Fun Things to Do in Washington DC – The Ultimate Tourist Guide for Your Trip

Washington, D.C.’s significant history, world-famous attractions, iconic buildings and landscapes, and variety of fun things to do, make D.C. a top destination to visit.

There’s fun for everyone in Washington, D.C. Whether you’re traveling with kids-in tow, planning a romantic getaway, meeting up with friends, or going solo, our travel guides have all you need to make the most of your trip to the Nation’s Capital.

What are some popular attractions to visit?

  • Hop On Hop Off Big Bus Washington DC Bus Tour – This sighseeing tour offer incredible views of many of the area’s monuments and landmarks throughout our nation’s capital. A must for first time visitors to DC.
  • International Spy Museum – Fascinating exhibits tell the story of spies, intelligence operations and deceptions that changed the course of history.
  • National Geographic Museum – Enjoy a wide variety of changing exhibitions that reflect the richness and diversity of our world
  • Madame Tussauds DC – Get up close and personal with your favorite famous wax figures, including presidents, celebrities, and more.
  • George Washington’s Mount Vernon – Visit Washington’s home and learn about the remarkable life of George Washington.

These are just a few. Want more fun ideas for things to do in DC? Head over here for more Washington DC attractions to see during your trip.

How long are you visiting?

Whether you’re visiting DC for 24-hours or a long weekend, we’ve put together popular itineraries with top things to do in the city.

From highly-rated tours to iconic landmarks, these itineraries give you the best DC experience for the amount of time you have.

Who are you visiting with?

No matter who you’re traveling with, there are a ton of things to do in DC for everyone.

We’ve put together a list of top attractions and activities tailored to every type of traveler, from young kids, to adults and couples, and even international travelers.

What type of activities interest you?

Whether you’re looking to check off all the top museums and monuments or you want an alternative, ‘not for tourists’ DC experience, our DC insiders put together a few ‘best of’ lists to inspire and help you streamline your itinerary.

What parts of Washington DC are you visiting?

Explore DC by neighborhood to maximize your time sightseeing. We’ve highlighted a handful of top attractions and places to see by neighborhood in DC so you can make the most of your time in the city.

When are you visiting?

Washington DC offers a different experience with each season and type of weather. Check out our lists of things to do in the city throughout the year to make the most of your itinerary and experience unique, calendar-based events.

What’s the best way to get around?

DC is easy to navigate and very walkable. There are tons of taxis and shared ride services available, and the public transportation system, known as the “metro,” is very reliable and can get you just about anywhere.

Public transportation fare: fare passes are available for purchase via machine at most metrorail stops, online, metrorail sales offices, and commuter stores.

Tip: get the free moovit app for point-to-point trip planning and real-time updates for both subway and bus routes.

Taxis: taxis are available and easy to hail down and shared ride services such as Uber and Lyft are widely available and easy to use.

Hop-on hop-off tours: a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour (an included attraction option) is a great way to get acquainted with the city. While it shouldn’t be relied on as transportation, it can be a fun way to get around to some popular attractions.

Looking for more info? Check out our post on getting around Washington DC for tourists.

Where should you stay?

There are plenty of great places to stay in the area. Below are a handful of hotel suggestions located near popular tourist attractions and fun things to do.

  • Marriott Marquis Washington, DC
  • Four Seasons Hotel Washington D.C.
  • Hyatt Place Washington DC/US Capitol
  • Washington Court Hotel
  • The Graham Georgetown

Where should you shop?

In between sightseeing, try and find time to pick up some souvenirs. Here are a few popular areas to get some shopping in.

  • Georgetown
  • Old Town Alexandria
  • Downtown DC
  • U Street/14th Street
  • Dupont Circle

Where to Eat

Go on a tour of DC’s restaurant scene with our Foodie’s Guide to Washington DC. We’ve included top picks for every appetite so you can sightsee while you taste your way through DC’s culinary destinations. No judgement.

Fun Info from a Local

  • Washington DC, on average, gets more annual rainfall than Seattle (tip: pack that umbrella!).
  • The Height of Buildings Act of 1910 limits the height of DC buildings to 130-feet.
  • A limestone grotesque of Darth Vader adorns the Washington National Cathedral.
  • Washington DC has the highest number of spies per capita than any other city in the world.
  • George Washington never lived in the White House – it was built after he died.
  • DC’s famous cherry blossom trees were a gift from Japan.

Share your adventure with us!

Tag us when you upload photos from your trip to Instagram: @SmartDestinations or #GoCityCard.

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