Things to do in Washington DC

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Washington D.C. (formally District of Colombia and DC for short) is the capital of the United States of America and home to the Congress and the President. USA has plenty of interesting and exciting big cities, but somehow they managed to make DC a place of patriotism and greatness beyond any other in the States.

The White House

One of the most famous buildings in the world, housing the oval office, where the president of the United States has his work desk. Obviously you can't get too close, but close enough to get that famous bucket-list photo with the White House. American citizens can visit the White House on guided tours at certain times, but as a foreigner that's not really happening at the moment.

Lincoln Memorial

There are several memorials honoring former American presidents scattered around DC, but one of the most visited is the Lincoln Memorial. Built in 1922 to honor the 16th president of the United Staes, Abraham Lincoln and stand to this day as a symbolic site for race relations.

Washington Monument

Washington Monument is another structure honoring a former American president; George Washington. The best place to see the landmark memorial from is actually on the stairs to the Lincoln Memorial, where the monument reflects itself in a pond built for that purpose.

Capitol Building

Besides being almost as prominent a landmark as the White House, the United States Capitol (often called Capitol Building) hosts a fantastic guided tour throughout some of the stunning rooms of artwork. From ceiling paintings to statues the Capitol holds enough art and architectural genius to be a museum alongside its normal profession as home to the United States Congress.

National Archives

The National Archives in DC is where you can see the original Declarations of Independence along side other constitutional acts and laws. Definitely a place to stop by, especially because the admission is free.

Arlington National Cemetery

Arlington National Cemetery holds the grave of John F. Kennedy along side his father and many other famous names. What is really worth the visit to Arlington is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At all times a soldier is guarding the grave as he works back and forth in complete silence.


Alright, Pentagon is a well-protected place in DC, especially after 9/11. You can book a guided tour, but they sell out pretty fast. Spotting Pentagon from afar is not the easiest task and I'm guessing a flyover is not gonna happen. Still, it's an important place which deserves a little peak.

Air Force Memorial

One of places to spot Pentagon from is at the Air Force Memorial. There's a memorial wall, a bunch of statues and a larger monument representing the jet streams coming from airplane engines. A simple but perfect place if you plan to get a look at Pentagon anyway. Free admission.

US Marine Corps Memorial

You know that famous photo from the battle at Iwo Jima? At the US Marine Corps Memorial they've made it into a statue! There are endless memorials in DC, and I'd definitely pick this one out as one of the cooler ones.

House of the Temple

The House of Temple is the American headquarters for freemasonry. Interestingly enough, visitors are allowed inside and can even join a guided tour. The tour schedule is listed on the front door. An impressive place to enter. Free admission.

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum has multiple floors filled with spy tech and history from the peak age of spies during the cold war. An entire floor has been dedicated to James Bond related items and spending a few hours in this museum is not a problem.

FBI Headquarters

Right around the corner from the International Spy Museum lies the FBI Headquarters. Do not expect a guided tour here. At best you'll be allowed a photo with the FBI seal outside the main gate. Still pretty awesome, since it's the FBI!

Spy House

Since we're at it, let's add a last spy stop to the list. At 2619 Wisconsin Ave NW you'll find a house which looks normal at first, but the story of the house is far from that. The location of this particular house is the reason why it was turned into a Spy House during the cold war between US and Soviet. Right across the street you'll find... you've guessed it; the Russian Embassy. Today, the house is abandoned, but many spies have spent hours looking over the walls across the street.

Washington National Cathedral

The main cathedral of DC is the Washington National Cathedral. If you're at the Spy House anyway, it's not that far. And you're headed to the northwest par of town anyway for our next stop.

Exorcist Steps

The Exorcist Steps. Yes, those steps from that movie. The stone steps at the corner of Prospect St NW and 36th St NW leading down to M Street NW was used in the 1973 hit horror "The Exorcist". The movie was based off of a novel by William Peter Blatty, who used to live right around the corner from these steps.
In the movie the character Father Damien falls to his death down these stairs. During filming the steps had been covered with rubber and a stuntman tumbled down a few times. Today the steps are recognized as an official DC landmark. Besides the movie-tourists, locals use the steps for cardio-exercising.

Ben's Chili Bowl

All this sightseeing gets you hungry and there's not better place to have a meal than at Ben's Chili Bowl. There are four different Ben's Chili Bowl locations in DC, but the original one is located on U St NW. Besides an incredibly tasty chili bowl, the restaurant has attracted famous faces for years. Former President Barack Obama among many other celebrities had a well-deserved meal here.

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