Washington D.C. is a city full of clean streets, stunning architecture and mesmerizing memorials. You get a dose of culture, a dose of history and a MAJOR dose of people watching entertainment. Do you really need more reasons to visit?
If my first paragraph didn’t persuade you to visit, this definitely will; a lot of the attractions in D.C. are FREE. Yes, that’s right. You don’t have to spend loads of money to have a good time. Which is why D.C. is the perfect weekend getaway for anyone on a budget.
Take the bus.
A round-trip bus ticket from New York City to Washington D.C. costs around $50. That’s probably cheaper than the gas you would pay to get there on your own. Plus, D.C. has a great metro system AND bike share program, so you don’t have to worry much about transportation once you’re there. Busses are great for you wallet and the economy, so really it’s a win-win.
Stay outside of downtown.
One of the great parts about Washington D.C. are all the surrounding cities that are a metro ride away. Both Virginia and Maryland offer an array of hotels along the metro lines, and trust me they are a lot nicer than NYC’s metros. Plan a head and do a little research. There is no reason for you to shell out a bunch of extra money to stay in downtown.
See all the sites.
There is a plethora of memorials to see, a lot more than I could have ever imagined. From the stone architecture to the strategically placed quotes, I had goosebumps rising on my arms in the 85-degree, August heat. You should definitely make a morning of it. Walk through the National Mall and Memorial Parks. They are definitely worth a visit or two or three. Likewise, you want to make sure to see the White House and Federal Reserve Building, if only to take a picture of the architecture. Don’t be afraid to act “touristy”; that’s what you’re here for! Plus, everyone else is taking pictures, too.
Visit the Smithsonian.
The Smithsonian Institution is the world’s largest museum and research complex. It has 19 museums and galleries as well as the National Zoological Park. Did I mention they are free? You can spend days, weeks or maybe even months wandering the halls of these incredible displays of art and culture. Museums range in topics from the African Art Museum to the Air and Space Museum.
Walk around downtown.
The architecture in D.C. is mesmerizing. The detail and time that went into each building is unparalleled. In a country all about “modernity” and tall skyscrapers, D.C. stands out for the unique and carefully structured buildings, none of which are taller than the National Monument.
The Pig is a glorious restaurant in D.C. that prides itself on the preparation of one ingredient…Pork. The first time I traveled to D.C., I went to The Pig for brunch, and it was an experience unlike any other. From the decor to my pork meatball, I can find nothing wrong with it.
No, that isn’t a typo. Buredo is a chipotle-styled restaurant. The only difference is, they serve sushi instead of your typical Tex-Mex burrito. Sushi burritos are inexpensive and definitely satisfying after a long day of walking and flooding your brain with history. The uniquely modern taste of the sushi burritos compliments the historical aspects of the city and gives you a subtle reminder that no, you do not live in colonial times and yes, this is 2015; sushi burritos are real; and, they are delicious.
Have a picnic for dinner.
If you’re looking for another inexpensive meal, have a picnic! There are many places for you to grab a cheap sandwich ( Jimmy Johns is a personal favorite of mine), and there are plenty of parks for you to lounge at and enjoy the scenery. There are also food trucks lined on 14th street, near the National Mall. So, take full advantage of the local food and save a few dollars at the same time.
Visit Old Town Alexandria.
Old Town Alexandria is a short drive, or metro ride away, from Downtown D.C. The town is full of cobblestone streets and parallel to the Potomac River, providing restaurants with a stunning view. Many bars play live music and create an enthralling atmosphere as the sunsets. If you are in D.C., then Old Town is a must. Go for dinner, drinks or just a walk around. You will not be disappointed.
If you love to travel but also are keen on saving money, then Washington D.C. is a great place for you. The city is filled with compelling history, refined culture and delicious food; what’s not to love?