There’s a lot of important memorials and monuments in Washington, DC, so you’ll want to plan your trip well in order to make sure that you don’t miss any of the heavy hitters.


Where are the best monuments and memorials to visit in DC?

The majority of DC’s most famous monuments and memorials are located along the National Mall, which runs from the United States Capitol to the Abraham Lincoln Memorial, with a number of the main attractions situated on Constitution Avenue.

Tugu Washington


Who is in charge of the national monuments and memorials?

The US National Park Service operates these historical sights, and you’ll find park rangers nearby who should be willing to answer any questions you have about interpreting the monuments. You can expect to find rangers between the hours of about 9:30am and 10:00pm.

Formal guided tours are also available. Information on those and other events at the national historic sites can be found on the National Park Services website.


When are the national monuments and memorials open?

A lot of the monuments and memorials in DC are located outdoors and are open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Among the memorials that are pretty much always accessible and don’t require advanced reservations are the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the National World War II Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial.

Other sites, such as the White House and the US Capitol, have specific opening hours and require advanced reservations, so make sure to check the respective websites of the places you’d like to visit when planning your trip.


Which of the national monuments and memorials require advanced tickets?

Most of the capital’s monuments and memorials are free or charge a nominal entrance fee. For some of these you must obtain tickets in advance. Among the most popular monuments requiring tickets are the Washington Monument and the US Capitol.

Most of the outdoor sites are free, as is access to the National Archives building and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Tickets can be purchased easily at each respective monument’s website (though the latter is currently closed to visitors due to the pandemic).

Free self-guided tours are on offer at the Supreme Court when it’s not in session. You’ll also find professional docents available from 9:20am to 3:30pm, eager to answer any questions you might have after a free courtroom lecture.

At certain times when court is in session, visitors are allowed to listen in on oral arguments. Check out the Supreme Court Visitor’s Guide to Oral Argument page for more information on how to attend.

Couple looking at water and shore from boat railing.


What is the best way to tour Washington, DC’s monuments?

One of the best ways to take in DC landmarks is via City Experiences boat tours, such as our signature Monuments Sightseeing Tour from Alexandria and Georgetown or our Monuments Tour from the Wharf.

You’ll be in good hands out on the water, where you’ll have the chance to have a scenic ride past some of Washington’s most famous monuments, such as the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Washington Monument, the Arlington Memorial Bridge, and more.


What are the best Washington, DC, tours to take after nightfall?

The Washington DC: Big Bus – Night Tour from City Experiences is an excellent way to take in monuments in the nation’s capital after the sun goes down.

From the tour vehicle, you’ll have the opportunity to soak up the majesty of the capital’s iconic landmarks illuminated at night, listening as your expert tour guide fills you in on the amazing history behind each of the historic sites you’ll pass, including the Korean War Veterans Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial.

Or why not hop on our classic Washington DC: Monuments at Nite Bike Tour? This three-hour evening tour combines a bit of exercise along the entire length of the National Mall and the Tidal Basin with an informed introduction to top DC sites.

Tour highlights include stops at must-see iconic monuments, such as the WWII Memorial, the Washington Monument, and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as well as the FDR and new Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. Along the way you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the scenic Potomac River waterfront and see the play of light atop the reflection pool at the foot of the Lincoln Memorial.

The White House Washington D.C.


What is the best bus tour of monuments and memorials in Washington, DC?

To make sure you see Washington, DC’s most important memorials and monuments, as well as Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, opt for the City Experiences full-day Washington DC Highlights Bus Tour.

On this narrated, six-hour guided sightseeing bus tour, you’ll get comprehensive insights into the top historic sites in the nation’s capital, including the grounds of the US Capitol Building and the White House, the Vietnam Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial.