Are you heading to Washington DC on your latest adventure? DC is full of politics, culture, power and TRAFFIC! Getting around the city can be challenging for an outsider. You don’t want to miss all that DC has to offer while you are sitting in bumper to bumper traffic or trying to find parking. The best way to get around is to take a hop-on hop-off tour in Washington DC. There are a few you can choose from, but my favourite is the Big Bus Tour.
Big Bus Tour Washington DC
This convenient tour is a great way to get an overview of a city when you first arrive or if you are short on time. With convenient stops and multiple routes for popular destinations, you can see all the significant landmarks while sitting back and listening to the live commentary from the knowledgeable tour guides. You will get fun stories, facts and bits of history that you may not have ever heard. All while sitting in the comfort of an air-conditioned (or heated ride). Anyone who has ever visited DC in the heat of the summer will sure appreciate this! Are you more comfortable taking the tour in your native tongue? There are pre-recorded translations available of the trip.
Depending on the attractions you want to see (and the amount of time you have), you can choose from three separate tours. The “red tour” covers a lot of the memorials as you loop around the National Mall on the bus, you will see the Lincoln Monument, Martin Luther King Memorial, Vietnam Memorial and so many more. This “red tour” will also take you to the National Air and Space Museum. The “blue tour” is great for those who don’t have a lot of time. It’s the shortest loop, with only six stops including the Vietnam Memorial, Arlington Cemetery, and Pentagon City Mall. If visiting the White House is a must for you, the “yellow” tour will get you there. It also takes you through Dupont Circle, the Mayflower Hotel, the Smithsonian National Zoo and some premium shopping destinations.
Where to buy your Hop-on Hop-off Big Bus Tour Washington DC Tickets
You can buy your tickets online
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OR you can purchase your Big Bus Tour tickets in Washington DC at Madame Tussauds Museum. While you are there, take your picture in the “oval office”, meet the wax version of Taylor Swift or stand with one of the most iconic men of all times, Martin Luther King, Jr. There are dozens of stars, first ladies, presidents and more.
From Madame Tussauds, head over to the International Spy Museum where you will get a sneak peek into the art of espionage. Filled to the brim with spy memorabilia this museum will have you guessing (and maybe thinking twice before picking up your phone). They also have a James Bond exhibit that appeals to the movie buff in all of us.
Whether you choose the red loop tour, blue loop tour or yellow loop tour (or all three), here are some must-see attractions while you are riding around the city on the Big Bus hop-on-hop-off tour in Washington DC.
Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial
Located close to the National Mall, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is a beautiful tribute to this extraordinary man and a reminder of this nation’s struggle for freedom, equality and justice. He is only the fourth non-president to have a statue in the National Mall, the same location where he gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.
National Mall and Washington Monument
As the world’s tallest stone obelisk, the Washington Monument stands tall in the DC skyline and anchors the National Mall. Although the interior is currently closed to visitors while they complete repairs, you will still want an up-close view of this towering peak honouring America’s first president, George Washington.
Lincoln Memorial & Reflecting Pool
From there you can walk through the national mall, enjoying the quiet space, history and charm of this massive green space that intersects this bustling metropolis. As you walk from the Washington Monument through the national mall, you can head to the Lincoln Memorial and reflecting pool. The pool is over 2,000 feet long and reflects both of these majestic monuments. It’s the perfect place for serenity on a busy day in the city.
Lining the National Mall are tons of world-class museums, shops and restaurants you can visit. If you don’t feel like walking, hop-on and hop-off the red tour which makes its way around the National Mall hitting other attractions like the Holocaust Museum, National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National World War II Memorial.
No trip to Washington, DC is complete without a stop at the White House. Filled with rich history and home to every president since John Adams, this mansion has seen its fair share of transition over the years. The White House boasts 132 rooms, 35 bathrooms, 28 fireplaces and a host of other amenities like a florist, cinema and tennis courts. The visitor’s centre is open seven days a week, so stop by to learn some interesting facts about our nation’s capital.
This renovated transportation hub is not only stunning but filled with shops, restaurants and cafes. Union Station is a perfect stop on this tour to get a bite to eat. There is something for everyone in one of its thirty-five eateries. If you don’t have much time, grab a bite to go and hop back on the Big Bus.
Maine Avenue Fish Market
The Maine Avenue Fish Market is the oldest continuously operating fish market in the United States and is one of the few left in the east coast. This little-known tourist spot is a fun detour from the hustle and bustle of DC. Take some time to walk around the wharf and enjoy the views (but maybe not the smells).
Where to stay in Washington DC
When you are in town, the Marriott Marquis is the perfect choice for a respite from your adventure. This first-class hotel is centrally located next to the Convention Centre and close to the subway and in walking distance to many of the attractions in DC. It is loaded with amenities and has a warm and friendly atmosphere. You can dine in their restaurant or if you want to grab a quick bite to eat, head across the street to Bolt Burgers. These burgers are made fresh and piled high with your favourite toppings. One bite will have your mouth screaming for more!
Washington DC is a great place to visit and with 22 million visitors a year that flock to the capital city they can’t all be wrong! DC isn’t just a political powerhouse; it is also home to world-class dining, shopping, museums and art galleries. There is an adventure for everyone in Washington DC, whether you are interested in the subtler points of espionage or the history of how the United States came to be. You can easily spend a week here and never see it all but begin your trip with a hop-on hop-off Big Bus Tour!
Read a review of Big Bus Tours Washington DC on TripAdvisor.