Things to see in a day in Washington, DC

Updated: 9 hours ago

The capital of the U.S. and filled with monuments, memorials and eclectic neighbourhoods, Washington, DC is a city that boasts so much more than politics.

After visiting for a conference and finding myself with a free day to explore, I set out on searching for some of the top sights DC has to offer.

The White House

Let's get the obvious out of the way first. Washington, DC is known all over the world for being the home of the White House and the US president who sits inside it. Built in the 1800s, this grand building is certainly impressive and worth stopping by to have a look if you're in the area.

Lincoln Memorial

An ode to Abraham Lincoln, this giant memorial sits on the western end of the National Mall, across from the Washington Monument (we'll come on to that). This is certainly one of the most iconic memorials of the city but be sure to also take in the surroundings, the view of the monument across the reflecting pool is stunning (I would 100% recommend visiting at sunset).

Washington Monument

Next up we have the Washington Monument, built to commemorate George Washington in 1848. Sitting at 555ft tall, this giant obelisk is a sight to behold and is visible from various locations around the city. It's also possible to go inside by booking tickets online.

U.S. Capitol

This impressive building is the home of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. You can get tours of the inside buy purchasing tickets from the little kiosk out front, or just admire it from the outside!


One of the many neighbourhoods within DC, Georgetown has to be my favourite. Filled with restaurants, cute independent shops and cobblestone streets, this charming area of the city certainly deserves a mention.

Korean War Veterans Memorial

Close to the Lincoln Memorial, you'll find this far more understated memorial dedicated to those who served in the Korean War. It consists of 19 stainless steel statues designed to represent a platoon on patrol, drawn from branches of the armed forces; fourteen of the figures are from the U.S. Army, three are from the Marine Corps, one is a Navy Corpsman, and one is an Air Force Forward Air Observer.

The Smithsonian Museums

If you're into museums, prepare to get excited because this really is the place for you. With over 18 institutions in DC alone and all free entry, you're sure to find a museum (or zoo!) you love. I visited the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and found it a great way to spend a few hours.

The Phillips Collection

This art museum was founded by Duncan Phillips and Marjorie Acker Phillips in 1921 and is located in the Dupont Circle neighbourhood. Featuring pieces from a host of artists including Picasso, Renoir and Van Gogh this museum houses one of the world's most distinguished Impressionist and American modern art collections.

The house where Abraham Lincoln died

A somewhat odd final stop on this DC tour is The Petersen House, or 'the house where Abraham Lincoln died'. On the night of April 14, 1865, the mortally wounded president was carried to a back bedroom in this house where he died the very next day. I must admit I stumbled across this place completely by accident but it certainly makes for an interesting stop!

With love,

The Chaos Diaries

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