Getting to Washington, DC
Make your way to the nation’s capital with the following transportation options.
As a traveler, you have a wealth of options for reaching the wonders that await in America’s capital city. We’ve broken those down below.
If you’d rather travel to DC on the ground, we are just an Amtrak away. Amtrak offers large spacious seating, plenty of legroom, free Wi-Fi, onboard dining options and more. Plus, you can bring two carry-on pieces and one personal item, free of charge.
Amtrak has frequent daily departures from major cities throughout the Northeast, Southeast, and even Chicago. Trains arrive at Union Station, bringing you to the heart of DC. Union Station is within walking distance from landmarks, chic neighborhoods and fine dining. It also has its own Metro Station and easy access to taxis and ridesharing.
If you’ve chosen to drive to the District with your own wheels, SpotHero is a great app for finding a parking spot that suits you. Many hotels also offer parking options, so check with yours when securing your reservation.
Rules of the Road
Washington, DC has a grid road system like Barcelona, Spain and Paris, France, but unlike its international counterparts, the District’s streets are more complicated due to diagonal streets, squares and traffic rotaries/circles, as well as its one-way streets and narrow roads. If you are driving around the District, traffic patterns may change due to rush hour/commuting times (generally 5-10 a.m. and 3-7 p.m.) or for construction. Please note that most traffic lights stand at the side of intersections instead of hanging suspended above them. Be alert for no left turn intersections and blocks closed to vehicle traffic. The default speed limit of DC’s local roads was set to 20 miles per hour (or 32 kph) in June 2020.
Thankfully, cars are not needed for the best experience. Washington, DC is a walking town. In fact, 58 percent of commuter trips in DC are taken by foot, bike or public transit. Join the locals and see the best in the District as a pedestrian!
Rental cars can be picked up at all Washington, DC major airports. It is recommended to make reservations in advance. Car rental companies operating in the area include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Enterprise, Hertz, and National.