National Mall

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

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National Mall: Our most recommended tours and activities

Washington DC: 1-2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Sights Bus Tour

1. Washington DC: 1-2-Day Hop-On Hop-Off City Sights Bus 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 and all stops on the 2 routes around the city. The Red Loop, the official tour of the National Mall, visits historic sites and landmarks including the Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, US Capitol, and much more. Ready to shop and learn more about the history in Washington, DC? The Blue Loop will transport you across the Potomac to visit Arlington Cemetery and through the history (and to the shops and restaurants) of the beautiful Georgetown. Only a short stay in Washington, DC? The Classic Iconic Washington, DC Landmarks by Day ticket provides you 1-day hop-on, hop-off access with 1-hour free bike rental. Staying a little longer? Choose between the Premium or Deluxe Iconic Washington, DC Landmarks by Day tickets. Both provide you 2-day hop-on, hop-off access to all Big Bus Tour loops. With your Deluxe ticket, enjoy your unlimited 2-day hop-on hop-off access of Big Bus' Tour around the National Mall. With this ticket you'll also get a 90-minute panoramic night tour which allows you to see the beautiful landmarks illuminated at night.

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 2.5-hour trolley tour! The route follows streets that have been traveled by presidents and make stops at the Lincoln Memorial, the Martin Luther King Memorial, and the World War II Memorial A professional tour guide will entertain and inform you with stories about the Capitol’s colorful past. You’ll hear tales about the curse of the Hope Diamond and the restless spirits who make the city their home. You’ll also hear about the Medal of Honor winner whose leg was amputated. He donated the leg to a museum and would frequently go to the museum to visit it! Trolley stops:  • FDR Memorial  • Lincoln Memorial  • Vietnam Veteran Memorial  • Korean War Memorial  • Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial  • World War II Memorial Washington turns into a very different place after dark, and with the Monuments, by Moonlight tour you’ll see the city in just the right light!

Washington, DC: African American History Tour

3. Washington, DC: African American History Tour

Go back in time to some of the most iconic moments from the civil rights movement with this fascinating African American history tour of Washington DC. Discover some of history's most captivating moments and allow your guide to paint a picture of the city from the African American perspective. 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 Driot Park, Shaw Neighborhood, and Historic “U” Street. Home to the largest urban African American community in the United States in the early 1900’s, 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: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

4. Washington DC: National Mall Tour by Electric Vehicle

Glide around the streets of Washington DC on a guided tour by a battery-operated electric cart. See all the major monuments of the United States capital, like Capitol Hill, the White House, and the Lincoln Memorial with an onboard guide. After getting comfortable onboard, head first towards the Smithsonian complex. Admire the size of the largest museum and research complex in the world.  Next, discover three of the most well-known monuments in Washington DC. Admire the monuments to Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and George Washington, arguably the three most beloved presidents of the U.S. From here, take a moment to pause and remember those who lost their lives in battle as you visit various war memorials. Pause at the memorials to World War I, World War II, the Korean War Veterans, and Vietnam War Veterans memorial sites.  Get your camera ready for when you pass by one of the most recognizable landmarks in the whole world, the White House, the home of the U.S President. Finally, feast your eyes on Capitol Hill, home to the United States Congress.

Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

5. Washington DC: See the City Segway Tour

Before departure, receive training and get fitted for your equipment. Watch a brief video and presentation, then receive one-on-one instruction from the experienced staff. Don't be nervous! Many of the visitors are first-time riders and most people get the hang of it within a few minutes.  Once everyone is comfortable, you will do a quick soundcheck and off you go!  The first stop is the White House, just across the street from your starting point! From there, continue to explore as many of the following sites as possible: US Treasury Blair House Constitution Gardens Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool Vietnam Veterans Memorial Korean War Memorial DC War Memorial Tidal Basin WWII Memorial Washington Monument Smithsonian Museums National Gallery of Art US Capitol Canadian Embassy Newseum National Archives US Navy Memorial FBI Building

Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

6. Washington DC: Walking Tour and African American Museum

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 the 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: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

7. Washington DC: Monuments and Memorials Bike Tour

Bike the Sites® the along the National Mall and along the Potomac Tidal Basin. You will learn about the major presidential and war memorials and have a few minutes to explore each up close on this 3 hour guided bike tour. This bike tour is perfect for families! See the Washington Monument, Vietnam Memorial, World War II Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, and more. This tour also gives you the chance to walk around and explore the memorials in depth. There is a lot to see, but you'll get through it all in this leisurely yet efficient tour. This tour is rated as easy and covers approximately 4 miles of flat terrain.

Washington, DC: Open Top Bus Tour By Night

8. Washington, DC: Open Top Bus Tour By Night

Experience the beauty of Washington DC at night on a fully-narrated 2-hour bus tour. Discover the grandeur of the US capital after dark at dozens of historic landmarks. Climb aboard a double-decker bus for a drive down the dramatic National Mall, flanked by the White House and Jefferson Memorial. From the dome of the US Capitol Building to the World War II Memorial, you'll see Washington DC at its most enchanting. Discover how the city changes dramatically when the monuments and memorials are illuminated with floodlights. Sit back and relax as you learn the history of Washington from the entertaining and informative commentary.

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

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

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 and a possible short visit to one of the Smithsonian museums, the world-famous National Air and Space Museum. 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: Bus Tour to the Highlights of the Capital

10. Washington DC: Bus Tour to the Highlights of the Capital

Capitalize on your time in the capital with this whistle-stop city tour of Washington DC. Board one of our luxury buses at the U.S. Navy Memorial before cruising past the National Archives to the U.S. Capitol Building. Let your guide give you the lowdown, from the original Declaration of Independence to the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Take in incredible views of the two-mile-long Smithsonian Museum and imposing Washington Monument, which is the tallest freestanding stone structure in the world. You’ll have the chance to stretch your legs with stops at the White House and Lincoln Memorial, where you can climb the stairs to see the famous statue of America’s 16th President. Then, take an informative guided walk around the beautiful WW2 Memorial. The tour takes a loop from the United States Navy Memorial, stopping at memorable sites, such as the Vietnam Memorial, US Capitol Building and Lincoln Memorial. An experienced guide will explain every significant detail of each monument and memorial, and give you the most comprehensive and intimate tour experience DC has to offer. Marvel at the many Smithsonian museums, National Mall, Freedom Plaza, and much more from on board the bus. Then, learn the history of the White House, Capitol Building, FDR Memorial, and Martin Luther King Memorial during short guided walks.

Frequently asked questions about National Mall

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How can I visit National Mall?

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Entrance to National Mall is free, and you do not need a ticket or pre-booking to visit.

Other Sightseeing Options in National Mall

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What people are saying about National Mall

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 3,595 reviews

This is a great way to see the sites. We bought the two day pass. Our 1st hop on we did the full two hour loop so we could see the city and take it all in. We then hopped on/off to see the sites and did some walking between monuments. We used the bus as our “ride home” at the end of the day once we learned the stop closest to our hotel. We never waited long for the bus to arrive at a stop, they were clean, and the narration easy to listen to. Most of the drivers and staff were great (we had one grumpy guy.) Our flight got delayed in Chicago and with a few hours to kill we immediately went online to find a big bus tour. Unfortunately the timeline didn’t work for our layover. Definitely a great way to take in the city, and cheaper than Lyft for getting around town!

Riding the Segway around the city was fun . It is easy to use and safe. I would say it took me 5 minutes to get used to it. Absolutely loved the experience. We were able to get to places that would have otherwise taken hours to get to. The guide was friendly and funny. Great way to spend 2.5 hours of your day in DC .

Pick up drop off points where in good locations it made it easy to see all of the great points of interest in one day it was nice not having to drive the traffic is very heavy in the DC area.we had multiple drivers through out the day and every one was kind and professional.

The guide Nick was very funny and informative. Let’s you stay on the bus if walking is an issue. Everything looks better at night!

Very knowledgeable guide with a great sense of humor