The capital of the United States of America has everything a traveler can ask for. Not only does it have great monuments and free museums, but there are so many activities one can do here. Whether you are coming from outside DC, or if you need to go from U Street to Dupont, your best mode of transportation is...the Metro! If you are not in the hurry please avoid the rush hour, and don't forget to walk up/down the escalators on your left, and stand on your right. There is nothing more the locals hate than tourists who block the escalators by standing on the left side.
Washington DC is a great city, I see it like New York but less chaotic in a sense. You can come here in the winter, spring, summer or even fall, and it will still be just as good.
1. The White House- Obviously, this should be the first thing you do when you come to DC. The White House is truly magical, and it's exciting knowing that the president might be inside watching some TV. Although, you can't really get a closeup from the outside as each year the barrier seems to expand. Still if you submit the tour request through your member of Congress, you can visit the inside the White House itself!
2. The Capitol- It is a bit of a walk from the White House, but the Capitol is yet another iconic part of Washington DC. General negative attitude to members of Congress on both sides of the aisle makes the Capitol mainly good for memorable photo shoots.
3. National Gallery of Art- all museums are free, which is awesome because when we were in New York we were quite confused why the MOMA cost money. This is our favorite art museum because of the wonderful selection of Impressionists paintings. The exterior of the National Gallery is pretty cool too if you like to take pictures like me:)
4. Washington Monument- This probably should've been listed as 3, but honestly, once you walk onto the National Mall, you have both the Capitol and the Monument in sight, and all the museums are right there. Also perfect for pictures. One of the best views/pictures opportunities is from the magnificent World War II Memorial.
5. Paddle boating in the Tidal Basin- this is a must when in DC. If you don't want to walk all the way to Jefferson Memorial, you can just see it from the boat. There are plenty of boats, an one hour rental is perfect. My friend and I were stuck paddling while my mom set in the back and kept instructing us and telling us we were going the wrong way. But hey, it was a great leg workout!
6. Go to a coffee shop- There are so many coffee shops here, and when it's winter in DC, all we do is enter one and get a latte and then walk a few more blocks to the next one. We usually go to Paul's because they have the best coffee and great pastries.
7. National Portrait Gallery of Art - This gallery is our go-to place when we don't know what we want to do. There is always some new exhibit, has so many interesting portraits and sculptures, so we consider this a must visit place. Plus it is far from all other museums on the mall, but it is still free, and is near all the restaurants and coffee shops. And it closes very late, at 7pm, so you finish your cultural adventure here before going to dinner.
8. Walk around Georgetown- Georgetown is part of D.C. that is not too metro friendly, so it is not as easy to get here. But when the weather is nice it is a nice walk from Foggy Bottom metro station, or you can drive or take a taxi or uber. It's filled with so many cute cafes, restaurants and boutiques, and there isn't a lot of walking involved. For me Georgetown is window-shopping, taking pictures and ice cream.
10. Botanical Garden- last but not least, the Botanical Garden. This garden is right next to the capitol, so when you are there you can just stop by for a quick peak. I'm a plant lover, so I was immediately in love with the Botanical Gardens, and try to visit them on my travels too. It is a great break from all the building/museum sight-seeing.