Washington, D.C.

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Washington, D.C.

Think big in Washington–as soon as you arrive in D.C., you’ll be knocked over by the scale of the place. America’s capital wants you to know where you are, and the city goes all out to impress in terms of grandeur and size. Drama and scandal bubble under the surface, while the streets are abuzz with hip and happening events, museums, restaurants, and clubs around every corner. The principles of Equality, Justice, Life, and Liberty are still upheld, but D.C. is, above all, a trendy and international town.

The City

Washington is a city of contrasts. While it might be best recognized in its political role, D.C. wants the world to know that it has much more to offer than governmental gossip and diplomatic deals. Divided into districts, each neighborhood represents another distinct feature that adds to the diverse characteristics of breathing life into the city. While isolated Georgetown is bustling with new, trendy boutiques and restaurants, Shaw, once the site of racial tension and riot, is undergoing a revitalization program to make it a hot destination for African-American heritage tours. Downtown might offer theaters, galleries, and the best Chinese food in the Chinatown restaurants while the New U district, where Duke Ellington once played, is the in vogue neighborhood for hearing live music. And amid all this, let’s not forget the political and military monuments and memorials along the National Mall. It is in this area that you’ll also find the wonderful Smithsonian complex of museums. The city is a melting pot of cultures and communities, which have a fantastic influence on restaurants in particular. Whatever your culinary preferences, D.C. can cater to them, be it French, American or Ethiopian. Spread out across the city, all the choices are on offer. One of the key aspects of Washington, D.C. is that, despite being crammed with different tastes, smells, sights, and sounds, it is not claustrophobic. D.C.’s neighborhoods are spread out over an expanse that is broken up by generous oases of green space, giving the city that sense of liberation and harmony which it strives to promote.

Do & See

Washington, D.C. is the capital of patriotic monuments and symbols of political power. Home to influential institutions including Congress and the White House, the city also boasts some of the best museums and art galleries in the world.

Dining

Regarded as one of the culinary capitals of the world, Washington, D.C. offers a fantastic variety of cuisines and dining experiences. Washington’s eclectic mix of nationalities demands an array of tastes to suit all backgrounds. Neighborhoods and districts boast their own signature fare. Head to Georgetown for trendy hot spots, Adams-Morgan to sample East African ’wat’ (simmered veg or meat in sauce), or Downtown for great seafood (soft-shell crab is a specialty). Dinner service stretches from 6 pm to 11 pm and tips of at least 15% are expected. It’s advisable to book ahead for popular places, especially on weekends.

Cafes

For a quick hot dog or something more substantial, Washington’s deluge of cafés will more than cater to the requirements of its visitors. The city’s student population promotes a cafe culture, ensuring there is something for everyone.

Bars & Nightlife

Student life and an established city Happy Hour make DC’s bar scene a happening affair. Cocktails flow freely, particularly in the two main drinking areas Georgetown and Adams-Morgan. Washington lights up after dark. Rave until the early hours or sip exciting cocktails in cozy surroundings.

Shopping

For a serious shopping spree, Georgetown is probably the most famous area for retail therapy but many neighborhoods have enough boutiques, markets and designer stores to make the city a shopper’s paradise. Malls are in more suburban areas but still easily accessible thanks to their notoriety.

Tourist Information