24 hours in Washington DC
Written by Gregg Henglein Illustration by Fernando Volken Togni
If New York is the heart of the United States, then Washington DC is the brain, where all vital decisions are made. This, and its rich history, render it one of the country’s great tourist destinations.
Designed by Parisian Pierre L’Enfant, DC is a city you can walk across. The avenues are wide, river views are abundant, and, because buildings cannot by law be higher than the width of the street they front, the sky is always visible. Add more than 25 free museums, and it’s an enthralling, culture-rich visit.
It would be easy to spend all day in museums such as the Smithsonian; then visit The White House and the Washington Monument. Each is worth the visit.
But there is far more to – and around – the District. And if you have a day in Washington, DC, your best bet is to balance the places everyone visits with the real life of the city. Here’s how:
Washington DC, USA
Between congestion and confusion, don’t drive if you can avoid it. Parking is hard to find, and the quadrant-based layout requires extra-special attention.
Circulator Buses run the circumference of the National Mall, while DC’s Metrobus system covers the rest of the city. Look, fittingly, for the red, white, and blue signs.
The best way to go is the Metro rail. Look for the tall brown columns with the large ‘M’. Five colour-coded lines intersect, so you can get anywhere from anywhere. White House
Avoiding driving is made easier by taxis in abundance. Getting around downtown will cost US$4 to $15, and each passenger may be charged an additional $1.50.