Washington, DC
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Top Tours & Activities in Washington, DC

See all tours & things to do in Washington, DC

Top 10 attractions to see in Washington DC

When describing the US capital, suffice it to say that big things come in small packages. Within the 61-square-mile district, you can brush up on your American history, then walk among the locals and discover the spirit of the city's oldest neighborhoods.

The US Capitol

Each state donated two statues to fill the Capitol's National Statuary Hall. At 19 feet 10 inches tall, Hawaii's King Kamehameha I is the largest and weighs a hefty 15,000 pounds.

Capitol Hill

Not only is it where US government business unfolds, but Capitol Hill is also one of the city's oldest neighborhoods. Shops and restaurants abound on Barracks Row along 8th Street SE.

The White House

It's the famous mansion with an equally famous address. The White House is also one of America's most haunted houses, where Lincoln and others have made their ghostly presence known.

Washington Monument

The Washington Monument first opened to the public in 1888 and has remained the world's tallest stone object and obelisk, soaring 555 feet over the National Mall. The view from the top is breathtaking.

Lincoln Memorial

The most visited site in DC and houses the 19-foot high statue of the "Great Emancipator." The Lincoln memorial was also the backdrop for MLK Jr.'s "I Have A Dream" speech in 1963.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Known as "the Wall," it commemorates the 2.7 million men and women who served during the conflict and bears the 58,286 names of those who died or are considered missing in action.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

The 19 statues of the Korean War Veterans Memorial represent the four branches of military on a patrol day in Korea, and their faces reflect the ethic backgrounds of Americans who served in the 38-month long war.

Arlington National Cemetery

John F. Kennedy and William H. Taft are the only two presidents who rest in peace in the Arlington National cemetery. Memorials also honor those who died on the Space Shuttle Challenger and Columbia.

Smithsonian Institution Building

Coined "the Castle" for its Romanesque and Gothic design, the building is the Smithsonian Institution's headquarters and offers four exhibits to visit, plus two stunning gardens to admire.

The US National Archives

The US National Archives is the place to see history in print. The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the Emancipation Proclamation among others are on display.

Planning your Washington, DC visit

White House Tickets

Make a reservation through your congressional office up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days. The self-guided tour takes place Tuesdays - Thursdays from 7:30AM to 11:00AM; Fridays from 7:30AM to 12:00PM; Saturdays from 7:30AM to 1:00PM. You must bring your government-issued identification on the day of the tour. Non-US citizens must contact their embassy in Washington DC for assistance. Admission is free.

US Capitol Tickets

It's recommended to book the free, 90-minute tour well in advance either through your senator's or representative's office. You can also make a reservation online yourself. The Visitors' Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. Admission is free.

Washington Monument Tickets

Due to the limited number of visitors allowed each day, tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. You can either pick up your tickets at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street or reserve your ticket in advance online for a fee of $1.50 per ticket. Every ticket indicates a specific entry time. Opening hours are daily from 9:00AM to 10:00PM (Memorial Day through Labor Day), otherwise from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Admission is free.

What else is for free?

It's free to visit the memorials, the Smithsonian Museums, and the National Zoo. Admission is also free to enter the US National Archives, but it's advised that you make a reservation in advance at a fee of $1.50 per ticket.

Good to Know

  • Language
    English
  • Currency
    USD ($)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (-05:00)
  • Country Code
    +1
  • Best time to visit
    Spring - it's just getting warmer and it may not be as crowded as the summer!

Things to Do in Washington, DC

Top Attractions in Washington, DC

Other Sightseeing Options in Washington, DC

Want to discover all there is to do in Washington, DC?  Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Washington, DC

It was a great tour and we learned so much from our tour guide Brian.

It was a great way to see the sights of DC without worrying about having to navigate through traffic. Our tour guide, Brian was so knowledgable and gave us so much history and information we did not know before. He stopped at several monuments so we could get out, walk around and was even our personal photographer. I would highly recommend this tour.
Washington DC 2-Hour Tour by Electric Car Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 08/30/2015

the best way to get the overall picture of DC.

Narrators were knowledgeable and professional. Great way to get your bearings in DC.
Old Town Trolley Tour of Washington DC Reviewed by Kathleen, 08/13/2015

This tour made visiting the monuments the highlight of our trip.

Took the Monuments Tour by Night with 2 adults and 2 twelve-year-olds. All agreed that this was the best thing we did in DC (on a trip which included tours of the White House, Capitol, FBI, Bureau of Engraving, Washington Monument, and Mount Vernon, as well as Arlington National Cemetary, the Marines Sunset Parade, the National Zoo, and the Smithsonian Air & Space, American History, and Natural History Museums). We got to see all the monuments by bicycle, which was a welcome change from all the walking. The ride was not hard, and even our novice rider had no difficulty keeping up. Our tour guide (Tujon) was both knowledgeable and entertaining, and he went out of his way to engage the children (calling them by name etc.) and keep them interested. This tour made visiting the monuments (which might otherwise be boring for children) the highlight of the trip.
Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour Reviewed by a GetYourGuide Customer, 08/07/2015

I had a great time!!! very informative tour guides :)

This was a great tour! My daughter and I had a wonderful time visiting the monuments and learning from our very informative tour guide, Paul. We thought the boat ride was unnecessary, however we used it as a time to take a break and relax!! Thank you for a very special time learning about our country and it's history; Christine & Marsha (mother/daughter team)
DC It All! Washington DC in One Day Sightseeing Tour Reviewed by Christine, 07/28/2015

The most entertaining and person with the most history I have traveled

Thank you for the respect for having children on the tour. This has been the most enjoyable and educating trip I have been on. We had told others and they had taken the same nights later and had the same experience. Well done.
Washington D.C. Twilight Evening Bus Tour Reviewed by Suzanne, 05/11/2015

Washington, DC
4.3
Based on 479 reviews of GetYourGuide customers