Washington

Travel Guide
Washington

National treasures, American history and international politics take center stage in the U.S. capital city. 

Washington D.C., or “D.C.” as locals call it, was founded in 1791. As the epicenter of American politics, a visit to the nation’s capital isn’t complete without a trip to the White House. This is where America’s presidents have lived and worked for more than two centuries. Next door is the National Mall where you’ll find many of the country’s most revered landmarks. You can’t miss the towering Washington Monument, a 555-foot (169-meter) marble obelisk. Make your way up to the elevated U.S. Capitol Building for a breath-taking view across the Reflecting Pool towards the Lincoln Memorial. It was here that crowds gathered for Martin Luther King Jr.’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech in 1963.

The National Mall showcases tributes to the nation’s patriots and heroes. These include the Korean War Veterans Memorial and Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Jefferson Memorial and World War II Memorial. It’s also home to the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Gallery of Art. The revered Smithsonian Institute, the world’s largest museum and research complex, has most of its 19 exhibit halls on the mall. These include the National Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum. Use the wide, tree-lined sidewalks around the mall to explore the sights on foot or by hired bike.

Public transportation in D.C. is fast and easy. The DC Circulator bus stops in a number of districts, including Rosslyn, which is close to the Arlington National Cemetery, the Pentagon and the Iwo Jima Memorial. In the historic district of Georgetown you’ll find 18th-century architecture and modern-day shops and cafes. For nighttime entertainment, head to the U Street Corridor in the Shaw neighborhood where jazz legend Duke Ellington used to play nightly.

Washington D.C. hosts many lively festivals year round. Join in one the nation’s largest Independence Day celebrations on July 4. Each April film buffs from around the world enjoy the Washington DC International Film Festival. Music lovers gather every June for the DC Jazz Festival. The city also has a thriving theater scene. See a live stage show at The National Theatre, walking distance from the White House. The Shakespeare Theatre Company gives free performances throughout the year at the Sidney Harman Hall in Downtown D.C.

Be prepared for humid weather in summer and snowfall in winter. Visit Washington D.C. in spring and you may be lucky enough to catch one of the city’s most spectacular displays: for just a few days in March or April, some 1,600 cherry trees around the Tidal Basin burst into bloom.

Best time to visit Washington, D.C.Peak Season: From March through June, expect higher rates as tourists flock to the city for the cherry blossoms and Congress finishes up its session.

Value Season: September and December are your best bets for great hotel deals and shorter lines. July and August are also good for travel bargains, but expect humid weather.

Washington Travel Guide Video

Where to stay in Washington

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
3 out of 5
550 C St SW, Washington, DC
The price is HK$1,121 per night from 26 Sep to 26 Sep
Located in Capitol Hill, this hotel is within a 5-minute walk of Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and National Mall. Capital One Arena and Washington ...
4.2/5Very Good! (1,929 reviews)
"Nice location, there are close to the building both Lime/Spin and Capitol Bikes rentals. Parking a little expensive, and the pool was not open (per Washington city rules ???)."

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2021

Holiday Inn Washington Capitol - Natl Mall, an IHG Hotel
Yours Truly DC
Yours Truly DC
4.5 out of 5
The price is HK$1,704 per night from 26 Sep to 26 Sep
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this luxury hotel is within 1 mi (2 km) of George Washington University, National Mall and White House. Lincoln Memorial ...
4.5/5Wonderful! (304 reviews)
"We were staying for a friends birthday weekend! The staff arranged all of our rooms to be near one another which was very nice. Very nice and trendy hotel, would stay again."

Reviewed on 16 Sep 2021

Yours Truly DC
The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
4 out of 5
The price is HK$1,324 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this hotel is within a 15-minute walk of Franklin Square, CityCenterDC and Dupont Circle. Capital One Arena and National ...
4.2/5Excellent! (915 reviews)
"Overall pretty good experience. Some minor things to improve on. WiFi connection was struggle in rooms but seemed fine in lobby / business section. Rooms were pretty decent- but on third day when sheets changed and I returned back to room something black was on new pillow case. Room was kind of ..."

Reviewed on 14 Sep 2021

The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington, D.C. Downtown
Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington, D.C. Downtown
3 out of 5
The price is HK$1,151 per night from 25 Sep to 25 Sep
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Lafayette Square, White House and Walter E. Washington Convention Center. ...
4.3/5Excellent! (999 reviews)
"hard to find on GPS because it shows a back of the property not the entrance"

Reviewed on 8 Sep 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington, D.C. Downtown
Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard
Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard
3 out of 5
50 M St Se, Washington, DC
The price is HK$1,786 per night from 21 Sep to 21 Sep
Located in Capitol Hill, this aparthotel is within a 15-minute walk of Nationals Park and Audi Field. United States Capitol and International Spy Museum are ...
4.4/5Wonderful! (813 reviews)
"Nice, clean property. Was within walking distance to the Nationals park which was pleasant. Valet was very disorganized and should be better staffed especially on game days when they are jammed"

Reviewed on 9 Sep 2021

Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard
Homewood Suites Washington DC Convention Center
Homewood Suites Washington DC Convention Center
3.5 out of 5
465 New York Avenue NW, Washington, DC
The price is HK$1,184 per night from 26 Sep to 26 Sep
Located in Downtown Washington D.C., this aparthotel is within a 10-minute walk of Walter E. Washington Convention Center and Capital One Arena. CityCenterDC ...
4.3/5Excellent! (999 reviews)
"Great stuff the hotel beautiful"

Reviewed on 8 Sep 2021

Homewood Suites Washington DC Convention Center
Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

Popular places to visit in Washington

Top things to do in Washington