The major airport that serves Washington, D.C. is Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). All international flights into the Washington, D.C. area arrive at this airport, as do many domestic flights from other American cities, although most domestic flights go into Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport closer to the city. Washington Dulles International Airport is in Virginia, about 22 miles (35 kilometers) west of Washington, D.C. There is convenient public transportation into the city center from the airport.
Airlines serving Washing Dulles International Airport: Aeroflot-Russian Airlines, Air Canada, Air France, Air-India, AirTran Airways, All Nippon Airways, American Airlines, American Eagle, Austrian Airlines, Avianca, British Airways, Cayman Airways, Copa Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Grupo TACA, Iberia, jetBlue Airways, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, Korean Air, Lufthansa German Airlines, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, SAS-Scandinavian Airlines, Saudia Airlines, SN Brussels Airlines, South African Airways, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, United Express, US Airways, US Airways Express, Virgin America, and Virgin Atlantic Airways.
Located about three miles (five kilometers) west of central Washington, D.C. in Arlington, Virginia, Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is the closest commercial airport to the nation's capital. With the exception of some flights to Canada, all flights into and out of the airport serve domestic destinations.
Airlines serving Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport: Air Canada, Air Canada Express, AirTran Airways, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, American Eagle, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines, Midwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, United Airlines, US Airways, US Airways Express, US Airways Shuttle, and Virgin America.
Here are your transportation options from the Dulles airport area to DC and back:
1.) Washington Flyer (coach/bus service): $10/OW or $18 RT--it runs every 25-30 mins. & takes about 30 mins. to get to the nearest Metro (DC's subway) station, which is at the Orange Line--West Falls Church Metro Stop. Buy a Metro/train fare for DC (about $2.35 OW). I'd suggest to buy a daily/weekly pass for a better Metro deal. If you have a SmartCard, fares are a bit cheaper. From here, take the train to "New Carrollton," which takes you to downtown DC.
2.) Washington Flyer (airport van shuttle a.k.a Super Shuttle): this is a more costly alternative, at around $30 per person/OW (discounted rate for 2+ persons), but higher for an individual OW rate.
3.) Metro Bus Route 5A: the cheapest alternative at $3/OW or cheaper with a Metro SmartCard for $2.35/OW. This option takes you directly to DC (around L'Enfant Plaza) with a few stops along the way.
Try to buy a weekly/daily pass to cover your train/bus needs during your DC travel. This gives you a much better deal for your buck.
Note: I've done the #1 option several times, without any problems, and the #2 option only once without problems. I've never tried option #3, but have heard that it's good enough and a pretty economical way to get to DC from the Dulles airport.
Here's a helpful link of Dulles-DC transportation options:
Good Luck & Enjoy Historical DC!
Just to let you know, Taxi is not even an option on VTourist. So that tells you all you need to know.
If you rank Japanese Taxis at the high end of the meter, and those Vietnamese rickshaws at the other, Washington D.C. taxis are towards the low end. They may or may not have air conditioning, they may or may not be licensed, and they may or may not get you all the way to your destination.
Taxi fares are decided by a random number generator. There is just no way of knowing how much it will cost to get anywhere. There is a 'zone' system, where if you are travelling to two points within the same zone, it should only costs the $4.00 base fare, and moving into a different zone adds $1.50 to the cost. Additions such as extra luggage, getting a radio dispatch, and rush hour service add a buck or two onto the cost.
Take the metro, trust me.
Most of the main sites are located at The Mall. So, you can walk from one way to other, see every monument, every memorial and every museum (you wont have time to check them all anyway). Of course, you’ll be dead at the end of the day so a good alternative is N.2:
There are many hop on hop off companies around but we used the tourmobile just because it covers all the stops inside the Mall but also the Arlington cemetery. The daily ticket costs $27 ($35 for 2 days) and you can use it from 9.30 to 16.30, we didn’t have to wait more than 10’ at any stop.
Buses and metro lines will take you further from the Mall. The DC Metro has 5 lines but it wasn’t really helpful for us and many places were away from metro stations. Buying a ticket at the metro stations is complicated, you need to know what is your final destination and check the price on the panel of the station you are. Then you put the money and take the ticket. Minimum fare is $1.75($1.45 off peak hours) and increases depending on the length of the trip but no more than $4.60. We used a day pass one day so not to have to check for tickets in every station, the day pass costs about $9 and the weekly pass for $28.
Are you crazy? No easy way to find a parking spot, terrible traffic so no, no, no
We arrived in Washington DC by bus from Philadelphia in 2,5 hours and we payed only $2! MEGABUS is a great low cost bus company that offers great offers. From Washington DC you can find buses to New York, Baltimore and Philadelphia. Check their site (http://us.megabus.com/) for more details. The bus departs at the Parking Lot H St. NW opp. 10th St. NW
Union station is located at the city center, 2’ from the Congress. It’s a big train station with hundreds of train going everywhere from here so thousand of people come and go daily. At the lower level you can find some cheap restaurants
There are 3 different airports near/around DC:
1)Ronald Reagan/DCA), just across the river from the city with its own metro station
2)Dulles International Airport/IAD, 40km west of DC, Metrobus 5A will take you to metro (Rosslyn or L’enfant Plaza)
3)BWI(50km NE), We flew to New Orleans from BWI because the flights from there are usually much cheaper, especially when it comes to domestic budget flights.
A quiet & very comfortable train to DC (it was going to Newport News, VA). Left on time from Penn Station on Manhattan - they only give you 10 minutes to board, so just go for it....
Cost us $49 one way, booked well in advance.
A word of warning - we got in the quiet car. No talking allowed. I forgot at one point (overexcited when they announced free beer in the bar car) and was admonished by the conductor - in a friendly way.
It was not an express, so it took 3+ hours. Fast, but a bumpy ride!
Still, an absolute joy compared with UK trains. Everything is, of course.
I even got brave after a couple of hours (or do I mean bored) and hit the bar car around Baltimore. Cheeseburger and Heineken. The microwaved burger was fine - I’m still in shock. The Heineken was imported, so the real deal. Magic.
Oh, and I was joking about the free beer. $5.75 for the Heineken and $ $5.50 for the burger (neither booked in advance).
I used Dulles to fly out of DC to New York (Kennedy), using Delta Regional. On my previous visits I’d used National.
We were dropping off the rental car first. That all went smoothly, and Dollar’s shuttle had as at the terminal very quickly.
Delta’s self serve check in worked well too, and security had no delays at all. I was checking in about 10am for a 12 noon flight.
Plenty of shopping/food opportunities airside, in a spacious, bright & clean environment.
The flight should have been on time - we were loaded up ready to go - but the baggage handlers had loaded the bags incorrectly. That took 50 minutes to fix! I found it hard to take - how long to take them all off and re-stow them. An it was an Embraer 145 not a 777 - so only 45 passengers I’m guessing (maximum - it was not 100% full). The handlers were wearing Delta bibs, so maybe it was an airline problem and not the airport.
We’d also been there the previous week to greet VTer Suet off her flight from the UK. Arrivals is similarly user friendly.
One negative is that if you want wifi you have to use the airport’s AT&T service - no doubt at rip off prices - even if you’re sitting in Starbucks.
You may take the metro (DC's subway) upon arrival at the DCA airport, also known as Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport. There will be signs leading you the metro, but if you're unsure where to go, just ask the information counter representative and they'll direct you to it. From the Ronald Reagan Metro stop on the yellow line, buy your metro fare (it's better to get a daily/weekly pass for a better deal) at $2.35+ OW to go to DC via the "Fort Totten" line. If you're coming from DC and going back to the airport, then take the yellow line again going to the "Huntington" direction.
Enjoy your trip to DC!
Here are several ways you can travel the Baltimore Washington International (BWI) Airport to DC route:
1.) Cheapest option: take the express Metro bus that plies the BWI airport and Greenbelt Metro station (Green Line) route every 40 minutes. It costs $3.00/OW, but cheaper @ $2.35/OW if you have a DC Metro SmartCard. Check out this link for more info: www.wmata.com
2.) Moderately priced option: take the shutte to the MARC train from BWI to Union Station in DC. This costs about $8/OW. Check out this link for more info: www.mtamaryland.com
3.) Moderately priced/expensive option: take shuttle to the AMTRAK rail station. The cheapest Amtrak ticket you can buy costs $14/OW. Check out this link for more info: www.amtrak.com
4.) Expensive option: you may take the super shuttle for $30-45/OW. Check out this link for more info: http://www.supershuttle.com/
Enjoy your trip!
Try this link from the Washington Post:
The Taxis have all changed from the old "zone" system to a metered system. Still taxi fares are not terribly high.
Traveling from LAX to DC via Virgin America is the way to go! No nonsense direct flights, fairly inexpensive and seems to operate very efficiently. No lines, it takes about 2-3 minutes to check in. They take your luggage right at the check-in counter. The plane itself is standard, no extra leg room but they have electrical outlets on the seat in from of you to work on your laptops. Movies will cost about $7 to view but there are a number of older movies you can view for free. I was amused that once we arrived at Dulles Airport that we immediately had to board a gigantic contraption on wheels and hydraulics that scooted to another part of the airport so you can get your luggage and exit. Most airports have updated to having some type of rail system.
Woohoo! DC taxis now use the same method other First World and some Third World cities use... a meter! What a concept.
So here's the "new deal:" You pay $3.00 to sit in the cab and go the first 1/6th of a mile. Each additional 1/6th of a mile is another quarter dollar (so after the initial $3 you pay $1.50 per mile). They still have a boatload of additional fees such as $1.50 for each additional passenger, $2.00 for large luggage in the trunk plus another $0.50 if the driver puts it in the trunk for you, a $2.00 telephone dispatch fee (if you call and request a cab instead of flagging it down on the street), $1 per animal unless its a service dog, snow emergency fare of 125 percent the regular fare, and a $2 charge for any "service" the driver performs away from the vehicle... that's a good deal, the women who perform services in DC charge a few hundred dollars... but alas, their only meter is the good, old-fashioned watch.
The link below has a taxi fare estimator for a ride within the city limits of DC.
My original tip... from 2005
Washington DC taxis are about as confusing as they come. Instead of running a meter, you are billed by zone. This means that a 5-minute ride might cost the same as a 30-minute ride depending on the number of zones you cross. Another way they confuse you is to charge per passenger ($1.50 per person). Don't forget about the rush hour surcharge ($1.00), the snow-emergency rates (double the normal fare), the suitcase rate ($0.50 per bag), the large object rate ($2.00 per object), and the radio dispatch surchage ($1.00). To make things even worse, there are Maryland, Virginia, and DC cabs all in the same city, and all operating under different rules.
Because it was raining, we took a taxi the short trip from DuPont Circle to Adams Morgan for $13. The next night we took a taxi from DuPont circle all the way to Arlington for the same exact price.
There is no direct METRO access to Georgetown as it is out-of-the way. Taking a private car or taxi is a good idea. Another alternative is to get off the "Foggy Bottom" stop and walk past the hospital en route to historic Georgetown. There is also the recently-available public transportation option (bus) called the "DC Circulator" that plies the Georgetown-Union Station route every 10 mins. on an everyday basis. I remember the fare was only $1.00/OW. See website for further info & schedule: http://www.dccirculator.com/
This easy to use website will tell you how to get from your starting to finishing point by public transportation and taxi. It will give you an estimate on how much it will cost by taxi and how long it will take.
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