3-Day Washington DC Itinerary

Last Updated on November 26, 2023 by Jerardo Gomez

Washington DC is the country’s capital which has a rich history and is a destination that I highly recommend. This place surpassed my expectations and has something for everyone.

My favorite experiences here were The Smithsonian Museums!

With hundreds of years of history, you learn about the important spots in your trip with this 3-Day Washington DC Itinerary.

Washington Monument

Today I will be your guide and give you all you will need for that weekend getaway.

Before we start, I would like to add that Washington DC is not a very big area so walking is the primary mode of transportation as most things are nearby.

I do recommend taking an Uber or Lyft to and from the hotel and if you are venturing off. I also recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes and bringing a coat.

Food prices are inflated here so if you are driving into the city make sure you bring your own lunch.

I personally discourage renting a car as driving here can be difficult.

Washington DC 3 day Itinerary

Day 1 Washington Hotel

Yes the White House is smaller in person than you think

  • I recommend staying at the Washington hotel for its prime location. This is where I stayed, and it was not later in my trip that I noticed we were next to the White House which can be seen on a higher floor!
  • 9:30 AM Lincoln Memorial – Free ~ 1 hour
    • ~15-minute walk from the hotel, you will find yourself at the iconic Lincoln Memorial. With parts of his famous speeches on the walls and unique architecture, many will find this place worth going to and taking pictures.
  • 11:00 AM Veteran’s Memorial – Free ~15 minutes
    • ~5-minute walk to this memorial has thousands of names of war veterans with statues of soldiers from the Vietnam and Korean war.
  • 11:40 AM World War II Memorial – Free ~ 15 Minutes
    • ~ 10-minute walk here will showcase pillars with the names of the States and territories of the time in which you can spend some time looking for your states’ pillars.
  • 12:20 PM Washington Monument and White House -Free ~1.5 hours;15-20 minute Walk
    • On your way to the White House, you will be passing by and taking pictures of the Washington Monument. Take in the atmosphere on your walk as you go. You are able to see the White House as a tour if you planned ahead in time. In order to tour, you’ll need to contact the office of your senator or congress representative at least 21 days but no more than 90 days in advance to ensure your entry. If confirmed, you’ll be assigned a specific time to arrive. Public tours usually take place from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.


  • 2:00 PM Lunch Recommended Hard Rock Cafe / Ford’s Theater
    • 20-minute walk, this is one of the more affordable options in the area. The real reason you will be stopping by is that it is located right next to Ford’s Theater where Abe Lincoln was shot! He later died right across the street from this historical place.
  • 3:30 PM City Center DC/ Gallery Place / Washington Square (shopping and dining) ~ 3.5 hours
    • Not too far of a walk, these shopping centers give you the chance to buy your souvenirs, relax and take a break after a day of a lot of walking to decompress.
  • 7:30 PM Uber ride to tour location
    • Recommended: ghost tour in Georgetown. There are several night tours in and around the city but this one gives another dimension to the day. This tour starts at 8:00 and lasts about 1.5 hours. My favorite part is that they show you the famous staircases from the Excorcist Movie!
    • ~ 2 Hours, Cost: ~ 70$ in total depending on tour

Day 2 Museum

lincoln in DC

Probably my favorite day, this day will have the most walking.

  • 9:00 AM National Museum of African American History – Free ~ 1.5 hours
    • DC is a place for museum lovers. Starting out the day a short distance from our hotel you will first find this Museum which is the newest one to be opened.
  • 11:00 AM National Museum of American History -Free ~ 2 hours
    • With all things American History, this is one to stop by on your trip.
  • 1:00 PM Lunch ~30 Minutes~
    • Make sure to grab a quick lunch from one of the local vendors
  • 1:45 PM Smithsonian National Air and Space ~2 hours – Free
    • One of the most popular attractions by far and on of my favorites, you can get lost in space here and look at many cool things.
  • 4:00 PM Either the National Museum of Asian Art or Smithsonian Museum of African Art ~ 1 hour
  • 5:00 PM Explore the area
    • There is so much to see, Smithsonian Castle is just around the corner
  • 6:30 -7:00 PM Eat at a nice restaurant
    • There are so many nice restaurants to eat at with a lot of historical backgrounds that the servers can tell you about. You will be eating at the same places that many politicians dine out at. Treat yourself, you deserve it.

Day 3 Last stops

Last day to buy souvenirs and see the things you want to see.

  • 10:00 AM US Capitol and the Library of Congress – Free ~ 2.5 hours
  • This area not only houses congress and historical records but also has many top monuments in its vicinity so make sure to look around. Touring the capital is free but requires a reservation in advance.
  • 12:30 PM National Gallery of Art ~ 1.5 hours
  • 1:30 PM National Archives ~1 hour
    • Must see as it has the constitution
  • 2:30 PM Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History ~2-3 hours
    • By far the best museum and best for last, you can easily get lost in this place as there are lots to see with very cool things. This was my favorite part of my trip.
  • 5:30 Last-minute sightseeing the place
    • This is your time to go somewhere of your choice before you go as there is something for everyone

How was your trip? Let me know your thoughts and recommendations in the comment section.

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