How To Visit Washington DC For Cheap

How To Visit Washington DC For Cheap

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The sticker price of a visit to Washington, D.C. might shock you. After planning for lodging, transportation, and activities, you may decide to scratch this city from your wish list, but hold off until you finish this article.

Here are some tips and tricks to visit Washington, D.C. on the cheap.


The best tip is simply this: stay in hotels outside of Washington, D.C. The cities surrounding DC are referred to as the DC metro area because they are accessible using the metro system. Find a hotel in the DC metro area, not Washington, D.C.

This tip alone can cut your lodging costs in half. Staying in the DC metro area puts you close to all the attractions without having to pay the high price of staying in DC.

Hotel Options in the DC Metro Area

Radisson Hotel Reagan National Airport

Not only is this hotel less than a 10-minute walk from the metro station, guests can take the complimentary shuttle instead. The Radisson also offers laundry service, a fitness center, and seasonal use of a rooftop pool. Rooms come equipped with a mini fridge, microwave, and wireless Internet.

Courtyard by Marriott Alexandria Old Town/Southwest

Located near shopping, dining, and entertainment, guests of this Courtyard location may decide to skip visiting DC altogether. If they choose to venture into DC, the metro stop is only half a mile away and the hotel will shuttle you there as well. There is also an eatery on-site and complimentary wireless Internet.

For larger families, a hotel with a kitchenette could offer extra savings. Try here to find more Washington, D.C. hotels.

Find Homes to Rent

Airbnb options are also great for lodging in the DC metro area. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a reasonably priced place in DC proper.

When searching, check the place’s proximity to a metro station. Ideally, stations should be under a mile away. After making sure you have a good location, check reviews. You’ll usually have all the amenities you’d want in a home because you’re actually staying in one!


DC is walkable and public transportation is amazing. You can even get to and from every local airport using the metro system!

The metro runs from 5:00 a.m. to midnight on weekdays and from 7:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m. on weekends.

Unlimited rides cost under $15 a day and a week’s worth of rides is under $60. To put things in perspective, street parking is scarce and metered, and the average parking garage will charge you $15 for the day.

Leave the rental at the airport and take public transportation instead.


DC makes up for its hefty lodging costs by offering visitors many free attractions. The National Mall houses the most popular monuments and 11 museums including the Museum of Natural History and the National Air and Space Museum.

The White House is within walking distance of the National Mall and the Capitol and Congressional buildings are a short bus ride away.

You can enjoy these attractions and more without paying a cent.

Although Washington, D.C. can be an expensive city to visit, these tips and tricks will make your vacation affordable.