There’s a ton to see and do in the U.S. capital, and the famous yellow Potomac Water Taxi from City Cruises can help you squeeze it all in.
A cheap, effective, and often accessible option for navigating between the city’s famous monuments and historical attractions, including the Lincoln Memorial, the Arlington Memorial Bridge, the Washington Monument, the Kennedy Center, and Old Town Alexandria, a water-taxi ride along the Potomac River will only enhance your experience in the nation’s capital.
Here are our top tips for seeing the city by water.
Can you get to Washington, D.C. by boat?
Yes! Hopping on a boat is one of the most pleasant ways to get to Washington, D.C. It’s also an excellent way to explore the National Harbor—you’ll get an entirely new perspective of the city and its many historic attractions.
A ride on the Potomac River water taxi lasts just shy of an hour. You could also opt for the Monuments Sightseeing Tour from Alexandria and Georgetown—a 60-minute narrated sightseeing cruise—or the 45-minute Monuments Tour from the Wharf. If you have a bit more time, there’s also the excellent, approximately two-hour Alexandria – Georgetown Cruise.
How much is a water taxi in Washington, D.C.?
A water-taxi ride in D.C. won’t set you back too much—it’s an excellent option for solo, small-group, and family excursions alike. Plan to pay around $21 per adult, but note that prices go up on weekends.
You can book your ticket online or at the on-site ticket booth prior to boarding. You’ll find the ticket booth located between Blair Alley SW and 9th Street SW. Please note that the Wharf departure location is limited to pedestrian access only.
There are several affordable options for one-way and round-trip water-taxi tickets, including one- and two-day passes, as well as annual passes. Children receive discounted rates, and children under three years of age ride free.
Keep in mind that water-taxi tickets in and around the nation’s capital do sell out from time to time. While there’s no price advantage to booking online in advance, you can check ticket availability, which should help avoid disappointment if a stretch happens to be fully booked at a particular time.
Where do you board the water taxi in Washington, D.C.?
You can board the water taxi at multiple locations along the Potomac River. To get from Washington, D.C., to Old Town Alexandria, you’ll catch the boat either in Georgetown or at the Wharf.
To get to the Wharf, you can take the metro to the Waterfront or L’Enfant Plaza stations. From either station, it’s about a 10-minute walk to the dock. You’ll board the water taxi directly next to the Anthem Theater.
Alternatively, you could take the metro to the Foggy Bottom station and walk about a mile or take the DC Circulator bus from downtown to the dock. Be sure to allow enough time: You’ll need to pick up a boarding pass before you can get on the boat, so get there at least 20 to 30 minutes early.
All water taxis departing from the Wharf and Alexandria are wheelchair accessible and ADA compliant, though the Georgetown dock is not ADA accessible.
What stops does the Washington, D.C., water taxi make?
Most water taxis make several stops along the way, so you can see different parts of the capital and the surrounding area. The details vary depending on which experience you choose, but stops may include the National Harbor, the Wharf, Alexandria, and Georgetown.
Does the Potomac Water Taxi run year-round?
The Potomac Water Taxi in Alexandria and Washington, D.C., runs from March to December. Schedules and prices change according to the season, so confirm both in advance of your visit. Be sure to also look ahead to see if there are any fully booked water taxis or delays on the route to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
You should also have a look at the weather conditions in advance. Trips on the Potomac Water Taxi are only canceled when the US Coast Guard closes the river, so be prepared to go rain or shine.