District Of Columbia

It’s not hard to understand why Washington, DC is on so many people’s must-see lists. As the nation’s capital, sightseeing doesn’t get much more impressive – you’ll find world-famous monuments, renowned museums and of course, the White House.

Add to that a stroll along the Potomac River and some of the country’s most acclaimed restaurants and you have a wonderful short break or holiday destination.

The bright lights of Washington, DC offer much more than sightseeing. The city’s eclectic neighbourhoods, boutique and designer shopping, live music venues showcasing rock, jazz, R&B and reggae, sensational theatre productions and an array of eateries attract a young crowd looking for a cosmopolitan experience.

Top Tips

Food lovers will be overwhelmed by the choice of restaurants and variety of global cuisines. For great steak, head to Bobby Van's Steakhouse (809 15th Street NW), a favourite of congressmen and visiting dignitaries. If you're looking for a atmospheric lunch, try Gordon Biersch (900 F Street NW) with its own micro-brewery on-site.

Parking is very expensive and very limited, so leave your car at the hotel and take advantage of the Metro, which is one of the world’s most convenient, safe and clean subway systems. It is really easy to use - the routes and stops are clearly indicated on station maps and you can choose to purchase a single ticket, unlimited one day ticket or a weekly pass. Be aware that Georgetown doesn't have a Metro stop, the nearest is a pleasant 15 minute walk away.

Make sure you include a visit to The Smithsonian institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex boasting 16 museums and galleries. Start at the Visitor Information Center at the Smithsonian Castle where you can map your course - you can see as much or as little as you like and it's all free.

Whilst you're in Washington, DC, make a trip to Georgetown. It's the capital's elite region with great boutiques and restaurants. Georgetown also makes a perfect choice for those wanting to enjoy the delights of the city but stay in a more relaxed, slow-paced area. Our favourite hotels in Georgetown are Capella, which has incredible accommodations and offers the utmost in refined, personal service and The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, a converted historic building featuring exposed brickwork and a soaring smokestack.

Even if you don't usually enjoy museums, you should include the International Spy Museum, showcasing the shadowy world of espionage and featuring a '50 Years of James Bond' exhibit, and Newseum, offering an in-depth look at the world of journalism.

As you would imagine, Washington, DC is filled with amazing nightlife. The different districts house a variety of styles from casual pubs to high-end wine bars. An amazing array of brewery's are being established, and they have spurred a number of 'Brew Tours' being available for real beer lovers.

The National Mall isn’t for shopping! Spanning 2.25 miles from the U.S. Capitol Building to the Lincoln Memorial, it is home to many monuments, memorials and museums. Mainly pedestrianized, the best way to see its many iconic attractions is on either a bike or Segway tour - both of which are tremendous fun!

The Neighbourhoods

The key neighbourhoods to check out are Capitol Hill, Dupont Circle, Georgetown, Penn Quarter, Chinatown and U Street, known for renowned museums, famous monuments, a booming food scene, diverse nightlife, and entertainment.

Take a leisurely stroll along the National Mall and you’ll discover the major monuments and memorials. Soak up the sun with a paddleboat ride in the Tidal Basin, lounge in one of the many parks and gardens, or explore the Georgetown waterfront.

If you’re looking for something a little more active, enjoy a run or bike ride along the many trails which exist throughout the city. Rock Creek Park has an 11-mile route and the Capital Crescent Trail follows a former railroad track along the Potomac River. You could also try your hand at kayaking, stand-up paddle-boarding or ice skating.

A City for Sightseeing

You can find all the best things to do right here in DC, from concerts and cultural events to American history, free attractions and so much more.

It’s easy to ride the Metro or hop on a bike and explore all that the nation’s capital has to offer. Walk the halls of free Smithsonian museums, paddle on the Potomac and Anacostia rivers or sit back on a double-decker tour bus and soak up some history. Local shops, funky marketplaces and people-watching hot spots beckon by midday, as nighttime gives way to multi-course dinners and drinks from local breweries. However, you spend your time here, make it count.

District Of Columbia Destinations

How Can We Help?

Your Nearest Branch

North American Travel Service - Edinburgh
North American Travel Service - Leeds
North American Travel Service - Manchester
North American Travel Service - Nottingham
Join our newsletter

Get updates on the latest offers, news, events and more.