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The political heart of the United States of America, Washington DC has got a lot more going for it than politicians and agendas. Sweep your eyes across the landscape here, at the edge of the mighty Potomac River, and spy the towering monuments to great Americans of the past: the needle-like Washington Monument; the Lincoln Memorial, where the great man sits in stone under his domed roof; and the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial are just a few worth seeing as you take a tour of this powerhouse of America. Don't miss the haunting war memorials too, as well as the US Capitol Building and the White House, home of the US president.
The Smithsonian - the world's largest museum complex - never fails to captivate visitors, whatever their interests. This astounding site contains museums dedicated to a range of subjects, from natural history and American art, to air and space and American Indians.
Just outside of Washington DC is the Arlington National Cemetery, in the state of Virginia. Precise lines of headstones pay tribute to the nation's fallen military men and women.
Book a flight to Washington DC and you'll arrive directly into Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). You could also arrive into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) via a major American city, such as Boston or New York.
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The US capital city has a good choice of non-stop flights from the United Kingdom, giving you fast access to all it offers...
British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and United all fly several times daily from Heathrow, taking eight and a half hours to make the journey. United also has a daily Manchester flight.
Additionally you can connect via both US cities and European capital with the most popular options being Paris with Air France, Amsterdam with KLM and Frankfurt with Lufthansa. Across the pond New York, Toronto and Boston make the best connecting cities or you can opt for the daily non-stop service from London to nearby Baltimore with BA and take the train for the last few miles direct in the capital.
Washington DC flights deliver you into one of America's most charismatic places - so don't hang about in getting to and from the airport...
Washington Dulles International Airport is located around 25 miles from downtown Washington in the state of Virginia. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is just a few miles from the heart of Washington DC.
From either airport, getting into the capital is straightforward.
If you land at Dulles, the Washington Flyer taxis, coaches, shuttle vans and metro bus will get you where you want to be. Taxis, though fast and efficient, aren't cheap for the 35-minute car journey into Washington DC; expect to pay around $60 (roughly £35).
The Silver Line Express connects passengers with the newest of Washington's Metrorail lines, the Silver Line. From the airport, the express coach departs every 15-20 minutes and takes passengers to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station. The cost of the coach transfer and Metrorail journey into Washington DC should total around $11 per person. The Washington flyer shared vans offer door-to-door service like taxis; the journey is cheaper, though it could take longer if you're the last to be dropped off.
From Ronald Reagan airport, options include taxis, the Metrorail and shuttle services. The airport is also close to major railway stations. Taxis cost significantly less from this airport to destinations in the District of Columbia; you are likely to pay no more than $20. Car hire is a great option and you can collect pre-booked vehicles at either airport upon arrival.
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The central part of the capital is where you'll find the major monuments and museums. The National Mall, the home of attractions such as the Reflecting Pool and the Washington Monument, is central to most of the tourist highlights. If you find a hotel in your price range within walking distance of this area, then snap it up. Parking can be a bit of a nightmare in Washington DC, so you'll want to leave your hire car at the hotel and set out on foot. Look for hotels in Downtown Washington - there's a great selection of four- and five-star hotels, though budget hotels are thin on the ground in this prime location.
Public transport in Washington DC is excellent and there are plenty of good hotels on the outskirts of the central area, from where you can hop on the bus or Metrorail to reach the attractions of the capital.
The historic area of Georgetown is also worthy of consideration. As a famed university area - and a beloved location for film directors - there's a unique buzz in this attractive district and evenings really go with a swing.
For budget hotels, look across the state borders to Virginia and Maryland, where cheaper hotels offer comfortable stays yet are still within a reasonable travelling distance of Washington DC.
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