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Getting around Washington, DC



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    Washington, DC: Power center on the Potomatic River

    With its leafy avenues, iconic monuments, world-class museums and diverse dining scene, Washington, DC is a capital to be proud of. True it’s a hardworking place where politicos ceaselessly tap away on smartphones, over-achievers jog up and down the Mall at sunrise, and interns dash around Capitol Hill, but the dynamism and drive are compelling.

    As is the gorgeous setting on the shores of the Potomac River. Come springtime and the city’s famous cherry blossoms fairly take your breath away, and behind all the hype you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the city’s leafy neighbourhoods, vibrant cultural scene and diverse ethnic population.


    Top 10 sights in Washington, DC

    Washington DC, Art Gallery, Lufthansa, Travel Guide, Travelguide

    National Mall

    Jefferson Drive
    20004 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    This epic 3km-long (1.9 miles) lawn is lined with Washington’s most iconic monuments. Walk its neatly manicured length from Capitol Hill to the Lincoln Memorial to connect with the nation’s historical milestones.

    National Museum of the American Indian

    4th Street and Independence Avenue SW
    20560 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 633 6644
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1730

    With displays conceived of by different tribes, this museum provides an intimate portrait of the indigenous peoples of America through costumes, artefacts, video and audio recordings.

    American Art Museum

    8th and F NW
    20004 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 633 1000
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1130-1900

    The most impressive collection of American art anywhere, capturing the optimism and critical self-awareness of the American dream from itinerant wanderers to farmyard idylls and visions of inner city toil and isolation.

    Lincoln Memorial

    2 Lincoln Memorial Circle NW
    20037 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 426 6841
    Show on map

    This hallowed shrine to Abraham Lincoln anchors the Mall’s western end. Martin Luther King delivered his famous ‘I have a dream’ speech from its steps.

    Vietnam Veterans Memorial

    Constitution Gardens
    Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 426 6841
    Show on map

    A moving memorial to 58,267 soldiers who perished in the Vietnam War. Sunk in the ground like a psychic scar, the polished black stone is etched with names and reflects the throngs of visitors like the multitude who have passed.

    National Air and Space Museum

    600 Independence Avenue SW
    20560 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 633 2214
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1730

    One of Washington’s most popular museums thanks to its fabulous collection of air and space crafts, including the Wright brothers’ first plane and the Apollo 11 command module.

    White House

    1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    20500 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Tue-Sat 0730-1130

    With pre-booking (at least a month in advance), it is possible to tour the first floor and gardens of America’s most famous home. Non-Americans must apply through the US consulate.

    Ford’s Theatre

    511 10th Street NW
    20004 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 347 4833
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 0900-1630

    On 14 April 1865, Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot by actor John Wilkes Booth in his flag-draped box at this theatre. Now you can tour its boards and nearby Petersen House where the wounded president eventually died.


    555 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
    20001 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 292 6100
    Show on map

    Opening times:
    Daily 1000-1700

    A fabulous interactive museum where 15 galleries present coverage of over five centuries of news history, including a Pulitzer Prize photographers’ gallery and an interactive newsroom.

    Meridian Hill Park

    2400 15th Street NW
    20008 Washington, DC
    Tel: 202 895 6000
    Show on map

    Washington’s very own hanging garden, this terraced park tumbles down the hillside complete with tiered waterfalls, neoclassical staircases and classic Italianate planting schemes.

    Good to know

    Country Information

    Country overview

    From its vast plains, snow-covered mountains, deep forests and strange rock formations, to soaring skyscrapers and a thunderous cultural scene, the USA is a collage of extremes. Nothing can prepare you for your first glimpse of Manhattan’s unforgettable skyline, your first ride in a yellow cab, the ubiquitous hamburger joints, yawning expanses of prairie, the sweet strains of New Orleans jazz, or the neon-lit excesses of Las Vegas.

    Marvel at the thunderous spectacle of Niagara Falls in northern New York, or seek an antidote to urban chaos amidst the flat farmland of the Midwest. Then there are the black hills of South Dakota, the dramatic mountain and ocean landscape of California’s Pacific Coast Highway and the world-famous Grand Canyon.


    Covering a large part of the North American continent, the USA shares borders with Canada to the north and Mexico to the south. The country has coasts on the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans, the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. The State of Alaska, in the northwest corner of the US, is not part of the continental US; it is separated from the rest of the USA by Canada. Similarly, Hawaii is not part of the “lower 48” states; it lies in the central Pacific Ocean.

    The country’s dependent territories are offshore and have distinct geographies of their own; the majority are islands.

    The third-largest country in the world (after the Russian Federation and Canada), the USA has an enormous diversity of geographical features, including mountains, plains, and coastal zones. Though there are many cities that are densely populated with more manmade features than natural ones, there are also vast rural areas that are far more sparsely populated. The climate ranges from subtropical to arctic, with a corresponding breadth of flora and fauna.

    General knowledge

    Key facts

    Population: 319 millions (estimate 2018)

    Capital: Washington, DC.


    English, with significant Spanish-speaking minorities.


    US Dollar (USD; symbol $) = 100 cents. Notes are in denominations of $100, 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1, though the $2 bill is rare and is not in high circulation. Coins are in denominations of $1, and 50, 25, 10, 5 and 1 cents.


    120 volts AC, 60Hz. Plugs have two flat pins with or without a third round grounding pin.

    Public holidays

    Listed below are the public holidays for the period January 2020 to December 2021.


    States can recognize other days as state holidays that are not federal holidays.


    New Year’s Day: 1 January 2020
    Martin Luther King Day: 20 January 2020
    President’s Day: 17 February 2020
    Memorial Day: 25 May 2020
    Independence Day: 3 and 4 July 2020
    Labor Day: 7 September 2020
    Columbus Day: 12 October 2020
    Veterans Day: 11 November 2020
    Thanksgiving Day: 26 November 2020
    Christmas: 25 December 2020


    New Year’s Day: 1 January 2021
    Martin Luther King Day: 18 January 2021
    President’s Day: 15 February 2021
    Memorial Day: 31 May 2021
    Independence Day: 4 and 5 July 2021
    Labor Day: 6 September 2021
    Columbus Day: 11 October 2021
    Veterans Day: 11 November 2021
    Thanksgiving Day: 25 November 2021
    Christmas: 25 December 2021

    All information subject to change.

    Good to know

    Getting around

    Public Transport

    Washington’s Metrorail (tel: 202 637 7000; is one of the best in the country. Trains run from 5am to midnight, and tickets (computerised fare cards) are available at vending machines inside stations. Unlimited daily and weekly travel passes are also available. Alternatively, Circulator buses ( run to and from Georgetown.


    Cabs are plentiful around the Mall and outside major attractions and hotels. To order, try Capitol Cabs (tel: 202 636 1600) or Yellow Cab (tel: 202 544 1212).


    Nightlife in Washington, DC


    Late-night bars and drinking dens abound in DC, fuelling up-all-night sessions of Congress and catering to the large student population.

    There’s also a healthy roster of concerts, theatre and live music, usually listed in the weekly Washington Post.

    Dickson Wine Bar

    903 U Street NW
    20001 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    A romantic, candlelit wine bar in a three-story row townhouse.

    Black Cat

    1811 14th Street NW
    20009 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    A Washington live-music stalwart with a main stage and a smaller Red Room with a jukebox and pool.

    Kennedy Center

    1700 F Street NW
    20566 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Prestigious performing arts centre situated on the banks of the Potomac.


    2007 14th St NW
    Washington, DC 2000
    United States
    Show on map

    A sophisticated lounge bar with a rooftop terrace and good DJ mixes.

    Carter Barron Amphitheater

    2850 Colorado Avenue NW
    20011 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Enjoy theatre, dance and music in an outdoor wooded setting in Rock Creek Park.


    Restaurants in Washington, DC


    As one of the most cosmopolitan cities on the eastern seaboard, Washington has an excellent and diverse array of restaurants ranging from American stalwarts to Ethiopian and

    South Asian finds. While cheap and expensive options abound, mid-range places are harder to find.

    Central Michel Richard

    Jefferson Drive
    20004 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Price: Expensive

    Fine dining bistro close to the White House serving lobster burgers and fried chicken.

    Pearl Dive Oyster Palace

    1612 14th Street NW
    20009 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Sexy Pearl Dive serves up sustainably harvested oysters and seafood.


    401 H Street NE
    20002 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Price: Moderate

    Superlative Ethiopian wats (stews) and tibs (sautéed meat and veg).

    Ben’s Chilli Bowl

    1213 U Street
    20009 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    1958 institution serving up half-smokes, Washington’s smokier version of the hot dog.

    Baked & Wired

    1052 Thomas Jefferson Street NW
    20007 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Price: Cheap

    Cute Georgetown café serving up sumptuous cakes, pies and quiche.


    Calendar of events

    Black History Month

    February 2020

    Venue: Throughout Washington, DC.

    This month-long series of events recognises and pays tribute to the contribution made by African Americans to the United States of America. Many of the city’s museums and institutions, such as the Smithsonian, Anacostia Community Museum and National Archives, will have talks, workshops and events, while bars and live music venues will get into the celebratory mood as well.

    St Patrick's Day Parade

    March 15, 2020

    Venue: Constitution Avenue

    First held in 1971, this impressive parade still celebrates the city’s Irish community each March. Expect marching and pipe bands, the army, police and fire departments as well as floats, novelty groups and plenty of green.

    National Cherry Blossom Parade and Festival

    March 20 – April 12, 2020

    Venue: Constitution Avenue

    The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual two-week event that celebrates springtime in Washington, DC as well as the 1912 gift of the cherry blossom trees and the enduring friendship between the people of the United States and Japan. The festival includes a spectacular parade with carnival floats and marching bands.

    White House Easter Egg Roll

    April 13, 2020

    Venue: White House lawn

    These annual Easter celebrations include live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling and, of course, Easter egg rolling. It’s hosted by the President and First Lady on the White House lawn.

    Filmfest DC - Washington International Film Festival

    April 2020

    Venue: Various venues

    Prepare to be amused, provoked and inspired by extraordinary new films from some of the world’s most talented and innovative filmmakers, as Filmfest DC delivers an exceptional entertainment experience across several cinemas, theatres and hand-picked venues.

    National Barbecue Battle

    June 27 – 28, 2020

    Venue: Pennsylvania Avenue

    Free food samples, cooking demonstrations and competition between local and national BBQ restaurants make the National Barbecue Battle a one-of-a-kind affair. Aside from the food, expect live music from over 30 acts.

    Smithsonian Folklife Festival

    June 24 – 28 and  July 1 – 5, 2020

    Venue: National Mall

    A celebration of contemporary traditions, this festival on the National Mall includes a varied programme of music, song, dance, celebratory performance, craft and cooking demonstrations, storytelling and narrative sessions around a theme or a country.

    Independence Day

    July 4, 2020

    Venue: National Mall

    Day-long concerts and activities, including the National Independence Day Parade, will take place across the city but centre around the Washington Monument. Celebrations culminate in a large fireworks display. Expect other events to take place before and after the 4 July celebrations.

    Adams Morgan Day

    September 2020

    Venue: 18th Street NW between Florida Avenue and Columbia Road and at Marie Reed Elementary

    This community street festival takes place annually and is a fiesta of live music, international food, cultural demonstrations and dances. It’s free, family friendly and all done before the sun sets.

    National Christmas Tree Lighting

    December 2020

    Venue: The Ellipse, President’s Park South

    Each year, the President of the United States turns on the lights of the giant National Christmas Tree, which is erected in the northeast quadrant of The Ellipse near the White House in Washington, DC. The lighting of the tree marks the start of Pageant of Peace, a month-long series of festive events around the tree.

    All information subject to change. Please check the dates on the relevant event organizer’s website.


    Hotels in Washington, DC


    There’s ample accommodation in Washington, but much of it is geared towards business travellers. In high season be sure to

    book rooms in advance. Also, if you’re driving, factor in $20 per day for parking.

    Courtyard Washington Convention Center

    900 F St NW
    Washington, DC
    Vereinigte Staaten ‎
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    A grand downtown hotel with contemporary rooms housed in a converted bank.

    Hotel Helix

    1430 Rhode Island Avenue NW
    20005 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Category: Expensive

    Hip hotel with pop-punk décor serving an international crowd.

    State Plaza Hotel

    2117 East St NW
    20037 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    Great-value small hotel between the White House and the Potomac River.

    Hotel Monaco

    700 F Street NW
    20004 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Category: Moderate

    A marble temple to glamour with cool, 1930s décor.

    Hotel Harrington

    436 11th St NW
    20004 Washington, DC
    Show on map

    Category: Cheap

    The best value near the Mall is this family-run hotel with small, comfortable rooms.

    Good to know

    Best time to visit

    Today: Friday, 25.09.2020 05:00 UTC




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    Climate and best time to visit Washington, DC

    With politics at its heart, Washington’s busy seasons revolve around Congress sessions between mid-September to November and mid-January to June. During these periods, hotel prices rise and you’ll need to book in advance to avoid disappointment. Visitor numbers peak in spring when the cherry blossom covers the National Mall in swathes of pink confetti petals. For better value and fewer crowds, early September and late November and December are best. Early July is also an option although in summer the city can get very hot and humid.

    Climate & best time to visit the United States of America

    The United States has varied weather conditions, and the best time to visit depends both upon the location and the season. Spring (March, April, May) and autumn (September and October) are generally cooler, more comfortable times to visit. Summer months – June, July, and August – are generally hot regardless of the region, but winter temperatures (November-February) can vary substantially depending upon the part of the US you are visiting. The southern part of the country tends to be warmer in the winter than the north. The general climate of the continental US is temperate, but keep in mind that Hawaii is tropical and Alaska is arctic. Many of the country’s dependent territories, such as Guam, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, are also tropical.

    Summer is considered the peak tourist season throughout the country; other popular travel times are major American holidays, especially Thanksgiving and Christmas, as well as Easter Week and the school holiday known as Spring Break. Certain destinations, such as New York, are perennial favourites and are busy year-round; even when the weather may not be pleasant, these destinations have particular attractions or experiences that always draw travellers. In some parts of the country, travel services may be limited during the low or off-season, largely due to weather conditions.


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    absolute maxabsolute minØ absolute maxØ absolute minrelative humidityØ precipitationdays with deposit > 1mmsunshine duration
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    Nov30 °C-11 °C13 °C4 °C67 %83 mm76.0 h
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    year41 °C-26 °C19 °C9 °C67 %1274 mm907.1 h
    Good to know

    Phone calls & Internet

    Telephone/Mobile Telephone

    Dialing Code: +1


    Public telephones have become a rarity, but can still be found here and there. They take coins, telephone cards and credit cards. If you are planning to make regular use of public phones, it’s best to purchase a prepaid calling card from one of the many U.S. providers.

    Mobile Telephone

    Not all European cell phones work on the American network, since it requires a tri-band or quad-band device. Full network coverage is not always assured outside densely populated areas. Roaming charges are high here, so it is often cheaper to buy a SIM card from a U.S. provider. Low-cost prepaid SIM cards for making calls inside the country can be ordered online before you travel.


    Free Internet access via Wi-Fi is possible in many busy tourist spots. When using unencrypted public Wi-Fi networks, it is not advisable to enter passwords, credit card details or banking credentials. We recommend using VPN app or security software to check Wi-Fi hotspots.


    Shopping in Washington, DC

    Key Areas

    Vibrant shopping areas include Penn Quarter and Union Station where most of the popular brands are represented. For quirky, one-off shops, collectibles and bookstores, Adams Morgan and Dupont Circle are a good bet, as are U Street Corridor and 14th Street where vintage is king. But the city’s most enjoyable shopping is in historic Georgetown where shops stay open late.


    Dozens of farmers’ markets are dotted around Washington. Two of the best include Dupont Fresh Farm Market and Adams Morgan, while Union Market is a huge, year-round indoor market featuring 40 local producers. The city’s largest, most vibrant flea market is Eastern Market.

    Shopping Centres

    Union Station is a sort of mini-mall with over 100 brands. Otherwise head to Friendship Heights (15km/9 miles north of Georgetown) where you’ll find all the big department stores, including Bloomingdales, along with three malls at Wisconsin Place.

    Good to know

    Traveller etiquette

    Social Conventions

    Americans are renowned for their openness and friendliness to visitors. The wide variety of national origins and the USA’s relatively short history has resulted in numerous cultural and traditional customs living alongside each other. In large cities, people of the same ethnic background often live within defined communities.

    Shaking hands is the usual form of greeting in formal situations and in business meetings. As long as the fundamental rules of courtesy are observed, there need be no fear of offending anyone of any background.

    Gifts are appreciated if one is invited to a private home.

    As a rule, dress is casual. High-end restaurants, hotels and clubs may require more formal attire.

    Smoking is increasingly unpopular in the US; it is essential to ask permission before lighting up. Smoking is not allowed on city transport and restricted or forbidden in public buildings in most states. There will be a posted notice where no smoking is requested. An increasing number of states (including California and New York) have banned smoking altogether in bars, restaurants and many public places.

    Good to know


    Main emergency number: 911

    Food & Drink

    Food in the US is safe to eat, and the conditions under which food is prepared and served are regulated by city, state, and federal health and hygiene agencies. In many jurisdictions, it is mandatory for restaurants to have a certificate of health or hygiene, as well as the current grade they have been assigned, posted visibly.

    Although America is famous for its fast food and obesity rates, the local and fresh food movement is very popular in many areas, especially cities, making it easy to eat healthy. A variety of options also makes it easy for people with special dietary needs to find food that suits them, whether their needs are due to health reasons or to religious requirements.

    Tap water is considered safe to drink in the US and is often offered in restaurants before bottled water. Bottled water is available throughout the country, however, both in restaurants and shops, for those who prefer not to drink tap water.

    Other Risks

    The US is generally considered a safe destination for world visitors. Occasional outbreaks of disease, such as West Nile Virus (a mosquito-borne illness) and H1N1 have occurred in recent years, however. Frequent hand-washing and general practices of good hygiene are encouraged to protect oneself against all types of illness.

    Another concern with regard to safety is the possibility of terrorist attacks such as the one that occurred on September 11, 2001. City, state, and federal agencies have stringent anti-terrorism practices in place, however, and direct threats are infrequent.

    Contractual physician of Lufthansa

    Dr. Hardi, Robert
    2021 K Str. NW
    Washington DC 20006
    Tel. +1-202-296-3449 / 8981

    Please note that Lufthansa accepts no responsibility for the treatment nor will it bear the cost of any treatment.
    Good to know

    Visa & Immigration

    IATA Travel Centre

    The IATA Travel Centre delivers accurate passport, visa and health requirement information at a glance. It is a trusted, centralized source for the latest international travel requirements. The IATA Travel Centre is the most accurate source available because it is based on a comprehensive database used by virtually every airline, and information is gathered from official sources worldwide, such as immigration and police authorities.

    IATA Travel CentreIATA Travel Centre