Budget-Friendly Ways to Get Around DC

The best ways to get around Washington DC on a budget.

Budget-Friendly Ways to Get Around DC

So you just hopped off the bus to DC, and you’re ready to start touring. Welcome! Now, get ready to walk!

Though your typical tour guide may not tell you this, visitors to the nation’s capital tend to learn this lesson early on, (especially if they’re trying to cover as much ground as possible): DC is a walking city. And there’s a lot of ground the cover!

Though much of the more prominent attractions are in the Mall area, there is still some distance between them. For instance, it’s about 2 miles from the White House to the Capitol Building, and 2 miles from the White House to the Smithsonian locations.

Figuring out how to get around in DC takes a little bit of planning, especially if you’re trying to save money. While taxis and ride-sharing services are available, they can get expensive, and DC is known for its traffic jams. If you’re ready to give your sore feet a break, you’ll need to start looking for other inexpensive ways to get around in DC.

Try these options:

Metro: The light rail system makes it easy to move from location to location. It’s useful for tourists as well as commuters. It covers 117 miles of the capital in total. Some DC Metro tips and tricks to save money include using it at non-peak hours or taking an express route to hit the main stops only. Although the system claims there are ‘unwritten’ rules about where you should stand or sit there is plenty of helpful staff to point people in the right direction.

Bike Share: One of the best, affordable transportation options in DC is to rent a bike! Rental times can range from as little as 30 minutes to as long as 8 hours. You can easily reach the destinations you need to, and get a little exercise in the process. There are hundreds of rental and return stations throughout the city. Even some of the attractions that are spread out feel a little closer when you’re on two wheels.

Bus service: These ‘hop on, hop off’ tour buses are always in service which provides you with a fun way to see the city at your own pace, but not on your own foot power. Prices and destinations are flexible, and you can take a quick jaunt around the city or stay aboard all day to really soak in the sights.

Walking tours: If you’re already planning on walking, why not join an organized tour and learn something about the city? Walk of the Town offers a variety of free guided tours of different parts of the city from the Mall area to the Tidal Basin. Proceeds also benefit local charities so you can do a little good while you stroll!

The good news is that saving money by taking the Peter Pan Bus to DC and taking advantage of these inexpensive travel options will leave you with a little more spending money in your pocket. So you can pick up a few iconic souvenirs to remember your trip!