top of page button
Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

 Think big in Washington–as soon as you arrive in D.C., you’ll be knocked over by the scale of the place. America’s capital wants you to know where you are, and the city goes all out to impress in terms of grandeur and size. Drama and scandal bubble under the surface, while the streets are abuzz with hip and happening events, museums, restaurants, and clubs around every corner. The principles of Equality, Justice, Life, and Liberty are still upheld, but D.C. is, above all, a trendy and international town.

currency

US Dollar $1 = 100 cents

phone

911

newspaper

Publications:
The Washington Post
The Washington City Paper
On Tap (free)
Georgetown Independent

hours

General opening hours for shops are 10am – 7pm / 9pm Monday-Saturday. Noon – 5pm / 6pm Sunday. Some shops are closed on Sundays.

population

702,455 (estimated population in 2018)

info

DC Chamber of Commerce Information Center
Address: 506 9th Street
NW Washington, DC 20004
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 8.30am–5.30pm, closed on Saturday and Sunday.

website

washington.org

The United States Capitol building in Washington DC f11photo/Shutterstock.com

The City

Washington is a city of contrasts. While it might be best recognized in its political role, D.C. wants the world to know that it has much more to offer than governmental gossip and diplomatic deals. Divided into districts, each neighborhood represents another distinct feature that adds to the diverse characteristics of breathing life into the city.

While isolated Georgetown is bustling with new, trendy boutiques and restaurants, Shaw, once the site of racial tension and riot, is undergoing a revitalization program to make it a hot destination for African-American heritage tours. Downtown might offer theaters, galleries, and the best Chinese food in the Chinatown restaurants while the New U district, where Duke Ellington once played, is the in vogue neighborhood for hearing live music. And amid all this, let’s not forget the political and military monuments and memorials along the National Mall. It is in this area that you’ll also find the wonderful Smithsonian complex of museums.

The city is a melting pot of cultures and communities, which have a fantastic influence on restaurants in particular. Whatever your culinary preferences, D.C. can cater to them, be it French, American or Ethiopian. Spread out across the city, all the choices are on offer. One of the key aspects of Washington, D.C. is that, despite being crammed with different tastes, smells, sights, and sounds, it is not claustrophobic. D.C.’s neighborhoods are spread out over an expanse that is broken up by generous oases of green space, giving the city that sense of liberation and harmony which it strives to promote.

Views of the Washington Monument in Washington, DC Washington Monument USA Oomka/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

Washington, D.C. is the capital of patriotic monuments and symbols of political power. Home to influential institutions including Congress and the White House, the city also boasts some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.

Andrea Izzotti/Shutterstock.com

The White House

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

National Air and Space Museum

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

National Gallery of Art

Albert Pego/Shutterstock.com

The Mall/Monuments

Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

National Museum of American History

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

United States Capitol

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

Arlington National Cemetery

Galina Mikhalishina/Shutterstock.com

Library of Congress

AHPix/Shutterstock.com

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception

Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock.com

United States Botanic Garden

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock.com

John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

Steve Heap/Shutterstock.com

Washington National Cathedral

holbox/Shutterstock.com

Georgetown

trekandshoot/Shutterstock.com

Supreme Court

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

Jefferson Memorial

Kamira/Shutterstock.com

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Richard Cavalleri/Shutterstock.com

The U.S. National Archives

Orhan Cam/Shutterstock.com

Rock Creek Park

Png Studio Photography/Shutterstock.com

National Zoological Park

Hunter Bliss/Shutterstock.com

Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool

Chef plating breakfast sunny_photography/Shutterstock.com

Dining

Regarded as one of the culinary capitals of the world, Washington, D.C. offers a fantastic variety of cuisines and dining experiences. Washington’s eclectic mix of nationalities demands an array of tastes to suit all backgrounds.

Neighborhoods and districts boast their own signature fare. Head to Georgetown for trendy hot spots, Adams-Morgan to sample East African ’wat’ (simmered veg or meat in sauce), or Downtown for great seafood (soft-shell crab is a specialty).

Dinner service stretches from 6pm-11pm and tips of at least 15 percent are expected. It’s advisable to book ahead for popular places, especially on weekends.

Denis Tabler/Shutterstock.com

Pizzeria Paradiso

Kris Wiktor/Shutterstock.com

Bistrot Lepic

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Café Milano

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

The Market Lunch

VVDVVD/Shutterstock.com

Full Kee

Ekaterina_Minaeva/Shutterstock.com

Komi

Paulo Brandao/Shutterstock.com

Blue Duck Tavern

Artur Begel/Shutterstock.com

Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

Minibar by José Andrés

DronG/Shutterstock.com

Call Your Mother Deli

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Cafe Lombardy

Kzenon/Shutterstock.com

Lafayette Restaurant

Halfpoint/Shutterstock.com

Founding Farmers

creativesunday/Shutterstock.com

Joe's Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab

Tatiana Bralnina/Shutterstock.com

Old Europe Restaurant

ARTRAN/Shutterstock.com

Zaytinya

Dima Sobko/Shutterstock.com

Fiola

wrangler/Shutterstock.com

1789 Restaurant

martiapunts/Shutterstock.com

Jaleo

Alena Haurylik/Shutterstock.com

Ted's Bulletin 14th Street

darqdesign/Shutterstock.com

The Red Hen DC

Joe Gough/Shutterstock.com

Rasika

Anatoly Vartanov/Shutterstock.com

We, The Pizza

Group Of People Drinking Coffee Concept Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

For a quick hot dog or something more substantial, Washington’s deluge of cafes will more than cater to the requirements of its visitors. The city’s student population promotes a café culture, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

Ben’s Chili Bowl

nd3000/Shutterstock.com

Cascade Café

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Café Milano

Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock.com

The Market Lunch

ktasimar/Shutterstock.com

Filter Coffee House & Espresso Bar

natchaporing/Shutterstock.com

Compass Café

VasiliyBudarin/Shutterstock.com

Saxbys

goo922/Shutterstock.com

Pâtisserie Poupon

L Jones/Shutterstock.com

Bread Furst

Vorontsova Anastasiia/Shutterstock.com

Bakery & Wired

Pinkyone/Shutterstock.com

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

Group Of Friends Enjoying Night Out At Rooftop Bar Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

Student life and an established city Happy Hour make DC’s bar scene a happening affair. Cocktails flow freely, particularly in the two main drinking areas Georgetown and Adams-Morgan. Washington lights up after dark. Rave until the early hours or sip exciting cocktails in cozy surroundings.

bbernard/Shutterstock.com

Eden

Maxim Blinkov/Shutterstock.com

HEIST

TZIDO SUN/Shutterstock.com

Blues Alley

Pressmaster/Shutterstock.com

Barcode

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

The Loft at 600 F

Africa Studio/Shutterstock.com

U Street Music Hall

Thitinun Lerdkijsakul/Shutterstock.com

Barrel

Statia Grossman/Shutterstock.com

McClellan’s Retreat

Maksim Fesenko/Shutterstock.com

Clyde's of Georgetown

David Tadevosian/Shutterstock.com

Simple Bar & Grill

Nejron Photo/Shutterstock.com

Union Pub

Aleksandrs Muiznieks/Shutterstock.com

All Souls Bar

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

The Tombs

Kohlhuber Media Art/Shutterstock.com

9:30 Club

Beautiful girls in sun glasses are holding shopping bags, using a smart phone and smiling while standing outdoors VGstockstudio/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

For a serious shopping spree, Georgetown is probably the most famous area for retail therapy but many neighborhoods have enough boutiques, markets and designer stores to make the city a shopper’s paradise. Malls are in more suburban areas but still easily accessible thanks to their notoriety.

Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock.com

Downtown and Chinatown

275847/Shutterstock.com

Friendship Heights

oneinchpunch/Shutterstock.com

The New U District

Dragana Gordic/Shutterstock.com

Eastern Market

merzzie/Shutterstock.com

The Fashion Center at Pentagon City

wavebreakmedia/Shutterstock.com

Potomac Mills Mall

Antonio Guillem/Shutterstock.com

Union Station

Syda Productions/Shutterstock.com

White House Gifts

VICTOR TORRES/Shutterstock.com

Georgetown

Sann von Mai/Shutterstock.com

Captain White’s Seafood

nd3000/Shutterstock.com

Mazza Gallerie

ESB Professional/Shutterstock.com

Chevy Chase Pavilion

LuckyImages/Shutterstock.com

Union Market

Pinkyone/Shutterstock.com

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe

Karramba Production/Shutterstock.com

Tiny Jewel Box

Alim Yakubov/Shutterstock.com

Eastern Market Pottery

MarkoV87/Shutterstock.com

Miss Pixie's

sirtravelalot/Shutterstock.com

Georgetown Flea Market

Don Pablo/Shutterstock.com

Capitol Hill Books

Washington, DC at the Tidal Basin with the Arlington skyline. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Ronald Reagan National Airport

National Airport is accessible by Metro (Yellow/Blue Line). The Washington DC Metrorail system has an important Metrorail station connected to Terminals B and C at Reagan National Airport. The Metrorail system offers easy and affordable access to different locations throughout Washington, Virginia, and Maryland. You can buy your ticket from the vending machines located at all entrances to the Airport Metrorail station.

SuperShuttle offers door-to-door service and based on demand. For information or to schedule service, call 1-800-BLUEVAN or go to supershuttle.com.
To get in touch with shared ride services, go to the outside curb or contact a SuperShuttle representative. After hours, call 1-800-258-3826 and press 1 for dispatch or 2 for reservations.

Another way is to rent a car. Rental car counters are located on the first floor in Terminal Garage A.

You will find the taxi stands outside the terminals. A taxi to National Airport from the National Mall takes approximately 15 minutes.

Address: Ronald Reagan National Airport

Email:

Phone: +1 703 417 8000

Website: www.metwashairports.com

More Information:

Washington Dulles International Airport

Washington Dulles International Airport is an international airport in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of downtown Washington, D.C.

Traveling to Dulles is easy with Silver Line Express bus service, connecting Dulles International to downtown Washington, D.C. and beyond. You can buy your tickets for the Dulles International Airport Silver Line Express at the ticket counter located inside the vestibule of Door 4 on the Arrivals Level of the Main Terminal.
www.washfly.com

Metrobus Route 5A to and from Washington, D.C. and Rosslyn, VA
Bus operates to and from L'Enfant Plaza, Rosslyn, Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride and Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Curb location 2E.
www.wmata.com

Washington Flyer Shared-Ride Service
You can also choose shared van service to and from points all around the metropolitan region. No reservations required. Go to the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Centers down the ramps from Arrivals Door no 2 or no 7 or call +1 800 258 3826 (SuperShuttle) / +1 800 590 0000 (Supreme Airport Shuttle).

Washington Flyer Taxi
There are also Taxi services from the airport. No reservations required. Visit the Washington Flyer Taxi counter at the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Centers down the ramps from Arrivals Door no. 2 or no 7 or call 703 572 TAXI.

Address: Washington Dulles International Airport

Email:

Phone: +1 703 572 2700

Website: www.metwashairports.com

More Information:

Baltimore-Washington International Airport

Baltimore/Washington International is a major airport serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States. Situated next to the CDP Linthicum in northern unincorporated Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the airport is about 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Washington, D.C.

Here are some options on how to travel to and from the airport:

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Metro now offers BWI Express Metro bus service between BWI and the Greenbelt metro station. The service offers a direct connection between BWI and the Greenbelt Metro Station. The BWI Express/B30 service runs every 40 minutes, 7 days a week to the Greenbelt Metro Station, which is situated on the Green Line of the Washington Metro System.
For more information call +1 202 637 7000 or go to www.wmata.com.

Amtrak
From Washington, DC:
You can also take Amtrak Train to BWI from Washington's Union Station. You can contact Amtrak Passenger Services at Union Station by calling +1 202 906 3260 or go to their website www.amtrak.com.

MARC Train
From Washington, DC:
Take MARC Trains at Washington's Union Station situated at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE. Here you will find hours and information. The BWI Marshall Rail Station is on MARC's Penn Line.
To contact the Union Station ticket office, please call +1 202 906 3104. MARC Train service operates seven days a week.

Taxis
The taxi stand is placed just outside of the baggage claim area of the Lower Level of the BWI Marshall terminal. BWI Marshall taxicabs are forbidden from charging flat rates. For more information, call +1 410 859 1100 or visit www.bwiairporttaxi.com.

Address: Baltimore-Washington International Airport

Email:

Phone: +1 410 859 7111

Website: www.bwiairport.com

More Information:

Passport/Visa

Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Time Zone

UTC/GMT -4 hours

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Best Time to Visit

If you're planning a trip to Washington, D.C. these tips will be useful for a no-bad-surprises journey. Fall offers comfortable weather, fewer crowds, and a plethora of activities to join. Summer and spring are the peak season, thus expect long queues at the main city landmarks, as well as higher prices on accommodation and airfare. The cold and snowy winter is not for starters, but if you're brave enough, know that winter is also the quietest and least crowded season.

Whatever the period is, Washington, D.C. boasts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year.

Here are some of the most representative ones:

January
- Commemorative events for Martin Luther King Jr. birthday
February
- Celebrations of the Chinese New Year
March
-National Cherry Blossom Festival
May
-Memorial Day Weekend
August
-DC Beer Week

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Public Transport

Public transport in Washington consists of the super-efficient Metrorail and bus services. Computerized fare cards are available from self-service machines at the stations. One-day passes and weekly ones are available.

The bus service in DC provides services throughout the city and to outlying suburbs. Stops are marked by red, white, and blue signposts. Kids travel free. Be sure to have exact change ready for the automatic fare machines.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website: www.wmata.com

More Information:

Taxi

Taxis are everywhere in the city, just hail one down. DC is based around eight geographical zones, and a cab fare is determined by how many of these you cross during your ride, as well as the time of day you travel and the number of passengers. Three major taxi companies are:

Diamond
+1 202 387 6200

Yellow
+1 202 544 1212

Capitol
+1 202 636 1600

Address:

Email:

Phone: +1 202 398 0500

Website: dctaxionline.com

More Information:

Post

Blue postal drop boxes are located across DC. Stamps can be bought at many hotels, museums, grocery stores, and post offices. You can find your nearest branch on the Postal Service website.

Address:

Email:

Phone: +1 800 275 8777

Website: www.usps.com

More Information:

Pharmacy

DC’s major pharmacy chain is CVS. The CVS Dupont Circle is open 24 hours.

Address: 6-7 Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.

Email:

Phone: +1 202 785 1466

Website: cvshealth.com/about/our-offerings/cvs-pharmacy

More Information:

Telephone

Country code: +1

Area code: 202

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information:

Electricity

US standard voltage is 110-115V and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Sockets and the power plugs are of type A and B.

Address:

Email:

Phone:

Website:

More Information: