Your Ultimate Guide to Solo Travel in Washington, D.C.

Updated May 25, 2021.

This is a brand new year with brand new potential! Want to make solo travel a part of your life this year? I think that’s a fantastic idea! I moved to Washington, D.C., completely solo nearly 10 years ago, and I can definitely recommend D.C. as an excellent solo travel destination! Here is the low-down on traveling solo in D.C.

Why Washington, D.C.?

Because it’s the United States Capital city. This is where history is created in the United States, and as a result, there are tons of things to see and do. Many of the museums around town are free, and it’s a very walkable, easy to navigate city. My question to you is, what are you waiting for?

Having a blast at the Washington Monument!
Get the most out of your trip! D.C. Tours to Book in Advance

Is it Safe?

Yes! As with anywhere in the world, there are good areas and bad areas. In D.C., the tourist areas (Northwest D.C., the National Mall, downtown, Capitol Hill, and nearby Arlington and Alexandria, Virginia) are notably safe. You can walk around the monuments, go to all the major museums, visit historic sites, and more, all feeling confident that you will be safe as a solo traveler.

Marine Corps concert and performance at the Marine Corps Memorial, Arlington, VA.
Safety first! How to Travel Safely

How Can You Get There?

The easiest way to get to Washington, D.C., is to fly into Washington National Airport (DCA) and take the Metro into the District on the yellow or blue lines. You can also fly into Dulles International Airport (IAD), where the Metro will be coming in 2019. Baltimore International Airport (BWI) is also considered a Washington-area airport, but it’s a little more complicated and expensive to get into D.C. from there. I do not recommend driving in D.C. to anyone!

Smithsonian Castle and Information Center
For more, check out What to Know Before You Visit Washington, DC!

Where to Stay?

I always recommend that people stay in Alexandria, Arlington, or in downtown D.C. Look for a hotel that is close to a Metro station or that has a shuttle to a Metro station. This will make your trip much easier and less stressful than if you stay farther out and have to figure out how to get into town.

It’s even better if you can walk wherever you need to go! There are tons of free things to do in D.C., so this could be your opportunity to splurge just a little on an accommodation with the perfect location.

Look for deals so you can stay right downtown!
See Your Ultimate Guide to Accommodations for my
best tips on finding a place to stay!

How to Stay Occupied?

Oh my stars, how long do you have? There is enough to keep a person occupied for weeks! I’ve been here 10 years and have tackled more than most, but not everything (yet).

Check out my itineraries:

Don’t miss the most beautiful building in the country: The Library of Congress!
Want to venture out to off-the-beaten-path locales?
Check out Obscure D.C.!

How to Save Money?

There are hundreds of free things to do in D.C. All the Smithsonian Museums are free, and to compete, many other museums around the District are also free. The Kennedy Center offers free concerts every night at 6:00pm, and all the monuments and memorials are free–including guided talks and museums!

D.C. is very walkable, meaning you’ll save money on transportation!
For more check out Free Things To Do in D.C.!

Want suggestions on where to eat and more stuff to do? Check out my Washington, D.C. Page!

Are you ready for your own solo trip to my adopted hometown of Washington, D.C.? Get all my best tips and recommendations on my Solo Travel Page!

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