25 Places to Visit in Washington D.C. & Top Tourist Places

Washington D. C. Tourist Places

United States Capitol, The White House, The Lincoln Memorial, The Washington Monument, Veterans Memorials, National Air and Space Museum, National Gallery of Art, National Museum of Natural History, National Zoological Park, and many more.

Home to several fascinating museums, memorials, and monuments, the city is not only about historical places to visit in Washington D. C. but features attractions full of natural beauty as well. From Potomac River, National Harbor, Tidal Basin, National Arboretum to National Zoo, the picturesque places in the city indeed make the trip delightful and refreshing.

Washington D. C. is known for its long-lost history that is reflected through its unending list of monuments, museums, and memorials. The Capitol and the White House are the national symbols, whereas the Lincoln Memorial, War Memorial, Veterans Memorials, and many others are dedicated to noted dignitaries or warriors.

However, the American History Museum, Natural History Museum, Art Museum, etc. exhibit the arts, history, culture, and tradition of the United States, several marvelous Washington D. C. tourist places are famed for their unique yet interesting collections. Why wait? Discover the celebrated tales of war, power, and brilliance with a trip to this magnificent city and collect cherishable moments!

Here are some of the best places to visit in Washington D.C.:

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One of the most magnificent places to visit in Washington D. C., the U.S. Capitol is where major political action happens and both houses of Congress debate and pass new bills or laws. This world-famous domed building is not only a center of U. S. democracy but an architectural marvel as well.

The building's north wing, south wing, and circular centrepiece (the Rotunda) are the major attractions while its iconic hall, marvelous paintings, frescoes, the statue of freedom, and sculptures reflect American history.

Location: First St SE, Washington, DC 20004, United States

Timings: 8:30 am to 4:30 pm (Sunday Closed)
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Visited by visitors from across the world, this iconic building is amongst the most popular places to visit in Washington D. C. The official residence of US presidents since 1800, it is a grand and awe-strikingly beautiful 132-room building.

The East Wing of the building is its major attraction and can be visited only through a self-guided tour that must be approved by your member of Congress. Make your tour request beforehand as spaces are limited and allotted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Location: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500, United States

Timings: 8:30 am to 11:30 am (Tuesday through Thursday) & 8:30 am to 1:30 pm on Friday and Saturday
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A work of art dedicated to President Abraham Lincoln, this memorial is one of the most popular Washington D.C. tourist places. While the larger-than-life statue of the great president is an attraction in itself, his two famous speeches etched onto its walls also attract history buffs and architecture appreciators.

The building's architecture also impresses with 38 Doric columns which signify the states in the Union at the time of President Lincoln's demise.

Location:  2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20002, United States

Timings: open 24 hours but Rangers are on duty from 9:30 am to 11:30 pm
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The obelisk-shaped building in the district of Columbia, the Washington Monument is one of the most unique places to see in Washington D.C. Built to honor the very first President of the United States of America, George Washington, this building is the tallest in the district with a height of 555 ft. 5 inches.

The construction of the building took place in stages due to lack of funds and got completed in 1885 by the Army Corps of Engineers. Visitors can reach up to the height of 500 ft. through the elevator or staircase and witness the panoramic views of the city.

Location: 2 15th St NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20024, United States

Timings: 9:00 am to 8:00 pm
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The Vietnam Veterans Memorial and the Korean Veterans Memorial located near Washington Mall are built in memory of soldiers who were killed or went missing during the Vietnam or Korean War. The Vietnam memorial comprises the bronze Vietnam Women’s Memorial, The Memorial Wall, and The Three Soldiers statue.

However, the Korean Veterans Memorial comprises 19 stainless steel statues of poncho-clad soldiers and a black granite memorial wall. Both of these memorials indeed amaze with their historic importance and architecture.

Location: 5 Henry Bacon Dr. NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20245, United States

Timings: 24 hours but rangers are available for answering queries only from 9:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
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One of the world's most acclaimed museums, the National Air and Space Museum boasts of an extensive collection of air and spacecraft in the world. It also displays almost all components of human flight, including art and archival materials related to air and space crafts.

Do include this amazing place in your places to visit in Washington D. C. itinerary and get a glimpse of the 1903 Wright Flyer, feel a moon rock, or endure the unimaginable world of air and space travel.

Location: 600 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560, United States

Timings: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm (Closed on Dec. 25)
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Amongst the world's premier art museums, the National Gallery of Art of Washington D. C. displays a vast collection of masterpieces of European and American paintings, decorative arts, and sculptures.

Visit this wonderful place to see the masterpieces of Da Vinci, Rembrandt, El Greco, Monet, Renoir, Vermeer, Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, etc. and feel astonished. Several temporary exhibitions and free concerts are also held at the National Gallery at regular intervals to woo tourists.

Location: Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20565, United States

Timings: 10:00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Saturday) & 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sunday
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One of the most fascinating places to visit in Washington D. C., the museum is home to a great collection of over 140 million natural science specimens.

With exhibits such as Hope Diamond, Ocean Hall, Hall of Human Origins, dinosaur exhibits, the interactive Discovery Room, etc., the place is truly marvelous and a fabulous destination to explore with kids and friends.

Location: 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20560, United States

Timings: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm (until 7:30 pm in springs and summers, closed on 25th Dec)
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Spread over 163 acres of greens, this zoological park in Washington D. C. is a great place to be with your kids. The Park is home to more than 1500 animals, birds, fishes, and reptiles, including lions, tigers, elephants, giraffes, giant pandas, and some endangered species.

This National Zoological Park is known not only for its absolutely captivating visitor experience but for its great works in animal care and sustainability fields. Plan a visit to this amazing place to spot various animals in their natural habitat and learn about them through various educational games and programs.

Location: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20008, United States

Timings: 8:00 am to 4:00 pm
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Another popular Smithsonian museum, this place traces the political, social, scientific, cultural, and technological history of the United States from colonial times to the present. Displaying important articles (more than three million) and historical objects related to the evolution of the American identity, the museum is surely worth a visit.

From the famed Star-Spangled Banner, Dorothy’s ruby slippers, Thomas Jefferson's desk to one of Edison's light bulbs, the collection of the museum is eye-catching and fascinating.

Location: 1300 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20560, United States

Timings: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm (until 7:30 pm in springs and summers, closed on 25th Dec)
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Located along the bank of the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial is one of the oldest and most imposing Washington D. C. tourist places. It is dedicated to the late Thomas Jefferson, one of the most important America’s Founding Fathers.

The domed white memorial is designed taking inspiration from the famed Roman Pantheon and comprises 54 Ionic columns and a dramatic 9-foot statue of a standing Jefferson. The walls of the memorial surrounding the statue also have the engraved excerpts of the Declaration of Independence and other memorable writings.

Location: 16 E Basin Dr SW, Washington, D.C., DC 20242, United States

Timings: 24 hours
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The resting place of those who have served the United States, the Arlington National Cemetery is located on a hillside across the Potomac River. Spread across 639 acres, this hilly area provides a sense of beauty and peace to its guests with its tranquil ambiance and lush landscapes.

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (President John F. Kennedy's gravesite) and the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial (presenting the raising of the flag on Iwo Jima in World War II) are two major landmarks of the place that must not be missed while touring the cemetery.

Location: Arlington, VA, United States

Timings: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
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Newseum

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Explore modern American history or see iconic events as they were reported in various forms of media such as newspapers, media, etc., and be amazed by the different representations at this unique Newseum. Combining films, interactive exhibits, and pictorial displays, here you will find how the public gets to know breaking events in different ways.

Here, you will get to see the news regarding the fall of the Berlin Wall, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy or President Lincoln, the 9/11 terror attacks, and many more dramatic images of the past century.

Location: 555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001, United States
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One of the most bizarre places to visit in Washington D. C., the International Spy Museum is the place where visitors walk in the shoes of the spies and feel the thrills of being espionage.

Replete with several marvelous interactive exhibitions and impressive installations, the museum showcases the leading collection of spy artifacts and gadgets in the world. It also holds first-person stories of top intelligence spies Aldrich Ames, John Walker, and Robert Hanson.

Location: 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW, Washington, D.C., DC 20024, United States

Timings: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Monday, Thursday, Friday), 9:00 am to 8:00 pm (Saturday), 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (Sunday) & Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday

Entry Fees: $16–25
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Dedicated to the life, culture, and history of African Americans, this Smithsonian Institution Museum is also an architectural masterpiece. Th museum features numerous interactive exhibits showcasing nearly everything related to the African American theme, including food, slavery, arts, the Civil Rights Movement, craftsmanship, athletics, etc.

The museum also has a great collection of up to 35,000 artifacts out of which only 3,500 are displayed through different exhibits and is a real charm for all history buffs and art lovers.

Location: 1400 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20560, United States

Timings: 11:00 am to 4:00 pm (Wednesday to Sunday)
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An example of Gothic architecture style and techniques, this is one of the world's largest cathedrals and amongst the Washington D C. tourist places to worship and pray.

The building of the cathedral also impresses the visitors with its artistic details, stained glass windows, and hand-embroidered kneelers honoring the great war heroes and ancient historic events.

Location: 3101 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20016, United States

Timings: 10:00 am t0 5:30 pm (Monday to Friday), 10:00 am to 4:30 pm (Saturday) & 7:30 am to 4:00 pm (Sunday)

Entry Fees: Adult: $11 & Youth (ages 5 – 17): $7
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The oldest neighborhood of Washington D.C., The Georgetown Historic District is full of architectural to natural beauty, Michelin-approved restaurants, boutique shops, cafés, and small museums to scenic waterfront. Spreading between Rock Creek Park and K Street NW from 27th to 37th Streets, the tidy streets of Georgetown are home to historic homes, Georgetown University, Jesuit College, Kreeger Museum, and the nation's oldest Roman Catholic.

If you're looking for a place to enjoy with your partner at night or hang out with friends or have some great time with family, this is an idyllic destination to be. Include this place in your places to see in Washington D. C. list and have a cherishable time.
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Housing across three stunning buildings, including the Thomas Jefferson Building, the James Madison Memorial Building, and the John Adams Building, the Library of Congress is home to more than 164 million items and art pieces.

The Thomas Jefferson Building is itself a masterpiece of Gilded Age architecture and also holds several exhibits. The Library of Congress also hosts abundant events, festivals, and fabulous tours that are indeed crowd pullers.

Location: 101 Independence Ave SE, Washington, D.C., DC 20540, United States

Timings: 8:30 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Saturday) & Closed on Sundays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas, and New Year’s Day
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Depicting the account of the Holocaust through a range of artifacts, photos, oral histories, and short movies, this museum is amongst the most thrilling place to see in Washington D. C.

The Museum teaches the visitors the need for democracy and measures to preserve the same. It also hosts several educational programs and events to make the people know the dangers of uncontrolled hatred and the necessity of preventing genocide.

Location: 100 Raoul Wallenberg Pl SW, Washington, D.C., DC 20024, United States

Timings: 10:00 am to 5:30 pm (closed on Wednesdays, Christmas Day, and Yom Kippur)
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One of the nation’s leading centers for performing arts and cultural & entertainment hubs, The Kennedy Center is one of Washington D. C. tourist places that are worth visiting. Offering over 2,000 performances yearly, it is a one-stop destination to enjoy live theater, ballet, jazz, classical music, and opera performances.

It also holds free performances daily at 6 pm on the Millennium Stage in the Grand Foyer along with some exclusive performances that are held at regular intervals.

Location: 2700 F St NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20566, United States

Entry Fees: Entrance is free (only specific performances require tickets)
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Honoring the services of over sixteen million members of the United States of America Armed Forces and the sacrifices of over 400,000 Americans during the war, this memorial is indeed one of the great places to visit in Washington D. C.

The memorial houses bronze bas-relief panels, 56 granite pillars, a majestic pool, a northern “Atlantic” arch, a southern “Pacific” arch, and a wall of over 4,000 stars, all reminding the visitors of the tough times faced by the Americans during the war.

Location: 1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, D.C., DC 20024, United States
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Spread across the 446 acres of well-maintained greens, the U.S. National Arboretum comprises gorgeous gardens having a great collection of plants and trees.

Featuring Gotelli Conifer Collection, National Bonsai & Penjing Museum to various other significant exhibits, and a botanical research & conservation center, the place is amongst the most beautiful places to visit in Washington D. C. The Arboretum not only offers an aesthetic environment for the locals and tourists but also works towards spreading awareness for the significance of green landscape and ornamental plants.

Location: 3501 New York Ave NE, Washington, D.C., DC 20002, United States

Timings: 8:00 am to 5:00 pm
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Complete with the natural landscape, Tidal Basin is not only for nature walks but is home to several monuments and memorials that also deserve a visit. While the Jefferson Memorial, FDR Memorial, and MLK Memorial are famous landmarks, some are less known but are pretty interesting.

Wander around the area on your own or choose from free walking tours offered by the National Park Service rangers, the area around Tidal Basin is one of the most stunning Washington D.C. tourist places. If you are visiting the city at the time of Cherry Blossom, do visit this place to enjoy the truly magnificent and breathtaking scenery.
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One of the grand Washington D. C. tourist places, this museum is solely dedicated to women who achieved accomplishments in the fields of performing, visual, and literary arts.

A must-visit for art lovers, the museum offers permanent to temporary exhibitions, a library, and a research center, displaying more than 4,500 works of artists and authors from as early as the 16th century.

Location: 1250 New York Ave NW, Washington, D.C., DC 20005, United States

Timings: 10: 00 am to 5:00 pm (Monday to Saturday), 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm (Sunday)

Entry Fees: Adults: $10 & Students and Senior Citizens: $8
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Home to a restored mansion, beautiful gardens, and historic structures, Mount Vernon Estate is one of the most iconic places to visit in Washington D. C. for being George Washington's Virginia house and its cultural attractions.

Mount Vernon offers an 18th-century plantation where you can find people plowing a field or winnowing wheat. Wander through the area to feel like a native while watching horses in their 16-sided barn, blacksmiths working in their shops, or heritage breed animals grazing at the Pioneer Farm and enjoy a memorable experience.

Location: 3200 Mount Vernon Memorial Hwy, Mt Vernon, VA 22121, United States

Timings: 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

Entry Fees: Adult: $20, Senior Citizens (ages 62+): $19 & Youth (ages 6-11): $12
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People Also Ask About Washington D.C.

  1. Which are the best places to visit in Washington D.C for couples?

    1. Yards Park: It is a gorgeous park located in Washington DC's bustling Capitol Riverfront and is known for its romantic ambiance, iconic bridge, and nearby adventure Ice Cream Jubilee, a must-try for all couples.

    2. National Harbor: Another truly romantic destination is National harbor which charms couples with its illuminated appeal, picturesque scenery, lively ambiance, and much more. Its Capitol Wheel is another major attraction for couples.

    3. Georgetown’s Filomena: One of the most romantic restaurants in the city, it specializes in Italian recipes and features truly captivating decor and an ideal intimate setting.

    4. Loew’s Movie Theatre: Situated on the Georgetown Waterfront Park, this movie theatre is a great place to hang out with your partner and watch a romantic movie. After watching a movie, you can even visit next door Hershey’s Ice Cream store and enjoy a romantic walk along the Georgetown waterfront.
  2. What is the best month to visit Washington DC?

    The best time to visit Washington DC is considered to be between September and November (Fall) and late March to early April (Spring). During fall, the weather and falling scenery become beautiful and the tourist places are usually less crowded. However, in spring the surroundings become exceptionally beautiful with blooming flowers. And, this is the peak period in terms of tourism.
  3. How much would a trip to DC cost?

    The cost of a trip to DC depends on the tour operator, the number of places and activities included, days, services in the offer, etc. However, a half-day sightseeing tour starts from INR 3,650.
  4. How many days should you spend in Washington DC?

    You need a minimum of two days if you want to see the major tourist places in the city. As the city is full of museums, monuments, and many other beautiful attractions, the number of days required depends on what you want to see.

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