Tourists can get a bad rap – they descend on Washington, D.C. with matching shirts, asking for directions and delaying the metro. But it doesn’t have to be a headache. With these seven handy tips, you will be navigating the District like a local.
This large reflecting pond connects the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. It provides a scenic place for thought after taking in the Vietnam Veterans Memorial – and you know what would ruin that? A tourist deciding to take a dip on a humid summer day. These are reverent grounds, not your hotel pool. This goes for most fountains and pools around D.C.
Smoking marijuana on the mall
Yes, marijuana is (somewhat) legal in D.C., but you still can’t smoke it on Federal grounds. Plus those are family-friendly, historic places – so do everyone a favor and just don’t.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Clogging the sidewalks
When D.C. was designed, nobody planned for millions of visitors a year. This particularly applies to the sidewalks. Do everyone a favor and walk with your group single-file in tight places. Realistically, you should never walk more than two people across, and even then, stick to the right. Locals are always in a hurry, and it would go a long way for tourists not to block the sidewalks. If you want to stop to take a picture, step out of the way.
Challenging the “doors closing” announcement
When using the metro, heed the “doors closing” announcement. It is not a warning, it is not a suggestion. The doors are closing, and they will close on you. Do not try to hold them for people, do not try to rush through. This will delay the trains and make you incredibly unpopular on your car. Plus, your group could get split up if you time it wrong. Just wait for the next train.
Standing on the left
Another metro-specific tip: on escalators, walk on the left, stand on the right. The worst thing you can do is stand side-by-side with your friend while commuters are trying to barrel down the escalator and make it into the office on time. You’ll have plenty of time to chat while waiting for the train.
Failing to set a budget
Traveling is already expensive, but you need to account for the high cost of living in D.C. when planning your trip. A $8 glass of wine is going to run you about $12 here. Metro trips add up, Ubers surge, and that’s before you get those replicas of the Constitution for everyone in your family. Plan ahead so you can have a stress-free trip.
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It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
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I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.