The National Mall

The National Mall is a significant cultural, historical, and symbolic destination located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States. Encompassing over two miles from the foot of the U.S. Capitol Building to the Potomac River, the Mall is bordered by Constitution Avenue and Independence Avenue and is flanked by numerous monuments, memorials, and museums.

The National Mall is often referred to as "America's Front Yard," serving as the stage for numerous historic events, including political protests and presidential inaugurations. It houses iconic landmarks such as the Washington Monument and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. Moreover, it is home to numerous Smithsonian Institution museums, including the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the National Museum of Natural History.

With its extensive network of paths, green spaces, and reflecting pools, the National Mall offers a scenic and peaceful atmosphere amid the bustling city. It's not just a tourist attraction but also a place where locals jog, picnic, and enjoy outdoor activities. On any given day, you might see school groups on field trips, tourists exploring the sights, protestors voicing their causes, and locals enjoying a lunch break in the open air.

Related tours:

Why should you go?

The National Mall offers an array of experiences that cater to a wide range of interests, making it an essential visit for anyone traveling to Washington, D.C. Here's why:

  1. Historical significance. The National Mall is at the center of American political and cultural history. Its monuments commemorate important figures and events that have shaped the nation. The Lincoln Memorial, for instance, is not just a tribute to the 16th President but also the site of Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech.
  2. Cultural experiences. The Mall houses several world-class museums, most of which are free to the public. You can explore the wonders of the universe at the National Air and Space Museum, delve into American history at the National Museum of American History, or marvel at the diversity of life on Earth at the National Museum of Natural History.
  3. Architectural beauty. The National Mall offers a stunning display of architecture. From the towering Washington Monument to the neoclassical Lincoln Memorial, these structures are not just historically significant but also aesthetically pleasing.
  4. Outdoor activities. The open green spaces provide a perfect spot for a picnic or a leisurely walk. It's also a popular place for jogging and cycling.
  5. Events and festivals. The National Mall hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including the National Cherry Blossom Festival and Fourth of July fireworks.
  6. Photography opportunities. With its iconic landmarks and scenic views, the National Mall offers endless photography opportunities. Whether you're a professional photographer or simply looking to capture memories of your trip, you'll find plenty of stunning subjects.

Best places to visit near National Mall

  • Smithsonian Institution. Explore the world's largest museum, education, and research complex, comprising 21 museums and the National Zoo, located about 3 miles from the National Mall.

  • United States Capitol. Take a guided tour of the iconic U.S. Capitol building, where the U.S. Congress meets, and learn about the history and architecture of this important symbol of democracy, located at the eastern end of the National Mall.

  • The White House. Take a tour of the iconic building, or simply admire the exterior of the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. Don't forget to take a photo at the famous front gate!

  • International Spy Museum. Embark on a thrilling journey into the world of espionage at this unique museum. Explore interactive exhibits, artifacts, and stories related to spies, secret missions, and intelligence operations.

  • National Portrait Gallery. Marvel at portraits of significant figures in American history, including presidents, musicians, artists, and athletes, at the museum, located just a few blocks north of the National Mall.

  • Ford's Theatre. Visit the site where President Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865 and soak up the atmosphere of this historic theater.
  • 1
    What are the most interesting and unique facts about National Mall?

    • The National Mall covers over 1,000 acres (404.7 hectares) of greenspace and attractions.

    • The design of the National Mall was influenced by the principles of the City Beautiful movement, which aimed to create grand and aesthetically pleasing public spaces.

    • The National Mall has been featured in numerous films, such as "Forrest Gump," contributing to its cultural significance.
  • 2
    Is everything on the National Mall free?

    The National Mall in Washington, D.C., is a public space and is free to visit. Many of the attractions around the Mall, like the Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery of Art, are also free of charge.

    However, not everything on or around the National Mall is free. Some specific exhibits, events, tours, or pre-booking of free tickets might charge a fee. For example, a ticket to the Washington Monument is free, but if you book it in advance, which is recommended due to high demand, a $1 fee will be charged to cover reservation service. In addition, there are costs associated with parking, public transportation, dining, and shopping at or near the National Mall.

    As policies and specific costs can change, it's always a good idea to check the official websites of the attractions for the most up-to-date information before planning your visit.