When to visit
To avoid crowds, the best time to visit the monument is either about an hour after the opening (10-11 AM) or during lunchtime in low season (from late September till February). In high season (spring, summer) the best way to avoid crowds would be to arrive in the late afternoon (after 4PM).
Try to avoid public holidays, school holidays, long weekends and political rallies for a quieter experience. The Washington Monument sees the biggest number of visitors on the 4th of July, Memorial Day weekend and during the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
Prefer a weekday for your visit, Wednesday and Thursday tend to be the calmest. Saturday is by far the busiest day of the week, Sunday is considerably calmer, especially in the early morning.
The Washington Monument is open daily except 4th July and 25th December.
- Regular Hours: 9:00a.m. to 5:00p.m. Last tour begins by 4:30 p.m.
- Summer Hours (Memorial Day to Labor Day): 9:00a.m. to 10:00p.m. Last tour begins by 9:45 p.m.
Crowds in the National Mall during the cherry blossom festival - photo credits to Dion Hinchcliffe via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Tickets are required to enter the Washington Monument for all visitors (including children aged 2+).
Tickets may be obtained by two methods:
On site. The Washington Monument Lodge, located along 15th Street, opens at 8:30a.m. for distribution of free, same day, timed tickets on a first-come first-serve basis. One visitor can get up to 6 tickets for the preferred time (if available). During peak season, tickets run out very quickly. Take into account that the waiting line to the ticket office starts forming before it opens, especially during peak season.
By booking in advance. You can order advance tickets online or call +1 877 444 6777 for individual tickets or +1 877 559 6777 for group reservations. There is a $1.50 service charge per ticket. These tickets may be picked up at the “will call” window of the Washington Monument Lodge on the day of your tour. Book well in advance, as the availability is limited and during the busiest months (April-September) tickets may be sold out several months before.
Photo credits to Brittany Hogan via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)
The nearest Metro station to this site is Smithsonian (Orange and Blue lines) on the Mall near 12th Street, SW. Federal Triangle station also provides convenience access to the Washington Monument.
Buses service Constitution Avenue and 14th St. Check fares and routes here.
Bicycle parking is provided near each of the major memorials as well as along the National Mall.
Paid parking lots can be found around the downtown area outside of National Mall and Memorial Parks. Street parking is extremely limited. Parking and towing rules are strictly enforced.