Sightseeing Tours in Washington DC (Which One is Best?)

Find the Best Tour According to Your Interests

Washington DC sightseeing tours allow visitors to explore the city and learn about our national treasures while enjoying entertaining anecdotes. Tours are so popular in the nation's capital that there is a wide variety to choose from including everything from neighborhood walking tours to bike tours to personalized shuttles around the city. Which one is the best for you? That depends on your personal interests. To help you decide, here is a roundup of the best tours of Washington DC.

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    Best Washington DC Bus or Trolley Tours

    Big Bus Tours
    ••• Courtesy of Big Bus Tours

    Old Town Trolley - Enjoy a narrated tour of Washington DC covering over 100 points of interest, including the Lincoln Memorial, Georgetown, Washington National Cathedral, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. On and off privileges at 17 stops allow you to tour at your own pace.

    Monuments by Moonlight - Old Town Trolley Tours show you the sights of Washington, DC after hours on its 2 ½ hour tour. Enjoy the sights of the illuminated monuments and memorials, the Capitol Building, the White House and Georgetown. Stops include: FDR Memorial, the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln and Vietnam Veteran's Memorials. Hear entertaining stories and learn of the ghosts whose spirits haunt our nation's capital.

    Open Top Big Bus Tour - The hop on hop off Washington DC tour offers 4 routes to see the most popular sites around the nation’s capital. The open top deck of a double-decker bus offers great views of the White House, the Capitol,...MORE the national memorials, National Cathedral, Arlington Cemetery and more. Learn about the city's history by listening to the entertaining and informative commentary. Ticket options are available for 24 or 48 hours giving visitors the flexibility to tour at their own pace.

    Arlington National Cemetery Tour- Tour the national cemetery and learn about the history of this important landmark. The 45-minute loop gives you time to disembark and explore the key sites.

  • 02 of 06

    Best Washington DC Tours for Kids

    DC Ducks
    ••• Elvert Barnes / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

    DC Ducks - Climb aboard an authentic, fully restored 1942 "Duck" and see the sites of Washington DC. Ninety minute tours begin at Union Station, continue to the National Mall where you'll see the city’s monuments and Smithsonian Museums. The tour concludes with a cruise along the Potomac River all in the same vehicle!

  • 03 of 06

    Best Active Washington DC Tours

    DC bike tour
    ••• Don Mason / Getty Images

    Washington DC Capital Bike Tours - Enjoy a tour of Washington DC while riding a bike. Learn about the city's monuments, museums and other sites from the seat of a 21-speed mountain bike. Visit the most popular sites of the National Mall, including the Lincoln Memorial, White House, Washington Monument, Supreme Court, Union Station, the Capitol and more. Trailers are available for young children.

    Segway Tours - Segway tours are the hip new way to explore Washington, DC! Cruise past the monuments, the Smithsonian museums, the White House, the Capitol and more as your guide entertains you with stories and historical facts about the nation’s capital. A Segway is a self-balancing, personal transportation device that's fun and easy to operate.

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    Best Specialized Washington DC Tours

    DC cherry blossoms
    ••• @mbocast / Twenty20

    Washington DC Cruises along the Potomac River - For a different view of Washington DC, take a cruise along the Potomac River and see breathtaking views of the Kennedy Center, Watergate, the Washington Monument, the U. S. Capitol, the Jefferson Memorial and more.

    Food Tours in Washington DC - Sample a variety of local foods at Washington DC restaurants, cafes and public markets while exploring historic neighborhoods such as Capitol Hill, Georgetown, U Street and nearby Old Town Alexandria.

    Cherry Blossom Tours – During Cherry Blossom season, the National Park Service offers a variety of FREE tours that highlight the seasonal blooms including walking tours, bike tours, and pet-friendly tours.

    Pedicab Tours - On a nice day, take a bicycle-powered taxi ride around the national landmarks and enjoy the amazing architecture of the nation's capital. Customize your own tour and explore wherever you want to with a licensed driver.

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  • 05 of 06

    Best Walking Tours of Washington DC

    Tourists Lincolm Memorial
    ••• Image Source / Getty Images

    DC By Foot - Free walking tours of the Washington, DC's monuments include a fast paced and engaging presentation by young and energetic tour guides. The guides work exclusively for tips ensuring that you enjoy the experience. You'll hear unique and legendary stories about George Washington's love for dogs, the indestructibility of the President's car, why French women loved Thomas Jefferson and much more. Private tours are available as well.

    Georgetown Tours - Explore the oldest and most famous neighborhood of Washington, DC. Take a tour of Georgetown and see historic homes, the C & O Canal, the prestigious Georgetown University, and more.

    Ghost Tours in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia - Take a walking tour and hear ghost stories and legends about infamous haunted places such as Lafayette Square Park, Historic Alexandria or downtown Annapolis. Find spooky tours around the region.

    Washington Walks - See Washington, DC on foot on a variety of walking tours each...MORE with its own theme and focus. Schedules vary highlighting history, architecture, famous people, scandal, ghosts, and scenery.

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    Best Mobile App Tour of Washington DC

    Lincoln memorial cellphone
    ••• Larry Patrick / EyeEm / Getty Images

    TripScout - Take a self-guided tour of Washington DC with this mobile app and set your own pace to learn about many of the city's most popular sites. Founder & CEO, Konrad Waliszewski (who’s a longtime DC resident and travel writer), highlights all of his favorite local spots in an audio tour. 

Looking for more Washington, DC information? Start with the Washington, DC Home Page, where you'll find current features and an in depth guide to everything you want to know about the DC/Capital region.