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  • manueldjung

A weekend in... Washington D.C.

I love D.C.! I like it even more than NYC but a little less than Chicago. Why? Because Washington D.C. is quiet, it is steeped in history, it's clean, not so hectic, has great parks and (almost) everything is within walking distance. Above all, most museums are free, or the museums that charge admission are worth the money. Whether it's warm or cold, whether the sun is shining or it's raining, there's always something to see in this beautiful city.

My first time in D.C. was 2017, we were on a cruise in the Caribbean and wanted to return to Germany from San Juan via Dulles. My better half was an au pair in Washington for a year in 2001, so we took the chance to meet up with the host family. In 2018 we're headed to D.C. for the cherry blossom season. flown, of course including the reunion with the host family. Unfortunately, in 2020 Washington will probably fall into the water due to a small pandemic. But postponed is not lifted...

Note (November 2022). The pandemic is still ongoing, but travel is back and we've actually made it back to Washington twice in the last 12 months. Hooray!

Round tour of the National Mall incl. White House and Capitol

If you are fit or want to get fit, a morning run along the National Mall is worth it. Fortunately, jet lag usually wakes you up early, the city is still empty, you can enjoy the fresh morning air and take nice photos without many people.

With a little more time, you can walk the National Mall including the many monuments, the Tidal Basin, the Capitol, the Library of Congress and the White House in about 4 hours (without breaks). Of course we needed longer for the tour, there are just too many beautiful photo opportunities and the individual memorials are overwhelming.

4 hours walking tour though D.C.

In addition to the many memorials, by the way, the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial is one of the most beautiful in my opinion, and a detour to the "John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts" is also worthwhile. Free access to the rooftop and views of D.C. enjoy. If you want, you can also use the roof for another jogging session.

Capitol Hill

I've always wanted to see to the Capitol. Of course we included Washington in our trip so spontaneously that it was not possible to reserve a tour in advance. My hopes for one of the limited "Same Day Passes" were low, but we tried our luck. But, lucky us! A friendly employee handed us a ticket for the next tour in 10 minutes at the entrance. The tour lasted a good hour, maybe 90 minutes and was very worthwhile.

Arlington National Cemetery

The National Cemetery in Arlington is also worth seeing. An average of 15 burials take place in this cemetery every day. Every active duty member of the armed forces may be buried at the National Cemetery, including some veterans, children and widows of soldiers (under certain conditions), and all presidents of the USA.

For example, John F. Kennedy and Jacky Kennedy were buried in Arlington. But Bobby and Ted Kennedy also found their final resting place here. A memorial was created in Arlington for the astronauts from the Challenger crash, as well as for the victims of the Lockerbie assassination and of course there are also the tombs of the unknown soldiers from the two world wars, the Korean and Vietnam wars.

Arlington is very spacious and hilly, which is definitely underestimated. Here, too, you have to easily plan 1.5 - 2 hours.

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Did I mention that I'm a aviation geek? One of the absolute highlights for airplane lovers is the National Air and Space Museum. There are two of these. One right on the National Mall and another, larger one, at Dulles Airport. Both museums are absolutely worth seeing. In the museum on the Mall you can admire the famous "Spirit of St. Louis" or an original Lilienthal glider.

However, more exhibits due to more space can be seen at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. In addition to a space shuttle (Discovery), a Blackbird, there is also the original Enola Gay (the bomber that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki) and a Concorde. Even Felix Baumgartner's capsule made it to the Udvar-Hazy Center.

If you still have a lot of time before your onward flight or if you are enthusiastic about flying overall, a visit to the National Air and Space Museum is worthwhile.


About 10 kilometers south of D.C. lies Alexandria. "Old Town" in particular is worth a short detour if you have the time. You can reach Alexandria quickly and cheaply with the blue and yellow metro from D.C. (Get off at King Street Station. The journey takes about 20 minutes.

Alexandria reminded me a bit of a mixture of Notting Hill in London and Santa Barbara in California. A very nice, cozy shopping street, King Street, with many small shops and restaurants. You can walk quite quickly to the Potomac River and make yourself comfortable there on the waterfront. Since we have dinner in D.C. After an appointment, we treated ourselves to a "small" lunchtime snack at Chipotle and ate our burrito at the waterfront. However, according to an insider, one of the best pizzas in all of D.C. is on King Street at Bugsy's Pizza Restaurant and Sports Bar. I won't miss it next time.

Coming up next: Georgetown & Adams Morgan

Last but not least, a few recommendations from the "Food & Drink" category:

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