Washington, D.C., Warnings and Dangers
Washington, D.C., draws in millions of visitors each year. If you’re planning to see the nation’s capital, you will want to keep certain things in mind when you’re walking through the city’s many free museums and public parks.
Driving in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C.,has a fast and extensive public transportation system: a better option than bringing a car here, as Washington, D.C., is infamous for its traffic. If you do choose to drive, be aware that spots can be hard to find and parking garages are expensive. On many major streets parking is not allowed from 7 to 9 a.m. in the morning and then again from and 4:00 to 6 p.m. again in the late afternoon.
Protests and Closures
The nation’s capital is a common venue for protests of all sorts. Be aware that such protests can make it hard to cross certain streets or can block off access altogether. Street and museum closures are another issue: Different museums may close or open later on certain days, so check in advance to decide when you’ll visit them. Most Smithsonian museums open at 10 a.m. and close at 5:30 p.m., and all are free to enter. If you have mobility issues, you will also need to make sure the handicapped area is functional and you can get inside. When museums are open, you may need to wait to get in longer than you might expect as your bags can be searched by security. To avoid wait times, bring only a small satchel or wallet.
Washington, D.C., experiences four seasons. It snows in the winter but is hot, humid and very muggy in the summer. Bring lots of water and sunscreen in summer, dress warmly in the winter and wear snow-appropriate boots as ice can make it difficult to get around.
Summer is a very popular time of year. If you want to do things like tour the White House, you may need to ask for tickets at least a month in advance. Many people consider spring the ideal time to see this city: in April the cherry blossoms are in bloom and the climate is usually very mild.
Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about areas warnings and dangers in Washington, D.C.