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14 Tips for Your First Visit to Washington, D.C.

WHAT TO DO IN Washington, D.C.

If you’re planning a tour of D.C., there are a few things you should know before you go. After all, you want to have a great experience and see the things that are most important to you.

Here are a few of our most important tips for first-time visitors to Washington, D.C.

1. If You Want To Visit The White House, Plan Well In Advance
2. Choose Your Time Of Year Wisely
Summer is extremely popular, especially with families, but D.C. weather is known for high heat and humidity, so consider your comfort level before you book a summer trip.
3. Start With A Guided Tour
Washington, DC is an exciting place with lots of monuments, memorials, museums, and historic neighborhoods.
4. The National Mall Is A Lot Bigger Than It Looks
5. Save Money Visiting Free Museums And Attractions
Like any international capital, D.C. is an expensive place to visit. The good news is, you can save a lot by spending your time doing all the free things. All the Smithsonian museums are free—including the National Zoo. Ditto all the monuments and memorials.

Many of the art museums and galleries are also free, including the National Gallery, the Hirshhorn, and the Freer and Sackler Galleries. And you can spend hours enjoying the gorgeous parks and green spaces that dot the city. Pack a picnic lunch and plenty of water, and you really can enjoy an entire day in D.C. without spending a dime!
6. The Monuments Are Open 24 Hours A Day—Enjoy Them At Night!

7. Bring A Refillable Water Bottle, Your Pocketbook Will Thank You
8. Skip Paper Tickets And Get A Rechargeable Metro SmarTrip Card

9. Don’t Forget The Magical City Views From The Water

10. Function Over Fashion When It Comes To Your Footwear

11. Do Yourself A Favor—Don’t Even Think About Driving a Car Here

12. Cheaper Hotels Are Easy To Find Outside The District

13. D.C. Is A Foodie’s Paradise—Enjoy It!

14. Don’t Try To Do It All

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