When I was a student, I got the amazing opportunity to live and study abroad. At that time I was actually obsessed with one destination: the USA. In 2013, I got accepted at American University, in Washington D.C. *my dream finally came true* ! I lived in this dynamic city for two semesters which resulted in a fantastic and enriching experience. If you’ve also studied or lived abroad, you know what I’m talking about, right ?
Above all, I consider Washington D.C as an ideal destination to settle down.The city ranks as the fourth-best place to live among big U.S. metropolitan areas – according to the U.S. News & World Report. Personally, I don’t need more convincing, but here are 6 reasons why you should visit Washington D.C.
6 Reasons to visit Washington D.C.
Memorials and museums
There are many interesting museums in D.C, and you know what ? Most of them are free ! In reality, each museum that belongs to the Smithsonian Institution doesn’t cost a cent ! Therefore the access to information and knowledge is accessible to all in D.C.
- Free museums in Washington D.C
The Air and Space museum
The Natural History museum
The National Zoo
The National Archives
The American History museum
- Memorials & Monuments in Washington D.C
The White House
The Jefferson memorial
The Lincoln memorial
The Library of Congress
The Supreme Court
The Washington monument
I like to think of Washington D.C as an open air museum. All around the city you will be able to witness famous monuments and landmarks as well as great memorials honoring soldiers, visionary leaders or politicians. Many of them are located near each other on the National Mall making it easy and convenient to find. Walking around in the city is literally taking a journey through American history.
Georgetown and its cupcakes
Go to Georgetown and enjoy a trip to the cute little boutiques of the area. Among the shops, there’s one place you shouldn’t miss: Georgetown cupcakes ! Famous for its delicate and tempting cupcakes, you should definitely try these flavorful delicacies. My suggestions ? The double milk chocolate birthday or the red velvet cupcake.
Georgetown is one of the prettiest neighborhood of D.C. You can wander or choose to bike along the Potomac river and appreciate the beauty of the waterfront. During winter, an outdoor ice rink is assembled facing the river. Time for you to lace up your ice skates or enjoy a hot beverage from one of the rink-side restaurants !
Cherry Blossom festival & Zoo lights
Travel to DC at the end of march. You’ll have the chance to attend the Cherry Blossom festival which attracts each year thousands of tourists to the district. At that period, 3800 cherry trees turn the Tidal Basin into sea of pink and white blossoms. Tourists and residents of Washington, D.C. await this event to celebrate springtime and the enduring friendship between the citizens of Japan and the United States. Don’t forget to take part in the festivities as well, lots of parades and performances take place from mid March to mid April.
If you come to DC from November to January, then don’t miss the Zoo lights. You can wander in the zoo for free under dazzling lights every evening ! More than 500 000 led lights are hung, which metamorphose the whole zoo into a magical and enchanting atmosphere. You’ll have the opportunity to see the animals at night and enjoy music performances for free.
A unique city
A huge reason why Washington, D.C. is special to me is because it’s the U.S capital but at the same time it’s an international city. A true global village, home to people of all different cultures, with more than 150 embassies and international cultural centers. A historically and culturally rich capital, that has so much to offer. Washington D.C is full of incredible restaurants, cultural festivals, art scenes and experiences that you can’t find anywhere else.
Compared to other cities in the US, Washington D.C’s architectural structure is quite unusual. As a matter of fact, no building is allowed to be higher than the 169-metres-tall Washington Monument. And did you know that the plans of D.C were designed by a french architect ? Pierre Charles L’Enfant actually drew his inspiration from the architecture of Paris. That is the reason why DC possesses big avenues, lots of public squares and small buildings.
The District is filled with plenty of outdoor adventures that won’t cost that much. Hiking, biking, boating… Possibilities are numerous. What would you say about a picnic at the Rock Creek Park, or a kayak session on the Potomac ? Personally, I would have loved to try the pedal boat on the Tidal Basin facing the Jefferson memorial. One thing I know for sure, in D.C you will never get bored ! Besides, you can even try paddle and segway tours while passing by the most iconic sights.
What I don’t like about Washington D.C
- Cost of living : As the capital of the USA, the cost of living is expensive in the district. Housing, food, entertainment, you have to know how to respect a budget if you don’t want to go back home with a negative amount on your bank account.
- Traffic jam : Traffic is a nightmare in D.C, there is always traffic congestion in the city. My advice is to always take public transportation, it will usually go faster.