The many faces of the capital
Far from being a sleepy capital, Washington is a lively, chic, and friendly city. For visitors, it holds many surprises.
The capital of the United States, Washington is not only the political, diplomatic, and administrative city that one expects. It is a symbol of the country, a place where democracy is and always has been a constant process. The great figures of American history have left their mark here, starting with George Washington, a local plantation owner who inaugurated the very first government of the young nation and followed by every president since, from Jefferson to Obama by way of Lincoln and Kennedy.
Upon arrival, take time out for a long walking tour to get to know the contours of a city unlike any other in the United States. We are far from the endless boulevards of Los Angeles, far, too, from the skyscrapers and frenetic bustle of New York. Washington is a city with large lawns, shaded streets, and low buildings, as none have been allowed to exceed the height of the Capitol dome.
Your visit to Washington should be done according to your desires. A politics buff? Go to the Capitol, home to Senators and Representatives since 1800, and the Library of Congress, and the Supreme Court. Even if we cannot get inside, make a tour around the White House. Passionate about art? Large museums, with splendid collections, await: the National Gallery, the Phillips Collection, the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Travelling with children? The Spy Museum will keep them occupied, as will the Museum of Air and Space and the American History Museum. On the bank of the Potomac, Washington holds many more surprises. Lose yourself in the narrow streets of Georgetown, the trendiest area of the city. Go to Arlington Cemetery, where John F. Kennedy is buried. Visit the city's colourful restaurants and bars… Washington is nowhere near as austere as people think.