Updated July 7, 2020.
The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic and recognizable landmarks in the world, and it’s once again open for one and all to go inside and take a peek from the top! It recently re-opened after some major restorations, but the views are still the same, and they’re worth taking in on your trip to D.C. Take a look and put it on your list!
Know Before You Go
As always, you’ll have a better experience if you’re prepared and know how to “right size” your expectations!
- You will need a ticket, and you will need to get in line early. More on this in a moment.
- You will have to go through security. You’ll have to do a lot of this in D.C., so come prepared and pack your patience… sometimes there’s quite a line!
- You can bring your purse. Ladies, rejoice! However, any bags larger than 18x16x8 inches are not allowed. Most standard backpacks are not too large.
- For a list of prohibited items, check the Monument’s Restricted Items Page.
- Plan to spend about 20-45 minutes here, depending on how crowded the museum and viewing area are during your visit.
- The Monument is open 7 days a week.
- The monument stands at 555 feet and 5/8 inches tall, and it’s held together only with gravity! No mortar, no framework, just marble and gravity.
For all the most accurate information, check out the Washington Monument’s National Park Service Page!
As I mentioned above, you will need tickets, and you will need to get them early! Everyone over the age of 2 will need a ticket. You’ll get your ticket at the gift shop on the 15th street side of the Washington Monument (the side facing the Capitol Building).
Daily Walk-up Tickets
FREE daily tickets are distributed starting at 8:30am, and they often run out of tickets by 9:00am. People start to line up two hours early during the spring and summer. If you’re visiting in winter, you will have no problem getting a ticket and you will not need to line up hours in advance.
If you don’t want to wake up early and stand in line, you could spend just $1 per ticket to reserve them online! Ticket reservations open up 90 days in advance, and if you want to visit during the Cherry Blossom Festival, spring time, or summer time, you will definitely want to consider advance tickets. You can reserve up to 6 tickets online.
Once you get through security, don’t miss the best parts!
The Statue of George Washington
George is the whole reason this monument is here, so don’t miss him while you wait for the elevator! He’s standing in an alcove facing the elevator, so don’t forget to turn around while you wait!
The Views from the Top
This is the whole reason you’ll want to visit! The views from the top are unparalleled in every direction. The most beautiful times to go are definitely spring and fall, but summer is absolutely stunning with all the D.C. water features going and lush greenery, and winter can be truly beautiful, especially those random times when we get a beautiful blanket of snow! These photos were taken on a clear, cold winter’s day!
When you’re finished ogling the views at the 500-foot viewing area, walk down just a few steps to the museum at 490-foot level. Displays and artifacts tell the story of the monument’s construction, the restorations that have happened since the 2011 earthquake (unfortunately I was in Turkey when that happened—bummer!), and the 193 commemorative stones that were donated from various states, countries, cities, and civic groups that are part of the interior of the monument!
What if I Can’t Get a Ticket?
Good news! If tickets are all gone for the day, you do have another incredible view option. The Old Post Office Tower is also run by the National Park Service and is FREE to visit! It’s open from 9:00am-5:00pm daily. For more information, check out their website.
Need more D.C. insight, recommendations, and how-tos? Check out my Washington, D.C. Page for where to eat, what to see, and how to fit it all in!
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