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Guide to

Washington, DC on a Budget

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What to do

When looking for entertainment in DC, one thing’s for sure: you don’t have to spend a dime. All of the city’s famous monuments are free of charge, as are the 15 museums in the Smithsonian system and the National Gallery of Art. DC by Foot even offers a free walking tour six nights a week, departing from the Washington Monument. Or get off the National Mall and take a free, self-guided tour on one of Cultural Tourism DC’s neighborhood heritage trails. At the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, take a free tour and watch the money come hot off the presses. End your day with a free concert or performance on the Millennium Stage at The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, offered nightly.

When looking for entertainment in DC, one thing’s for sure: you don’t have to spend a dime. All of the city’s famous monuments are free of charge, as are the 15 museums in the Smithsonian system and the National Gallery of Art. DC by Foot even...
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Where to stay

Search for seasonal promotions and special rates here. You can also save by staying in a neighborhood B&B, where you’ll enjoy free breakfast, or compare rates in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs (but make sure that you’re staying near a Metro station, or that the hotel provides transportation to a Metro station).

Search for seasonal promotions and special rates here. You can also save by staying in a neighborhood B&B, where you’ll enjoy free breakfast, or compare rates in the Virginia and Maryland suburbs (but make sure that you’re staying near a Metro...
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Where to eat

A strict budget won’t leave your hunger lingering. Check out our dining by neighborhood for a variety of restaurant suggestions as well as our Restaurants, Food & Wine page.

 

 

A strict budget won’t leave your hunger lingering. Check out our dining by neighborhood for a variety of restaurant suggestions as well as our Restaurants, Food & Wine page.  
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When to visit
DC hotel rates are usually highest during the middle of the week. Plan your visit over the weekend to take advantage of lower prices. Want to save even more money? Schedule your trip in late summer or during the winter.
How to get around
Leave your car at your hotel – or at home. Parking in DC can be hard to come by, and it’s often very expensive. Public transportation in DC fits everyone’s budget. Metro offers one-day passes as well as seven-day passes, which you can purchase...

Leave your car at your hotel – or at home. Parking in DC can be hard to come by, and it’s often very expensive. Public transportation in DC fits everyone’s budget. Metro offers one-day passes as well as seven-day passes, which you can purchase here. The DC Circulator offers bus connections between Georgetown, Union Station, the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Dupont Circle, the National Mall and several other popular stops for just $1 per ride, or $3 for an all-day pass. If you don’t mind walking, you’ll find that DC was designed with pedestrians in mind.

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