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Washington

Guide to Washington DC

From the awe-inspiring Library of Congress to the sprawling Smithsonian Institution and to the stunning Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC is the world’s center of history, art, and politics. A testament to a glorious history, Washington DC has seen everything from the signing of the parchment of the Declaration of Independence, to the Women’s Suffrage Parade, demanding the right to vote, to Martin Luther King Jr’s moving speech.

 

Over the years, Washington DC has transformed into not just the political center of the country, but also a cultural one. Housing the world’s largest museum, The Smithsonian Institution, and the famed Kennedy Center, the city is a potpourri of dance, music, arts and culture. It is a great place to experience the best of America.

The Top Attractions of Washington DC

 

A bus to Washington DC is one of the best ways to get here. Here are a few things one might want to see when in the city:

1. The Lincoln Memorial

A 19-foot tall statue of a seated President Abraham Lincoln, surrounded by 36 columns, each depicting a state that existed at the time of his death, makes for the famed Lincoln Memorial. Sculpted by Daniel Chester French, the monument is one of the most visited places in Washington DC.

Tip: We recommend visiting the memorial at night when the monuments are bathed in light and make for a spectacle. The Lincoln Memorial is open 24 hours and never fails to amaze its visitors.

  1. Capitol Hill

Washington DC is many a times found in the center of world politics and it is here, at the Capitol, that the Congress is in action and decisions are made. Built between 1792 and 1812, the Capitol is based on Neoclassical architecture inspired by the Greek and Roman designs, reflecting the ideals of the nation’s founders. The interiors of the Capitol are done in paintings and beautiful frescoes adorn the dome.

The Visitor Center is open to public and stores interesting information about the building and the history of the country. Free tours of the Senate wing also take place and can be booked at the Visitor Center.

Tip: One may visit a House in Session, however, this  requires a Pass from a Senator or a Representative.

  1. Library of Congress

As one of the biggest libraries in the world, The Library of Congress was earlier established to safeguard the documents of the United States when they were being transferred from Philadelphia to Washington DC. Now, it has spread across three buildings and houses over 160 million items including books, manuscripts, historical documents, and  the original parchment of the Declaration of Independence, signed by the founding members of the nation.

Tip: Visiting the elaborately decorated interiors of the Library of Congress is truly an amazing experience. One should visit the Reading Room for its sheer beauty.

  1. The Washington Monument

A defining feature of Washington’s skyline, the Washington Monument is an obelisk which was commissioned to be built in 1848. Because of the Civil War and political disharmony, its construction was halted in 1854 and then resumed in 1879 and completed in 1894. The 555 ft tall structure was once the tallest building in the city.

Fun Fact: The building is made of marble and the difference in color is result of the marble being sourced from a different quarry when the construction was resumed in 1879.

 

The Best Neighborhoods to Stay In

 

As one of the most historically relevant cities in the country, Washington DC is known for a vibrant lifestyle and bits of culture. The intercity bus service is one of the most ideal ways to travel across cities. While on your trip to the city, here are a few neighborhoods you might want to check out and stay in:

  1. Shaw

Known for trendy bars, eateries and galleries, Shaw is one of the recent and trendy areas of Washington DC. Located close to the Mall, Logan Circle and Columbia Heights, Shaw is the snazzy new place to be in.

  1. Adams Morgan

Boasting a lot of history, Adams Morgan is known for its bars, clubs, eateries, open-air markets and quirky shopping options. This neighborhood is a youngster’s delight and a must visit for all those visiting the city.

  1. Georgetown

One of the oldest areas of the city which dates back to 1750’s, Georgetown is known for cobbled streets and the quaint 18th and 19th century architecture. Set on the waterfront harbor of Potomac River and lined by beautiful old trees, Georgetown is home to Georgetown University, Dumbarton Oaks, and the Exorcist Steps, among others.

  1. Dupont Circle

Serving as the address of the young and wealthy, Dupont Circle houses the trendiest art galleries, exclusive cafés, eateries and shops. The namesake traffic circle, earlier known as Pacific Circle, holds a large marble fountain built in 1921. The exclusive nightlife attracts hordes of young travelers to the area.

  1. Logan Circle

Logan Circle is one of the trendiest neighborhoods in the city with hip restaurants, gay bars, and fancy boutiques. The architecture here is also worth checking out. The best way to explore the neighborhood is by walking around.

 

Transportation Options

 

Traveling around Washington DC is easy, as many options are available for the locals as well as tourists.

  1. Metrorail: Metrorail is one of the most convenient options to travel in Washington DC and it connects all four quadrants of the city. It is quite popular amongst commuters and can be divided as six color-coded routes for the convenience of the travelers.

  2. Metrobus: With over 400,000 trips daily, Metrobus connects even the most remote locations in Washington DC.

  3. Taxis: The city is serviced by hundreds of economical taxis and is a convenient way to commute within the city.

  4. DC Circulator: Commuters can easily get on and off of the DC circulator as it connects all the main neighborhoods of Washington DC.

  5. Hop On Hop Off Tours: Connecting all the historical monuments and locations of the city, Hop On Hop Off tour buses are a good option for those visiting Washington DC.

 

Nightlife in Washington DC

 

Washington DC is a hotspot for a vibrant nightlife and it has something to offer  for everybody.

  1. Dinner Cruise on Potomac River: With several cruises setting sail every evening, the Dinner Cruise is an experience in itself. With twinkling Georgetown in the backdrop, guests can enjoy an evening of music, dance, and food on the dinner cruise and have a memorable evening.
     

  2. National Opera: A night of Opera is organized every now and then at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. It is a treat for both the ears and the eyes to watch the performances of the artists.
     

  3.  9:30 Club: For all the singers and music lovers, 9:30 Club is the place to be at. Performances by the old, new, and the famous take place here. It is a night of great music, food, and dance.
     

  4. UltraBar: For the young and the energetic, Ultrabar is the perfect spot for those who like to dance the night away. With 5 floors of sheer fun and madness, this place is definitely one to try out.
     

  5.  Howl At The Moon: Live music is fun. A live-music piano duel is even better. Howl At The Moon brings together musicians and creates a concert-like ambience for the audience to enjoy and revel in.

Where to Shop

  1. Eastern Market: For those who like to shop smart and local, Eastern Market is the place to be. Operational since 1983, Eastern Market is known for jewelry, clothing items, vintage products, antiques and much more.
     

  2. CityCenterDC: With a neighborhood feel to it, CityCenterDC is the new and the hottest shopping point in the city. From international retail to the most loved American brands, CityCenterDC is the answer to everything.
     

  3. Tanger Outlet: Tanger Outlets has all the homegrown brands and is one of the best outlet malls in the area. From Nike and Banana Republic to Hugo Boss, one can find almost everything here.
     

  4. Pentagon City Mall: Offering the best shops and eateries, the Pentagon Shopping Mall has something for everybody. With over 150 shops selling fashion clothing and items, this is one of the most premium shopping points in the region. 

 

Taking a Bus trip to Washington DC

 

Taking a bus trip to Washington DC has been found to be more beneficial, flexible, cheap, comfortable and safe than any other option. Ourbus is one of the DC’s favorite bus services. There are so many benefits that come along with it too:

  • Bus tracking service

  • Free bottled water

  • Free rescheduling

  • Personal power outlets

  • Free internet (Wi-Fi)

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