Arlington National Cemetery

#11 in Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.
Arlington National Cemetery picture
Dominic Labbe/Getty Images

Key Info

Arlington

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Monuments and Memorials, Free Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.3scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 4.5Atmosphere

Arlington National Cemetery sits in Arlington, Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C. The cemetery spans almost 1 square mile and serves as the final resting place for more than 400,000 service members, veterans and their families. Visitors should be sure to spend some time at the Memorial Amphitheater, the John F. Kennedy Gravesite and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Additionally, finding the grave of a notable veteran, family member or friend proves to be a powerful experience. The cemetery also has a downloadable app available to help you pinpoint the exact location of a grave.

Previous travelers appreciate the trolley tour from Arlington National Cemetery Tours, but they warn that the excursion is a bit pricey at $15 for adults, $7.25 for children ages 3 to 11 and $11 for seniors ages 65 and older. The tour stops at the top attractions throughout the cemetery, including the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the John F. Kennedy Gravesite. Be ready for a humbling experience during your visit, and make sure to be respectful as you visit the numerous monuments and wander through the cemetery.

Arlington National Cemetery opens daily at 8 a.m. and closes at 7 p.m. April through September, and at 5 p.m. October through March. The cemetery has its own Metro stop, Arlington Cemetery Station, so getting across the Potomac River and to the cemetery from the District is relatively cheap and easy. (Remember that Arlington Cemetery is located in Arlington, Virginia.) Additionally, the cemetery offers automated parking across from Memorial Avenue, which costs $2 per hour.  Maps of the cemetery, as well as additional information on notable grave locations and information on The Changing of the Guard, are available on the Arlington National Cemetery website.

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More Best Things To Do in Washington, D.C.

Lincoln Memorial1 of 25
Vietnam Veterans and Korean War Veterans Memorials2 of 25
Type
Time to Spend
#1 Lincoln Memorial

Although the Lincoln Memorial is just one of the District's many monuments, the larger-than-life Honest Abe is also among travelers' favorites. History buffs might enjoy the man of few (albeit powerful) words' two famous speeches, the second inaugural address and the Gettysburg Address, which are both etched into the memorial's opposing walls. Meanwhile, art history and architecture aficionados will enjoy admiring the building's striking design by Henry Bacon, complete with 38 Doric columns, 36 of which signify the states in the Union at the time Lincoln passed away.

Though most agree the Lincoln Memorial is worth checking out during the day or at night, many recent travelers say the most captivating time to visit is after dark when the attraction is lit and less crowded. Plus, evening temps will make peak summer visits more comfortable.

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Kevin Voelker Photography/Getty Images
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