Famous Washington D.C. Landmarks

It seemed like the main focus of our visit to Washington D.C. was to get acquainted with as many famous landmarks as possible. While I’ve been to many of these already, my aunt hadn’t, and I tried my best to explain (in Chinese) what they are.

In doing so, I realized I would never make a good history teacher because my knowledge of American government and history sucks. But at least one building was flat-out obvious – the White House:

Washington DC White House

It was kind of amusing to see the other tourists walk right passed it without realizing it was THE White House. I can’t blame them either, since we stood hundreds of feet away behind a tall iron gate. Clearly no trespassing allowed. Man, I remember the time (a loooong time ago) when visitors could tour the White House. I still remember the Red and Green rooms. As you would expect, everything inside those rooms were of that color!

Next stop: Lincoln Memorial.

I never noticed this before, Martin Luther King Jr.’s beautiful “I Have a Dream” speech was engraved on the steps leading up to the memorial.

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC

Explaining the “dark parts” of American history to someone else really opened my mind to just how horrible they were. Things like slavery and driving out the Native Americans from their lands began to sound “normal” after a while in school. Now I can see value in visiting memorials, for it really does urge us to remember (and hopefully learn from) our past.

Lincoln Memorial Washington DC
Abe Lincoln, my favorite U.S. president

Don’t be fooled – he was a big statue! Here’s a sense of scale:

From the Lincoln Memorial, you can see a straight shot of the Washington Monument.

Washington Monument

So I actually had no idea what the Washington Monument was for. After looking it up, it seemed extremely obvious. It was built to commemorate George Washington, our first American president. Well duh.

I tried my best to take pics despite the rain!

Finally, we walked past the House of Representatives to get to the U.S. Capitol.

US House of Representatives

From there, we could also see the Library of Congress.

Library of Congress
Did anyone else know that this is the world’s largest library?!

In case you were wondering, I didn’t take pics of the Capitol because the dome was under construction (boo). But I did get one while standing under the dome:

US Capitol Dome
Apotheosis of Washington – Constantino Brumidi
Freedom Statue US Capitol
The “freedom” motif is echoed everywhere in D.C. So can you guess what this statue represents…

After this trip, I feel like I toured the hell out of D.C. The next time I go, I want to be there when the cherry blossoms bloom! And focus more on the D.C. foodie scene now that I’ve got the sight-seeing out of the way!

Have you been to Washington D.C.? What are your favorite things about the city?

Thanks for reading!

  • Last time I went to DC was when I was five, haha. But I still remember that because they wanted the Washington monument to be a very prominent building, skyscrapers and other buildings taller than the Washington monument are not allowed to be built! Therefore, the Washington monument is still the tallest building in all of DC, despite not being very tall 🙂

    • Well there ya go, I learned something new today 🙂 And that makes sense, because despite the Library of Congress being the world’s largest library, it’s not very tall. Most of it is underground 😉

  • We recently went to DC in April while the cherry blossoms were in full bloom and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen! You would love it! Seeing all the monuments is definitely hard to do in DC, but it almost feels like you’d be missing it out if you didn’t stop by and see them. I love the view of the Washington Monument from the Lincoln Memorial!

    • Oh lucky you! Haha thanks, now I know to go in April. Where was your favorite place in DC?

      • I loved seeing all of the cherry blossoms right on the Potomac, but seeing Arlington was truly amazing for me. I just can’t imagine all of those men and women who have sacrificed so much for our family.

  • That’s such a cute picture in front of the Washington Monument! I’ve never been to Washington DC, but I would love to, one day. So much history.

    • Thank you! I’d also highly recommend checking out the Smithsonian museums if you enjoy geeking out over science like me 😀

  • Kim

    It’s interesting to see these Romanesque architectural elements of places in the States. I’d never been to D.C. and so I’ve never really associated US architecture with these elements. It feels…oddly strange lol.

    • It really was kind of strange seeing that painting in the dome. Kind of the like the Duomo…but not really? I don’t know as much about Romanesque architecture as you though!

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