The Capitol of the United States, Washington, D.C. is both the center of political life in the U.S. and a nucleus of art, music, and literature.
Filled with magnificent historic architecture like the White House, the Capitol, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, visitors can devote days discovering the city and will not ever see it all.
Besides the historic implications of the city, the city is chockfull of lavish lodging and chic restaurants. Visit the Kennedy Center for magnificent live entertainment by some of the most world-renowned performers or retrace the steps of some of the most historical icons at the Smithsonian Institute.
1. When one thinks of Washington DC, the White House and the Capital immediately spring to mind. The White House is the official home of all presidents of the United States. Take the free guided tour to get a glimpse of the State Dining Room, the Ballroom and the East Room amongst others.
2. Go on to Capitol Hill on the Mall to see the United States Capitol which houses the Senate and House of Representatives. This is where each president takes the Oath of Office. Do not miss the dome, which is copied from Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica, with its Freedom statue perched atop.
3. While in the area, head to the Library of Congress which is home to almost 110 million items spread over three buildings and is the largest library in the world. Make a point of seeing the Gutenberg Bibles and draft of the Declaration of Independence.
4. The white stone obelisk which is the Washington Monument has a lift which whisks you to the observation tower for stunning views of the city. It has 50 American flags surrounding it and is an iconic and very photogenic sight.
5. The Thomas Jefferson Memorial commemorates the third president of the USA. It has a large dome which sits atop 54 Greek columns and is adorned with sections of the American Declaration of Independence. It looks across a lake to the Washington Monument
6. The world renowned Smithsonian Institution is a must-see. It is a complex of 16 separate museums on the National Mall, making it the world’s largest such complex. Most of the buildings are historical landmarks. The complex also has nine centres of research and a zoo.
7. The US Holocaust Memorial Museum focuses on the plights of the Jewish, Polish, Sinti and Roma populations (and many more) during WWII. Much documentation is exhibited together with related artifacts, films, photographs and the like. This museum is also an educational centre.
8. The National Gallery of Art is one of the greatest museums of the world. Its two buildings are linked by a tunnel – one is of modern architecture and the other is in the Neo-Classical style. Its diverse collection includes paintings by Da Vinci, Dutch Masters, Impressionists and the sculptures of Henry Moore and Alexander Calder.
9. The Ford’s Theatre is where President Abraham Lincoln was shot by John Wilkes Boothe in 1865. This National Historic Site now comprises the theatre, a museum and a lecture hall. Well worth trying to get tickets for a play or musical.
10. The Georgetown Historic District is a great place to shop, dine and has many places of entertainment. Within the area are Georgetown University, the Keeger Museum and Rock Creek Park which all warrant a visit.
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