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Traffic is pretty congested in DC, and public transport is probably your best option to get around in Washing DC. The DC Metrorail (subway and underground), D.C. Metrobus or the D.C. Circulator bus can get you pretty much wherever you need to go. Public transit is also the most inexpensive way of getting around in Washington, DC. Taxis are easy to find, and so are Uber and Lyft vehicles.
Washington, DC is home to iconic government buildings, historical monuments, and renowned museums. The US Capitol, National Archives, White House and Lincoln Memorial are not to be missed. The Smithsonian Museum, Arlington National Cemetery, Washington National Cathedral and National Gallery of Art are some other must-see places to visit. You could also book yourself on a Hop-on Hop-off Trolley Tour or a customized private DC tour to take in all the sights of the city. Dinner or lunch cruises along the Potomac are another way to see panoramic views of some of America’s most magnificent monuments.
Eclectic boutiques, quaint craft stalls, high-end retail stores – Washington DC has them all. Georgetown is usually considered the perfect destination for shopping with plenty of boutiques, antique stores, and dining options. CityCenterDC, a comparatively newer development, is the place to go for high-end international luxury brands. Chevy Chase and Friendship Heights also offer luxury retail shopping. Dupont Circle has a diverse assortment of bookstores, art galleries, gift stores, boutiques, and coffee shops. Eastern Market in Capitol Hill is quite possibly one of the oldest markets in the country and still hosts a farmer’s market that offers fresh produce as well as baked goods, meats, and dairy products.
Washington, DC used to be one of the more dangerous cities in the country but is much safer now and is generally considered safe for tourists. Even so, travelers are advised to take usual precaution measures, as they would in any other city while they are traveling. Do avoid areas near Shaw, Adams Morgan, and Near Northeast, especially after dark.
Washington, DC offers plenty of choices for travelers to stay in and deciding where to stay depends on your budget and expectations. If sightseeing is your focus, try Chinatown or L’Enfant. If you are looking to experience Washington DC nightlife Dupont Circle is your best bet, followed by Clarendon and Woodley Park. Capitol Hill is centrally located and offers easy access to all parts of the city. Georgetown with its cobbled streets and 18th-century architecture offers quaint old-world charm. Adams Morgan is more popular with the younger crowd but do expect to see some drunken shenanigans if you choose to stay there.
The food scene in Washington is quite diverse and has a little something for everyone. The Florida Avenue Grill is ideal for Southern comfort food, the Inferno Pizzeria for wood-torched pizzas and Taqueria Habanero for great Mexican food. If you are feeling quite adventurous, try Zenebech for Ethiopian cuisine, Maketto for Cambodian/Thai, Bad Saint for Filipino and Rasika for Indian food.
Spring (March to May) and Fall (September to November) are the best times to visit Washington DC. Spring is when the cherry blossom trees in DC are in full bloom. Summer tends to be a busy tourist season, and winters can get quite cold. If you are on a budget and want great discounts on lodging, then August is a good time to visit.