For international students who study English in Washington DC, DC is a dream come true. As the capital of the United States, DC has so many things for these students to see and experience. Not only does DC have tons of places to explore, but the city also has many ways to take in all the sights and visit all the must-see tourist spots, such as The White House, the Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian museums. Today, we’re sharing all the ways students can go sightseeing in DC!
DC Sightseeing Tips for Students Attending Language Schools in DC
Before we jump into our list of ways to sight-see in DC, it is important to go over some basics. The DC metro area is very large, and there are far too many amazing places to see in just one day. Truly sightseeing in DC will take several days. And, even then, you will not see everything DC has to offer. So, the first tip is to make a list of the places you feel like you absolutely must see while you are attending the Washington language school, inlingua.
Next, be sure you are dressed appropriately for the weather and that you have comfortable walking shoes. Even if you opt for a sightseeing adventure that involves a vehicle, you will still do a lot of walking.
For your sightseeing day, pack light! Don’t carry a backpack full of heavy objects. Instead, stick with the essentials, such as your mobile phone (with a GPS app downloaded), SPF, umbrella, water, and a snack.
Finally, when sightseeing, kept in mind that many of the must-see places in DC are free to visit. You may pay a fee for some of the tours we will discuss below but try to aim for visiting places that are free, so you don’t tack on additional fees to the tour cost.
Use your own feet
The most cost-effective and easiest way to sight-see in DC is to use your own feet. This is the main way most students attending language schools in Washington DC go sightseeing. While the National Mall area is much larger than you’d think, it is designed to make walking sightseeing possible with ample sidewalk space and easy access to the DC Metro. The vast majority of sightseeing spots can be easily accessed via the DC Metro and a short walk.
Explore with DC Ducks Tours
The popular DC Ducks Tour takes passengers around the DC area in a vehicle that is both boat and bus, which means it can go on both land and in water. Passengers love riding in these vehicles and getting the chance to see DC’s most popular sightseeing attractions from water and land.
Ride the Old Town Trolley
You’ve likely seen the orange and green trolleys taking visitors all over DC. What’s great about this sightseeing option is that it allows passengers to get on and off the trolley all day long, which allows guests to spend as much or as little time at each stop as they want. Plus, it takes riders to over 100 DC destinations!
Rent a Bike
Many people use bicycles to get around DC regularly, but it is also a fantastic way to go sightseeing. With ample bike lanes throughout the metro area, it is a safe and efficient way to get around town. You can rent a bike from Capital Bikeshare, which has a location by the Washington language institute, inlingua. Or, you can choose a bike specifically for sightseeing, such as guided bike tours.
Zoom Around on a Segway
Another fun way to go sightseeing is to take a Segway tour. A Segway is a two-wheeled electric vehicle that has handlebars and a footboard. Riders steer and control the vehicle, but on a Segway tour, they are following a tour guide who will point out important attractions in DC and explain the history. These are great for sightseeing on warm days!
Take a Free Walking Tour
Yes, we’ve already said that the easiest way to sightsee in DC for students was on foot. While this is true, it is also good idea to take advantage of tour guides who can give you more information about the things you are seeing. This is why free walking tours of DC are a fantastic idea for students new to the area. Keep in mind that while most of these tours are advertised as “free,” your tour guide will be expecting a tip.
Hop on a Bus
There are plenty of tour bus options for sightseeing in DC. With various options like on and off privileges or remaining with the same group all day, you just need to choose the bus tour that is right for you. Additionally, different bus tour companies may offer different thematic tours.
Go on a Moonlight Tour
It’s amazing how different the monuments and memorials look at night illuminated at night than they do during the day. That’s why you should plan a separate sightseeing adventure just for a clear evening. While you can do this on your own, there are also several options for Moonlight Monument Tours.
See from Above on the Double-Deck Bus
You can do some sightseeing from the open-top double-decker bus that stops at all the major DC landmarks. This is another hop on and hop off option that is great for a sunny day.
Drive Around in an All-Electric Cruiser
A new way to sight-see that you may want to enjoy with friends from your English class in DC is driving around the area in an all-electric cruiser. These are open vehicles that only fit small groups (up to 7 people max), which allows for a more intimate sightseeing tour.
Get Spooked on a Ghost Tour
Last but certainly not least, students should make sure to carve out time to go on a DC ghost tour to see the most haunted DC spots and hear the spooky legends.