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Washington DC Travel Guide

Washington DC — Transportation

Washington, DC Taxis and Car Rental

There are a number small taxi companies in Washington, DC, with DC Yellow Cab (+1-202-544-1212) and American Cab Association (+1-202-398-0529) the largest operators. Getting around in a taxi can be expensive when sitting in traffic but reasonable in the evenings and after a night out.

Driving in DC is not recommended and even many locals do not self-drive, as there is limited parking and traffic is horrendous. Visitors that choose to drive should avoid driving in rush hour and should pay attention to parking restrictions. Still, car rental is a great way to explore outside of the city and there are a number of really scenic drives close by. Washington Dulles International Airport, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, and Union Station all offer plenty of car rental options.

Washington, DC Water Taxis

Mule-pulled barge ride service is available along the Potomac River in the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park from April to October. Visitors can also rent a kayak or a canoe near the park’s Georgetown Visitor Center. From mid-March to Labor Day paddle boats can be rented for paddling around the Tidal Basin in the National Mall, and riverboats tours are available along the Anacostia River in the Bladensburg Waterfront Park.

Washington, DC Trains and Buses

Amtrak trains enter Washington, DC from all over the country and terminate in Union Station. Most high-speed trains run within the Northeast Corridor, although there are also services to and from Chicago, Georgia, New Orleans and Florida. Maryland Rail Commuter (MARC) runs commuter trains between the city and Baltimore, while the Virginia Railway Express (VRE) provides services between Washington, DC and Fredericksburg.

The city’s metro system is extensive and offers visitors a fast and fairly inexpensive way to get around the city. Fares vary depending on time of day and length of travel, and trains are comfortable and clean. The city also runs the DC Circulator bus system that is very tourist-friendly and reaches areas of the city not connected by the metro system. These run frequently and are very cheap to ride.

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