Washington, DC: a user's guide

Our editors have archived this article and the following content might be out of date.

So you're heading to DC? There's so much more to see in the United States capital than the statue of Abraham Lincoln (although, it is a great starting point). In fact, there's enough to keep you busy for months.

Got 24 hours in Washington?

Here's the Lonely Planet guide to the perfect day in DC. Though obviously, you'll be cramming a lot in, starting at the Lincoln Memorial and ending at a beer garden. And make sure you've got some sensible shoes on, because you will be walking. Regis St Louis is your tour guide.

How about 48 hours?

If you're in Washington, DC for the weekend, here's your guide to what to see - and where to eat and sleep.

Meet the locals

Want to see life away from the big monuments? There's plenty going on. New bars and restaurants seem to open every week in DC, a city where people come for the politics and stay for the lifestyle. Here are a few spots to meet the neighbors.

Top 5 ways to, ahem, capitalise on your time in Washington, DC

If you don't know where to start, here are some tips on getting the most out of DC, including how to get a museum practically to yourself - and the best spots for (political) celebrity spotting.

Washington, DC with children

There's the Air & Space Museum, as well as the National Spy Museum. And if that's not enough to please the kids, there's the zoo too.

Cycling DC

There's only one better way to see the city than walking: on a bike.

The art of Washington

With theatre, more museums than you can poke a stick at and a thriving local 'scene', there's a lot for culture in Washington, DC - and beyond. Not Wash'ed out yet? Take a look at Lonely Planet's Washington destination page for more ideas.