IFLY tips Washington
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The important buildings (2 hrs)
Washington DC, the capitol of the USA is of course known for the presidents residential, the White House and the parliament building, the Capitol.
For sure you need to visit those two buildings and have some Kodak moments. These are very important buildings in one of the world’s most powerful countries. It’s nice to start a walk in downtown Washington at the White House. Take one of the metro lines to Metro Center and walk to the White House. From there visit one of the many museums along the museum mall or walk Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol.
A few days a year there’s a guided tour through the White House gardens. Check their website for details. The Capitol visitor centre is open Monday to Friday from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm. A tour is free.
Museum mall (2 hrs - 2 days)
Washington DC has an enormous amount of museums and most of them are located around ‘the museum mall’. And most of the museums are for free as well. The mall is located between Pennsylvania Avenue and Independence Avenue.
There’s a museum for everybody. There’s art in the Smithsonian National Gallery of Art with two locations, which are interconnected underground by a kind of space walk. There’s more art in the Hirshorn Museum with its sculpture garden and the Museum of African Art. There’s a lot of history in the American Indian Museum and Museum of American History. The Natural History Museum shows all about nature. The space and air museum is a wonderful place for young and old. The museum mall is a place where you can stay for several days.
Newseum (3 hrs)
One of the museums, which is not for free, but nevertheless is worth a visit, is the Newseum at Pennsylvania Avenue. Newspaper stands can be found everywhere in the USA and this museum shows everything about this news industry.
They call themselves the most interactive museum in the world, where five centuries of news history meets up-to-the-second technology on America’s Main Street. The Newseum’s 14 major galleries and 15 theatres will immerse you in the world’s greatest news stories – the people, the places and the times.
Besides the nice exhibitions a visit to the Newseum is worth because of the wonderful architecture of the building. The entrance fee is US$ 20 per adult.
Hop-on-hop-off (1 hr - 1 day)
A great way to see Washington’s highlights is a hop-on-hop-off tourist bus. It brings you to every important place and you can walk around wherever you like. The route passes for example: White House, Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, National Zoo, Union Station, Chinatown, Dupont Circle and much more.
The busses will drive from 9 am to 5 pm and pass by approximately every half hour. A full-fare ticket will cost you US$ 35$ for a day.
National Zoological Park (½ day)
Another hot attraction in Washington that is completely for free is the Zoo. It’s a beautiful garden, which has a lot to offer. There are animals from all continents and Oceans. About 2.000 animals are in the park and about one-fifth of the species are endangered or threatened.
The zoo is a bit out of downtown Washington, but it’s easy to go there by metro. Take the red line to Woodley Park-Zoo. In summer the park is open from 10 am to 6 pm every day and in winter it closes at 5 pm.
Arlington Cemetery (2 hrs)
Arlington National Cemetery is an American military cemetery established during the American Civil War. With nearly 300,000 people buried there, Arlington National Cemetery is the second-largest national cemetery in the United States. Veterans from all the nation's wars are buried in the cemetery, from the American Revolution through the military actions in Afghanistan and Iraq. President John F. Kennedy is buried in Arlington National Cemetery as well with his wife and some of their children.
The cemetery is visited by almost four million people annually. It is a chance to walk among headstones that chronicle American history. A first stop on a trip to the cemetery should include the Visitors Centre, located by the cemetery entrance, where maps, guidebooks, exhibits and information services (to include grave locations) can be found.
The cemetery is open 365 days per year for visitation. The cemetery is open from 8 am through 5 pm, October 1 through March 31. During the period April 1 through September 30, the cemetery is open for visitation from 8 am through 7 pm.
Arlington is located directly across the Potomac River to the southwest of Washington. From downtown Washington you can go there by taking a metro (blue line) to Arlington Cemetery.
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Language of the world
Of course you like to speak a few words of the local language onboard the plane or at your destination. Here you find some simple basics of the main language spoken in Washington DC.