Introducing the city

£1.00 | $1.26

GBP | USD

3 * Hotel p/n £52.25 | $65.76

One-way ticket £2.38 | $3.00

Beer £4.77 | $6.00

Main Course £11.92 | $15.00

About Washington D.C.

It's not just the POTUS that loves Washington D.C., this world famous hub of political and US history is a massive hit with locals and tourists alike.

Washington D.C. may be home to the President and the capital of the United States, but it's also a great destination for excellent food, diverse neighbourhoods and an abundance of history. Located in the District of Colombia (so-named because of Christopher Columbus) the city's charm is epitomised by attractions such as the National Mall. From the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, America's Front Yard is one of the most iconic areas of Washington D.C.

With a population of just over 600,000 people, Washington D.C. comes in as one of the least populated states. Don't let this put you off though, as the people of D.C. are some of the biggest wine drinkers in the United States, so they definitely know how to have a good time. So whether you're partying all night long on U Street or just here for the iconic landmarks, you're bound to find something you love in D.C. And with any luck you might even spot the president.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

With freezing winters and sweltering summers, spring and autumn are Washington D.C.'s milder seasons and the best time to visit weather-wise.

Average highs in the summer are around 27 degrees Celsius making it the hottest (and busiest) time to visit Washington D.C. On the flip side, if you are visiting between December and February then you can expect average temperatures of four degrees Celsius, so make sure you pack some warm clothes. May is the wettest month of the year but expect rain can fall all year round.

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Travioor top tips

Museums
SmarTrip Card
Cupcakes

Insider Info

  • Washington D.C. is home to so many museums that you're bound to stumble on a couple by accident. With a lot of them offering free entry, they are well worth a visit.
  • Get a SmarTrip Card for travel on all trains and buses. Easy to use and gives you discounted travel. Win-win.
  • Georgetown Cupcake are rumoured to make the best cupcakes in the world. However, locals say Georgetown's Baked & Wired gives them a run for their money. You could always visit both to make sure.

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Food and drink

Main Course £11.92 | $15.00

3-Course Meal £55.62 | $70.00

Cappuccino £3.43 | $4.32

Beer £4.77 | $6.00

The Scene

Whilst food is not necessarily the first thing that springs to mind when you think of Washington D.C., the city actually has some impressive offerings. Famous for its jumbo slices (a huge slice of cheesy, greasy pizza), the city is also home to many food trucks which can be found around most of the city's squares. If that isn't enough to get your fix, there are also plenty of food tours on offer that you can experience til your heart's content, as well as a variety of markets and restaurants. If you're keen to feel like a celebrity, Ben's Chili Bowl is a hot spot, with Barack Obama and countless celebrities having walked through its the doors over the years.

Drinking is popular in the city too with breweries and many rum and whisky distilleries appearing all-over (many of them also offer tours and tastings). You'll also find micro breweries everywhere, one of the biggest being the Flying Dog. Whether you're dining, drinking or both, you can count on a good night in Washington D.C.

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History

Washington D.C.’s Story

Washington D.C. is known for its unique history and has been home to a variety of people since its inauguration. Founded on the 16th of July 1790, the city was established by the Constitution of the United States to serve as the capital, and is located between Maryland and Virginia on the north bank of the Potomac River. The city took over as the capital from Philadelphia in 1800, with John Adams being the first president to live in the White House.

The war of 1812 saw the newly built White House and much of Washington D.C. itself burn to the ground, leaving the population of the city very small. Following the Civil War in 1862, slaves owned in Washington were emancipated and the city began to grow, becoming a haven for freed slaves. The turn of the century saw a redesign of the Mall, in line with Pierre Charles L'Enfant's initial designs. The city was developed further throughout the 20th century with many urban areas still being rejuvenated today.

Language

English

English is the dominant language in Washington D.C., although with over a quarter of residents in the city speaking an alternative primary language you're bound to hear some other dialects whilst visiting. Nevertheless, if you want to connect with the locals, maybe you could learn some Washington D.C. common phrases or slang like the examples below:

  • Jonin: Joking around.
  • Bama: An insult. Used to describe someone who is 'lame'.
  • Lunchin: Same meaning as 'trippin' which means acting stupidly and/or being annoying.

Need to know

+1 202 Dialling Code
911 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Most people usually tip between 15 - 20% in restaurants.
  • There are 3 major airports in the Washington D.C. area, two of which offer many international flights.
  • Check the weather and pack accordingly before you visit. It can get very chilly in the winter months.


VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for the United States here

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Travioor Recommends

1. Entertainment

For restaurants, bars and great nightlife, both 14th Street NW and H Street NE are worth a visit.

2. Festivals

One of the most unique festivals in D.C. is the Cherry Blossom Festival. Held on the Tidal Basin, there are attractions as well as photo opportunities for the blossoms.

3. Hiking

The Washington Monument State Park is a great place for hiking as it is part of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail. Possibly one to avoid in the winter though.

4. Union Market

With an abundance of food on offer, Union Market is a must-see for foodies. With over 40 local vendors you won't go home hungry.

5. Museums

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum sees over eight million visitors a year making it the most visited museum in the country.


See What's On In Washington D.C.