Anonymous asked in TravelUnited StatesWashington, D.C. · 4 years ago

What's the difference with visiting Washington DC on the weekend or weekday?

I want to visit the zoo and maybe a museum or 2. I was told I should plan to go on a weekday because it's less crowded. But that is going to be hard.

Are the weekends really that bad?

Should I just go on the weekend or is it best to wait for a weekday?

Whats the differences, in detail?

5 Answers

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Weekdays are easier, and the museums are less crowded, but it depends on which museum and which weekend.

    If you are going when school is out of session (I.e. summer vacation) then you will find a couple of the museums very crowded. If you want, for example, to go to the Air and Space Museum of the National Museum of Natural HIstory, it will be tough. We were there a few weeks ago, and it took some waiting time to get at the gems and minerals exhibit (a popular one) in the Natural History museum. We actually had to wait and be a little insistent on not letting a lot of people cut in. That is much less of an issue on weekdays, especially in the mornings, when the museums can be relatively empty.

    Even with this, the museums are do-able, even on weekends, although with these two I'd make sure to get there a little before 10:00, when the museums open.

    But there are so many museums in Washington! If you want to go to the new and wonderful American Indian Museum, or to one of the Art Museums, well, you should have very little problem getting in any time. And some museums, notably the Holocaust Memorial Museum and the Spy Museum, have timed tickets you can reserve online, or pick up that morning. They control crowds, and you don't have a real problem.

    The zoo can be busy any day of the week. On weekends it is families visiting, but on weekdays often school groups are there, which can result in just as crowded conditions. Again, going when it opens helps, though with only two days I'd go to the museum early, then to the zoo later.

    Except for the gem exhibit, though, the museums are laid out so that the crowds move quickly - they are designed for lots of people.

    It's worse in the summer, when families visit, so if you can time your trip in May, or early June, you might not have any issue on the weekends. If you plan your trip for September or October, it's a breeze. We have relatively few fall visitors, and you should have no problem on a weekend.

    One weekend you should avoid if you hate crowds, or should consider if you love events, are the weekends flanking July 4th, when the Smithsonian's folklife festival is on the mall. The festival brings tons of crowds, but is a rich and wonderful experience, with lots of exhibits and culture from all over the world brought right here to washington.

    I hope that helps

  • 3 years ago

    May till mid September is tourist trap season in DC: Rampant price gouging every where you look---and pay.

    Every junior high and high school hauls around 100 to 300 mischievous kids, clogging up the free admission museums.

    It's wise you call EACH museum you're interested in checking out; many have timed visitor touring of their museum; don't want to find this out when you make the efforts arriving there, only to be turned away.

    Bad enough it's HOT on cloudless days, pedestrian and bicycle sidewalk traffic being what it is--but check out how scary vehicle traffic gets---and this is year round!

    DC Mayor Muriel Bowser came up with a swell nifty idea to cover up the "homeless issue" in her town: Have the U.S. government ( during Obama's POTUS tenure, mind you ) buy a huge empty former office building, use TAXPAYER MONEY to fully fund unlimited electricity and water usage---and allow the homeless to live there!!

    Be sure to ask locals about THAT quiet dirty secret.

  • Mrsjvb
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Weekends are full of families and tourists. During the week, most people are working. And if you avoid commuter hours( generally 6-9 am and again 3-6 pm, the trains are far less crowded

  • 4 years ago

    You can try to time your visit with low season - end of August/Early September when Congress is not in session and families are getting ready to go back to school or between Thanksgiving and January, when Congress is again not in session and families are doing holiday stuff.

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  • DON W
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    For the zoo, weekends are definitely more crowded, when both the tourists and locals visit there. But, it's such a large area, that (apart from the panda house), you shouldn't find too much trouble. If you're planning to drive, though, be aware that the zoo's parking lots do fill up by weekend afternoons. If you're taking Metro, that shouldn't be a problem.

    For the downtown museums, there isn't as much difference. The earlier you arrive (most museums open at 10:00am), the smaller the crowds.

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