8 Free Things to do in Washington D.C.

The capital of the United States is full of history and has many interesting things to see. There are many things to see and do here! I tend to like to travel on a budget, so I have made a list of some of the things to do in Washington D.C. for free!

8 Free Things to do in Washington D.C

  1. The Washington Monument


This monument was made to commemorate the first president of the United States, George Washington. Standing at 555 feet, the monument was constructed starting in 1848. When it was completed, it was the tallest building in the world at the time.

2. U.S. Capitol Building


The Capitol Building is where you can learn the story of Congress and the Capitol. This building is also home to some great American art and history. At the center of the building, you will find the Rotunda, a room where the ceiling goes up to 180 feet.

3. Bureau of Engraving and Printing


Ever wonder how or where money is made? Public tours are conducted on a first come, first serve basis. On your tour, you’ll have the chance to see millions of dollar be printed on the production floor.

4. Library of Congress


Visit the largest library in the world! This library houses over 164 million items. The smallest book here is 1/25″ by 1/25″, or about the size of a period at the end of a sentence.

5. The Smithsonian Museums


Visit the variety of museums, the galleries, and the zoo that are all available to see free of charge! Some of the ones available to visit are the Smithsonian Castle, Portrait Gallery, Natural History Museum, National Zoo, and Archives of American Art.

6. Visit the White House


That’s right, you can visit the White House! In order to do so, you will need to contact a congressional representative well in advance to schedule your visit. You can submit your request anywhere from 3-months to 21 days before your visit.

7. Lincoln Memorial

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Built to honor the 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, you can find this memorial at the end of the National Mall. Here you will find the statue of Lincoln, murals, and inscriptions on the walls.

8. The Tidal Basin


This 2-mile long pond can be found lined with the beloved cherry blossoms during the Spring. You can also find the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial along the basin.

*Side-note: You can usually get really cheap flights flying out of DC!

Have you visited the Washington D.C.? What was your favorite part?



17 thoughts on “8 Free Things to do in Washington D.C.

  1. We love DC! The last time we went, we walked along embassy row. Technically, each country’s embassy is their country’s land, so we had fun counting how many different countries we had been to in one night 😄

  2. I would add the National Zoo, which is part of the Smithsonian. And if you like churches, there are two great cathedrals in the city. The Basilica of the Immaculate Conception and the National Cathedral. Spending time on Capitol Hill is worthwhile – great eating and fun to walk around (well, mostly). Then there is Union Station. Don’t forget the Supreme Court, next to the Library of Congress and the Capitol.

    The best time to visit the Lincoln Memorial is in the early morning or the late afternoon. And don’t forget to visit the Vietnam War and Korean War memorials while you are there. Don’t forget to walk to the back of the Lincoln Memorial to have a peek at Virginia (and Memorial Bridge and Arlington Cemetery).

    Lastly, the National Gallery of Art (both East and West Buildings) is my favourite museum in D.C. It s a world class art museum. There is a Da Vinci portrait there, as well as great works by Rubens (Alba Madonna), Thomas Cole, Rembrandt, etc. You could and should spend days there, if you have time.

  3. Oh, my gosh, there are so many wonderful things to see in Washington. In addition to your great list, I would add the Einstein memorial (in a hidden glen very near the Lincoln Memorial), the Vietnam memorial (powerful beyond words), and the Roosevelt memorial (honoring both FDR and Eleanor). These are sites I visit every time I go to D.C. Also, Arlington Cemetery is just a quick Metro ride from downtown D.C.—and well worth the trip.

  4. I live in Northern Virginia and spend a great deal of time in D.C. You have captured some great free sites and there are many more! One of my personal favorites is to take a self guided walking tour thru some historic and picturesque neighborhoods.

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