When it comes to cities, Washington DC is full of surprises. It’s not just the capital of the United States, a city of government buildings and monuments. Instead, it is full of culture, history and beautiful parks and green space, making it a fabulous place to live.
So whether you’re moving here for work or personal reasons, these are some things you need to know before moving into your new home in beautiful Washington DC! We have compiled a list of the top 7 things you should know before moving to Washington DC.
It is not the cheapest city in the US, but it has its own cost-saving culture
Washington DC can be expensive, but you can save money by taking advantage of the many free museums and attractions. Some of these include the National Building Museum, National Gallery of Art, National Air and Space Museum (the Smithsonian), Newseum, International Spy Museum and more. The city also has a great farmer’s market where you can find reasonably priced fresh produce. Finally, if you are interested in traveling around the city on public transportation like trains or buses, consider getting a SmarTrip card—it will save you money!
Don’t count on parking downtown
Parking in Washington DC is a hot topic. Parking garages are often full, and parking lots can be expensive. Even if you have a designated spot on the street, you may have to pay for it (though some roads are free after 6 pm)
If you need to drive into the city during rush hour traffic, a great way to avoid any hassle is to book monthly parking in Washington DC. There are many monthly parking options available from private companies and public lots with more affordable rates.
Beware the “lunch rush”
When you’re moving to Washington DC, you’ll quickly discover the “lunch rush.” If a restaurant doesn’t have a takeout window, their daily business will be booming from 11 am to the end of lunch hours. This phenomenon is because most people in DC work within walking distance of their jobs.
To avoid getting caught up in this craziness (or being late for your next appointment), plan by looking up which restaurants have takeout windows or lunch buffets before heading out into the city during your first week in town.
Public transport is brilliant
Getting around DC is easy using public transportation. You can take a bus, train or metro to get around the city. If you’re only visiting for a few days, taking taxis or renting cars are more convenient and cost-effective options. Suppose you’re moving to Washington DC, and planning on staying for a while. In that case, we recommend taking advantage of its excellent public transportation system before considering renting cars or buying them yourself.
The metro is the most popular option because it’s easy to use and relatively affordable compared with other modes of transport like buses or taxis. It only costs $2 per ride – even less if you have an unlimited pass! And there’s no need for reservations—just hop off at your destination any time! If this all sounds good but still seems daunting, don’t worry. There are plenty of stations where ticket machines will help guide you through each step in purchasing tickets/passes, as well as show schedules for each line available at said station.
Be prepared for the incredible diversity
If you’re not a native, it may surprise you to learn that DC is one of the most diverse cities in America. In fact, it’s the third most diverse city in America, with 51% of its population being born outside of the US. This means that people from all over the world live in DC.
When moving to DC, you will immediately notice how multicultural and international this city is—you’ll see people from different races and ethnicities walking around your neighborhood daily. In addition, you can go out into any part of DC and find restaurants serving food from all over the world! Some communities might even have more than one language spoken on any street corner, which adds another layer of interest when exploring new areas around town.
Explore all that DC has to offer
DC is a city with endless options for exploring, learning, and having fun. You can learn about history and culture at the museums’ DC offers. Monuments, statues, and buildings tell stories from early American history. You will find yourself surrounded by buildings that have been around for centuries!
There are also plenty of attractions which don’t cost anything at all, like Memorial Bridge or Arlington National Cemetery, which are great places to visit on a nice day when it’s not too hot out. Or if you want something more exciting, there are plenty of things like museums, but these ones cost money, so keep in mind where your budget stands before deciding which ones would be best suited for what type of experience you’re looking for!
Dress to impress
The country’s capital has an unofficial dress code. You will notice a lot of smartly dressed professionals when you go there. After all, some of the most influential people in the country live and work there. It is best to check dress codes before heading to any of the finer dining restaurants or bars. You can usually find out if they have a dress code on their websites.
If you are thinking of moving or have already decided, we recommend looking into the different neighborhoods in DC. Each brings its own benefit, and it is worth doing some research before you settle on a location. We’ve outlined some of the most important things to know before moving to Washington, DC, but there are countless more. The essentials we suggest you check before moving are:
- Cost of living in each of the suburbs
- It has seasons so search online for average weather predictions
- Check out the public transport options
- Find out how DC taxes work
We hope this article has made you excited about moving to the city!