Washington, DC

to do in

22 free things

Looking for fun, free activities to do in Washington, DC during the weekend or your next trip? From world-class museums and beautiful parks, you will be spoiled for choice.

Accommodation in the city can be pricey but it's easy to balance your budget with our top pick of the very best free things to do in Washington, DC.

Rock Creek Park

Twice the size of Central Park, this is the nearest thing you'll get to a jungle in an American city. Rock Creek Park starts in downtown DC as a tree-lined path alongside Rock Creek itself.

Further north, it widens into a lush oasis, where you can hike, ride horses and cycle. The Nature Center and Planetarium offers starry experiences and is great for kids.


National Historic

Frederick Douglass

Abolitionist, author and statesman Frederick Douglass occupied this home from 1878 until his death in 1895. Original furnishings, books, photographs and other belongings paint a compelling portrait.

Visits into the home are by guided tour only and are free on a first-come-first-served basis but can be reserved ahead of time online for a small fee.

White House

Tickets to the White House are available on a very limited basis. Chances are best for US citizens, who must request admission through their member of Congress.

Overseas visitors, however, have to contact their embassy in Washington. Requests can be submitted up to three months but no less than 21 days in advance.



This one entry officially doubles this freebie list. The Smithsonian comprises 19 museums and galleries (plus the zoo), with the majority of them in the Washington DC area and all are free.

See the full list here
See the full list here