- By kevin
- On May 10, 2018
- North America
- Travel Tips
With a recent explosion of restaurants, cafes, boutiques and clubs, Washington D.C. is transitioning into a thriving cultural hub. Book the Washington DC tour on the Globerouter.com website to getting around Washington, D.C. for a holiday now. Although the government is still the sun around which this city orbits, the District also offers a host of renowned museums and interesting neighborhoods.
The best way to get around Washington, D.C., is via the clean, safe and efficient Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) public transportation system. Most travelers (and residents) use a combination of the Metro trains, the buses and their own two feet to get around, but keep in mind that as the Metro continues to develop the new Silver Line, which is scheduled to be completed by 2020, you should prepare for delays and closings. You can even take a Metro train or bus into the city from the closest of the area's three airports: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) in Arlington, Virginia. Renting a car isn't advised; D.C. is regularly ranked as one of America's worst cities for driving. If you must have your own wheels, you should primarily keep them parked at your hotel. You can also traverse the capital city by taxi, but it'll cost you.
The six color-coded Metro train lines weave through Washington, D.C., and some locations in Maryland and Virginia. Running until midnight every day, the Metro stops at most of the major tourist attractions. The fare cost will depend on the time of day and the distance traveled. During weekday rush hour and weekends, fares range from $2.15 to $5.90. At other times, fares will fall between $1.75 and $3.60. Keep in mind that you'll have to swipe your ticket twice: once at a turnstile before entering the Metro platform and a second time as you exit your destination's station.
Buying a $10 SmarTrip card – a plastic, reloadable public transportation ticket – is an easy way to save money and get around the city, especially if you're visiting for more than a couple days. You can purchase one at any Metrorail station, online or in convenience stores across the city. SmarTrip cards are also accepted on Washington, D.C.'s Metrobuses and DC Circulator buses.
The best way to explore the different neighborhoods is by foot. Several areas like the National Mall and Georgetown really don't make sense any other way. When you get tired – and you will, the National Mall is nearly 2 miles long – the DC Circulator buses or another mode of public transit can take you the rest of your journey. Another great transportation option for exploring the National Mall without battling heavy crowds on foot is taking a pedicab. Rates vary by season and operator.