World Travel Guides

Washington DC

1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

If civic politics is the American religion, then Washington DC is the nation's holy city. White houses, capital and pentagonal buildings, supreme courts - these monumental Lego shrines are rarefied with real power. A patriotic combination of history and histrionics: BYO wiretap.

To some, Washington means white marble, verdant lawns, and the colourful, ritualistic pageantry of American politics: the Capitol dome gleaming against an azure sky; limousine processions on Inauguration Day; the mournful, sombre, stately changing of the guard at Arlington National Cemetery.

Yet Washington is no mere political ornament. It is also a city, a city where ordinary and extraordinary people live, work and play, a city of vibrant and beautiful neighbourhoods where the federal government and its machinery are merely backdrops to life, not the main-stage drama. After visitors have explored the wonders of the Smithsonian Institution's 14 museums (always free!), strolled through the halls of power, and played spot-the-senator in famous eateries, delightful districts like Dupont Circle, Adams-Morgan and Georgetown offer opportunities to meet ordinary folks, tour lovely historic buildings, and dive into fabulous world cuisine.

Facts for the traveller
Off the beaten track
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