Washington was designed specifically to house the US federal government and as the country's capital. Yet despite its very functional purpose, the city itself is a great place to visit, packed with some great American tourist treasures accessible for free.
The White House
Much of Washington's most famous attractions are located in the National Mall, a huge stretch of parkland in which it is possible to find much of the city's attractions, the most famous of which is undoubtedly the home and office of the US president, the White House.
This ease of accessibility is particularly useful for those on a budget, because once the journeys from Washington hostels to the mall have been made, there needn't be any costly travel fares.
Located at the western end of the mall, this 100 foot contemplative statue of the country's 16th possible most famous US president is one of the most visited monuments in Washington, with more than one million visitors every year.
There are several in Washington, but the largest is in front of the Lincoln Memorial. The huge expanse of tranquil water is a beautiful location which has seen its fair share of major historical events including the famous “I have a dream. . . "speech by Martin Luther King.
Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery
The most thoroughly comprehensive story of the history of the US, played out through a range of portraits of the country's most famous figureheads, from politics to jazz.
Rock Creek Park Planetarium
Located in the massive Rock Creek Park, this planetarium offers free shows that explore the history of the night sky and stars. Tickets can be picked up from the park's nature centre.
Gardner Cave is found in Crawford State Park, where tours are offered for free. The cave is millions of years old and houses some stunning rimstone pools and rock formations.
A Capitol Fourth
July 4th, or Independence Day, celebrates the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Nationwide celebrations all emulate those of Washington, which spill with fireworks and parades.
As the place where the declaration was signed, expect lots of competition for Washington hostels.
The Holocaust Museum
One of the most comprehensive explorations of the Jewish Holocaust, entry to the main exhibition is free, with passes available on the day of visit.
A grandiose stretch of road along which more than 50 huge foreign-owned mansions are stretched.
Washington National Cathedral
A stunning piece of architecture and a national treasure, look out for the carving of Darth Vader on one of the uppermost towers.
Before settling down and becoming a copywriter for Hostelbookers. Paul Scottyn did a backpacking tour of U. S. A, he checked out a variety of the country's budget accommodation, including a number of most Washington hostels