Built to honor the first US president, George Washington, the Washington Monument is the tallest building in DC. Reaching an impressive 555 feet (170 meters), this iconic structure is quite remarkable, as is its mirror image in the 2,029-foot-long (618-meter) Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool below. Most travelers stop to view and photograph the monument's exterior on the National Mall, but it's also possible to take a glass-walled elevator to an observation landing at the top (currently closed until spring 2019).
It's common for visitors to combine their stop at this obelisk with visits to the other museums, monuments, and memorials that line the National Mall. Whether you explore this prominent area on a walking tour or by pedicab, bike, or coach bus, a tour guide will help you navigate the crowds, point out key Washington DC landmarks, and explain the sights' importance to United States history. You can also book a private tour of the mall for more personal attention.
- Please note: the Washington Monument interior is currently closed to visitors while the National Park Service conducts renovations on its elevator. It's expected to reopen in spring 2019, but in the meantime, the site can still be admired from the outside.
- When the monument is open, a limited number of free same-day tickets are available at the Washington Monument Lodge on 15th Street. To avoid the crowds, book exclusive skip-the-line tickets with Viator.
- There are no restrooms inside the monument; instead, head to the Washington Monument Lodge.
- Food, large bags, and beverages other than water are not allowed inside.
- Due to security concerns, all visitors to the interior must use the monument's elevators and no one is allowed to take the stairs to the top.
How to Get to the Washington Monument
The Washington Monument is located on the National Mall, directly south of the White House and north of Tidal Basin. It's easily accessible by Metro and within walking distance of many other famous landmarks.
When to Get There
For now, timing is flexible as you can only check out the monument from the outside. Once it reopens, plan in advance to be sure you have a chance to take the memorable elevator ride to the top for 360-degree views. People line up for same-day free tickets before the ticket office opens in the morning, and advance tickets also sell out fast, especially in spring and summer.
What Else to See Nearby
The National Mall is a veritable treasure trove of historical sites. It's easy to combine your visit to the Washington Monument with stops at the World War II Memorial, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, the Jefferson Memorial, the FDR Memorial, the Korean War Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and other sites, all in one day.