Have you ever wondered what “DC” after Washington stands for? You do not have to travel all the way there to find out, because we will tell you here and now. According to Abbreviationfinder, it stands for “District of Columbia” and is the capital of the United States. This is despite the fact that the country is divided into several states, each with its own operational capital, so in many ways this can be considered «the supreme government». Washington DC is located in the state of the same name, which by the way is the smallest state (in area).
Washington DC is home to just under 700,000 people, making the city the 22nd largest in the United States. The city is located along the east coast of North America, not far from the much larger city of New York. Washington has a stable climate with four seasons, with fairly cold winters (it often snows) and summers where the temperature usually creeps up to 30 degrees in the summer months. It is at this time that one would prefer to visit Washington DC.
Travel to Washington DC
You have a lot of options when it comes to flying to Washington DC. The airport is located just outside the city, but there are no direct flights from Norway. It does, however, from most European major airports. You can also get directly to New York from Oslo Airport, and then take a short flight down to the capital. The official currency of the United States is the US dollar. At the time of writing, 1 dollar is equivalent to around 8.50 Norwegian kroner, but the exchange rate is constantly changing.
The price level is generally lower in the USA and Washington than in Norway. You will especially notice this on shopping (here you should buy clothes for the big gold medal) and dining. When it comes to safety, most cities in the United States travel safely. Avoid deserted alleys after dark, and you will find that most Americans are both hospitable and welcoming.
Overnight and dine in Washington DC
As the entire capital of the United States, there is of course a good selection of luxury hotels in Washington DC. If you compare with American cities like San Francisco and New York, you can stay luxuriously here for a fraction of the price. It is not the largest tourist city in the United States, and consequently it is quite affordable to stay overnight here. For 500-1000 kroner / night you get a hotel of a fairly high standard in a central location.
American food is usually associated with fast food and hamburgers, but there are many good steak houses (or “steak house” as it is called in American) with hearty meat dishes with a plentiful selection of good accessories. Remember that you rarely get a small portion here, so it may pay to drop the starter. Regardless, you will also find multiple restaurants with cuisines from other continents, including Chinese, Italian, Indian and so on. As elsewhere in the US, it is expected that you tip from 15-20 percent on restaurants.
Attractions in Washington DC
Washington DC is, of course, home to many exciting government buildings, and you probably already know a little of what awaits you when you visit here. But as the capital of the United States, there are also very many history museums here, with extensive exhibits from American history.
The White House
You do not go to Washington DC without visiting the White House – known as the residence of the US President worldwide. And it has actually served that purpose ever since the year 1800, when John Adams was the first president to take office here. You’ve probably seen countless movies showing “The Oval Office,” better known as the President’s Private Office. It is possible to get quite close to the house, but some indoor tours you can just forget.
At least as famous as the White House is the American Capitol Building. It is an important symbolic icon for the Americans, at the same time as it is the very center of government in the United States. It is located on a small hill and is a powerful structure, which it is possible to get a tour of for tourists. Many important decisions have been made here, and there is a lot of history in the building that dates from the 19th century.
Museer in Washington DC
Washington DC is an eldorado for museum goers – where to start? We suggest doing it at the US National Gallery, which also has an exciting and rich history. Here are works of art from many different centuries, with famous artists such as Da Vinci, van Gogh, Picasso and Warhol. Also stop by the American-Indian National Museum, which tells the whole story of the “native americans” as they call themselves. Washington DC also has its own museum of natural history, space travel, the Wax Cabinet (Madame Tussauds) and espionage.
Another famous landmark in Washington is the Washington Monument. It is an almost 170 meter high boulder that was completed in the late 19th century. In fact, the US Constitution states that no building in the state can be taller than this, and it is possible for tourists to reach the top of the monument to enjoy a beautiful view.
The house where Abraham Lincoln was shot (Ford’s Theater)
There is no doubt that the United States has an exciting history, which you can read page up and down without getting fed up with. One of the most controversial events of recent centuries was the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. He was shot in the back of the head by actor John Wilkes Booth, during a theatrical production at the Ford’s Folk Theater. Lincoln died shortly afterwards in the house next door, which today, together with the theater, serves as a museum.