WashingtonUnited States of America

4.7/5Top Destination

From the President's home at the White House, to the home of Congress and the Senate on Capitol Hill, this is the city where the government of America conducts it day-to-day business. And from the tall white obelisk of the Washington Monument, to the striking Lincoln Memorial, Washington is a city packed with reminders of an American past that stretches from Founding Fathers to Civil War to Civil Rights.

If everything seems so very familiar when you wander around Washington, that's because it is. Countless films, books and news broadcasts have stamped these symbols of power into the world's consciousness. The National Mall, that criss-cross of parkland that's the backdrop for much of the city's architectural and monumental drama, is really the only place to start.

Here you can walk the spaces that have packed with the American people at times of crisis and celebration – Martin Luther King's famous 'Dream' speech rang out here. So too did the noise of the Vietnam War protests, and the crack of fireworks each Independence Day on 4th of July. The Mall is also where America tries to heal its wounds. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is tucked into a corner, a poignant reminder that while America doesn't always agree, it can still put divisions behind it.

This capital city is big on celebrating all aspects of the national culture. The National Air and Space Museum vies for your attention with the National Museum of Natural History, which jostles with the National Gallery of Art. There is a museum dedicated to the news media at the Newseum, and one that thrusts you into the role of secret agent, the International Spy Museum.

Foggy Bottom has the remnants of a notorious slum tucked in amongst its government offices and cultural centres. Watergate hides here too. And the Arlington National Cemetery doesn't just provide America's fallen with their last resting place. General Lee – that hero of the South who almost broke up the United States – has his home here. His estate was chosen as the national war cemetery as punishment for leading the Confederates armies.

And what about the 'D.C.' bit – the District of Columbia – in the name. It isn't there merely to set the capital apart from the State of Washington, on the far-flung north-west US coast. As the capital, the District of Columbia is wholly separate from the strongly independent States that make up the United States of America. Visit any one of those States, and you'll get a window onto a piece of the American soul. But it's only in Washington D.C. that those pieces are woven together to make the American Dream whole.

Known for

Museums, Historical Buildings and Monuments

Explore map

Where to stay in Washington

Downtown Washington D.C.
Downtown Washington D.C. showing a city, night scenes and street scenes

Downtown Washington D.C.

Known for Museums, Culture, Monuments

4.5/5(79 reviews)

Art galleries, museums and theaters as well as vibrant entertainment, nightlife and shopping districts await in this city center neighborhood.

Dupont Circle
Dupont Circle featuring a monument and a statue or sculpture

Dupont Circle

Known for Museums, Culture, Dining

4.5/5(25 reviews)

Funky shops, historic houses and fascinating museums have turned this once-exclusive neighborhood into a fun-loving bohemian district. 

Georgetown
Georgetown which includes street scenes, a city and a house

Georgetown

Known for Historical Buildings, Universities, Museums

5/5(4 reviews)

A pleasant suburb on the banks of the Potomac River, home to the city’s oldest buildings, great shops and stylish bars.

Capitol Hill
Capitol Hill which includes heritage elements, a park and an administrative building

Capitol Hill

Known for Museums, Monuments, Libraries

4/5(26 reviews)

Home to the emblematic U.S. Capitol Building, this central neighborhood is famous for its historic landmarks, markets, museums and nightlife.

Foggy Bottom
Foggy Bottom which includes a memorial, a city and a statue or sculpture

Foggy Bottom

Known for Museums, Monuments, Universities

4.5/5(17 reviews)

A district of culture, learning and politics and where old town meets new, river mists shroud its terraced alleys and where a President once fell from grace.

Chinatown
Washington which includes a city, street scenes and night scenes

Chinatown

Known for Museums, Culture, Chinatown

Discover a city center neighborhood with a variety of Asian shops and restaurants. Visit the nearby galleries, museums and entertainment centers.

Top hotels in Washington

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Liaison Washington Capitol Hill
Liaison Washington Capitol Hill
4 out of 5
415 New Jersey Ave Nw, Washington, DC
NZ$215
per night
3 Nov. - 4 Nov.

Located in Capitol Hill, this boutique hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Union Station Shopping Center and United States Capitol. Supreme Court of the United ...

4.1/5Very Good! (4,261 reviews)

"Close to everything, enjoyed being able to walk to Capitol, museums,union station."…"

Reviewed on 19 Oct. 2019

Liaison Washington Capitol Hill
Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
4 out of 5
1001 14th St NW, Washington, DC
NZ$191
per night
3 Nov. - 4 Nov.

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this historic hotel is within a 10-minute walk of Lafayette Square, White House, and CityCenterDC. Ford's Theater and Walter ...

4.2/5Excellent! (3,709 reviews)

"Clean hotel, super friendly and accommodating staff and great location. Will definitely recommend"…"

Reviewed on 18 Oct. 2019

Hamilton Hotel Washington DC
Omni Shoreham Hotel
Omni Shoreham Hotel
4 out of 5
2500 Calvert St Nw, Washington, DC
NZ$268
per night
30 Oct. - 31 Oct.

Located in Woodley Park, this hotel is 0.9 mi (1.5 km) from Smithsonian's National Zoo. Woodley Park-Zoo Station is only a 4-minute walk and Cleveland Park Station ...

4.4/5Excellent! (4,423 reviews)

"This is one of my favorite Omni properties. The hotel has a truly grand entrance - chandeliers, cocktail bar, and so much more."…"

Reviewed on 10 Oct. 2019

Omni Shoreham Hotel

Popular activities in Washington

White House
Image for White House

White House

4/5(64 reviews)

Explore the home and workplace of the president of the United States. See entertainment areas and state rooms and learn about the history of this famous building.

Washington Monument
Image for Washington Monument

Washington Monument

4/5(67 reviews)

This mammoth monument to America's first President and foremost founding father casts a long shadow over Washington – but for a long time it's place was in doubt.

Lincoln Memorial
Image for Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

4.5/5(71 reviews)

This Memorial houses a statue of the President who took a stand against slavery – and who had just started to heal the nation, when he was brutally assassinated.

United States Capitol
Image for United States Capitol

United States Capitol

4.5/5(51 reviews)

Sitting on top of Capitol Hill is a Washington landmark that’s been the home of American democracy for more than 200 years.

Jefferson Memorial
Image for Jefferson Memorial

Jefferson Memorial

4.5/5(25 reviews)

A place to muse on the words of one of the authors of the US Declaration of Independence, and perhaps its most thoughtful of Presidents.

Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Image for Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

4.5/5(38 reviews)

One of the quieter, reflective corners of the Mall, this memorial carries the name of every single soldier who died in America's most controversial war.

Top activities in Washington

Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Image for Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

Washington DC Hop-On Hop-Off Tour

NZ$80

Jump on a double-decker bus to explore Washington, D.C. at your leisure. As the authorized concessionaire of the National Park Service, this is the official tour of the National Mall and an ideal way to explore the Nation’s Capital.

Washington DC African American Heritage Tour
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Washington DC African American Heritage Tour

NZ$129

Delve into the African American heritage of the United States and its capital city on this local-led tour of D.C. Visit landmarks like Frederick Douglass' house and the Martin Luther King Jr.

DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi
Image for DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi

DC Hop On-Off Tour + Arlington Cemetery Tour + Water Taxi

NZ$78

Named “Washington's Best Tour” by the Washingtonian Magazine, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the Nation's Capitol. Sit back while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington D.C.

National Mall Sites by Segway Tour
Image for National Mall Sites by Segway Tour

National Mall Sites by Segway Tour

NZ$102

Glide along Pennsylvania Avenue and the National Mall during a guided Segway tour that shows you all of Washington, D.C.'s most important landmarks. Dive head-first into U.S. history while admiring monuments, museums, and memorials dedicated to the nation's formative years.

Guided Monuments & Memorials Tour at Dusk
Image for Guided Monuments & Memorials Tour at Dusk

Guided Monuments & Memorials Tour at Dusk

NZ$92

Your tour begins at the US Navy Memorial and loops around the National Mall, stopping at iconic landmarks and powerful tributes to key moments in American history along the way.

Washington DC Newseum Tickets
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Washington DC Newseum Tickets

NZ$36

Immerse yourself in the world’s greatest news stories in the Newseum's 15 galleries and 15 theaters. Experience 5 centuries of news history, play reporter in an interactive newsroom, and take in panoramic views of the capital city from the terrace.

Reviews of Washington

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
74
5 - Excellent 74%
4 - Good
20
4 - Good 20%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 5%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 1%
1 - Terrible
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5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

20 Oct. 2019

Loved Washington- plenty to do and see

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

18 Oct. 2019

I'd been there when doing Army training at nearby Ft Belvoir in '71, and a couple times since, doing my travels over the years. This time was wonderful, the place so accessible (we're hyper-fit walkers) everyone we met, so polite and helpful.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

16 Oct. 2019

Wonderful visit with family including teens and a 4 year old. Did one of the hop-on-hop-off tours but should have just done bike rides with public transport instead.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

15 Oct. 2019

There is so much to take in at Washington. Great choice for sight seeing. Wish we spent another day to look at more museums and monuments. The Big Bus was a great way to get around to all the major sights.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

11 Oct. 2019

The museums were just amazing and the architecture of this amazing City is stunning. We felt safe walking to venues and restaurants at night from the Hamilton. the Capital bike hire is a great way to get around also.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

1 Oct. 2019

A great place to visit. So much history and attractions to see.

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Washington

America’s Favorite Cheap Places to Eat
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America’s Favorite Cheap Places to Eat

Savoring America’s melting pot of cheap eats and unique treats

How to Spend a Weekend in Washington D.C.
Image for How to Spend a Weekend in Washington D.C.

How to Spend a Weekend in Washington D.C.

From the National Mall’s legendary landmarks to the glittering restaurants of Dupont Circle, Washington D.C. promises an unforgettable adventure.

Just outside D.C.
Image for Just outside D.C.

Just outside D.C.

Seeking budget accommodations just outside of Washington, D.C.

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