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Washington DC Sightseeing Tips

From first glance, novice visitors of Washington DC might think that they can see many of the best attractions in a weekend or at the very most one week. The reality is that there are literally hundreds of Places to See in Washington DC and if you don’t filter your travel itinerary, you will be left wondering why you were only able to see 5 or 10 historic attractions.

1. The first piece of non-biased advice we can give is to schedule a DC Ducks Sightseeing Tour for the first day of your vacation. You will be able to see more than 25 different monuments, museums, and attractions in only 90 minutes. In addition to giving you a “lay of the land,” you’ll learn historic facts, and have the opportunity to see the city from the Potomac River.

2. Plan a schedule that allows you to divide and conquer the different Washington DC Sightseeing districts using a tourist map. You should setup your plan geographically instead of basing your plan on “seeing the most important sites” first. You could end up traveling back and forth across the city several times to see the most popular attractions and wasting a lot of valuable time.

3. After figuring out the districts you want to conquer, categorize all the Places to See in Washington DC differently from places that you want to visit. You should consider “sightseeing” and “visiting” two different categories. Therefore you can spend a day or two “seeing” all the places that are quick and then decide how much time you want to spend “visiting” the most important places. This is a good strategy because the museums and galleries are so large that time will absolutely fly by if you’re not careful. You can spend a day in the Natural History Museum and see a fraction of the exhibits.

4. A few suggestions on attire: Definitely wear your most comfortable walking shoes and think about bringing a backpack or bag that is easy to carry. You’ll want to have bottled water, snacks, and supplies readily available so you can be as efficient as possible during your sightseeing adventures.

Think about these ideas while planning your vacation itinerary and it will save you time and money. These are some general tips that should help you from an overall standpoint, however each of the Smithsonian Museums and Galleries has so many exhibits, we also suggest planning your visit to those attractions ahead of time. Figure out the most important exhibits you want to visit, do those first, and give yourself some extra time to wander.