From our DC Tourism Guide, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions.
No, not that kind of Mall. The National Mall is a five-square mile park with museums and memorials. As popular as it is, it’s not always the easiest to get to. The best way depends on how you are travelling around town. Find our recommendations for driving, Metro, bus, and of course, on foot.
There is limited parking on the National Mall. Spots are available on:
Madison Drive (in front of American History, Natural History, and National Gallery of Art)
Jefferson Drive (in front of Air & Space, Hirshorn, and Smithsonian Castle). These are free, un-timed parking spots so they go quickly!
On-Street Parking around the National Mall is restricted during morning and evening rush hours. It is also limited to 2 hours – total. So don’t expect that moving your car a few inches forward will thwart the meter maids.
Hains Point/East Potomac Park: There are 320 free spots on Hains Point, near the Jefferson Memorial. This is a great option if you don’t mind walking as it is more than a mile to the Smithsonians.
Parking Garages: The best option if you plan to drive into the city is to park in one of the many garages in the area. The fees are worth avoiding getting towed and ticketed!
There are taxi stands around the National Mall, though they are very easy to hail around any of the memorials/museums
Uber is very popular in DC. UberX offers cheaper routes, but be warned that not all the drivers on UberX are familiar with the city. Be prepared with the address of where you’re going so the GPS can get you there!
Pedicabs can be found all along the National Mall. Most of the drivers work for tips – so keep that in mind based on how far you’re going and how many people you have!
Biking is a popular way to travel to the mall. If you have your own bikes, there are bike racks at many of the memorials. There are also many Capitol Bikeshares in the area.
On Foot! That is our preferred way to travel. Starting at the Capitol Building, it is one mile to the Washington Monument and another to Lincoln – those two miles are filled with memorials and museums and great sites to see.