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National archives building, Washinton DC

Explore the awesome city of presidents on Washington DC city breaks and discover a city of monuments and museums at the heart of world events.

The green swathe of the National Mall sweeps from the sheer white marble of the US Capitol to the dizzying Washington Monument (still Washington DC's tallest structure). Tree-lined boulevards house world-class museums alongside the Mall's edges while the Potomac River skirts round the west of the city. In quaint Georgetown you can admire the 18th Century townhouses of senators and celebs before enjoying a warm welcome in an artisanal coffee shop.

Best of Washington DC city breaks for...

  • Families: Dust off your trench coat and take the kids on a top secret mission around Washington DC with the International Spy Museum's Spy in the City - a GPS-guided adventure that takes you onto streets full of clues and mystery.
  • Active types: Tour Washington DC's famous monuments from a completely new angle on a kayak tour on the Potomac. Paddle past the enormous Kennedy Center on your way to the Jefferson Memorial and tree-lined Tidal Basin.
  • Shopping: Eastern Market on Capitol Hill is not only a National Historical Landmark but a thriving market where shoppers browse fresh produce and hard-to-find arts and crafts.
    Capitol building in summer, Washington DC
  • Romance: Take tea in the marble-clad grandeur of Peacock Alley in the magnificent and romantic Beaux-Arts Willard Hotel, just a stone's throw from the White House.
  • Free & cheap: Pop into Washington DC's Smithsonian Institute to admire dinosaur fossils in the Natural History Museum, masterpieces in the Freer and Sackler galleries or rare animals in the National Zoo, all for free!

Getting into Washington DC from Dulles and BWI airports

  • Buses from Dulles International Airport can be caught to West Falls Church, L'Enfant Plaza or Rosslyn Metro Stations (all on the Orange line) and take around an hour.
  • Get into Washington DC's Union Station in less than half an hour on regular train services from Baltimore Washington International Marshall Thurgood Airport Rail Station.

Getting around on weekend breaks in Washington DC

  • Public transport The Metrorail and Metrobus systems will take you anywhere in Washington DC's metropolitan area but many visitor's choose to use open-top buses to get around.