Top sights in Washington, DC
Our most recommended things to do in Washington, DC
1. Washington DC: Hop-On, Hop-Off Open-Top Bus Landmarks Tour
Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington DC and gain sweeping views on the open-top buses with the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any and all stops on the three routes around the city. The Red Loop, the official tour of the National Mall, visits historic sites and landmarks including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and many more. Ready to shop and learn more about the history in Washington, DC? The Blue Loop will transport you across the Potomac to visit Arlington Cemetery and through the history (and to the shops + restaurants) of the beautiful Georgetown. Don’t worry about getting to the Blue and Red Loops from popular hotels. The Yellow Loop provides pickups and drop-offs during the times of operation at over half-a-dozen hotels in the area, with stops overlapping the Red and Blue loops for ease of transfer. Only a short stay in Washin...
This was a great way to see the important places for the first timer we were. Definitely recommend!
2. National Harbor: The Capital Wheel Flexible Date Ticket
The Capital Wheel is located just minutes from downtown Washington DC, at the National Harbor. Relax inside a fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondola with family and friends as you soar 180-feet above the Potomac River. With each gradual rotation, experience a bird’s eye view of the Washington Monument, Capitol Rotunda, Masonic Temple of Alexandria, and much more. Every spin offers a unique way to take in the sights. Admire a breathtaking sunset or capture a photo in front of the dancing light show that illuminates The Capital Wheel every evening. The National Harbor is the perfect one-stop destination offering great restaurants, shops, hotels, and outdoor fun. You can enjoy a drink from the Flight Deck located directly under The Capital Wheel while you unwind by the water’s edge. For the complete experience, upgrade to the Magical Memories package, which includes 2 tickets to The ...
We had a wonderful time. MY Husband wanted to ride the Capital Wheel for his Birthday and the experience was Great.
3. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum
Meet your guide at the White House and begin your tour of Washington DC. From the outside, learn about the history of the White House and the people who inhabited it. Your local guide will share stories about America’s history and the influence of African Americans in DC. Next, see the Capitol One, one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. Hear about the neoclassical United States Capitol, which is home to the House of Representatives and Senate. Finally, your guide will take you to the Washington Monument. Made of white marble and 550-feet tall, the obelisk is an iconic Washington DC landmark. After the walking tour, use your reserved entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the museum on your own at your own pace.
4. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour
See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a 2.5-hour trolley tour! The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the Iwo Jima Memorial. A professional tour guide will entertain and inform you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. You’ll hear tales about the curse of the Hope Diamond and the restless spirits who make the city their home. You’ll also hear about the Medal of Honor winner whose leg was amputated. He donated the leg to a museum and would frequently go to the museum to visit it! Trolley stops: • FDR Memorial • Lincoln Memorial • Vietnam Veteran Memorial • Korean War Memorial • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial • Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial Washington turns into a very different place after dark, and with the Mo...
The Tour of WAshington DC City and monuments at night were stunning. The guide was very knowledgeable
5. Washington DC: 2-Hour National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle
Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated eCruiser. See all the major monuments of the US capital, like the Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial.
Start your tour at the impressive Smithsonian complex and pass the famous monuments to Jefferson, Lincoln, and Washington. Pay tribute to the veterans of World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Continue past the most famous Washington landmark of all – the White House. As you meander, listen to stories and tales of Washington’s history from your guide. Get tips and advice on any upcoming events you might be interested in.
Finally, feast your eyes on the buildings of Capitol Hill and learn the history behind them. End your tour on a high note by asking your guide for an amazing lunch spot before exploring the rest of DC...
Shaina, Our guide was amazing, entertaining, knowledgeable, interesting, and funny. I would recommend the electric car tours and our guide, Shaina, to everyone I know.
6. Washington DC: Museum of the Bible Exclusive Early Admission
Steps from the National Mall, the Museum of the Bible is an innovative, global, and educational institution with the purpose to invite all people to engage with the Bible. Showcasing rare and fascinating artifacts spanning 3,500 years of history, the museum offers visitors an immersive and personalized experience with the Bible, and its ongoing impact on the world. Admission includes access to 7 floors of informative and interactive displays and exhibits including a 12-minute film immersing viewers in the remarkable story of how the followers of Jesus grew into a thriving community and a 30-minute Hebrew Bible experience, where viewers encounter significant narratives including the stories of Noah's ark, the burning bush, and the Passover. This ticket allows you to explore the museum without the crowds with exclusive early access to the Museum from 9 AM, 1 hour before the Museum is ope...
Great place to visit! Very nice place and so informative! Definitely will recommend!
7. Washington DC:Gourmet Brunch or Dinner Cruise on the Odyssey
Cruise on the Potomac River and see the sights of Washington DC from a luxury boat, The Odyssey. Board the boat and enjoy a personal greeting. Smile for the ship's photographer to capture the memory, then embark on an elegant dining cruise along the Washington DC shoreline. After being seated at your private table, tuck into your gourmet brunch or 3-course dinner consisting of creative meals prepared fresh daily by the on-board executive chef. After your meal or relax on any of the 3 climate-controlled decks as you watch the monuments glide by. Sample Dinner Menu Starters (choice of one): Caesar Salad Buttermilk Caesar Dressing | Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese | Herb Croutons | Italian Parsley Lobster Soup Brioche Croutons | Scallions Main Course (choice of one): Jumbo Forest Mushroom Ravioli Spanish Red Lentils & Sage | Arugula |...
The boat ride was amazing!!! Me and my husband enjoyed ourselves and are looking forward to returning.
8. Washington DC: African American History Museum Family Tour
Give your family a fantastic taste of African American History and Culture with a professional tour guide. Learn how before the creation of the National Mall and the nation’s capital, much of the land that is now Washington, D.C. was worked by enslaved Africans, your tour guide will take you then for a private tour at The National Museum of African American History and Culture. Your tour guide will focus on important highlights to keep children engaged and stop them from becoming overwhelmed and losing interest. During the tour, see how the stories, histories, and cultures of African Americans are shaped and informed by global influences. With your family, explore what it means to be an American and discover how American values like resiliency, optimism, and spirituality are reflected in African American history and culture.
Our tour guide was very knowledgeable he took his time with hitting all key points. This tour wasn’t worth 350.00 though
9. Washington DC: National Mall Night Bus Tour
Start your 3-hour night tour at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Head to the U.S. Capitol Building, taking in views of the Smithsonian – the world’s largest museum complex – and the Washington Monument – the world’s tallest freestanding stone structure. Continue to the White House, the official residence of the U.S. president. Take a walk past Lafayette Park. Visit the World War II Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial, built on the Tidal Basin, lined with cherry trees that were a gift from the people of Japan. Across the Tidal Basin, see the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Take a walk to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and on to the Lincoln and Vietnam Veterans memorials.
Overall great tour, very informative. The description says to bring headphones, but it does not specify that the headphones are only for translation from English to Spanish or Mung. We had a deaf person in our party, and there was no accommodation for her. Be aware, even though this is a bus tour, still lots of walking.
10. Washington DC: Hop-On Hop-Off City Bus with River Cruise
Enjoy a full day of exploring with your 24-hour hop-on hop-off bus ticket. With an open-top roof, you’ll get amazing views of the White House, Capitol Hill, Jefferson Memorial, and more. Learn about the city’s most magnificent landmarks with an onboard audio guide. Hop-off at the wharf to enjoy your 2-way Potomac River cruise onboard the city water taxi. You can cruise along the water to see the John F. Kennedy Center, the Washington Monument, Arlington Memorial Bridge, and more before hopping back on the bus to continue your day. Your ticket gives you access to the city's 2 routes, giving you the freedom to hop-off and explore at your own pace. Your ticket also includes 1-hour bike rental, so you can get off the tourist trail and discover more of the city.
Frequently asked questions about Washington, DC
What top attractions are a must-see in Washington, DC?
The must-see attractions in Washington, DC are:See all must-see sights in Washington, DC
What are the top things to do in Washington, DC this week?
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Which tours in Washington, DC are taking additional COVID-19 precautions?
These experiences in Washington, DC are taking additional COVID-19 precautions:See all Washington, DC tours on GetYourGuide
Planning Your Visit
White House Tickets
Make a reservation through your congressional office up to six months in advance and no less than 21 days. The self-guided tour takes place Tuesdays - Thursdays from 7:30AM to 11:00AM; Fridays from 7:30AM to 12:00PM; Saturdays from 7:30AM to 1:00PM. You must bring your government-issued identification on the day of the tour. Non-US citizens must contact their embassy in Washington DC for assistance. Admission is free.
US Capitol Tickets
It's recommended to book the free, 90-minute tour well in advance either through your senator's or representative's office. You can also make a reservation online yourself. The Visitors' Center is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30AM to 4:30PM. Admission is free.
Washington Monument Tickets
Due to the limited number of visitors allowed each day, tickets are issued on a first-come, first-served basis. You can either pick up your tickets at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street or reserve your ticket in advance online for a fee of $1.50 per ticket. Every ticket indicates a specific entry time. Opening hours are daily from 9:00AM to 10:00PM (Memorial Day through Labor Day), otherwise from 9:00AM to 5:00PM. Admission is free.
What else is for free?
It's free to visit the memorials, the Smithsonian Museums, and the National Zoo. Admission is also free to enter the US National Archives, but it's advised that you make a reservation in advance at a fee of $1.50 per ticket.
Good to know
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- Best time to visit
- Spring - it's just getting warmer and it may not be as crowded as the summer!
Other Sightseeing Options in Washington, DC
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What people are saying about Washington, DC
The tour was nice! The guide, Brian was funny and knowledgeable about all the sites. I would recommend this tour to others. Thanks!
Great place to visit! Very nice place and so informative! Definitely will recommend!
Informative and fascinating tour of the African American History Museum.
The BEST TOUR and GUIDE EVER!! So worth the money!! A MUST do in DC!!
Great introduction to a place that I've never been.