Washington is a city of contrasts. While it might be best recognized in its political role, D.C. wants the world to know that it has much more to offer than governmental gossip and diplomatic deals. Divided into districts, each neighborhood represents another distinct feature that adds to the diverse characteristics of breathing life into the city.
While isolated Georgetown is bustling with new, trendy boutiques and restaurants, Shaw, once the site of racial tension and riot, is undergoing a revitalization program to make it a hot destination for African-American heritage tours. Downtown might offer theaters, galleries, and the best Chinese food in the Chinatown restaurants while the New U district, where Duke Ellington once played, is the in vogue neighborhood for hearing live music. And amid all this, let’s not forget the political and military monuments and memorials along the National Mall. It is in this area that you’ll also find the wonderful Smithsonian complex of museums.
The city is a melting pot of cultures and communities, which have a fantastic influence on restaurants in particular. Whatever your culinary preferences, D.C. can cater to them, be it French, American or Ethiopian. Spread out across the city, all the choices are on offer. One of the key aspects of Washington, D.C. is that, despite being crammed with different tastes, smells, sights, and sounds, it is not claustrophobic. D.C.’s neighborhoods are spread out over an expanse that is broken up by generous oases of green space, giving the city that sense of liberation and harmony which it strives to promote.
Regarded as one of the culinary capitals of the world, Washington, D.C. offers a fantastic variety of cuisines and dining experiences. Washington’s eclectic mix of nationalities demands an array of tastes to suit all backgrounds.
Neighborhoods and districts boast their own signature fare. Head to Georgetown for trendy hot spots, Adams-Morgan to sample East African ’wat’ (simmered veg or meat in sauce), or Downtown for great seafood (soft-shell crab is a specialty).
Dinner service stretches from 6pm-11pm and tips of at least 15 percent are expected. It’s advisable to book ahead for popular places, especially on weekends.
Ronald Reagan National Airport
National Airport is accessible by Metro (Yellow/Blue Line). The Washington DC Metrorail system has an important Metrorail station connected to Terminals B and C at Reagan National Airport. The Metrorail system offers easy and affordable access to different locations throughout Washington, Virginia, and Maryland. You can buy your ticket from the vending machines located at all entrances to the Airport Metrorail station.
SuperShuttle offers door-to-door service and based on demand. For information or to schedule service, call 1-800-BLUEVAN or go to supershuttle.com.
To get in touch with shared ride services, go to the outside curb or contact a SuperShuttle representative. After hours, call 1-800-258-3826 and press 1 for dispatch or 2 for reservations.
Another way is to rent a car. Rental car counters are located on the first floor in Terminal Garage A.
You will find the taxi stands outside the terminals. A taxi to National Airport from the National Mall takes approximately 15 minutes.
Address: Ronald Reagan National Airport
Phone: +1 703 417 8000
Washington Dulles International Airport
Washington Dulles International Airport is an international airport in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia, 26 miles (42 km) west of downtown Washington, D.C.
Traveling to Dulles is easy with Silver Line Express bus service, connecting Dulles International to downtown Washington, D.C. and beyond. You can buy your tickets for the Dulles International Airport Silver Line Express at the ticket counter located inside the vestibule of Door 4 on the Arrivals Level of the Main Terminal.
Metrobus Route 5A to and from Washington, D.C. and Rosslyn, VA
Bus operates to and from L'Enfant Plaza, Rosslyn, Herndon-Monroe Park & Ride and Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Curb location 2E.
Washington Flyer Shared-Ride Service
You can also choose shared van service to and from points all around the metropolitan region. No reservations required. Go to the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Centers down the ramps from Arrivals Door no 2 or no 7 or call +1 800 258 3826 (SuperShuttle) / +1 800 590 0000 (Supreme Airport Shuttle).
Washington Flyer Taxi
There are also Taxi services from the airport. No reservations required. Visit the Washington Flyer Taxi counter at the Dulles Airport Ground Transportation Centers down the ramps from Arrivals Door no. 2 or no 7 or call 703 572 TAXI.
Address: Washington Dulles International Airport
Phone: +1 703 572 2700
Baltimore-Washington International Airport
Baltimore/Washington International is a major airport serving the Baltimore–Washington Metropolitan Area in the United States. Situated next to the CDP Linthicum in northern unincorporated Anne Arundel County, Maryland, the airport is about 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Washington, D.C.
Here are some options on how to travel to and from the airport:
Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority
Metro now offers BWI Express Metro bus service between BWI and the Greenbelt metro station. The service offers a direct connection between BWI and the Greenbelt Metro Station. The BWI Express/B30 service runs every 40 minutes, 7 days a week to the Greenbelt Metro Station, which is situated on the Green Line of the Washington Metro System.
For more information call +1 202 637 7000 or go to www.wmata.com.
From Washington, DC:
You can also take Amtrak Train to BWI from Washington's Union Station. You can contact Amtrak Passenger Services at Union Station by calling +1 202 906 3260 or go to their website www.amtrak.com.
From Washington, DC:
Take MARC Trains at Washington's Union Station situated at 50 Massachusetts Avenue NE. Here you will find hours and information. The BWI Marshall Rail Station is on MARC's Penn Line.
To contact the Union Station ticket office, please call +1 202 906 3104. MARC Train service operates seven days a week.
The taxi stand is placed just outside of the baggage claim area of the Lower Level of the BWI Marshall terminal. BWI Marshall taxicabs are forbidden from charging flat rates. For more information, call +1 410 859 1100 or visit www.bwiairporttaxi.com.
Address: Baltimore-Washington International Airport
Phone: +1 410 859 7111
Citizens of the Schengen countries, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Kingdom of Brunei can visit the United States for up to 90 days without applying for a visa (as well as citizens of Andorra, Lichtenstein, Monaco and San Marino). Citizens of these countries must obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling. All other travelers must obtain a visa before visiting the United States. International travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the country.
UTC/GMT -4 hours
Best Time to Visit
If you're planning a trip to Washington, D.C. these tips will be useful for a no-bad-surprises journey. Fall offers comfortable weather, fewer crowds, and a plethora of activities to join. Summer and spring are the peak season, thus expect long queues at the main city landmarks, as well as higher prices on accommodation and airfare. The cold and snowy winter is not for starters, but if you're brave enough, know that winter is also the quietest and least crowded season.
Whatever the period is, Washington, D.C. boasts a variety of events and festivals throughout the year.
Here are some of the most representative ones:
- Commemorative events for Martin Luther King Jr. birthday
- Celebrations of the Chinese New Year
-National Cherry Blossom Festival
-Memorial Day Weekend
-DC Beer Week
Public transport in Washington consists of the super-efficient Metrorail and bus services. Computerized fare cards are available from self-service machines at the stations. One-day passes and weekly ones are available.
The bus service in DC provides services throughout the city and to outlying suburbs. Stops are marked by red, white, and blue signposts. Kids travel free. Be sure to have exact change ready for the automatic fare machines.
Taxis are everywhere in the city, just hail one down. DC is based around eight geographical zones, and a cab fare is determined by how many of these you cross during your ride, as well as the time of day you travel and the number of passengers. Three major taxi companies are:
+1 202 387 6200
+1 202 544 1212
+1 202 636 1600
Phone: +1 202 398 0500
Blue postal drop boxes are located across DC. Stamps can be bought at many hotels, museums, grocery stores, and post offices. You can find your nearest branch on the Postal Service website.
Phone: +1 800 275 8777
DC’s major pharmacy chain is CVS. The CVS Dupont Circle is open 24 hours.
Address: 6-7 Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C.
Phone: +1 202 785 1466
Country code: +1
Area code: 202
US standard voltage is 110-115V and the standard frequency is 60Hz. Sockets and the power plugs are of type A and B.