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What to see in Washington DC

Washington DC Attractions


The bustling and exciting city of Washington DC contains a multitude of must-see attractions, including the iconic statues, buildings, and museums that have become synonymous with Washington DC and have made regular appearances in TV shows and movies.

The National Mall, lined with important landmarks, museums, and monuments, is the best place to start. Iconic attractions along this stately stretch include the Washington Monument, the White House, the Capitol Building, and The Lincoln Memorial, all musts for history and politics buffs. Another world-renowned site in this area is the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, a thought provoking and hugely worthwhile exhibition. Culture lovers will enjoy the National Gallery of Art and kids of all ages will love the International Spy Museum. Another popular attraction on any tour of Washington DC is a drive along Embassy Row.

On sunny days, the National Zoo is a great kids' activity in Washington DC, with rare giant pandas that make a visit particularly memorable. The city's many parks and gardens are also great for running off excess energy and enjoying the beautiful weather in spring and autumn. Children will love the cotton-candy pink Cherry Blossom trees in the Tidal Basin each April.

Visitors intent on lots of sightseeing should purchase the Washington DC Explorer Pass, which entitles the bearer to admission to many of the top Washington DC attractions at reduced rates. However, many of the best things to see in Washington DC, including the Smithsonian Museums, the National Archives, and Ford's Theatre, are free to the public, making sightseeing in Washington DC a very affordable activity.


Federal Bureau of Investigation

Officially named the J. Edgar Hoover FBI Building, after its notorious long-time director, this rather ugly concrete structure is headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The FBI…

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Ford’s Theatre

On April 14th, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated while watching a performance at Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC. His killer, an actor named John Wilkes Booth who sympathised with the…

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International Spy Museum

One of Washington's newest museums, the International Spy Museum features the largest collection of publicly displayed international espionage artefacts in the world. It is the result of…

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Kennedy Center

One of the most prestigious performing arts centres in the US, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is also its busiest, hosting roughly 2,000 performances each year for an…

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Lincoln Memorial

The grandiose Lincoln Memorial is a tribute to the 16th US president, who preserved the Union during the Civil War and ended slavery. It also serves as a Civil War memorial, symbolising the ideas of…

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National Archives

While looking at historical papers may sound dull compared to some of Washington DC's more 'fun' museums, the National Archives is one of the most popular attractions in the city, housing priceless…

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National Gallery of Art

Two buildings, the West and East Wings, make up the visually stunning National Gallery of Art that is the most popular art museum in North America. Together they house one of the world's…

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National Mall

Extending for more than two miles (3km), from the US Capitol to the Potomac River, the tree-lined grassy strip known as the National Mall is the central hub of tourist activity in Washington…

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National Zoo

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park, commonly known as the National Zoo, is a wonderful attraction for families on holiday in Washington DC. As part of the Smithsonian Institution, the zoo has…

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Smithsonian Institution

Nicknamed the nation's attic, the Smithsonian Institution is one of the world's finest research centres, incorporating 19 excellent museums, nine research centres, and a zoo spread over…

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US Capitol

Situated on the top of Capitol Hill, with its giant white dome visible from all over the city, is the US Capitol, the heart of US government and Washington DC's most prominent landmark. It is one of…

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US Holocaust Memorial Museum

A living memorial to the Holocaust, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum hauntingly commemorates the abuse and murder of millions of Jews by the Nazis between 1933 and 1945. The permanent exhibition…

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Washington Monument

In recognition of his leadership in the fight for American independence, the Washington Monument was built to commemorate the 'Father of the Nation' and the first president of the United…

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Washington National Cathedral

One of the largest cathedrals in the US, the Washington National Cathedral, also known as the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter and Saint Paul, is a magnificent Neogothic structure standing 301 feet…

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White House

The White House has been the private residence and administrative headquarters of every President of the United States since 1800. Today an American flag flies over the house whenever the…

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