel fanatic and is a regular contributor to the Tour America blog. In her spare time you will find her blogging or photographing her way around the world.