Bus / Tours, Washington D.C.
Taking the bus in Washington is not difficult at all, though honestly it is somewhat expensive compared to other cities. A large part of the city bus fleet has been renovated in the last few years, so its a much better experience than it used to be.
To catch a bus the easiest place to start is at a Metro Station. You walk out of the metro station and the bus stops are right there. Ask the stationmaster what bus to take.
Basic fare is $1.60 with a Smart Trip card ($1.80 cash) Save yourself the hassle get yourself a smart trip card, public transport in this area is much much easier (and cheaper) using it. You will get unlimited bus transfers within a two hour period. The smart trip card will also get you reduced fare on the metro.
The WMATA (regional transport authority) has a good website where you can find timetables, transit maps for all the systems (bus and rail) in the Washington Metropolitan Area (includes Virginia and Maryland)
Visitors to Washington DC finally have a hop on hop off bus tour that you might find in other major world capitals.
There are 4 different routes you can take:
-Red Loop- a tour of the most iconic landmarks- includes the Mall, the memorials, -duration 2 hours
-Blue Loop- Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon- duration 1 hour
-Yellow Loop- Georgetown
-Green Loop- traditional trolley to the National Cathedral
You can combine these routes for one day (price 48 dollars) or two days (59 dollars) and they also offer some free walking tours and night excursions. Make sure to check for discounts. Children pay half the price
Is it worth the price? It's not exactly cheap but it will save you plenty of walking, which as the weather gets hotter will be a big advantage. I haven't personally taken this tour, but it would be a godsend if you have limited mobility. I would personally recommend this tour if you want a quick overview. Of course being able to hop on and off makes it easier, but many of the important sites in Washington will easily take up a few hours. Therefore I would suggest this for people who haven't been here before and want to get an overview of what there is and where it is.
There are two free walking tours included in the price you pay
One is a walking tour of the war memorials, which sounds like a very nice tour
Here is a link to the route map:
buses run from 9 to 5 daily. pickup is every twenty minutes
This is another tour bus company. This one turns out a bit cheaper than the Big Bus Tour. Realistically, you get most of the same stops so in that sense there is no real advantage of taking one company or the other.
I am looking at the all routes tour where you can cover all the routes the company offers in one days time. The price for this is $35 for adults and $15 for kids. Now they also offer all sorts of other tours (cruises, bikes etc.) and some of these options may be quite appealing to you.
These are good options for persons with limited mobility. However, realistically, in a day of walking downtown you can see a majority of these sights anyway, they aren't really all that far apart. To me this a bit of an expensive option.
If you are traveling on a budget to/from DC to/from Boston, New York or Philadelphia look into taking one of the Chinatown buses. It is the cheapest form of transportation i.e., flights; trains or standard Greyhound buses. Plus, given gas prices and tolls it is cheaper than driving. For example one-way from NYC to DC is less than $20.
We took the one day trolley tour to see the overview in one day. The downfall was we were doing two days in DC so we had too much walking for the second day. The other negitive was we were afraid to get down after 3:00 because the lines to get on the crowded buses were too long.
Did a day trip via Greyhound. Very reasonable fair. Took around 4 hours there, 4 hours back. Comfort break halfway each trip.
Wish there had been TV on coach but otherwise pleasent trip and very organised
The current public bus fare is $1.30 and if you return or change within 2 hours the driver is giving you a "Tranfer Ticket". Please keep the exact fare available, the driver does not give change.
Usually buses are reliable, sometimes there can be a wait though of more than 25min. and at the sudden several busses show up.
This is definitely a recommended option for those travelling to any city between Washington, DC and Boston, MA. The Chinatown bus system is essentially a huge cluster of small companies (Peter Pan, Fung Wah, Lucky Star, among others) that link major cities for very low prices.
Pros: Low prices, about as fast (if not faster) than tran, reasonably comfortable
Cons: Bus "terminals" often located on awkward street corners in the middle of the city, sometimes shady driving
The only bad experience I had on this was coming back to DC from New York City. They made me wait an extra 40 minutes because they said the bus I had already PAID FOR was full. To avoid this, arrive very early and acquaint yourself with where to catch the bus. The only place it's really hectic is in New York.
If you get tired walking in the mall, for a few bucks you can take the hop-on, hop-off shuttle called "Tourmobile". It takes you to all the popular destinations in the mall, Arlington National Cemetery, and the attractions by the Potomac such as Jefferson Memorial. On board you'll hear narrations from tour guide about the destinations.
You know what, I can't quite recall the bus fares, but I know it was a fairly decent cost. For tourists who would rather not have to get a rental car, the bus is a good mode of transportation. Taxis are everywhere, too. However, buses tend to give you more time to check out your surroundings from their large windows so that is a good option there.
There is a very good bargain bus that runs to / from Washington, DC to / from New York city. It is called Washigton Deluxe check it out at www.washny.com. We used it with another couple this week end and it was great. $35 round trip!!!
Washington, DC is sure enough an epicentre for tourists. As a result, there are tour buses of every shape and size. The one captured in this picture is fashioned after an old-timey streetcar.
Touring around WDC - by bus or even bike - enjoy the green areas of this Capital during an exciting 2 hous tour.
Insist on the original and only Orange and green old town trolleys!
Metro bus is the second most efficient way to get around Washington, D.C. There are metro bus stops in parts of suburban Maryland and northern Virginia as well.
From Washington Dulles Airport take the Washington Flyer bus service
The main attractions are with walking distance.