Despite being the capital city of the world's foremost super power and home to some of America's most famous landmarks, Washington DC is often overlooked as a tourist destination in favour of New York or the Californian cities. It's true to an extent that Washington lacks the buzzy vibe of Manhattan or the Hollywood appeal of LA. What it does have, though, is power - with a capital P. And seeing the White House up close or walking up to Capitol Hill has its own unique thrill factor that's hard to beat. You can't fail to be impressed by being in such close proximity to the corridors of power and fame that have shaped not only US, but international affairs for so long.

Washington is not just a den of political intrigue, though. The city is home to some of the country's best museums and art collections, the majority of which come under the umbrella of the internationally acclaimed Smithsonian Institution. Among these, certain galleries particularly stand out, among them the Hirshhorn, with its outstanding collection of Modern Art, and for more scientifically-minded, the Air and Space Museum.

The atmosphere of the city is primarily one of stately grandeur, the wide streets seemingly made for presidential processions. Nonetheless, there are neighbourhoods with a more down-to-earth feel to them and some areas like Adams Morgan with its cosmopolitan restaurants and shops are verging on the bohemian. This has filtered into the nightlife too, and Washington now has its fair share of trendy clubs and bars, many of them frequented by the large student population of the city.

The National Mall and the Smithsonian
The White House
Capitol Hill
Arlington National Cemetery
Union Station
Rock Creek National Park
Adams Morgan District
Dupont Circle
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
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