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iconic attractions washington

Must Visit Iconic Places in Washington D.C.

Planning to visit the grand Washington D.C. for your next vacation? First of all, a great choice! Washington D.C. is a wonderful city to explore, it holds a lot of America’s history.

With great travel, comes great responsibility. As there are so many must-see attractions and monuments, you need a comprehensive checklist of all the places that you want to visit, in order to not miss the iconic places.

We have created it for you, so that you don’t have to spend hours researching. Keep reading to find out about the topmost iconic places that you cannot miss the next time you are in Washington D.C.

Download Preparture App to navigate your Washington D.C. adventure! We have included all the addresses you need to build your itinerary. Its available for Free at Google Play Store and Apple App Store.

Iconic Attraction #1. The United States Capitol and Capitol Hill

  • Opening Times: Monday – Saturday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.

The United States Capitol is perhaps the most widely recognized symbol of the country as a whole. The dome atop the building is iconic in every sense of the word. The Capitol is where the Senate is housed along with the House of Representatives and is reminiscent of ancient Roman architecture, which brings us back full circle to why it is considered one of the top places to visit for everybody who visits Washington D.C.

washington dc

Iconic Attraction #2. The White House

  • Opening Times: 7:30 am – 4 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW

Can you fathom visiting Washington D.C and not seeing the home and work place of the US President? Whether you’re a democrat, republic or a nonresident, the White House is a part of our lives. Its iconic architecture features in many films and tv shows which are viewed across the World.

You don’t just get to see the White House from afar, you can visit the official White House Visitor Center. You can find numerous exciting and interactive exhibits in there about previous US presidents. The experience really is one of a kind! Make sure you also walk around the White House perimeter to get a really good look.

iconic washington

Iconic Attraction #3. The Lincoln Memorial

  • Opening Times: Open 24 hours
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW

The Lincoln Memorial, built in 1914, is perhaps one of the most talked-about and most popular tourist spots in the United States. Standing at a staggering 19 feet, President Lincoln peacefully sits, deep in thought, inside a 36-columned chamber, looking out across the National Mall at the Capitol Building. Each column represents a state in the union at that time, in all its glory,

From here you can’t miss the Lincoln Memorial Reflection Pool, which you may recognise from the movie “Forrest Gump” starring Tom Hanks. It is open 24/7, and entry is free of charge, making it one of the most accessible iconic locations on our list.

lincoln memorial

Iconic Attraction #4: The Washington Monument

  • Opening Times: 9 am – 10 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free on the day or $1.50 for Pre-Ordered Tickets
  • Address: 15th & Constitution Avenue NW

Even more impressive, than the Lincoln Memorial, when it comes to size is the Washington Monument. It stands at a whopping 555 feet high, making it still one of the tallest buildings in the world today. But it was the tallest from 1884 until 1889. The Eiffel Tower, France knocked it off the top spot.

For that extra thrill, you can ride the elevator all the way to the top and enjoy the view from up there or you can climb the 900 steps. Notice the color change in the bricks on the exterior of the Washington Monument, this shows when construction was halted during the civil war and restarted after the war.

iconic attractions washington

 Iconic Attraction #5: Smithsonian Institute Building

  • Opening Times: Everyday, except Christmas Day, 10 am – 5.30 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: 1000 Jefferson Drive SW

Built in 1855, this Victorian styled red sandstone structure is the oldest building in the National Mall and has become a gateway into Washington D.C. The Smithsonian Institute Building is also known as The Castle. We suggest starting your travel adventure here as it has a screening of a 24-minute introduction video to the city and access to a variety of free museums.

What do you feel like seeing? A 3.5 billion-year-old fossil or an Apollo lunar landing module? Or perhaps something in-between? Washington D.C. has it all!

iconic washington D.C.


Iconic Attraction #6: The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

  • Tour Times: Monday to Friday, 9 am –2 pm
  • Entry Fee: Free
  • Address: 15th Street also known as Raoul Wallenberg Place, SW

Our favourite iconic place in Washington D.C. is the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I mean come on, who doesn’t like money! This is where Us Paper currency is made.

Take a tour a learn how it gets made including how it is printed, cut and analyzed to discover defects. If you ever want to teach your kids about money this is THE place to do it. Tours are free, take place every 15 minutes from Monday to Friday and last 40 minutes.

iconic washington


Iconic Attraction #7: World War II memorial

  • Opening Times: Open 24 hours a day
  • Fee: Free
  • Location: 17th Street, between Constitution and Independence Avenues, NW Washington, DC.

This symbolic memorial is a grateful nod to the US military services that participated in the second World War. It includes two 43-foot arches, representing the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean battlefields and 56 pillars which portray the states, territories and the District of Columbia at the time of the World War II.

A wall of 4,000 gold stars, each one representing 100 U.S. deaths in the war from the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Army Air Forces, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine are surrounded by tranquil waterfalls and panoramic views.

iconic washington


Iconic Attraction #8: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial

  • Opening Times: Open 24 hours a day
  • Fee: Free
  • Location: Near to the intersection of 22nd St. and Constitution Ave. NW

A large black granite wall is covered in the names of 58,286 American’s, who were killed or declared missing in the conflict. Nearby, you can also visit the Vietnam Women’s Memorial which depicts 3 nurses helping a solider.

vietnam war memorial


Related: 10 Free Things to Do in Washington D.C.

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