Visit Washington D.C., the marble emblem of the United States of America, where history and culture meet in this fantastic city.
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA)
The Ronald Regan Washington National Airport (DCA) is one of two airports (including Washington Dulles International – IAD) that service the greater metropolitan area of Washington D.C. Offering flights to over 85 destinations, and seeing millions of passengers each year, DCA is a well-facilitated airport. Transiting guests will find access to information booths, currency exchange services, free WiFi, and ATMs. There is also a large range of eateries, and retail shops covering fashion, electronics, accessories and gifts.
Airlines to Washington D.C.
There are lots of large airline carriers that fly into DCA, these include: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, JetBlue, Southwest, Sun Country Airlines, United and Virgin America.
If you’re flying from Australasia, you can expect one or two stopovers, usually in large transport hubs in the United States, typically Los Angeles (LAX) or Las Vegas (LAS).
Getting into Washington D.C.
Taxis can be found just outside the terminals after Baggage Claim. DCA Airport is very close to the centre of the city, and whilst taxis are the more expensive travel option they are still pretty fair. Expect to pay around 25USD ($35), with tip, if the traffic is fairly light.
By public transportation
One of the easiest ways to get into downtown Washington is by taking the Metrorail, which connects the airport to various points in the city, and a single fare will not cost above 6USD ($9) if you use a SmarTrip card (which you can purchase in the Airport Metrorail station). There are shared ride vans that can take you door-to-door, but the prices vary on how far you are intending to go. A typical fare into the centre of town should be around 15USD ($22)
You can find car rental counters on the first floor, in Terminal Garage A. There are several companies represented here, which include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.
What can you do in Las Washington D.C.?
Perhaps one of the North America’s most iconic cities, Washington D.C. with its tree-lined avenues and polished marble monuments, does not disappoint.
Start your tour of the city at the wonderful United States Capitol, on Capitol Hill and see the seat of the House of Representatives and Senate. You can admire the building’s impressive dome, which is supposed to be modelled after the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.
From this point, you can look onto the National Mall, where the Washington Monument dominates the skyline. Strolling down through the Mall will give you access to more of the city’s famous cultural offerings, such as the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and further along, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Walking past the monument, and the Veterans’ memorials will bring you right to the base of the extraordinary Lincoln Memorial, where this treasured president of bygone days looks over the city. You can wander all around this beautiful tribute and see down to Capitol Hill and out to the Potomac River on the other side.
Outside of the National Mall, it is worth spending some time in historic Georgetown, where you can see houses that date back almost to the city’s inception. Stroll through Georgetown’s colourful streets and you will be able to take part in some contemporary D.C. culture, such as browsing the cafes, bars and boutiques that line these lively and pretty streets.
When should you go?
Washington experiences very typical seasons, and generally speaking the most temperate times to visit the city tend to be spring (March-May) and autumn (September-November). Spring is the more popular of the two because of the Cherry Blossom Festival (wonderful, especially if you plan to visit the Jefferson Memorial) and the thermometers tend to hover between 14-22°C. In summer is hot and sticky, remaining around 26-27°C for most of the season, and winter is very cold, flickering between -2°C to 4°C.
What do I need to know?
Currency: The American Dollar (USD)
Visas: All visitors to the United States of America need a visa. Some travellers will qualify for the ESTA, a visa issued online. For those that don’t, you can check the United States Government website to see the requirements for entry. Please note, you will not be allowed on the flight without a valid visa.
Please note all information is current as of January 2016.
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