Washington DC, the playground of the politicians and lobbyists, is one of the most intriguing cities in the United States. As a capital city, it hosts three branches of the government: the Congress, President and Supreme Court. Washington is home to a number of national monuments and museums, as well as foreign embassies, and numerous international and non-profit organisations. A must-see in the US capital is the National Mall, a national park in downtown DC that includes some of the most recognizable US sites: the United States Capitol - the seat of the government, the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.
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The Capital Beltway, a 64-mile long interstate 495, encircles the capital of the United States and provides the access to Washington from other interstate highways (motorways). Speeding is photo-enforced and fines are sent by mail. Driving in Washington is difficult due to heavy rush hour traffic and complex parking regulations. Therefore, avoid driving in the centre at peak times, 6-10AM and 4-8PM. To get a grasp on the traffic regulations in the country, pay a visit to our US driving guide.
On-street parking in the centre of Washington varies by the area. A metered two-hour parking limit is set in commercial areas on week days. Weekends and bank holidays have different regulations, so always check the parking signs. Zone areas parking is free but limited to two hours, and there is no time limit between 10PM and 7AM. Throughout the city, there are paid car parks, an alternative for your car hire in Washington.
Washington is located in the district of Columbia, which is not a part of any state, and lies between the states of Maryland and Virginia. The city is situated by the Potomac River, which south bank is a border with Virginia.
The city enjoys mild to warm springs and autumns. Washington turns into a blossoming cherry tree garden each spring, with the National Cherry Blossom Festival taking place in March. Summers tend to be hot and humid. Winters are chilly with occasional snowfall and temperatures fall below zero Celsius degrees at night.
Dulles International Airport (IAD)
The airport is located 26 miles west from Washington downtown in Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia.
Telephone: (703) 572-2700
Reagan National Airport (DCA)
The airport is situated three miles south of the city centre in Arlington County in Virginia.
Telephone: (703) 417-8000
Public transport in the US capital is serviced by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), which operates Washington Metro (underground) and Metrobus. The metro is user-friendly and runs across the district and its suburban areas. The Metrobus service network covers a larger area than the metro. Additionally, there are circular buses that run between the city's main attractions.