The nation's capital offers a vast variety of activities and sights, many of which are free of charge. Whether you're a fan of politics, a history aficionado or into arts and culture, you can be sure that D.C. has something special in store for you!
East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004
The gathering place of the United States Congress, the Capitol, is one of the top sights in DC that you won't want to miss. As strikingly beautiful as the building is on the exterior, it is also worth taking the time to marvel at what the walls hold inside.
The Capitol Visitor Center is open for all visitors Monday through Saturday from 8.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m., with a few exceptions. Guided tours of the Capitol are held between 8.50 a.m. and 3.20 p.m. While the tours don't cost a thing, you will need a tour pass, which you can either book in advance or try to get your hands on a same-day pass at the door.
2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20037
The National Mall is a marvelous sight in itself and worth strolling around when the sun is out. The park is also surrounded by historic monuments that can be quite easily visited in one day, since a lot of them are within a walking distance from each other. One of the most famous ones is the Lincoln Memorial, built in honor of President Abraham Lincoln, on the western end of the park.
1300 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
If you want to learn more about all aspects of American history, this is the museum for you! The ongoing exhibitions explore the background of such themes as American presidency, democracy, transportation, and wars the country has fought – just to name a few.
The three-story museum on Constitution Avenue is enormous and therefore quite difficult to thoroughly get through in one day. We recommend that you don't even try and instead opt for a couple of exhibitions that fascinate you the most or simply visit the museum more than once to get the full experience.
As is the case with all Smithsonian museums in D.C., visiting the National Museum of American History is completely free. It's open every day except December 25 from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
1400 Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20560
The newest addition to Smithsonian's wide array of museums in D.C., the National Museum of African American History and Culture, was opened in September 2016. In a short period of time, it has become one of the top destinations in the capital.
NMAAHC presents American history all the way from 1400s to this day through an African American lens. The underground floors examine the complex and multifaceted history, on top of which there are two floors devoted to culture and community galleries.
Those wishing to visit should bear in mind that obtaining tickets can be a challenge – especially if you're not an early bird! Same-day passes are made available each morning and since they are highly sought after, you can maximize your chances of getting them if you're at your computer at 6:30 a.m. when the tickets come out on Etix.
• Recommended art museums and galleries (TimeOut)
• Sports games, concerts and other events at CapitalOne Arena
• Full list of Smithsonian's museums
Take note, that tour visits to the White House through our Embassy are currently not possible.
Text by Taru Inkinen