We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“best view of the capitol”

Washington Monument
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Washington DC Monuments by Moonlight Electric Cart Tour
Ranked #21 of 465 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The Washington Monument elevator is closed until spring 2019.
Reviewed June 20, 2008

I went in October and had been to DC before, but never went up to the top of the monument. We got tickets, saw the WWII memorial while we waited for our time. It is free, so you can't beat that. You get a great view of the White House, Capitol Building, and all the memorials and the Mall. I am a history teacher, so the info from the trip up and down were great as well. Great for kids as well.

6  Thank weluvtotravel2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (7,893)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages

5,820 - 5,824 of 7,895 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2008

Our visit was Saturday, December 1, 2007. Tickets are free, but we reserved our tickets online for only $1.75/each and it was well worth it being able to choose our time to enter the monument and not having to wait in line early morning for tickets. We just showed our online receipt at will call. The view from the top of the monument is awesome and well worth the visit. It was crowded when the elevator first arrived at the top and folks were a little rude and pushy, but within 2 minutes it started to clear out. From that time until the next elevator arrived, we were able to go to a window in each of the four directions without being shoved around. My only wish would have been for someone to be there to clean the windows every so often as a few were fingerprinted and smudged up pretty bad. In spite of that, our pictures still came out pretty good.
You will not be disappointed if you take the time out to visit the top of the Washington Monument. Two tips: 1) when the elevator arrives at the top, step aside and let everyone else rush to the windows. You'll get your turn within a minute and will be glad you waited. 2) the tours are timed at half hour intervals. There are 2 lines at a time (for example a 10am line and a 10:30am line. When the 10am line is gone at about 10:30, it becomes the 11am line) To minimize wait time, you can do one of two things: Arrive about 15 minutes before your tour time so you can be first in line for your tour time and get on the first elevator. Otherwise, don't rush to be there at your tour time. Arrive almost 30 minutes after your tour time so you will be on the last elevator for your tour time. We arrived at 10:25 for our 10:30 tour time and ended up on the last elevator, so our wait time was until 11am. We could have arrived at 10:55 and had the same position in line for the last elevator. The base of the monument is the highest and windiest point in downtown so with the freezing December wind whipping around us for that 35 minutes, this would have been good information to know.

26  Thank pandabear_8
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 9, 2007

We were at the Washington Monument on 10/22. While in line I asked one of the rangers if people were still allowed to walk down the steps once they were finished up on top. I remember doing this as a kid and was really looking forward to it. I was told they don't allow that anymore due to vandalizism but occasionally the rangers offer a guided walk down the steps when staffing permits.
As we were getting in line for the elevator to go back down the ranger announced that she would lead a tour if we were interested. It was a great tour and I'm so glad that she took the time to do it. I was surprised though on how few people took her up on her offer. Out of about 25-30 people only 12 of us went on the tour. It lasted about 45 minutes and was a very easy walk down. The flights of stairs are about 20 steps and there are benches at many of the landings. She offered interesting stories on the struggles to get the monument completed and on all of the different commerative stones that line the stairwell. Each state has a stone as do many countries and civic organizations.
If your offered this chance I would say to definitely go for it. It's free, it's fun and you do learn a lot about the history of the monument.

26  Thank RCTravelHounds
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 30, 2007

We arrived to get in line about 7am and were surprised to find about 15 people already ahead of us(they dont start giving out tickets until 8:30 am)...but while were sitting there waiting a motorcade came by, with police motorcycles..lights, sirens, the whole nine yards, which the kids really enjoyed seeing. Then once we got to the top of the monument and were looking out at the White House we got to see Marine One land on the front lawn! That was definately the highlight! Great place to go, get in line early for tickets, they go extremly fast.

8  Thank BeachDreamin06
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 6, 2007

The views are excellent and it's worth going, as it is free as well but some advise on the ques.
We went in beginning of August, probably the peak of the tourist season. We got there early but u need to be there by 7.30 to get tickets. Well worth it

4  Thank Agandecha
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Washington Monument also viewed


Been to Washington Monument? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing