What to see in Washington DC in one day (Excursion from NY)

On one of our last trips toNYWe decided to keep a day and a half to visit the capital of the United States. With so little time to determine what to see in Washington DC I wanted to visit it quickly but without missing the main places of interest due to lack of days. Even so, the objective was met, giving us a great idea of ​​what Washington DC could offer, knowing that sooner or later we might return.

What to see in Washington DC

What to see in Washington DC in 24 hours

Many times we ask ourselves why we visit things so fast and running, since many times they end up badly. WithWashington DC It was not the case and even if it were, I would not have cared. I wanted to visit the city, but it was not a destination that I thought of returning sooner or later, therefore it was now or never. With all this I started looking for information to go to Washington DC, looking to arrive early in the morning and returning the next day at lunchtime, just over 24 hours.

What to see in Washington DC

To begin with, we must not confuse Washington DC withWashington. They are two completely different places and located at each end of the United States. Washington DC is the capital of the country and Washington as such is a state located in the North of the west coast of the United States, therefore thousands of kilometers away. In addition, Washington DC is not only a great city, it is also a state within the country although it seems that it belongs to the state of Maryland. His special status declares him independent of this.

How to get to Washington DC from New York

This is the main question we must ask ourselves in order to close the visit to Washington DC. The first thing and I suppose most people would agree with me is that we should discard the rental car unless we think about staying longer and visiting other areas like Baltimore or Philadelphia. Another option that I did not consider was the plane because of costs, but there were many options. Between the trips to the airport and the previously mentioned I discarded it first.

What to see in Washington DC

Finally I put on the table the two options that suited me best, the bus and the train.

  • Bus: They leave from Manhattan, very close to the Madison Square Garden, place where tickets are bought. There are several options but without a doubt the cheapest one is Megabus. New buses, with internet access and few intermediate stops. The buses leave from the34th St b / t 11th Ave with 12th Av, a little further from where tickets are bought. In our case two tickets round trip (4: 30h trip) cost us $ 72 ($ 31 person). Our chosen option.
  • Train: Another interesting option was the train for its comfort. The company that operates it is Amtrak, and they are not precisely high-speed trains. They only arrive 1 hour before the buses and the cost is much higher, since 196$ onwards. Discarded.

See tour to Washington from NY

What to see in Washington DC

I think it is important to say that our trip to Washington DC was boiled. This limited our movement and on many occasions we had to find a bar to have a coffee and wait for the downpour to end. For the rest, everything went perfectly, fulfilling what we planned to visit, Capitol including which requires prior reservation.

What to see in Washington DC

From New York we took a bus to Washington DC that arrived around 2:30 pm at the station Union Station 30min late. From there we went to the hotel to leave our bags and almost without eating we began to visit the city, time and light was pressing. Our mission was to visit a large number of monuments with a common theme, the history of the United States and its high dose of patriotism, this is Washington DC.

Then I comment on the places we visited in chronological order and not by relevance.

1 The White House

It's funny that one of the things we wanted to see the most was the White House. American cinema has flooded our homes and this makes many places in this country very familiar to us. This does not need presentation and it is well known that it is the home of the most powerful man in the United States and probably the world, its president.

What to see in Washington DC

As our hotel was very close to the 16th St NW, it was enough to take it southbound until you get the go of the White House. Always crowded with people and vindictive banners. Here taking a picture is an impossible task, being the best idea to walk to the other side of the building where human jaurías have not been and go do not hinder the cameras.

What to see in Washington DC

2 Washington Monument

Continuing our walk, we cross a park called The ellipse where there is a baseball field and a fairly famous tree called “National Christmas Tree“, But I suppose it will attract attention at Christmas, because in October it is one more tree.

Further on, on the other side of the Constitution Ave NW stands theWashington Monument, an obelisk of gigantic proportions that can be seen from many points of the city.

What to see in Washington DC - Clouds on the Washington monument

It was at this precise moment that it began to rain heavily and armed with our umbrellas we continued our way. Water was inevitable and as the following monuments to visit were located in parks, finding a shelter was impossible.

3 World War II memorial

From the Washington Monument and leaving behind the silhouette of a Capitol in works, we walked to the World War II memorial, located at the beginning ofLincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool, one of the most famous artificial lakes in the country.

What to see in Washington DC

This would not be the only monument to a war within the park in which the United States participates. In fact it is very likely that they are all represented, the most important being the two world wars and the Vietnam War.

4  The Three Soldiers

Leaving for the momentLincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool on our left we went to the statue of the three soldiers or the three soldiers. Made in bronze commemorates the struggle of American soldiers in the Vietnam War.

What to see in Washington DC

5  Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Not far from the statue of the three soldiers is the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. A wall immortalized in hundreds of films where all soldiers killed in combat are found.

What to see in Washington DC

6  Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool

Suddenly the night fell, it was already 7:00 pm but at least the rain stopped chasing us. Darkness was not an impediment to continue walking, quite the opposite. It is the best time to enjoy theLincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool with the Washington Monument reflected on its waters.

What to see in Washington DC

A monument so simple and in turn so spectacular. Even so, we had a surprise and it was under the gaze of the most famous American president in history, Abraham Lincoln.

What to see in Washington DC

7  Lincoln Memorial

A Roman court building kept one of the most famous statues in the city, that of the sixteenth president of the United States,Abraham Lincoln. A temple built for a single statue which gives him as one of the most important presidents of the country.

What to see in Washington DC

His appearance as a human being contrasts with what I have in my head in the film of planet of the Apes, where it appears with monkey face. Apocalyptic films aside, his end was tragic when he was killed 4 years after being appointed president.

What to see in Washington DC

8  The capitol

The next day and in a rain without ceasing to cease, we march to The capitol where we had made a reservation to visit it. Your entry is completely free, but we have to reserve day and time to not get a fright. It is booked from this page and all visits are guided at very specific times and with scrupulous punctuality.

What to see in Washington DC

Not only was the heavy rain preventing a photo towards the Capitol. To make matters worse, its structure was completely covered under scaffolding, this being the main reason for not photographing it. We had to settle for its interior.

What to see in Washington DC

The interior is really splendid and your visit becomes really enjoyable, giving you time to photograph things without haste. However bad luck was chasing us and the central hall where the dome of the Capitol stands was full of scaffolding !!! Nothing to photograph except for an anteroom where the figures of several former US presidents were.

What to see in Washington DC

9 The Library of Congress

As it continued to rain without stopping it was best to look for a nearby building where to shelter. This was the Library of Congress, right next to the Capitol visitor entrance. A success.

What to see in Washington DC

We only visit the main building, but the library is divided into three buildings given the large amount of books stored. Documents like the draft United States declaration of independence They are a clear example, although not only books or documents are stored. There are also stored movies, music scores and even musical instruments such as severalStradivarius.

What to see in Washington DC

10 Thomas Jefferson Memorial

From the Library of Congress we begin to walk along Independence Avenue until we cross the Washington Canal through a bridge reaching the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. It was raining in the seas and this temple helped us to take refuge and get a little warm, especially the museum that has been under its feet.

What to see in Washington DC

Thomas Jefferson He was not a president anymore. He is perhaps one of the most relevant figures in the country as he is the principal author of the United States declaration of independence.

11 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial

As it did not stop raining, we decided to break and go toFranklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial. Another icon of the country and famous for appearing in the photographs of the Second World War sitting in a wheelchair.

What to see in Washington DC

12 US Marine Corps War Memorial (Arlington)

The leafy park where the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is located ended at the Lincoln Memorial, seen the day before. As we had some time left we decided to cross the bridge over the Potomac River, which separates Washington from Arlington, in the state of Virginia.

What to see in Washington DC

Our idea was to visit theUS Marine Corps War Memorial, a statue in honor of a press photo in the battle of Iwo Jima that was later known to be a montage. Of course, getting here looking over the map seemed very simple, but the turn to be taken is tremendous, walking more than 5 kilometers to get here. Ideally, take the subway without a doubt.

Practical data

Before leaving for the United States

  • Airport Transfers
  • Car rental in USA with a 15% discount
  • The best excursions in the United States

Tour to visit Washington

Going through an organized tour is always an option. Comfortable and without eating our head in aspects in the preparations once we arrive in the city. We recommend that you hire it before going to Washington, as it will be much cheaper. We recommend doing it with Civitatis for its good references and great prices. Recommendable.

See tour to Washington

How do we tour Washington?

From my point of view it is best to do it on foot, enjoying its wide avenues and large parks. I must also recognize that the distances are very large and that public transport works very well, especially modernsubway. This sometimes may not fit us in our itinerary, but it can bring us back from as far away as Arlington.

Washington DC Metro

Curiously, the subway rates are not fixed and vary according to the route and schedule. At rush hour rates start with 2.15$ and in the rest of the schedules on 1.75$.

How many days should we be in Washington DC?

The answer is depends… With a day and a half we can see most of the monuments but if our idea is to visit one of the countless museums we would have to add 1 more minimum day.

Washington DC by rental car

If our mission is just to visit Washington DC, I would discard the car option. On the other hand, if we plan to spend more days and visit nearby cities such as Baltimore or Philadelphia, it may be felt, but I already commented earlier that the bus works really well.

When to go to Washington DC?

Ideally, avoid July 4th as many places are closed to the public. In addition, winters can be hard, sometimes making transit through parks difficult. The rest of the year is usually perfect.

Where to sleep?

Sleeping in Washington DC is not economical and the ideal is to make reservations in advance. Many conventions are held in this city and we can find the hotels to burst. Still hotels for less than 100$ the night can be found but almost always away from the downtown area and generally of type Hostel.

  • District Hotel: our choice. Not far from the center and with a nearby restaurant area.

Travel insurance

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