The best wine bars in Washington, DC
Sip, swirl and learn a thing or two about top-notch reds, whites and more at they city’s best wine bars
Cheap date ideas in Washington, DC
From a moonlit hike to a self-guided taco tour, we’ve got the best dirt-cheap date ideas for cash-strapped city dwellers
The best Washington, DC restaurants
Our expert food critics pick the finest Washington, DC restaurants, from five-star dinners to famous diners
24 things Washingtonians do better than everyone else
Living in packs and humble bragging are just the tip of the iceberg
The best happy hour deals in DC
We’ve narrowed down the happiest of all DC happy hour specials to drink, eat and unwind on a budget
Where to eat in Washington, DC
The best pizza in Washington, DC
From dollar slices to gourmet versions in the finest Washington DC restaurants, pizza is ubiquitous, but which places really stand out? When the craving strikes, see below for the best pizza Washington, DC has to offer. If you’re still craving more, consult our picks of the best Italian restaurants in DC.
The best American restaurants in DC
It’s only appropriate that the nation’s capital has an excellent array of American restaurants. From Capitol Hill power-broker canteens like Ted’s Bulletin to chic Georgetown steakhouses like Bourbon Steak, we round up the essential spots.
The best Thai food in Washington, DC
The capital’s best Thai food goes beyond standard takeout fare. If you’re on the hunt for superior pad Thai, fiery curries or other authentic dishes, we’ve selected the best Washington, DC restaurants for regional Southeast Asian cuisine.
The best French restaurants in Washington, DC
French restaurants in the capital range from casual bistros to white-tablecloth temples of gastronomy, and serve everything from authentic classics to Gallic-accented American cuisine. For more European flavors, check out our list of the 40 best Washington, DC restaurants.
Things to do in Washington, DC
50 things to do in Washington, DC
The ultimate guide to things to do in Washington, DC, from DC’s best restaurants and shops to museums and sightseeing
The best free things to do in Washington, DC
Use our ultimate guide of the best free things to do in Washington, DC to plan a great day out without spending a dime
The best live music and concert venues in DC
If you want to catch a gig in Washington, DC, you needn't look far. The city has no shortage of dedicated venues, but some nightclubs and bars and lounges such as the Eighteenth Street Lounge, also offer live music. The perennially popular 9:30 Club on V Street hosts some of the biggest-name acts that come to town. But you’ll need to be quick—shows can sell out in minutes. Smaller music venues include Black Cat, which has two stages, varied bookings and a bar that occasionally hosts special events, such as vinyl sales.
DC events calendar
Time Out’s Washington, DC events calendar is your one-stop shop for things to do year-round in the National Capital. And believe us, there’s loads on offer, with festivals, cultural celebrations, street parties, parades and more popping up all annually over the city—and in the midst of some of its most iconic sights and attractions. So whether you’re looking for Easter egg hunts at the White House in spring, Independence Day concerts at the Capitol in summer, national book festivals in fall or Holiday fun in winter, we’ve got you covered. Read on for the best events and things to do in Washington, DC in spring, summer, fall and winter.
The best Washington, DC museums
Consult our expert guide on Washington, DC museums and fill up on art and culture at any one of these fine institutions
Arts and culture in Washington, DC
Since Leigh Conner and Jamie Smith opened their gallery in 1999, they have been showing prints, photographs, paintings and sculptures by the kind of cutting-edge artists Washingtonians usually travel to New York to see. The pair’s expansive gallery on Florida Avenue, NE, is unrivalled in DC—the massive, flexible space has played host to Leo Villareal (whose LED-based light sculpture Multiverse is in the National Gallery of Art’s collection) and video artist Federico Solmi. Strong shows by DC’s younger artists have been well received.
Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
This spectacular, aggressively modern cylindrical building by Skidmore, Owings and Merrill enlivens the predominantly neoclassical architecture lining the Mall. The purpose of the structure, which was completed in 1974, was to house self-made Wall Street millionaire Joseph Hirshhorn’s collection of 20th-century painting and sculpture. The museum now presents art in a range of media, including works on paper, painting, installation, photography, sculpture, digital and video art. SOM’s chief architect, Gordon Bunshaft, has created a three-story hollow concrete drum supported on four curvilinear piers. In keeping with the modernist tradition, there is no ceremonial entrance, only a utilitarian revolving door (strictly speaking there are two, but usually only one is in use). Third-level galleries house works from the permanent collection. These include a significant Giacometti collection, the largest public collection of works by Thomas Eakins outside the artist’s native Philadelphia, works by Arshile Gorky and Clyfford Still and a pair of Willem de Kooning’s rare "door paintings" (the museum has the largest public collection of his work in the world). On the second level are rotating exhibitions. These might explore the work of a particular artist, or a theme. From October 2013 to February 2014, Damage Control: Art & Destruction Since 1950 explores the use by artists of destruction as part of the creative process, beginning in the era of the atomic bomb and the fear of mutually
This mansion was opened as a gallery in the 1920s by Marjorie and Duncan Phillips as a memorial to his father. The building was remodeled in the 1960s and underwent further renovation in the ’80s, when an extension increased its space by almost 20,000sq ft. In 2006, the museum unveiled its Sant Building, another expansion project that added airy galleries for modern art, an outdoor sculpture terrace and café, an art and technology laboratory and an auditorium. The museum’s signature painting, Renoir’s Luncheon of the Boating Party, enjoys pride of place in the permanent collection galleries. There, significant Van Gogh oils rub shoulders with Steiglitz prints and a solid selection of works by Picasso, Paul Klee, Bacon, Vuillard and Rothko—that is, if a traveling show hasn’t deposed them temporarily. Special exhibitions cover subjects as diverse as Italian contemporary photography and cross-cultural artistic dialogue as revealed in work by Americans Jackson Pollock and Alfonso Ossorio, and French painter Jean Dubuffet.
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
The Sackler contains some of the most important holdings of Asian art in the world. It has more flexibility than its neighbor, the Freer Gallery, whose mandate forbids the exhibition of anything from outside its collection. The Sackler, on the other hand, stages international loan exhibitions of Asian art (a recent show featured Ai Wei Wei). Connected to the Freer by an underground passageway, the Sackler was built up around a 1,000-piece Asian art gift from Dr Arthur M Sackler. Visitors enter through architects Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott’s first-floor granite pavilion (a similar pavilion, by the same firm, is at the National Museum of African Art). You then head below ground into a maze of overlapping bridges and long passageways that give the feel of an ancient temple. Artifacts on permanent display include a large collection of pieces from China—among them ancient Chinese jades and bronzes, plus paintings, objects and calligraphy from later eras. There’s also sacred Buddhist and Hindu sculpture from South Asia and the Himalayas, dating from the 10th to the 18th century, along with contemporary Asian art ranging from Japanese ceramics to Monkeys Grasping for the Moon, a sculpture designed for the museum by Chinese artist Xu Bing and displayed in the museum’s atrium. In the galleries connecting the Freer and Sackler is a new installation of gold and silver Iranian pieces dating from the fourth to the seventh centuries.The Sackler and Freer galleries offer ImaginA
National Gallery of Art
Pittsburgh investment banker and industrialist Andrew Mellon was born the son of a poor Irish immigrant but went on to serve as US Treasury secretary from 1921 to 1932. In 1941, he presented the National Gallery’s West Building as a gift to the nation. Mellon’s son, Paul, created the gallery’s East Building in 1978. Mellon junior, who had donated over 900 artworks during his lifetime, bequeathed $75 million and 100 paintings—including works by Monet, Renoir and Cézanne—on his death in 1999. In designing the Tennessee marble West Building, architect John Russell Pope borrowed motifs from the temple architecture of the Roman Pantheon. The white marble stairs at the Constitution Avenue entrance lead to the main-floor rotunda, with its impressive green Italian marble floors and columns around a bubbling fountain encircled by fragrant flora and greenery. On this level, galleries lead off the building’s 782ft longitudinal spine. The ground level houses galleries as well as a gift shop and garden court café. An underground concourse has a cafeteria, another shop and a moving walkway that connects the West Building to the skylit, IM Pei-designed East Building. West BuildingThe West Building’s skylit main floor covers European and American art from the 13th to the early 20th centuries. Exhibits begin in gallery 1 with Italian Gothic works 1270–1360, among them Giotto’s seminal Madonna and Child. Pre- to high Renaissance Italian works represent a large proportion of the collection; hi
David Adamson Gallery
A longtime Downtown favorite, David Adamson Gallery decamped to Logan during the great gallery exodus of 2004. Now a stand-alone exhibition space that’s separate from its internationally recognized printmaking studio, the gallery continues to exhibit the fruits of its printmaking collaborations with contemporary art heavyweights such as Renate Aller and Chuck Close. One of Washington’s blue chip spaces.
Washington, DC neighborhood guides
A strollable hood, with bars and restaurants luring a youthful, politics-obsessed crowd
Where exuberant nightlife confronts the diplomatic set
Upscale playground for the federal contingent, Foggy Bottom offers culture and cuisine by the Potomac
Find boutique shopping and space to breathe in Northern Virginia’s historic enclave
U Street Corridor
Discover one-of-a-kind stores in the Northwest’s hip anti-strip