Important: This destination may have COVID-19 travel restrictions in place, including specific restrictions for lodging. Check any national, local, and health advisories for this destination before you book.

WashingtonUnited States of America

Washington D.C. isn't just America's capital, home to its symbols of power and history. It's also a city that has woven itself into the global soul.

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.

Washington Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Washington

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

Downtown Washington D.C.

4.5/5Wonderful!(95 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums and important monuments, there's plenty to explore in Downtown Washington D.C.. Check out top attractions like International Spy Museum and Capital One Arena, and jump on the metro at McPherson Sq. Station or Center Station to see more of the city.

Downtown Washington D.C.
Dupont Circle featuring a monument and a statue or sculpture

Dupont Circle

4.5/5Wonderful!(26 area reviews)

Visitors to Dupont Circle love its fantastic nightlife, and you can check out Dupont Circle and Phillips Collection. If you want to see more in the area, you can get around town on the metro at Dupont Circle Station.

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

Georgetown

5/5Exceptional!(5 area reviews)

Georgetown is popular for its abundant dining options, and if you're looking for more to see and do, you might think about a trip to Georgetown Waterfront Park or Tudor Place.

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

Capitol Hill

4/5Very Good!(34 area reviews)

Known for its fascinating museums and important monuments, there's plenty to explore in Capitol Hill. Check out top attractions like United States Capitol and Washington Navy Yard, and jump on the metro at Capitol South Station or Eastern Market Station to see more of the city.

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

Foggy Bottom

4.5/5Wonderful!(21 area reviews)

The important monuments and popular shops are a few things travellers love about Foggy Bottom. Check out Watergate Complex or World Bank while you're visiting, and jump aboard the metro at Foggy Bottom Station to get around town.

Foggy Bottom
Washington which includes a city, street scenes and night scenes

Chinatown

Ample dining options, fascinating museums and prominent monuments are just a few things travellers love about Chinatown. Sights like Capital One Arena and International Spy Museum are top spots to explore, and you can get around the greater Washington area at Gallery Place Chinatown Station.

Chinatown

Top hotels in Washington

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
Yours Truly DC
Yours Truly DC
4 out of 5
1143 New Hampshire Ave NW, Washington, DC
The price is NZ$156 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of George Washington University, White House and Lincoln Memorial. Walter E. Washington ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (17 reviews)

"Awesome hotel great location for price!! Loved the room very nice and cute and clean"…"

Reviewed on 5 Jul. 2020

Yours Truly DC
Grand Hyatt Washington
Grand Hyatt Washington
4 out of 5
1000 H Street NW, Washington, DC
Free cancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is NZ$207 per night

Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of CityCenterDC and Ford's Theater. White House and Walter E. Washington Convention ...

4.4/5Wonderful! (6,420 reviews)

"Great room. Comfortable bed and clean. We will return again."…"

Reviewed on 5 Jul. 2020

Grand Hyatt Washington
The Westin Washington National Harbor
The Westin Washington National Harbor
4 out of 5
171 Waterfront St, Oxon Hill, MD
The price is NZ$290 per night

Located in the heart of Oxon Hill, this hotel is 1.4 mi (2.3 km) from Potomac River Waterfront Park and within 9 miles (15 km) of Nationals Park and Washington ...

4.2/5Excellent! (982 reviews)

"Nice hotel love the harbor view. Went for my husband’s birthday."…"

Reviewed on 1 Jul. 2020

The Westin Washington National Harbor

Popular places to visit in Washington

White House
Image for White House

White House

4/5(84 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.

National Mall
Image for National Mall

National Mall

4.5/5(22 reviews)

The National Mall is where America comes to play, protest and promenade, with some of its best-known icons lined up along this long green strip.

Washington Monument
Image for Washington Monument

Washington Monument

4.5/5(87 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.

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum
Image for Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum

4/5(12 reviews)

The world's biggest museum, when it comes to all that flies and soars.

Lincoln Memorial
Image for Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

4.5/5(89 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(62 reviews)

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

Top activities in Washington

Washington DC African American Heritage Tour/Ticket to MAAHC
Image for Washington DC African American Heritage Tour/Ticket to MAAHC

Washington DC African American Heritage Tour/Ticket to MAAHC

NZ$126
Per adult
92% of travellers recommend
DC at Dusk Night Tour
Image for DC at Dusk Night Tour

DC at Dusk Night Tour

NZ$89
Per adult
94% of travellers recommend
NEW International Spy Museum Admission Passes
Image for NEW International Spy Museum Admission Passes

NEW International Spy Museum Admission Passes

NZ$40
Per adult
86% of travellers recommend
Washington: Small-Group Major Landmarks by Night Tour
Image for Washington: Small-Group Major Landmarks by Night Tour

Washington: Small-Group Major Landmarks by Night Tour

NZ$106
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
Magic LED Guided Night Tour 3hr Pick up/Drop off & Earpieces
Image for Magic LED Guided Night Tour 3hr Pick up/Drop off & Earpieces

Magic LED Guided Night Tour 3hr Pick up/Drop off & Earpieces

NZ$86
Per adult
90% of travellers recommend
National Geographic Museum General Admission
Image for National Geographic Museum General Admission

National Geographic Museum General Admission

NZ$23
Per adult

Reviews of Washington

4.7

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
90
5 - Excellent 74.3801652892562%
4 - Good
25
4 - Good 20.66115702479339%
3 - Okay
5
3 - Okay 4.132231404958677%
2 - Disappointing
1
2 - Disappointing 0.8264462809917356%
1 - Terrible
0
1 - Terrible 0%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

26 Jan. 2020

National Museum of Art East and West was excellent!

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

16 Jan. 2020

Enjoy going to wharf sw Washington

4/5 - Good

Verified traveller

11 Jan. 2020

Superb museums and night life.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

2 Jan. 2020

One of the best cities I have been to in America. It is exceptionally clean and you feel really safe walking around. Super easy to get around and so much to do and see.

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

16 Dec. 2019

Beautiful city with impressive monuments and museums

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveller

3 Dec. 2019

Wasn’t there long enough so many Smithsonian’s to visit. Did I night tour of the sights which was great.

Cities near Washington

Alexandria featuring a small town or village, street scenes and café scenes

Alexandria

Arlington showing cuddly or friendly animals and zoo animals as well as an individual female

Arlington

Silver Spring

Silver Spring

Other places like Washington