Tickets to Attractions and Museums in Washington

The best ways to get to the must-see sights in Washington. Read this complete guide and save time and money on your trip to Washington.

Isabel Catalán

Isabel Catalán

7 min read

Tickets to Attractions and Museums in Washington

Interior of the Lincoln Memorial | ©Colby Ray

Washington is a city with a lot of history and great monuments. To make the most of your vacation in the capital of the United States, I will tell you which museums and attractions you can't miss.

1. Washington Sightseeing Pass, the city's tourist card

Sightseeing Bus| ©Elvert Barnes
Sightseeing Bus| ©Elvert Barnes

If you are going to spend several days in Washington sightseeing and want to enjoy the city to the fullest, I recommend getting the Washington Sightseeing Pass, a tourist card that gives you access to the main sites of interest while saving you money and time. You can visit as many places as you want!

This pass is perfect for those travelers visiting Washington for the first time and want to take it all in, for those who travel with an open and flexible plan seeing tourist attractions on the go or for families with children who prefer to visit the city at their leisure aboard a tour bus and take advantage of the discounts in restaurants and stores that this pass provides.

The Washington Sightseeing Pass is activated the first time you use it and you can choose between 1, 2 or 3-day sightseeing passes that include a 24-hour sightseeing bus ticket so you can enjoy the sights of the capital while you sit and listen to the guide tell interesting facts about the places you see.

You can also use it as a means of transport to move around different parts of the city thanks to the Hop-on / Hop-off system. Something very comfortable and practical if you need to give your legs a rest or if you are traveling with small children.

This is the pass you were looking for to make the most of your vacation in Washington!

Isabel's Traveler Tip

The opening hours of the tourist attractions may vary during the holiday period so before visiting them I advise you to always check them.

2. City Tours with access to the White House and Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial| ©Casey Horner
Lincoln Memorial| ©Casey Horner

The Capitol is the symbol of American democracy and a must-see on your list of what to see in Washington.

You probably recognize the white facade and the great dome of this iconic building from hundreds of movie appearances, but with this VIP ticket to the Capitol and the National Archives you will have the opportunity to see it from the inside with a guided tour of such popular sites as the Rotunda, the National Statuary Hall, the House of Representatives or the Senate, where some of the most important decisions that direct the country's politics are made.

You will also enter the National Archives building, where the original Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution are on display.

Not only that, but this is a pretty comprehensive tour because it also includes a bus tour of Washington's major monuments where you'll make a few stops to take pictures. You can even enjoy a fun cruise on the Potomac River and lunch at L'Enfant Plaza.

If you are passionate about politics and history, don't hesitate because with this tour of Washington you are going to have a great time.

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3. Guided tour of the Museum of African American History

Museum of African American History| ©daveynin
Museum of African American History| ©daveynin

The best way to discover the roots of the African-American community and experience the cultural diversity of this city is to take this half-day tour of Washington to follow in the footsteps of early African-Americans in Jamestown and learn about the civil rights movement.

You will visit such important sites as the National Museum of African American History and Culture, Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Ben's Chili Bowl Mural, Lincoln Park, Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site, and the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, among many others.

If there's one thing I like about this tour, it's that the tour guide strikes the perfect balance between an educational and fun tour - you'll learn a lot about African American culture and history in the United States!

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What are the main monuments in Washington DC that I should visit?

Washington Obelisk| ©Caleb Fisher
Washington Obelisk| ©Caleb Fisher

Often overshadowed by other highly touristic cities such as New York or Boston, the capital of the United States is an exciting place brimming with history and culture. This translates into important monuments and museums that fill the streets of Washington and therefore make it a very desirable destination for a getaway at any time of the year.

Many of the monuments that you will have the opportunity to see during your trip to Washington will probably be familiar to you having seen them in the movies on countless occasions but nothing compares to seeing them in person.

The must-see monuments in Washington that you have to see when you go to the capital are:

  • The White House
  • The Capitol
  • Abraham Lincoln Memorial
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Thomas Jefferson Memorial
  • Washington Cathedral
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial
  • The Washington Obelisk
  • The National Mall
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial
  • The Korean War Veterans Memorial
  • The Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial
  • The Iwo Jima Memorial

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How to book tickets to Washington monuments?

The White House| ©David Everett Strickler
The White House| ©David Everett Strickler

There are travelers who like to travel the world with an open and flexible plan, seeing tourist attractions as they go. There is no doubt that this is an exciting way to get to know new places, since there is nothing scheduled and unexpected surprises can always arise.

However, this way you run certain risks because unexpected situations can occur when trying to buy tickets to visit a monument once at the destination, these have been exhausted after an endless queue at the box office. The nightmare of any tourist!

Washington is a city that receives many visitors and where long lines often form at the ticket offices of its monuments and museums. To avoid being immersed in a scenario like the above, my advice is to book your tickets to the monuments of Washington online and in advance of your travel date.

Nothing gives greater peace of mind when traveling than having everything well tied from home, don't you think? In Hellotickets you can compare prices, schedules and availability of tickets and tours for monuments and museums in Washington, you will surely find the one that best suits you!

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What monuments or museums are worth visiting in Washington?

The National Gallery of Art| ©Shane Simmons
The National Gallery of Art| ©Shane Simmons

Washington is a monumental city, full of history, culture and museums. There is a lot to do and see but there is no doubt that some of the must-see monuments and museums here are:

  • The White House: the official residence of the President of the United States.
  • The Capitol: the symbol of U.S. democracy
  • The National Mall: a park in the center of the capital that houses some of Washington's most important memorials.
  • The Abraham Lincoln Memorial: a huge memorial dedicated to the 16th president of the country.
  • The Washington Obelisk: a monument erected in honor of the nation's 1st president.
  • The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial: dedicated to the U.S. civil rights activist who gave the famous "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • The Thomas Jefferson Memorial: built in memory of the nation's 3rd president and one of the Founding Fathers.
  • Arlington National Cemetery: the largest cemetery in the world where the remains of thousands of American soldiers and figures rest.
  • The Air and Space Museum: see aircraft and spacecraft from different eras in realistically presented exhibits.
  • The Library of Congress: the oldest cultural institution in the United States and the largest library on the planet.
  • The National Gallery of Art: a museum that contains one of the most important art collections in the world from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
  • The National Archives Museum: exhibits many of the nation's founding documents such as the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
  • The Museum of Natural Science: one of the largest and most visited museums in the world thanks to its excellent collections on nature covering paleontology, zoology, geology and much more.
  • The Iwo Jima Memorial: erected in honor of the soldiers of the U.S. Army Infantry Corps.

How does the Sightseeing pass work?

Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum| ©Pedro Szekely
Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum| ©Pedro Szekely

If you want to make the most of your vacation in Washington sightseeing and you are going to spend several days in the city, then I advise you to get the Washington Sightseeing Pass, a tourist card with which you can access the main tourist attractions and that will also save you money and time.

The operation of the Washington Sightseeing Pass is very simple. You can choose between a 1, 2 or 3 day tourist pass and it is activated the first time you use it, from then on you can visit as many places as you want!

With this tourist card you will have access to more than 15 attractions and includes a 24-hour tourist bus ticket to travel around Washington without leaving your seat or to use it as a means of transportation to move between different parts of the city.

In addition, by presenting the Washington Sightseeing pass at certain restaurants and stores you can take advantage of the interesting discounts offered by this pass and save a little more during your trip. It's all advantages!