National Mall

Located in the city’s heart, America’s most visited national park is a 2-mile-long tree-lined boulevard.

National Mall: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

1. Washington, DC: Old Town Hop-On Hop-Off Trolley City Tour

Named "Washington's Best Tour" by the Washingtonian Magazine and one of the top 10 hop-on hop-off tours in the world by Forbes, the Old Town Trolley offers the most comprehensive tour of the nation's capital. Relax while expert tour guides help you discover the beauty and majesty of Washington, D.C. This popular tour covers Washington's major attractions such as the Lincoln Memorial, the White House, the museums of the Smithsonian Institution, and Vietnam Veteran's Memorial. Expert guides share colorful anecdotes, humorous stories and well-researched historical information. Upgrade to include a trolley tour of Arlington National Cemetery, an enduring tribute to those who’ve dedicated their lives to defending the nation. You’ll be transported to some of the most notable graves and memorials. DC City Tour Trolley stops: 1. 1001 E. St. NW: Washington Welcome Center/Ford's Theatre/Peterson House 2. 1401 Pennsylvania Ave: The White House/The White House Visitor Center/WWI Memorial 3. 701 Constitution Ave NW: National Archives (West/East Gallery of the NGA, Navy Memorial) 4. 400 New Jersey Ave NW: Japanese American Memorial/Hyatt Regency 5. 50 Massachusetts Ave NE: Union Station and the Smithsonian Postal Museum 6. 1st St. NE: US Capitol (Botanic Gardens, Supreme Court and Library of Congress) 7. 600 Independence Ave SW: Air/Space Museum, Museum of the American Indian/Eisenhower Memorial 8. Maine Ave SW at 9th St. SW: The Wharf 9. 700 L'Enfant Plaza SW: International Spy Museum 10. 1398 Independence Ave SW: Washington Monument, Smithsonian Museums and Castle, Holocaust Memorial Museum 11. 16 E Basin Dr SW: Jefferson Memorial/George Mason Memorial 12. 1964 Independence Ave SW: Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial/Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial 13. 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir. NW: Lincoln Memorial/Vietnam Veterans Memorial/Korean War Veterans Memorial/World War II Memorial 14. 1400 Constitution Ave NW: National Museum of American History/National Museum of African American History & Culture/National Museum of Natural History 15. 800 F St. NW: National Portrait Gallery/American Art Museum (temp closed for Holiday Market) Arlington Cemetery Trolley stops: • Arlington National Cemetery • President John F. Kennedy Gravesite • US Coast Guard Memorial • John J. Pershing • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier • Arlington House • US Marine Corps War Memorial Iwo Jima • Arlington Niche Wall Columbarium Courts

Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

2. Washington DC: Monuments by Moonlight Nighttime Trolley Tour

See the most popular monuments of the U. S. capital illuminated at night on a guided trolley tour. The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and makes three stops for you to get off the trolley and explore the memorials on your own and take photos. Enjoy entertaining commentary from a professional tour guide who will entertain you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. The three stops on the tour are: 1. The Martin Luther King Memorial & the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial 2. The Iwo Jima Memorial (aka US Marine Corps War Memorial) 3. The Lincoln Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Besides stops at the major memorials, you will also get spectacular views of the Washington Memorial the White House, the National Mall, the Capitol Buildings, the Jefferson Memorial, the Smithsonian Museums and Castle, the FBI & Dept of Justice Buildings, and the World War II Memorial.

Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

3. Washington DC: Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Sightseeing Tour

Visit iconic and historic landmarks in Washington, DC, and enjoy sweeping views from open-top buses. Take advantage of the freedom to explore and hop on and hop off at any stop on two routes around the city. Venture out and discover Washington D.C on an incredible multi-sensory digital art service with Artechouse or take an adventure on two wheels on a bike where you can leisurely ride along the city. The Red Loop, the official tour of the National Mall, visits historic sites, monuments, and landmarks including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and much more. The Blue Loop transports you across the Potomac to visit the venerable Arlington Cemetery. See the iconic sights of DC including:• The White House• Washington Monument• Lincoln Memorial• US Capitol• Jefferson Memorial• National Cathedral• Arlington Cemetery Discover the historic city in one day with the 24-hour Classic Ticket, where you have unlimited access to the hop-on, hop-off bus tour, and a bike rental offer. Upgrade to the 48-hour Premium or the 72-hour Deluxe ticket for more flexibility to explore at your leisure.

From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

4. From New York City: Washington and Philadelphia 1-Day Tour

Learn about American history on a tour of Washington DC and Philadelphia, both of which played important roles in the development of democracy in the USA. Visit the Lincoln Memorial, the National Mall, Independence Hall, and more on a guided day trip with roundtrip transfers from NYC. Your day will begin with an early morning departure from Times Square in Manhattan, where you’ll be greeted by your bilingual tour guide for the day. After 4-5 hours, your first destination will be the nation's current capital, Washington, DC. Once there, visit the Iwo Jima Memorial and the Lincoln Memorial. During the tour, stop for a classic outside view of the White House, home and office of the U.S. President, and the Capitol Building, home of the U.S. Congress. Your visit to Washington concludes with free time for lunch on your own. Your next destination, after a 3-hour journey, will be the first-ever U.S. capital, Philadelphia, PA. Visit its historic Old City neighborhood and the Independence National Historical Park where your guide will lead you on a brief walking tour. Then, ascend to the top of the Rocky Steps before returning to Times Square in Manhattan.

Washington DC: Small-Group 3-Hour Night Tour

5. Washington DC: Small-Group 3-Hour Night Tour

Experience the history and culture of the nation’s capital on this comprehensive, 3-hour, small-group tour. You will travel in a comfortable vehicle, complete with phone chargers, umbrellas, and a flat-screen TV. This tour is lead by a Professional Guide. You will encounter such sites as the US Capitol building, the White House, the National Mall, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial & World War II Memorial. You will also drive past several Smithsonian Museums, the FBI Headquarters, the US Treasury, and much more.

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

6. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Travel back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement on an African American history tour of Washington DC. You will pass by the famous Emancipation Statue, the National Council of Negro Women, and more while learning about the history of the city from your guide.  Get picked up at the U.S. Navy Memorial and head to monuments such as the Emancipation Statue, Howard Theatre, and vibrant local black communities. Stand where Martin Luther King stood when he gave his famous "I have a dream" address and feel the weight of the world on your shoulders. After taking a glimpse into the past at the Home of Frederick Douglas, proceed to Howard University - one of the oldest black universities in the United States. On the way to Howard University, you will drive by Lincoln Park to visit the statue of educator, activist, and founder of the National Council of Negro Women - Mary McLeod Bethune. Following your visit to the beautiful Howard University campus, drive through Le Droit Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900s, it created its own “Black Broadway” - a home to entertainment legends from the past and present.  Next, see the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum to discover how the course of the Civil War was impacted by these disenfranchised soldiers. You will then take a journey into downtown DC to the sites of the national headquarters of the National Council of Negro Women, Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue, the White House, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. Once downtown, enter the Logan Circle historic district to see the historic Metropolitan AME Church and the Mary McLeod Bethune Council house. Finish the tour at the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Enter inside and explore the absorbing artifacts and exhibits at your leisure.

Washington, DC: 3-Hour Holiday Lights Night-Time Bus Tour

7. Washington, DC: 3-Hour Holiday Lights Night-Time Bus Tour

Take in the illuminated beauty of some of Washington DC’s most famous buildings and monuments, with all their festive décor. Be in awe as you travel through the streets of America’s capital city with its twinkling lights. Your tour will be led by a licensed DC tourist guide who will share stories about the history of this national festival and its fun historic local roots. Your first stop will be the West Lawn to view the People’s Tree evergreen Christmas tree, which has been displayed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol building since 1964. Each year, the lighting of this tree marks the start of the holiday season on Capitol Hill. This majestic illuminated tree shining in front of the U.S. Capitol is a unique and beautiful part of the Capitol’s holiday season. Next stop is the White House Ellipse, where you will disembark the bus to visit D.C.'s own Pageant of Peace, which symbolizes America’s wish for peace around the world. The centerpiece of the Pageant is the National Christmas Tree decorated with thousands of beautiful twinkling lights. With the backdrop of the White House, it is one of the most glorious holiday sites in D.C. Radiating out from the National Christmas Tree are 56 additional Christmas trees, decorated with hand-made ornaments from each state, territory, and the District of Columbia. A life-size nativity scene and 20 foot tall Menorah are also on the Ellipse. There will also be a stop in the historic Georgetown area to visit one of the installations of the GLOW Light Art Exhibition, which is an outdoor multi-site exhibition featuring national and international pieces of art using light in creative and innovative ways. You will also get a glimpse of the holiday decorations along the main shopping street of this exclusive quaint neighborhood, which was founded in the 17th-century. Along the way, you will experience breathtaking views of the National Mall, with a clear view of both the Washington Monument and the U.S. Capitol Building, which is a photographer’s dream.

Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

8. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

Join a walking tour of Washington and see iconic monuments like Capitol One, Washington Monument, and more with a guide. Later, use your entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture at your own pace. Meet your guide at the White House and begin your tour of Washington DC. From the outside, learn about the history of the White House and the people who inhabited it. Your local guide will share stories about America’s history and the influence of African Americans in DC. Next, see Capitol One, one of the most architecturally impressive buildings in the world. Hear about the neoclassical United States Capitol, which is home to the House of Representatives and Senate. Finally, your guide will take you to the Washington Monument. Made of white marble and 550 feet tall, the obelisk is an iconic Washington DC landmark. After the walking tour, use your reserved entry tickets to visit the National Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the museum on your own at your own pace.

Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

9. Washington DC Must See Sights Half-Day Tour

Washington D.C. showcases some of the most majestic monuments and memorials in America. With so much to see this sightseeing bus tour makes for a great orientation option, especially for those with little time. Tailored to offer you a historic journey through the rich heritage of the United States, the tour is a quick and efficient way to learn the history of the capital. Ride past the essential monuments, museums, and attractions to relive the history of America on a 3-hour tour. You will stop at the following memorials and monuments on your tour to take pictures: • U. S. Capitol (exterior only and a photo stop only) • White House (exterior only and a photo stop only) • World War II Memorial • Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial • Korean Memorial • Vietnam Memorial • Vietnam Women's Memorial • Lincoln Memorial (tour ends at this memorial)

Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

10. Washington DC Monuments by Night Bike Tour

Bike to the major sights of Washington, D.C. on a guided tour after dark. Enjoy America’s capital city at night, when the air is cooler, the monuments are crowd-free, and the illuminated views are magnificent. As dusk sweeps the city and the memorials and monuments light up magnificently, your guide will take you through the National Mall and around the Tidal Basin near the Washington Monument, the war memorials, the Lincoln Memorial, the FDR Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to learn about each of the sights, and also a few minutes to walk through the memorials and experience them on foot. This 4-mile ride is rated as easy, covering mostly flat terrain. All riders are provided with reflective vests and safety lights.

Available activities

  • Entry tickets
  • Guided tours
  • Hop-on hop-off tours
  • Other experiences
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  • Day trips
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  • Multi-day trips
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Other Sightseeing Options in National Mall

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What people are saying about National Mall

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 5,141 reviews

Excellent way to get a sample of the DC offerings. We had 2 small children with us, so spending all day walking wasn't an option. This tour took us to/by many of the highlights, and we learned so much from our tour guide, Piotr. He was patient with our kids, and shared so many interesting facts and stories. A great way to see the sites!

The bus tour is a wonderful way to orient yourselves to the city. You will see a number of here wrenching memorials that maKe you question why have we not lived up to the ideals of our forefathers. We lost some very great people who would be disappointed by the lack of progress we have made.

David and Chris made an excellent team. David's incredible knowledge of Washing DC made this one of our best experiences in D.C. They even brought granola bars and bottled water for everyone.

Great way to explore if you have only a few hours in the city! We really enjoyed it!

Very clear to understand and had lots of information