Washington DC Metro

Taking the Metro in Washington DC

We are huge proponents of public transportation, and even though we’ll rent the occasional car when it’s necessary, almost all of our travel is done through public means. We haven’t owned our own car since 2008 and don’t miss having one. So, it’s always fun for us to explore a city’s public transport system, and it turns out that DC has a really great Metro!

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We spent a month in Brookland, doing a house-sit. This is a really cool neighborhood, which is residential but also fairly close to the downtown area. And it’s got its own metro station, meaning that a trip to Union Station, and all of DC’s monuments and museums, was quick and easy.

Video of Riding the Metro in Washington

The Washington Metro mostly runs elevated, above ground — except when it gets into the city center. This provides passengers with a great view of the different neighborhoods, urban and suburban areas.

But although we appreciated the above-ground rides, we preferred the below-ground stations. Many of these share a similar brutalist design pattern, with a vaulted ceiling that kind of looks like a waffle pattern. It reminded us of sci-fi movies from the 70’s and the trains, which are a little dated, added to the throwback aura as well.


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The Washington Metro system is fast, serving 98 stations with 207 km of tracks. On normal weekdays, it moves almost half a million people, which is pretty impressive. In fact, it’s the 2nd busiest metro system in the country, despite Washington being just the 23rd most populous city.

If you haven’t had enough train time after a day of commuting in the metro, here’s a bonus tip: go for after work drinks at the Metrobar near the Rhode Island Ave-Brentwood station, where you can lounge in a repurposed railcar. That’s what we did, after a long day of sightseeing, and we loved it.

Video of Taking the Metro to Dulles Airport

And the metro also makes it easy to get to the airport. After enjoying a great breakfast at Ruta, a Ukrainian restaurant near East Market, we took the Silver Line all the way to Dulles. It took a little over an hour, but was a straight-shot, economical, and just completely removes the stress of driving to the airport and dealing with traffic. We couldn’t think of a better way to say farewell to this amazing city, than one final train ride.

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