Getting Around Washington DC

Getting Around Washington DC

Getting around downtown D.C. can be a breeze or it can be a confusing mess. Choose a hotel near the sites or near a Metro stop and you’ll be well on your way to a happy stay in Washington, DC.

The fastest and cheapest way to get most places in Washington, D.C. is by Metro, which starts running at 5 a.m. (7 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday) and stops at midnight (3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights). An interactive map of the Metro system is available here. You can also take a cab (now with metered fares) or buy a full-day ticket and hop on and off tour buses like those run by Old Town Trolley or Gray Line.

If you require information on traveling with special needs, we suggest visiting for detailed information on Washington, DC sites and their accessibility.

Washington, D.C. Map

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Regional Map Showing Metro Stops

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More maps of the Metro system with information on the individual stops are available here.


Washington, D.C. offers several other affordable and efficient transportation options, including Capital Bikeshare, Metrobus, the DC Circulator, and car sharing. To view all of these options in one place, visit goDCgo’s interactive map.


  1. Mike Willey says

    Am planning a 3-4 day vacation in DC this summer and will be driving in from Arkansas. What are the best areas of town to stay in? Is driving into DC a good idea? I am not used to public transportation as we don’t have it in rural America. What about any protection for me and my family? Are weapons legal yet in DC? Not looking for trouble, nor am I bringing any, just want my family safe.

  2. Kathy says

    We are planing a 3day trip. To sight see. Is there a place that we can park our car so we can do the hop on hop off bus. Need help

    • The District says

      The Open-Top bus tour and the Old Town Trolley both stop at Union Station. There is parking available there for a fee.

  3. Peter says

    Visit the White House
    This summer I will visit DC in august. I live in Holland (Europe). Is it possible to go with a White House tour?

    • The District says

      When you go to the Hotel section to browse hotels, you need to click the link that says “Filter results.” This is near the top of the page in the search box where you enter the check in date. A selection of amenities will appear for you to choose from in your search. Check mark the “free parking” box and click the search button.

  4. Becky says

    In order to get out of New England, you must cross the Hudson River. Avoid going over the George Washington Bridge. It may be shorter, but you will sit in traffic. Use the Tapenzee Bridge. That’s the best advice I can give you.

  5. Pat M says

    What is the best time and route to get through DC? We will be driving from Boston to South Carolina and would like advice on this so we can avoid the heaviest traffic.

    • The District says

      If you are traveling down 95, when you get close to Washington DC, you do not want to travel through the city. Instead take the beltway around the city. Avoid morning and afternoon rush hour times, as traffic is very heavy with commuters. You should probably go around the city on the Eastern side, because there is currently a lot of construction around the Western side near Rt. 66 and Tyson’s Corner. Also, the Virginia Department of Transportation has a great resource for road conditions (with maps) at

  6. PD says

    Is there a free hard copy colored bus map for DC? The download from WMATA site is good, but I like hard copy which I can keep with me and use it easily.

    • The District says

      There is not a train, but work is currently underway to create a Metro line to Dulles Airport. To travel from Washington DC to Dulles Airport, your options include bus, taxi, car rental, or Super Shuttle. Also, some hotels provide shuttle services.

  7. Roger Baler says

    How do i put washington DC address on my GPS?
    My GPS requires me to put State and City address, but Washington DC doesnot belong to any States.
    Please help i need to put the address of my hotel in DC on my GPS but i need to know what states and city.

    • The District says

      On most GPS devices, “Washington” would be the city and “DC” or “District of Columbia” would be the state.

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