Washington DC Transportation

Washington DC Airports

  • Washington DC Dulles (IAD)
  • Washington DC National (DCA)
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    Cities near Washington DC for a road trip

  • Baltimore, Central Maryland
  • Frederick, Capital Region
  • Potomac, Capital Region
  • Rockville, Capital Region
  • Bethesda, Capital Region
  • College Park, Capital Region
  • Gaithersburg, Capital Region
  • Germantown, Capital Region
  • Greenbelt, Capital Region
  • Silver Spring, Capital Region
  • Aberdeen, Central Maryland
  • Annapolis, Central Maryland
  • Towson, Central Maryland
  • Ellicott City, Central Maryland
  • Pikesville, Central Maryland
  • Chestertown, Eastern Shore
  • Saint Michael's, Eastern Shore
  • Stevensville, Eastern Shore
  • Saint Charles, Southern Maryland
  • Chesapeake Beach, Southern Maryland
  • La Plata, Southern Maryland
  • Solomons, Southern Maryland
  • Leonardtown, Southern Shore
  • Prince Frederick, Southern Shore
  • Saint Mary's, Southern Shore
  • Waldorf, Southern Shore
  • Hollywood, Southern Maryland
  • Rock City Falls, Capital Region
  • Lorton, Northern Virginia
  • Alexandria, Northern Virginia
  • Aldie, Northern Virginia
  • Colonial Beach, Northern Neck
  • Fredericksburg, Northern Neck
  • Mount Vernon, Northern Virginia
  • Washington's Columbia Gorge, Washington Cascades
  • Laurel, Capital Region
  • Sterling, Capital Region
  • Arlington, Northern Virginia
  • Herndon, Northern Virginia
  • Fairfax, Northern Virginia
  • Falls Church, Northern Virginia
  • Columbia, Central Maryland
  • Check the road conditions around Washington DC, search for more cities near Washington DC, explore different road trips from Washington DC, or look for cities 1 hour from Washington DC or 100 miles from Washington DC.

    Washington DC Transportation

    Getting Here

    Situated more or less in the middle of the east coast, Washington is accessible by pretty much any mode of transport. 

    For visitors traveling to DC from within the US, Canada, or Mexico, Ronald Reagan National Airport (or "National Airport", as the locals who remember its original name still call it) is the most convenient option.   In addition to the standard airport transportation services (cab, Super Shuttle, rental car facilities and bus), Reagan also boasts a Metro station, making it imminently easy (and inexpensive) to travel to and from there. 

    International flights (and certain airline carriers like JetBlue) come through Washington Dulles International Airport.  It's farther away from the center of town, and there is no direct Metro service, but the aforementioned Super Shuttle runs to and from here, and there are several bus services from which to choose, including one operated by the Washington Flyer that travels to Dulles from West Falls Church Metro station.

    Baltimore-Washington International Airport is the farthest of the three airports from the center of town; travelers willing to deal with the 30+ mile commute (via a number of options, including buses, trains, cabs, and car services) might get a slightly cheaper fare here than at the other two airports.

    All three airports have the prerequisite coffee chains, souvenir stores and news agents;  more substantial shopping or dining options, aside from Duty-Free, are pretty limited.

    Amtrak and MARC trains run directly into Union Station, near the Capitol; Greyhound and Peter Pan share a bus terminal close by.  Offshoots of these and other large bus companies (like Bolt Bus or Megabus) are generally cheap, clean and reliable; they pick up and drop off their passengers in or near the center of the city.

    Finally, anyone up to the challenge of navigating the Capital Beltway (the Washington area's interstate highway, which intersects in the north and the south with I-95) will find several modes of entry into the city via car.

    Once You've Arrived

    Washington is surprisingly navigable.  Divided into four quadrants (NW, NE, SW and SE), the city is planned on a grid (though perhaps not quite as straightforward as, say, New York's). For the most part, lettered streets run east to west, and numbered streets run north to south. The streets are crisscrossed by avenues, named after the country's 50 states.  That said, you should certainly invest in a map to get your bearings and prepare yourself for some of the odd streets, alleys and parks that prove exceptions to the grid rule.

    The Metro is a fantastic way to get to all of the city's major neighborhoods without the hassle of driving, parking, or spending too much money.  WMATA (the overarching transit authority that includes Metrorail and Metrobuses) are generally very reliable.  Cabs are plentiful, and meter-based (a recent change from the zoned system that caused many tourist confusion and frustration).

    If driving is a necessity, it's easy to rent a car in DC from any of the major rental agencies - check their individual websites for more information about rates and location.  Bear in mind, though, that parking in central Washington can be pricey.

    Helpful links:

    Cost of driving to Washington DC from other cities

  • cost to drive from New York, NY to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Philadelphia, PA to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Boston, MA to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Atlanta, GA to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Miami, FL to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Raleigh, NC to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Charlotte, NC to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Arlington, VA to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Pittsburgh, PA to Washington DC
  • cost to drive from Newark, NJ to Washington DC
  • distance from Seattle, WA to Washington DC
  • distance from Chicago, IL to Washington DC
  • distance from Montreal, Canada to Washington DC
  • distance from Dallas, TX to Washington DC
  • distance from Los Angeles, CA to Washington DC
  • [ source data from CostDrive and DistanceCalc ]

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