Georgetown is a fun and historic neighborhood, but it has the problem of very limited transportation access. The nearest metro stations are Foggy Bottom at George Washington University and Rosslyn, across the Potomac in Northern Virginia. Don't let the location of the Rosslyn station fool you into thinking its too far; if you are heading to anywhere in Georgetown west of about Wisconsin Ave, Rosslyn is actually closer than Foggy Bottom. But, you don't want to walk the Key Bridge on a cold, wet, windy day.
As for driving in Georgetown, it's a mess. There seems to always be lots of traffic here that is constantly interrupted by lights. Street parking is never an option, but I've never really checked out the garages--probably around $15 a day.
The buses are probably the best option in Georgetown. The city's Metro buses have numerous routes through the area. The Georgetown Metro Connection bus provides service between Georgetown and the Rosslyn and Dupont Circle Metro stations for $1 (or just $0.50 with your MetroCard!). The DC Circulator provides service to Georgtown's eastern M Street corridor and most of Wisconsin Avenue with a direct but to Union Station for just $1.
During this business trip to Georgetown, I had the luxury of using cabs to get around town. With a little more planning, I might have used the public transportation system, but I figured the fastest way around town would be the cab. I was wrong. People in the greater District of Columbia absolutely have no clue what gridlock is. They will camp out in the middle of the intersection rather than wait for the light to change green before proceeding. It took me 45 minutes to get 12 city blocks via cab during rush hour!
The good thing for you as a consumer of taxis in DC however is that everything is a flat fee. This means that even if you sit in the middle of rush hour, it will not cost you "waiting time". Round trip from Capitol Hill to Georgetown for me was $8.80 which I rounded up to $10.
Georgetown is located northeast of downtown Washington, some 2.4 km (1.5 miles) from the White House and 5.5 km (3.4 mi) from the Union Station. If you drive a car keep in mind that It may be difficult to park a car on a street in central part of Georgetown.
- read carefully parking signs put along a street you are going to park,
- in Georgetown parking on a street was limited to 2 hours Monday to Saturday 9.30 am - 4.00 pm and 6.30 pm - 10.00 pm and paid in a parkometer (get change ready)
- I've seen tickets put behind windshield wiper of cars whose drivers didn't pay
- I've never seen cars parked where it was not allowed (they are towed away, I've seen cars ready to tow them), hmm... in European cities it often works quite different :-(
- Georgetown tends to be a bit more expensive for parking than downtown Washington, DC; look at the prices in my picture ($18 per day, expensive? it's half the Californian price from downtown San Francisco in 2003!)
- check the opening hours of the parking lot (some are closed at night!)
- check how to pay for the parking (in some automatic parking lots you have to have change ready to pay and be let out).
Citizens of the oldest and upclass neighbourhood of Georgetown were so worried about their fancy streets that they succesfully resisted the plan to prolong metro line to their wealthy district. Thanks to their persistance I had to take a bit a longer walk (some 0.6 mi = 1 km) from Foggy Bottom-GWU metro station passing by Foggy Bottom neighbourhood.
The option is to take a metrobus which goes to Georgetown from the three metro stations: Foggy Bottom-GWU, Rosslyn and Dupont Circle. At the metro station take a Metrorail transfer to pay only $0.35 instead $1 for a bus ride. Details in my Washington, DC Transportation Tips.
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