A Student’s Guide to DC

If you’re on your way to living in DC for the first time—either for an internship, entry level job, or with grad school— read on for affordable and exciting things to do in DC that will help you adjust to being a student or young professional in this new city!

Museums and Monuments:

Washington DC is a historic place known for its museums and monuments, and most of them are free!


Tour the Capitol Building and White House:

Capitol Building and White House tours are free and involve getting tickets through your district representatives or state senators.

Tour the Whitehouse: White House tours are available on a first come first serve basis and can be acquired by reaching out to your member of congress. Tours are generally 8:00 AM to 12:30 PM Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Request tickets at least 21 days in advance and no more than 90 days in advance of the requested tour date.

Tour the Capitol Building: U.S. Capitol Tours can be booked through the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Website or you can request a tour through your member of congress.


Other Things to Do:

Local Markets: DC has so many local markets and farmers markets that run even year round!

Sports: DC is home to sports teams like the MLB Nationals, NBA Wizards, WNBA Mystics, NHL Capitals that play at arenas across the city including Capital One Arena, The Fields at RFK, the Entertainment and Sports Arena and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Learn more about sporting events here.


City Study/Work Spots:

More places to work:


Getting Around the City:

Washington D.C. is a planned city, built out from the literal hill that the Capitol building sits on. From the U.S. Capitol Building, the city is split into four quadrants— Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest. Check out this site to learn more about the street naming system and the importance of knowing what quadrant you are in!

DC’s Metrorail system, the Metro, is one of the best ways to get around the city. This article called Navigating Washington, DC with Metro is a great place to learn about using the system.

  • This official website has maps and can help you plan your trip.
  • Download the SmarTrip app to have your metro card on your phone and to easily upload fare money.
  • Download the CityMapper app for easy access to maps and train schedules.

DC also has buses, bike rentals, and taxis!

DC Neighborhoods: DC has a lot of distinctive neighborhoods that are just a few metro stops away! Check out this site to learn about all the different places you can explore


More to Explore:

Many bloggers and locals have dedicated time to cultivating their favorite DC things to do! The following sites and accounts are great sources of information.

By Jane Marie Wright
Jane Marie Wright Peer Educator