Free Things to do in Washington DC

Photo by: Gage Skidmore

Photo by: Gage Skidmore

The stateless capital of the USA is absolutely crammed to capacity with interesting things to do and see. Even better news is that there are many fantastic free things to do in Washington DC, meaning that a break in the nation’s capital need not cost an arm and a leg. It is easy to pass your time with barely spending a dime. There are historic sites, pretty parks, museums, galleries, and memorials.

To help you really make the most of your time in the city and to see your money go further, here are some of the best free things to do in Washington DC:

The White House

A must see attraction in the city, the White House has been the home to every single US President, bar one. The iconic building is also the oldest public building in the whole city. The Visitor Centre shows a short informative movie about the building and its history, as well as telling viewers about the world leaders, families of the White House, furnishings, architecture, and more.

The Capitol

Visitors can only go inside this historic and recognizable building on guided tours. One will hear about the work of the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as being able to admire the grand interior and exterior.

Ford’s Theatre

Photo by: Wally Gobetz

Photo by: Wally Gobetz

This is the infamous theatre where Lincoln was shot dead. There is a museum about the ill-fated president. Guests can learn more about the gruesome assassination. It also still functions as a working theatre, and presents a variety of shows.

Museums and Art Galleries

No matter where one’s interests lie, there is sure to be a great free museum or art gallery to capture the imagination in Washington DC. Amongst those that are free to enter are the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum, the Anacostia Community Museum, DAR Museum, the Freer and Sackler Gallery, Air and Space Museum, Building Museum, Museum of African Art, American History Museum, Natural History Museum, National Portrait Gallery, American Indian Museum, Postal Museum, Renwick Gallery, Navy Museum, Holocaust Museum, and the National Archives.


The city is filled with poignant and moving memorials and tributary structures. These include the Air Force Memorial, F.D. Roosevelt Memorial, George Mason Memorial, Iwa Jima Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Korean War Veterans’ Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Martin Luther King Memorial, Law Enforcement Officers’ Memorial, Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, Washington Monument, and the World War II Memorial.


The city’s Gothic style cathedral is an impressive building, both inside and out.

Parks and Gardens

There are numerous lovely open spaces in the city. These are also free to go inside. Some of the best include the Botanic Gardens, East Potomac Park, Fort Dupont Park, Lafayette Park, Theodore Roosevelt Island, and Rock Creek Park.

Arlington National Cemetery

This serene spot is the final resting place for many of America’s war heroes.

National Zoo

Ideal for all of the family, the zoo is home to a variety of different animals.

Supreme Court

Visitors can observe some sessions, as well as being able to watch a short documentary on the work of the important court.

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