A guide to visit Washington D.C., the US city of monuments
The capital of the United States tells the story of the country with its buildings, parks, neighborhoods and museums.
The area known as the National Mall is home to the main seats of power, museums and memorials. There, Washington proudly shows the American past and triumphs.
We start at the Lincoln Memorial, that famous statue of President Abraham Lincoln seating on a chair looking like the Godfather. In the end of the afternoon, the lights turn on and the gardens surrounding the reflecting pool are even more beautiful! From there, continue to the Martin Luther King Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial. Prepare your camera during the spring months to photograph the cherry blossoms around the monument to former President Thomas Jefferson.
The Capitol — a.k.a. the American Congress — offers scheduled tours of the building and exhibitions. Head through the tunnel to the library that’s home to over 162 MILLION items. It even has a copy of the Gutenberg Bible, which dates from the 15th century!
From art to pop
Washington is also the capital of museums. The Smithsonian Institution alone has 19 museums and galleries, in addition to the National Zoological Park. There’s so much to see that, if you don’t pick the highlights, you might spend the rest of your life there.
Do you want to see outfits from the TV show Breaking Bad? Gowns worn by former first ladies? These and other historically significant pop culture items can be seen at the American History Museum. To learn about the rich history of African American peoples, don’t miss out on the brand new National Museum of African American History & Culture, which opened in September. It’s installed in a modern building, close to the monument to George Washington.
Everything happens in Georgetown
The historic neighborhood of Georgetown has a different atmosphere thanks to its peaceful streets and brick houses. It was once home to the port that supplied Maryland, and its 18th- and 19th-century architecture remains a trademark to this day. One good activity is to walk around and observe the families and college students who live there — Georgetown University’s most beautiful campus is located in this area.
You'll find plenty of shops and restaurants on M St. — add Chez Billy, a charming Mediterranean bistro, to your list. Take one of the cross streets and head to the banks of the Potomac, where a park stretches alongside the water.