Everything is expensive! Really think about how important a souvenir is to your life. Besides it being very over priced, you will be forced to carry your purchase around the entire day. This is a total pain.
I only recommend buying post cards. They are "cheap" and they provide a clear picture of a monument that you may not be able to get bc of the crowds of people. Also, carrying around post cards aren't nearly as bothersome as pretty much any other souvenir.
What to pay: all post cards I saw ranged from $1-$4. $4 were the fancy hologram post cards.
Designed by Aldolph Cluss and built in 1873 at a time when post-civil War Washington was being enlarged by leaps and bounds, this was one of three food markets built in the city and the only one to survive.
In 2007 the building suffered a fire and had to be closed and renovated. It reopened in June, 2009 and now houses over a dozen businesses which sell meats, cheeses, fresh baked goods, flowers, etc.
Particularly on weekends stalls are set up all around the original building and the area becomes a green grocers/flea/handicraft market.
The Eastern Market should not be confused with an Eastern market that sells Asian items. No, this Eastern Market is named after its location in the city, not the source of its goods! Eastern Market has been in continuous operation since 1873, and the building is a national historic landmark. The structure was heavily damaged by fire, and after a long-term rehabilitative effort, it reopened in June 2009!
Here you will find breads, meats, cheeses, produce, fish, and even a small, but busy restaurant called the Market Lunch. Because the main market building burned in 2007, the market has a temporary layout. In front of the historic market building is an open air farmers' market under a green canopy, and it features fruits and vegetables. Around the canopy and just to the north are numerous artists selling a little of everything, mostly arts and crafts. Across the street from the old market hall is a temporary "East Hall" that houses all of the shops that were formerly in the main building. And next to the East Hall is a large school parking lot that is used for various stands and flea markets on the weekends.
This market is located at North Carolina Avenue and 7th Street SE on Capitol Hill. It is about seven blocks from the Capitol Building and just one block from the Eastern Market Metro (Orange and Blue Lines).
We had a little time before my boyfriend had to fly out of DC to Germany. So, we hopped the metro to the Eastern Market. This was a pleasant surprise. A combination of flea market, swap meet, craft fair and farmer's market all in one.
Open Air Farmer's Line opened Saturday & Sunday 8am to 6pm
The Flea Market at Eastern Market Open every Sunday 10am to 5pm
Eastern Market Open Tuesday - Sunday
National Harbor is located in Maryland but minutes away from DC. It's actually a new development across the Potomac River and it's beautiful. The Gaylord Resort & Convention Center along with a few other hotels are there. There's retail stores and nice restaurants in the area, too.
I really enjoyed this particular store, South Moon Under, because they had unique, good quality women's clothing at a reasonable price (not cheap though). They also have online shopping if you want to check it out.
The Maine Avenue Fish Market is considered one of the last real (non-touristy) vibrant areas of Washington, DC. Here on floating barges several feet below street level, you will find an amazing array of fresh, steamed, or even live seafood, particularly crabs. There are about 10 vendors and maybe two or three eateries. The shops are a little run down and they sit under the shadow of the I-395 bridge and next to a yacht club and new high-rise, high rent condos.
Parking is limited. From the Washington Monument, walk south toward the Jefferson Monument until you hit Maine Ave. Follow Maine under the Hwy 1 bridge, the railroad bridge, and the I-395 bridge.
This shopping Mall is easily reached with the Metro (Blue Line, Metro Stop: Pentagon City). It has some great shops, including Abercrombie & Fitch, Apple, Macys, Armani Exchange, Bailey Banks & Biddle, Banana Republic, Guess, J. Crew, J.Jill, Kenneth Cole, Movado, Sephora, Sony Style, . and many more. As with most Malls, there are also many eateries to choose from.
Mon to Sat 10:00am - 9:30pm
Sun 11:00am - 6:00pm
The Safeway Grocery Store on Columbia Road (NW) in Adams Morgan harkens back to the Soviet Union in terms of customer service, selection, and quality of goods. Being the only supermarket in the immediate area (though a Giant Foods opened in nieghboring Columbia Heights recently), they get away with having aweful/unfriendly staff, unstocked shelves, and next to zero selection. I strongly reccomend going elsewhere for anything but the bare neccessities. This place is terrible!
What to buy: Nothing, if you can help it.
What to pay: Too much
Heller's Bakery is a gem in Mount Pleasant! A traditional bakery that makes everything from bagels to elaborate cakes -- this is a great place to buy your baked goods. The interior also has a few small tables for those who can't wait until they get home to start eating! Great food! Great atmosphere!
What to buy: Home-made bagels are excellent! Also, their ham and cheese cousants are very good in the morning!
What to pay: Various reasonable prices
On Sundays, vendors come to Eastern Market offering a variety of goods from fresh fruits and veggies, to items from Asia, to local crafts such as photos & tshirts. There was even furniture on sale. I'm not big into flea markets, but if you are, this might be a good one to check out.
What to pay: I wouldn't say anything is dirt cheap. You would actually pay more here, naturally, for items you can buy overseas as tourists.
Welcome to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
You may want to stop here on your way to go shopping!
They are the largest producer of security documents in the United States. The BEP prints billions of Federal Reserve Notes for delivery to the Federal Reserve System each year (the BEP does not produce coins – all coinage is minted by the United States Mint). These notes are produced at facilities in Washington, DC, and Fort Worth, Texas. In addition to U.S. currency, the BEP produces several other security documents such as portions of U.S. passports, materials for Homeland Security, military identification cards, and Immigration and Naturalization Certificates.
What to buy: All jokes aside you can do a tour if your interested in seeing where the money is printed!
You'll see millions of dollars being printed during a tour of the BEP. The tour features the various steps of currency production, beginning with large, blank sheets of paper, and ending with wallet-ready bills!
It's likely that you would like to buy a small gift from Washington, DC. If you want a T-shirt both for your kids or for adults these street stalls set up steps away from the White House, on a corner of 17th St NW and G St. NW offer quite good variety and the best price I've found in downtown DC.
What to buy: T-shirts (with the Capitol building for example).
What to pay: Take 5 T-shirts (white or colour ones) and pay $10. You get 3 or 4 and exclusively white T-shirts for $10 in street stalls closer to the National Mall.
There are a few street stalls which sell some clothes, mainly T-shirts, sweatshirts and baseball caps in downtown Washington. But these ones located in Independance Ave. (back to the National Air and Space Museum) offered the best choice which convinced Chris (balfor) to buy a few T-shirts just there. Well, they always offered T-shirts for incoming presidential elections (of George Bush and John Kerry), some funny T-shirts for kids and other small gifts like plastic mugs and "toy space monkey" at price at least twice lower than in the museum store.
What to buy: T-shirts for kids, youths and you. For a kid the one with the US national flag and the writing imprinted: Future President, Washington, DC. More in my next pictures.
What to pay: Four white T-shirts per $10. One colour T-shirt $6 - $10.
The street stalls in my picture stood in Independance Avenue very close to the National Museum of the American Indian. I have probably never see such street stalls set up in the heart of touristy downtown anywhere else in the USA. It seems that the Federal City or their citizens are less strict about general look of "shops" located in downtown than in all other "state cities" I already visited.
What to buy: Films for your camera or batteries. Sweatshirts in various colours and versions of writings imprinted, for example: Washington, DC, USA, US Special Forces, Pentagon.
What to pay: 10$ per 3 white T-shirts (go to the stalls by the National Archives to buy 4 for the same price).
I was again disappointed when I saw ugly, small street stalls in downtown, Washington. Well, this kind of commerce somewhat doesn't harmonize with downtown of the capital of the world's only superpower.
What to buy: Sweatshirts in various colours and two versions of writings imprinted: Washington, DC and USA. White T-shirts in similar designs.
What to pay: 10$ per 4 white T-shirts.
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