Muslim-friendly Things To Do Alone in Washington D.C. [Safety Tips, Where To Stay & More!]

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The US Capital is …. exciting for your first (or second) Solo Travel to Washington DC! It is the turf of American politics, where great decisions are made. Think glistening white government buildings, vast parks that will inspire you, and full of free museums to check out in DC!

Whatever you’re looking for, Washington DC has it! 

Muslim-friendly Things To Do on Your Solo Travel Washington DC

As one of the favorite Muslim vacation spots in the USA, there’s a lot of things to do on your solo travel trip in Washington DC. To be honest, even if you stay for a week, it wouldn’t be enough because the city has plenty of attractions! 

But don’t worry, these Solo Travel guide in Washington DC has tackled the must-dos so that you can decide which activity is perfect for you!

Tour inside the White House

Who doesn’t know the White House? The official residence of the President of the United States is cool to look at from the outside, but is even much better if you tour it from the inside!

White House DC

Advanced planning is required for you to tour the White House.

  • For US Citizens – Requests (submitted up to 3 months – no less than 21 days to visit) need to be made to members of Congress.
  • International visitors – Contact your country’s embassy in Washington DC.

Go on a Self-guided FREE tour at White House Visitor Center

Now, what’s the difference between touring the White House and the White House Visitor Centre?

If you can’t go through the hassle of booking a tour via the congressman or your embassy and want an experience closest to the White House, this is it!

White House Visitor Center Washington DC

The visitor center at Pennsylvania Ave is an alternative exhibition for visitors curious about what’s inside the president’s home. Peruse through 100 historical artifacts from the White House on display or see the 14-minute “White House: Reflections from Within” film on site.

  • Accessible-friendly.
  • FREE Admission
  • Opening hours:11:00 am – 4:00 pm(Wed – Saturday)

Go on a Tour inside the US Capitol

Another tour that you should check out on your solo trip to Washington DC is the US Capitol, one of the most recognizable symbols of representative democracy in the world.

US Capitol Washington DC

Learn about the Capitol’s history, see the paintings that depict history, the Rotunda with your own eyes inside, and check out the center point of the city—where all four of the city’s quadrant meet, right in the Capitol.

US Capitol tour

Or watch the senate in session!

Trivia: There’s a popular myth circulating D.C’s height restrictions that no building is taller than the Capitol and Washington Monument. But the actual reason behind it is that Thomas Jefferson envisioned D.C to be the city that would emulate Paris with buildings “low & convenient, and the streets light and airy.”

Pro-tip: Food and beverages are one of the prohibited items inside the Capitol. So make sure you do not have any kind in your bag during your visit. Or else the securities will tell you to finish/throw them away.

  • Opening hours: 8:30 am – 4:30 pm(Monday – Saturday)
  • FREE Admission
  • Book a tour in advance. (Last tour of the day is at 1:00 pm)

See Thomas Jefferson’s Library Collection at the Library of Congress (LOC)

Book worms and knowledge-seekers must add Library of Congress to their Solo Travel Washington DC bucket list. Simply because it is the largest library in the world!

Library of Congress Washington DC

The library itself is huge with plenty of reading rooms, exhibitions, and impressive architecture to marvel at.

Photo-tip: Every corner of the library makes a great photo spot!

Thomas Jeffreson Library of Congress DC

But if there is one exhibition that I must recommend, it is Thomas Jefferson’s personal library collection, which he offered to sell to Congress as a replacement for the library collection engulfed by a fire during the 1812 war with the British.

Time suggested: From 3 hours to a whole day.

Pro-tip: Research on what exhibitions or events do you particularly have in mind so you can make it an easy-visiting process. There’s just a lot to discover at LOC, so there is the possibility of getting lost & spending hours on-site!

Hang out around Georgetown

This hip and trendy neighborhood makes one of the great solo trips near DC. There’s shopping (some can be expensive), food and history!

As DC’s oldest neighborhood in DC, Georgetown is famous for its cobblestone sidewalks. So be sure to snap a shot there!

You can find independent and small boutiques around a quirky area called Book Hill.

Pro-tip: Do not miss out on The Old Stone House. It is the oldest unchanged building in DC and has been there since 1765!

Chill at Union Station DC

Sure, New York’s Grand Station is cool.

But do you know what is also cool? Union Station. 

Futuristic Union Station, DC

This more than a century’s old neoclassical building is a historic landmark. The station is Amtrak’s headquarters, and the largest railway station in the world at the time it was built in 1907.

It is also designed by the very same person who designed New York’s Flatiron building, Daniel Burnham. 

The public transport hub has this futuristic theme to it. Just chilling around it feels like you’re a character inside a Sci-Fi movie. 

Plus, the food court is not so bad either! 

Walk along Embassy Row

Experience the international side of DC right here in Washington DC! In fact, DC has more than 175 embassies, making it one of the most culturally diverse cities in the country.

The Embassy Row, stretching from Massachusetts Avenue to Dupont Circle is an amazing walk that will take you past majestic mansions of foreign embassies.

Join a tour (From $25/person) for an enjoyable walk filled with intrigue, wealth, and power.

Wander Outdoor on Foot, or with a Bike – Great Thing To Do Alone in Washington DC!

Solo Trip to Washington DC

The best part of Washington DC is outside! Be it exploring on foot, or with a bike. There’s a ton of green spaces, quirky finds for solo travelers who want to enjoy the city.

Visit Smithsonian and offbeat museums in Washington DC

DC is the center for world-class museums. And besides the free Smithsonian museums along National Mall, there are plenty of other museums open in DC you should check out.

Some of these museums are:

If you simply want to join a guided tour in such museums, here are some Muslim Solo Travel-friendly tours you should consider!

 

Explore National Mall

Nicknamed “America’s front yard”, The National Mall is must-visitt on your Solo Travel Washington DC trip.

National Mall Washington DC

The more than 2-mile land — stretching from Lincoln Memorial to U.S. Capitol — is where the past, present, and future come together. It is where history is made.

It is surrounded by historical monuments, inspiring museums, and fun gardens for the family to enjoy.

The best part? The attractions are FREE!

From where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream ” speech, the 555-foot Washington Monument, and people gathering for celebrations or having their voices heard, the National Mall is never the same every single.

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC

Pro-tip: After you have checked out the monuments in National Mall, take a nice walk to the food trucks area for some fulfilling grubs!

Getting around in National Mall:

  1. How to get here – Ride the Metro (Orange, Blue, or Silver) to the Smithsonian stop.
  2. Navigating on the Mall grounds – Take the DC Circulator National Mall ($1) route to get to the major stops in the Mall. Route schedule here.
  3. Take the bike!

Visit the Mosques in DC—Islamic Center of Washington DC

Out of all the mosques in DC, you must go to the Islamic Center of Washington DC at Embassy Row!

Trivia: When this mosque first opened in the 1950s, it was considered the largest mosque in Western Hemisphere.

This is one of the most beautiful mosques in Washington DC. The architecture is beautifully designed with calligraphy intact on the walls, it will remind you of the mosques you would normally find in Muslim countries.

Opening hours: During all the regular times of mandatory prayers. 30 minutes before Fajr (dawn) prayers and one hour after Isha’ (final) prayer.

Click here to know the current praying time in DC.

Is Washington DC Safe to Travel Alone?

You might be wondering, is it safe to travel to DC alone? Especially when you are a Muslimah Solo Traveler.

For the most part, it is relatively safe. But do take into account that daily life is happening in Washington DC so it is not uncommon for public demonstrations to take place.

2023 also saw around 274 crime taking place in DC, an information you should discern with your own background when it comes to traveling alone. Bookmark this Washington DC official safety guide and have it accessible during your trip, so you know who to contact in the case of an emergency.

According to us, be sensible and if you stay within the areas of tourist spots, in sha Allah you’ll be safe. If you need to know how’s it like on the ground, our global, and multicultural Muslimah Solo Travelers Community is here to help!

Halal Food Washington DC

Looking for some halal food in Washington DC? From gyro platters to Chinese cuisines and pizzas, there are diverse options to try! Check out this Halal Food Washington DC post for more inspiration.

Halal Food in Washington DC

Where To Stay in Washington DC

Depending on your budget and what your preferences are, here are the best areas to stay in Washington DC for sightseeing.

Safe areas close to the City Center & the National Mall: Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Logan Circle. Foggy Bottom, Penn Quarter. More upscale with expensive. There are budgeted options if you know where to look. Click here to book

Cheaper accommodations: in the suburbs of Alexandria, Bethesda, Silver Spring and Arlington.

Get a place near the metro system if you plan to stay outside the city.

Is One Day Enough for Washington DC?

A 24-hour Solo Travel Washington DC trip can be tight. But, the fact that most of the tourist attractions are concentrate around the National Mall, it is not impossible to explore DC in just one day.

That is if your goal is to visit the monuments and memorials.

But if you have only 24 hours in Washington DC, I recommend you hang out around the National Mall.

Getting Around Washington DC

Getting around Washington DC is not so hard, considering the vast amount of public transport available.

Union Station – DC’s Main Transit/Travel Hub

Metrorail Union Station DC

First thing’s first, you should know that Union Station is the hub for all transportation. Amtrak, Metrorail, Peterpan, and you name it–they are all stationed at this hub. 

Greyhound Ticketing Office Union Station DC
Greyhound Ticketing Office at Union Station DC

P/s: If you are moving interstate with ground transportation like Greyhound bus, take note that they are located underground at the station.

Metrorail, Metrobus & DC Circulator – Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) 

The Metrorail, Metrobus, and DC Circulator under the WMATA system.

Metrorail lines and Metrobus extensive routes connect Washington, DC, with Maryland and Virginia suburbs

Metrorail Washington DC

Meanwhile, DC Circulator ($1) is a great public transport to hop on when you’re around the National Mall. Interval of 10 minutes between several popular locations.

Your key to enjoying rides on these WMATA transportation services lies in your SmarTrip card. 

Ride fares vary between the types of the transport system ($1-$4 depending on metro rail or metro bus). Day passes starts from $13.

Bicycle – Rent from $21!

Biking is an excellent way of navigating on your solo trip to Washington DC! Especially around the National Mall area. Walking alone is not enough to explore the most of the attractions there considering how BIG the area is.

Rent your bicycle here from $21 (2-9 hours) here on Viator:

 

Taxi or Ride-sharing apps

It’s not so recommended for solo travelers to hail a cab in Washington DC. Do take note that fares can be very expensive. 

Only use one when you’re bringing heavy luggage, or have no other options.

Getting To & From the Airport

To/From Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

  • Connected to Metro’s Yellow & Blue Lines, via covered walkways at the airport.

From Dulles International Airport

  • Use Metrobus 5A ($7.50/person) to connect to Rosslyn Metrorail Station (Orange, Silver, and Blue Lines). Click here for the schedule.

To Dulles International Airport

  • Take Metrobus 5A ($7.50/person) from L’Enfant Plaza Metrorail station/Rosslyn Metrorail Station to connect to the airport. Click here for the schedule.

From Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

  • Take the shuttle from the airport to MARC rail station, then take the MARC train to Union Station

To Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

  • From Union Station, board the MARC train to the airport. Union Station ticket office at 202-906-3104

Muslim Solo Travel Washington DC Tips

  • Do your homework prior to visiting.
  • Embrace getting lost. But only go as far as it is safe. Trust your intuition
  • Talk with the locals. Ask them if you’re unsure of something. For the most part, they’ll be happy to assist you!
  • Carry your own travel prayer mat, and prayer clothes.
  • Ask the people you meet at the mosque for any local tips regarding to Halal-food and accommodation. They know better than technology!

Have you embarked on a solo travel to Washington DC? Share your tips in our Community!

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