Things to do / Travel Guide
DC Metro - Train and Bus to Washington, DC
Washington DC is home to the Metro, one of the cleanest and most modern-looking public transportation systems in the United States. The Metro is comprised of the nation's second-longest subway system and fifth-largest bus system.
Characterized by the honeycomb-like curved roofs that can be found in stations throughout the system, the subway is often the best, fastest and cheapest way to get around the city. Almost every major tourist area is accessible via the Metro with the exception of Georgetown, which can be reached by a shuttle bus, or a pleasant walk, from the Foggy Bottom, Rosslyn, or Dupont Circle stations.
A fairly complex geometric street layout with numerous traffic circles, underpasses, and streets that tend to change the direction of traffic depending on the time of day can make driving confusing at times for those unfamiliar with DC. Traffic is heaviest during the morning and evening rush hours, but at other times of day it is quite manageable. Parking can be quite expensive, so ditch the car.
While renting a car will be quite helpful if you plan on venturing out into the suburbs and visiting the attractions in the surrounding states, DC itself can be most easily navigated using the Metro.
Getting Around Washington, DC by Foot
Barack and Michelle Obama walked from the Capitol to the White House in the dead of winter, so you should consider walking around DC, as well. The layout is a simple as possible and the landmarks are clearly visible. The walking paths are wide and pleasant, and every block is an attraction worth noting. So, the Metro is great, but walk as much as you can. Just don't drive.
Train from Washington, DC to Baltimore, MD
Baltimore, about an hour's drive from DC, is not connected to the Metro system, but can be accessed via one of the 19 trains which leave in that direction from Union Station each day. The trains are part of Amtrak's Northeast Corridor route and make the 45 minute run between Baltimore and Washington, DC approximately every hour at a cost of about $30. The Acela express costs a bit more, but does the Washington to Baltimore (and Baltimore to Washington) route in about a half an hour. The trains stop at Baltimore – Washington International (BWI) Airport.
The MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) Camden Line and MARC Penn Line run from Washington, DC to Baltimore. If you need a train to the suburbs of Washington or Baltimore, MARC may be helpful. The trains run frequently and take a bit over an hour from Penn Station in Baltimore to Union Station in Washington, DC.
On the Washington, DC Side taking the train to Union Station puts you right near the Capitol Building and many tourist attractions. On the Baltimore side, Penn Station is about a mile and a half from downtown and the Inner Harbor. Both stations are worth spending a few minutes to admire the architecture and note the history. Don't miss your train, though!
Bus to Baltimore Inner Harbor
Within Baltimore, a subway system runs on one line. The MTA bus system operates 70 different lines around the city. As the vast majority of Baltimore's attractions and sites of interest are within walking distance of, or accessed via the water taxis of, the Inner Harbor, public transportation is a good way to get to where the sites are, then continue on foot or by water taxi. The main bus routes to the Inner Harbor are routes 1, 3, 7, 10, 35 and 64.
Bus route #3 takes you from the train at Baltimore Penn Station to the Inner Harbor in about 15 minutes.
Washington D.C. and Baltimore, Maryland