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10 Free Things to Do in Washington D.C.


The capital city of the United States of America is a magnificent city that needs to be visited by anyone who calls themselves a travel enthusiast. The city is famous for a large number of museums, brilliant presidential monuments, memorial parks and of course the world-famous White House. Plus, the daily meal awarded it the honour of ‘the nation’s capital of food.’

When is the best time to visit Washington D.C.?

For those of you who want to avoid the crowds and are travelling on a tight budget, schedule your visit to Washington D.C. during December, January or February, as hotel rates drop outside of the holiday season. The only downfall when visiting during this time is you’ll need to pack a thick coat to keep warm, plus a hat, gloves and scarf, as temperatures reach an average of 5°C (39°F).

Due to the incredibly hot and dry summer, it’s probably best to avoid the city from July through to early September. Unless, of course, you adore the heat produced at 30°- 35°C (86° – 95°F). As the school holidays fall during this time is may be unavoidable. To enjoy the holiday, we suggest taking rest breaks out of the sun, drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen, correctly.

After much consideration we believe the best time to visit Washington D.C. is in March/April, so you can attend the National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 20 – April 12, 2020. The weather during this time is reliable Spring weather.

Related: How to Survive a Long-Haul Flight


10 Free Things to Do in Washington D.C.

1) The White House

Whether or not you agree with who the current president should be, The White House is the top attraction within the city. You’re free to walk around it all day and you can watch a 10-minute interior video tour, in the visitor centre.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20500.

2) Visit the Reflection Pool and Abraham Lincoln Memorial

Our favourite part of Washington D.C is standing at the top of the steps to the Abraham Lincoln memorial. From here you can see all of the city’s highlights including the US Capitol, the Reflection Pool and the Washington Monument.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 22ND St, Lincoln City, OR 97367.

3) Explore the War Memorials

Scattered around Downtown Washington D.C. you can pay your respects at the World War II, Vietnam Veterans, and Korean War Veterans Memorials. There is also a memorial dedicated to the women involved in war, although it’s quite small, so if you’re not looking for it, you may miss.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 1750 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024.4

Related: 10 Free Things to Do in New York City, USA

the white house

4) Take the Free Tour of the US Capitol building

The tour operates on a first come first served basis, so make sure you arrive early, to avoid disappointment.
Add to your PreParture App itinerary: East Capitol St NE & First St SE, Washington, DC 20004.


5) Visit the Library of Congress

As well, as displaying a recreation of founding father, Thomas Jefferson’s original library, you can listen to some interesting free lectures, original poetry readings, and musical concerts at the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 101 Independence Ave, Washington, D.C. 20540.


6) National Gallery of Art

All art lovers need to schedule an afternoon to the National Gallery of Art. Our favourite feature is the Sculpture Garden.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 6th & Constitution Ave NW, Washington, DC 20565.


7) Smithsonian National Zoological Park

To see rare and beautiful animals like the Sumatran tiger, giant pandas and clouded leopards plan a visit to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. Take full advantage of your time here by joining the 2-hour park walking tour.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008.

washington dc


8) Witness the Changing of the Guard Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns

Head over to the Arlington National Cemetery to see the ceremony in action. It’s held every hour from October through March and every 30 minutes from April through September.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 1 Memorial Ave, Fort Myer, VA 22211.


9) Step back in time at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

A perfect place to spend time with your kids during your Washington D.C. is the Natural History Museum. Highlights include Hall of Human Origins and the large number of cool animal fossils.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 4th St SW & Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20560.


10) United States Botanic Garden

The living plant museum, founded in 1820, is a great day out for the whole family. You can walk around at your pleasure or attend free talks and demonstrations. Don’t leave without experiencing the Jurassic-themed exhibit in the conservatory.

Add to your PreParture App itinerary: 100 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20001.


Where to stay in Washington D.C.

There are lots of great hotels in the city. For some great deals, visit The Washington Plaza Hotel is a lovely place to stay, especially for couples. Its only 750 metres away from the city centre. If you require parking, then check out Kimpton Topaz Hotel, it’s a 3-star hotel, that is pet-friendly.

Share your epic pics from your Washington D.C. trip with us on Instagram, simply include @Preparture_inc and #PreparturePics.

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