There are plenty of iconic sights and must-see attractions in Washington DC. While those living there on a more permanent basis will likely become immune to the grandeur of statues and public buildings that rightfully impress tourists, the city's world-class museums are certainly worth repeat visits. Here's a list of the best things to see and do in Washington DC.
Recommended sightseeing in Washington DC
The National Mall is a national park in the heart of the city. It constitutes a tree-lined strip stretching two miles (3km) from the US Capitol to the Lincoln Memorial and is surrounded by many of DC's key attractions and monuments.
US Capitol Building
The US Capitol Building is DC’s most popular landmark and is home to the US government. It contains the Senate and the House of Representatives, as well as the Supreme Court and one of the three branches of the Library of Congress – the largest library in the world. The building is open to the public for tours.
The White House has been the residence and administrative headquarters of every president of the United States since 1800. Tours are available and provide a fascinating insight into the House’s previous inhabitants.
Located at the National Mall, this tributary obelisk is one of the tallest masonry structures in the world and offers great views of the city from the gallery.
Built in the Greek style as a tribute to the fathers of American democracy, the Lincoln Memorial salutes the 16th US president, Abraham Lincoln. A number of important marches and speeches have taken place here, including Martin Luther King’s 'I Have a Dream' speech.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world's largest museum, education and research complex. It's made up of 19 museums and galleries of unparalleled quality as well as a zoo. Receiving approximately 30 million visitors a year, this attraction is a must-see.
National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art is the most popular art museum in North America and houses one of the world’s leading collections of artworks. Art buffs and casual visitors alike are sure to enjoy taking in the work of many of history's most renowned artists, such as Van Gogh, Picasso, Monet and more.
US Holocaust Memorial Museum
This museum is rated as one of the city’s best museums and is dedicated to studying and remembering the atrocities perpetrated by the Nazis on European Jews from 1933 to 1945. The museum is open six days a week and is free to visit.