Visiting The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is one of the most iconic landmarks of the Washington D.C. skyline that can be seen across the entire city. If you are heading to Washington D.C. this year, a visit to the monument to see it up close and personal is a must! We had the opportunity to visit the monument which was a great experience, here are our top tips and some information to help you plan your visit.

Where is the Washington Monument?

The Washington Monument is located in the heart of Washington D.C. along the Mall. It faces onto both the White House and the Lincoln Memorial and is accessible via 15th St NW and Madison Drive NW.

Some Washington Monument facts

Everyone loves a good fact and figure – how else are you going to impress your family and friends and come across as the fountain of knowledge during your next quiz?!

How tall is the Washington Monument?

The Washington Monument stands at 169 metres / 555 feet and 5 1/8 inches tall.  To this day it remains the tallest monumental column in the world!

Who built the Washington Monument?

The Washington Monument was built by the Washington National Monument Society to honour George Washington.

When was the Washington Monument built?

The construction of the Washington Monument began in 1848 however it wasn’t until 1888, some 40 years later when it was finally finished.

What is the Washington Monument made of?

The Washington Monument is made of multiple stones – marble, granite and bluestone gneiss.

Walking to the Washington Monument from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial

During our 2 day visit to Washington D.C. we made an effort to see as much of the city as possible in the time available. This resulted in following a walking route around the city that encompassed many of the key sights including the Washington Monument. If you are heading to the city for a short break or are looking for an interesting walking route then you may enjoy the same route that we took.

Our approach to the Washington Monument began at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial where we walked around the Tidal Basin and up to the Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial and Lincoln Memorial. We then took a route to the Korean War Veterans Memorial, along the reflecting pool and finally reached the Washington Monument via the World War 2 Memorial.

This walking route is around 2.5 miles long so if you do plan to follow this scenic route allow around 1.5 to 2 hours which should give you plenty of time to  stop and explore the sites along the way.

The view from the edge of the Tidal Basin is fantastic with long reflections being cast across the water offering some excellent photo opportunities so is really recommended. From this aspect you can really appreciate the sheer size of the monument on the horizon and take some great photos.

Washington Monument

Once at the Lincoln Memorial the views of the Washington Monument continue to impress. From the steps you will have a clear view of the monument along the Washington Monument Reflecting Pool.

From the Lincoln Memorial, it’s about a 10-15 minute walk along the reflecting pool up to the Washington Monument – don’t underestimate the distance from the photo however as it’s further than it looks!

Lincoln Memorial

Once beyond the reflecting pool you arrive at the Washington Monument Grounds (field 2) which offers lots of open, green space. Approaching the monument and getting up close, the scale of the obelisk continues to impress.

Going up the Washington Monument

Finally you will arrive at the foot of the monument. You can go up in an elevator to the top however this wasn’t something we opted to do during our visit as we had limited time.

Washington Monument opening hours

The Washington Monument is open every day of the week except for the 4th July and 25th December. The opening hours are 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m with the last tour beginning by 4:00 p.m.

Note: The Washington Monument is closed until Spring 2019. The National Park Service is modernising the elevator to increase long term reliability and safety.

Washington Monument tickets

If you are looking to get tickets for the Washington Monument then we recommend booking directly through the National Park Service website or calling their phone number to make your reservation. This will ensure you obtain a valid ticket, obtain all of the information you need about your visit and don’t get stung by third party re-sellers.

Tickets to the top of the Washington Monument are FREE – don’t get ripped off paying for one.

Advance tickets

You can book a ticket for the monument up to 3 months in advance of your visit. The only fee you will incur is a $1.50 administration fee for booking in advance. Your advance ticket can then be collected from the Washington Monument Lodge on the day of your visit.

Same day tickets

The Washington Monument Lodge, located along 15th Street, opens at 8:30 a.m. and distributes free, same day, timed tickets on a first-come first-served basis. You may obtain up to six tickets as well as request a preferred ticket time. All visitors (including children ages 2+) must have a ticket to enter the Washington Monument.

For the most up to date information on opening hours and ticket information please visit the Washington Monument page on the National Park Service website here.

Washington Monument review

If you’re heading to Washington D.C. then it will be hard for you to not see the Washington Monument from various locations around the city. However if like us you like to see things up close then we would certainly recommend the walk that we took around the Tidal Basin to the monument as it allows you to see many key sights and memorials including the Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Martin Luther King Jnr Memorial and World War 2 Memorial.

For us this was a fantastic afternoon spent in Washington D.C. and a highly recommended stopping point, make sure you go take a look on your next visit.

Have you already been to Washington D.C. and visited the Washington Monument? Are you planning a trip this year? Let us know in the comments below!

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