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10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C.

Washington D.C. is a well-known tourist destination and can be a pricey place to visit.. use these tips to save some money and see some of D.C.s best spots!

1) Book a free tour of the NPR National Headquarters

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Tour the beautiful building and see some of the NPR staff in action… woah is that Korva Coleman standing over there?!  Tours start everyday at 11 a.m. and are absolutely free.  Advance registration is required though, so be sure to register here.

2) Visit the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

The Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden is located next to the National Mall… you know, like, near all those monuments and stuff.  They have constantly revolving exhibitions of internationally acclaimed modern and contemporary artists.

3) Take a Stroll Around Georgetown

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Georgetown is a charming historic neighborhood off the Potomac River where you can take a walk through civil-war era streets.  The houses are antiquated and beautiful, and Georgetown University is also located here.  Fun Fact: the neighborhoods can be creepy at night and are thought to be haunted; there are plenty of free walking ghost tours that go through here…see the house and famous steps where The Exorcist was filmed!

4) Spend an Afternoon at the National Gallery of Art

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Always free and always hosting an awesome collection of nationally celebrated works, The National Gallery of Art is a must-see.  Located off the National Mall.  I sense a trend here….

5) See the Natural History Museum

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Is that a woolly mammoth?!  Korva Coleman needs to be covering this!

6) Visit the National Portrait Gallery 

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

This insane oil painting by Robert McCurdy is pretty much all you need to see to know that you need to visit this museum, and of course admission is free.

7) Chinatown!

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

The Friendship Arch welcomes you to Chinatown; a vibrant historic community east of downtown.  Resist the urge to buy all the samurai swords in sight because the TSA will totally take those away from you on your flight home.

8) The Lincoln Monument

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Of course you have to see this, but go during the evening when there are less tourists.  Within easy walking distance is the Martin Luther King monument; a beautiful and stunning tribute that should not be missed.

9) Go to an Opening for Wine and Hors d’oeuvres!

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Exhibitions openings rule!  Find a contemporary art space, go there during a show opening (usually on Friday and Saturday evenings) and drink wine and eat fancy hors d’oeuvres for free.  And check out the show as well, but lets be honest its all about the wine and cheese.  We saw  a killer hard-edge abstraction show by Bernardo Siles at Gallery Plan B right off Logan Circle.  There are a number of other spaces along the U Street corridor that have similar exhibition schedules so it is totally reasonable to think that you can visit three or four galleries and drink that many glasses of wine in the span of about two hours.  This type behavior is actually encouraged!  Take advantage!

10) Take Cheesy Photographs of the Monuments!

10 Free Things to do in Washington D.C. | The Alternative Atlas

Do you see how I did that thing with my fingers to make the Washington Monument look so small?  DO YOU SEE THAT!!!????

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