Which Attractions Require Tickets in Washington DC?

free attractions in Washington DC

One of the best things to do in Washington, DC, is take advantage of the city’s multitude of free attractions. For those interested in anything from history and art to botanical gardens and animals, there’s a free museum or activity in DC. However, the best practice to ensure entry is getting tickets beforehand to the majority of these attractions.

The city’s layout, designed by Pierre L’Enfant in the late 18th century, offers a picturesque backdrop to the numerous monuments, museums, and parks that celebrate the American story. It is an ideal destination for those seeking to immerse themselves in the rich tapestry of the nation’s heritage without spending a dime.

Among the long list of free attractions, the Smithsonian Institution stands out as a crown jewel. This world-class museum and research complex includes 17 museums and galleries in Washington, DC, all of which offer free admission.

Before you start securing your tickets for these free attractions in Washington, D.C., you’ll want to choose your lodging. While DC welcomes millions of visitors every year, it’s no surprise that the Nation’s Capital has a multitude of traditional hotels to choose from. One of the best ways to make your trip stand out is by staying at our charming Washington DC Bed and Breakfast.

Our Inn is centrally located near the best museums, monuments, and neighborhoods in DC. Start planning and book your lodging today!


Free attractions in Washington DC that require tickets

Best Free Attractions in Washington DC

Many of Washington, DC’s major attractions, such as the Smithsonian museums, the National Gallery of Art, and the national monuments and memorials, are open to the public and do not require tickets.

Washington, DC’s most popular ticketed attractions, the National Museum of Crime & Punishment, Madame Tussauds, U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Washington Monument, and International Spy Museum, allow visitors to avoid waiting in line by pre-reserving their tour tickets for a small fee.

Tickets are also not required for the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Air & Space Museum, Ford’s Theatre, the National Gallery of Art, and the Smithsonian museums.

Visitors can pre-reserve individual tickets for the Washington Monument for a fee of $1.50 per ticket by calling 1-877-444-6777 or visiting recreation.gov. They must go to the 15th Street kiosk to get their tickets (beginning at 8:30 a.m.).

Timed passes are needed for the permanent exhibition at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. Passes are free and are distributed daily beginning at 10 am on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Bureau of Printing and Engraving requires tickets for its tours from March through August only; these are only distributed on the day of your visit, beginning at 8 am. The Bureau is closed on weekends, federal holidays, and the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.

Tickets are also required to tour the US Capitol. To guarantee availability, you should reserve your tour in advance online at visitthecapitol.gov or through your congressional representative or senator. A limited number of same-day tour tickets may also be available at the Capitol Visitor Center.

Tours of the White House are only available by advance arrangement through your member of Congress or senator. You can contact your representative or senator’s office up to six months in advance to request a tour. More information is available at whitehouse.gov.

Free attractions in Washington DC near our Bed and Breakfast

Stay at our Washington DC Bed and Breakfast

Our Washington DC Bed and Breakfast is centrally located in Kalorama near DuPont Circle and within walking distance of most of DC’s favorite attractions. Travelers choose to stay here for many reasons: the homey feel, the cozy rooms, and the unbeatable location. You’ll also appreciate our personalized service and welcoming hospitality.

Each well-appointed room in our stately Colonial-style Inn includes a comfortable bed, an en-suite private bath, rich fabrics, oriental rugs, and wood floors. No two rooms are exactly the same, but all include the necessary amenities to completely unwind and relax during your trip to DC. Our rooms are the perfect retreat after a fascinating day exploring the free things to do in the city.

While we cater to vacationers, our Washington DC Bed and Breakfast is also ideal for business travelers seeking more private lodging than large chain hotels can provide. We’re within walking distance of the Washington Hilton Convention Center, where many annual conferences and conventions are held. Start planning and book your room today!

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