Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is one of the most organised cities in the world. The city, which sits on the famous Potomac River, attracts thousands of tourists every year. It is also known for having wonderful museums and art galleries, almost all of which have free entry. In fact, there are so many of them that it becomes quite difficult to choose which ones to visit.
Other than museums, the city has interesting places such as the White House and Arlington Cemetery. We made a list of top 10 places to see in Washington, D.C.
The famous structure with a giant dome is the seat of the US Congress. It is on Capitol Hill, just at the end of the National Mall, which you can see from almost anywhere in Washington, D.C. You can choose a guided tour or pay a quick visit yourself.
2. The Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space
This is where you can see the first three airplanes of the world made by the Wright brothers, a few rocket capsules, the space suit used by Neil Armstrong on the moon, the Spirit of St Louis airplane used by Charles Lindbergh when he made the first trans-Atlantic flight and also an airplane used by Emilia Earhart.
You can also touch a few meteorites. But the main attraction here is that you are allowed to touch one moon rock.
3. The Smithsonian Museum of Natural History
This is one of the best natural history museums in the world with a great display of animals from all the continents and deep sea. Here you can witness a few stuffed extinct birds like the famous Passenger pigeons and the Carolina parakeet.
The museum also houses the infamous Hope diamond. The beautiful flawless blue diamond was stolen from a temple in India and it is believed whoever owns it faces the curse of an accidental death. The last owner gave it to the museum.
4. Library of Congress
This is the largest library in the world with three buildings holding more than 39 million catalogued books in 470 languages. There are 167 million items in total, along with other print materials.
There is a Gutenberg Bible, the earliest full-scale bible printed for mass users. If you have extra time (and patience), you can register and get a library card for two years and enter the reading room. We felt the reading room is one of the most scenic and peaceful places in the world. We even asked how many books of Rabindranath Tagore were there and the answer was 1,348, with 350 in Bangla.
5. The National Museum of African American History and Culture
This is the only museum in Washington, D.C. where you have to pre-register for entrance, although it is free. It is a newly built museum, made during the presidency of Barack Obama, and a mandatory visit for those who want to get an essence of the dark history of slavery and oppression against African-Americans in the USA.
6. The White House
Undoubtedly one of the most famous places in the city. The White House is the residence of the American president. It attracts many tourists from all over the world.
7. Lincoln Memorial
The mammoth statue of Abraham Lincoln and the grand view from the top will make you appreciate the city planners.
8. The National Museum of the American Indian
Another must-visit museum, this one has a detailed display of the life of the Indigenous Americans (once called the Red Indians) and their history, full of blood and tears after the arrival of the Europeans. It also has a unique artifacts collection.
9. The National Gallery of Art
The National Gallery of Art has a collection of more than 150,000 paintings, sculpture, decorative arts, photographs, prints, and drawings. It is also known to have countless masterpieces from the Impressionist era.
10. Arlington National Cemetery
This world famous cemetery has perhaps been shown in every American movie on patriotism. Nearly 400,000 people are buried here and more than 300,000 of them are war veterans. It is maintained by the United States Army.