Where to go in Washington for free

Where to go in Washington for free

More than 24 million people visit the US capital every year. Washington attracts tourists with a well-developed tourist infrastructure, famous attractions, vibrant nightlife and a whole complex of Smithsonian museums.
Today we have prepared for you a list of 10 popular places in Washington that you don’t have to pay to visit. This selection will be especially useful for those planning a budget trip to America.

Where to go in Washington for free

White House (on the map)

Perhaps the most famous building in the USA. The official residence of American presidents is located on Pennsylvania Avenue in the heart of the city. Around it, on an area of ​​7.2 hectares, is the Presidential Park. The White House consists of six floors, with two floors located underground. There are 132 rooms inside, including:

  • Oval Office
    The President of the United States works here. The windows in the room are made of bulletproof glass for reliable protection of the first person of the state.
  • Situation room
    In this room, the US President holds meetings with ministers. The room is equipped with a projector, monitors and other useful things for meetings.
  • Presidential Room
    Previously, the president’s secretaries worked in this hall, but now it is used as a dining room for receiving important guests.
  • Vice President’s Office
    The Deputy President of the United States works in this room. In the event of the death of the first person of the state, it is he who becomes the leader of the country.

In addition, the building has a press conference room, dining rooms, the president’s personal apartments and more than 32 bathrooms.

Where to go in Washington for free

You can visit the White House from Tuesday to Saturday, but you should sign up for a group tour in advance. To do this, you must contact the American Embassy at least 21 days before the expected date with a request to be included in the list of visitors. Walking through the rooms allowed for inspection on two floors, you will be able to look at the personal belongings of members of the presidential families.

Where to go in Washington for free

Capitol (on the map)

On one of the hills in Washington is located what was once the tallest building in the city – the Capitol; its height is 88 meters. It was built by 1800 for the US Congress, however, 14 years later the Capitol was almost completely burned down after an attack by the British. At that time, the so-called second War of Independence was underway. The process of restoring the building took more than five years. Over the next two decades, the Capitol was added to and reconstructed. In its current form, the US Congress building was formed by 1865.

Today, 2 of the 540 rooms of the Capitol are open to visitors. You can see the famous Rotunda, where a unique collection of paintings and sculptures is collected. Separately, you can sign up for an unusual excursion – from a special gallery you will be allowed to watch a meeting of the US Congress take place.

To get into the Capitol, you need to find a kiosk with free tickets near the right wing of the building.

Where to go in Washington for free

Lincoln Memorial (on map)

The Capitol offers an excellent view of the National Mall, and right behind it, in the distance, you can see a huge building that looks like an ancient Greek temple; This is the Lincoln Memorial. It was built by 1922 in honor of the 16th President of the United States. The names of 48 states are carved on its walls, and in the center there is a giant 19-meter sculpture of Abraham Lincoln, thoughtfully looking towards the Capitol. At first it seems that the statue is carved from a huge piece of marble, but in fact this is not the case. The sculpture consists of many individual parts, but thanks to the skillful work of the craftsmen this is not noticeable.

The grand opening of the memorial in 1922 was attended by Robert Todd Lincoln, the only one of the four sons of the American president who lived to see the completion of the monument.

Where to go in Washington for free

Although the memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, it is better to go there late in the evening or at night; Thanks to the backlight, it looks especially impressive.

Where to go in Washington for free

George Washington Monument (on the map)

This granite monument, lined with marble, was erected in 1848-1884 and before the construction of the Eiffel Tower was considered the largest structure in the world (height 169 meters). The weight of the obelisk in honor of the first US president is about 80 tons. A staircase of 896 steps and a special elevator lead to the top, where the observation deck is located. The monument is open to free visiting. To do this, you need to get tickets at 2 15th St NW and go to the monument at the appointed time.

Where to go in Washington for free

Korean War Veterans Memorial (on map)

One of the most emotional monuments in Washington is the Korean War Veterans Memorial on the National Mall. It looks unusual: 19 soldiers making their way through the thicket of living juniper. The monument was built in honor of those who died or went missing during the Korean military conflict. Americans often call that war “forgotten,” since for a long time it was not customary to talk about the participants in the fighting in Korea. And the memorial itself appeared not so long ago; it was installed only in 1995.

The memorial looks especially impressive late in the evening or at night: in the rays of light the figures seem alive, frozen only for a moment in the darkness.

Where to go in Washington for free

Vietnam Veterans Memorial (on map)

One of the longest and bloodiest wars in US history is the Vietnam War. More than 60,000 American soldiers were killed or missing during the fighting. A memorial was built in memory of them. Architects and designers from all over the world worked on the creation of the project. The winner of the competition announced by the US Congress was a student from China, Maya Lin. The memorial is striking in its combination of monumentality and minimalism: the names of all the victims are engraved on a huge black granite wall (75 meters long). Endless rows of names and surnames on stone polished to a mirror shine – it makes a great impression.

Where to go in Washington for free

National Museum of Natural History (on the map)

The museum, founded in 1910, is managed by the Smithsonian Institution. Its collection consists of more than 126 million artifacts: here you can see samples of minerals, minerals, meteorites and objects from archaeological excavations. The Ocean Hall, which occupies an area of ​​more than 200 square meters, has huge screens showing the life of the inhabitants of the sea.

The most valuable and expensive item in the museum is the diamond of the British aristocrat Henry Hope weighing 45.5 carats. The second name of the jewel – Nadezhda – sounds quite ironic; The stone brought misfortune to all its owners. However, as research has shown, most of the stories about the curse of this stone were invented by Pierre Cartier, one of the previous owners of the diamond. Probably to discourage potential robbers.

The National Museum is open every day, except for the Christmas holidays. You can visit it for free.

Where to go in Washington for free

Library of Congress (on map)

The largest library in the world was founded back in 1800. At that time, her collection consisted of only 720 books. Today, the library’s collection includes more than 30 million books, 58 million manuscripts, 12 million photographs and much more. According to the most conservative estimates, the fund increases by 2-3 million storage units every year. To digitize this entire data array will take decades and terabytes of memory.

Tourists rarely visit the Library of Congress looking for a specific book. Most often, they visit it to examine the interiors of the main building: stairs, high marble columns, artistic paintings, paintings and unique old books displayed under glass.

Before your trip, be sure to check out the library’s website, because it often hosts various events: concerts, exhibitions, scientific and educational lectures, and much more. When you leave the building, don’t forget to buy souvenirs in the small shop. In addition, you can buy books and prints there.

Where to go in Washington for free

Smithsonian National Zoological Park (on map)

The Washington Zoo is one of the oldest in the United States. It was founded in 1889. Now it is home to about 1,800 animals of more than 300 different species. The most popular inhabitants of the zoo among tourists are pandas and fur seals.

Entrance to the zoo is free, but various events are often held on its territory, participation in which requires payment. Proceeds from ticket sales usually go towards supporting the animals. Perhaps the most interesting attraction is a night excursion and overnight stay in tents on the territory of the zoo.

Where to go in Washington for free

National Air and Astronautics Museum (on map)

The museum is famous for its collection of aircraft – the largest in the world. Here you can trace the entire history of the development of aeronautical technology: from the first wooden airplanes to Boeings, space rockets and lunar modules.

Among the exhibits there is Yuri Gagarin’s spacesuit, the Soyuz and Apollo ships, Soviet rockets and much more.

Where to go in Washington for free

To get to the US capital, Russian citizens will have to apply for an American visa and choose the most optimal air ticket. Travel time usually takes from 12 hours. Ticket prices start from 22 thousand rubles. As a rule, the flight takes place with a transfer in one of the European cities.

You remember that it’s best to buy travel in a “package”

Where to go in Washington for free

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