Washington DC Travel and Tourist Information
Maryland: Sales tax is 5%. Hotel tax varies by county with most counties averaging between 5% and 8%.
Virginia: Sales tax is 4.5%. Hotel tax varies by county with most counties averaging between 9.5% and 10%.
Rail Service: The metro area’s mass transportation system includes more than 450 miles of rail line. Washington, DC's METRO subway system links all parts of Washington with the nearby Virginia and Maryland suburbs. MARC commuter trains connect Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. VIRGINIA RAILWAY EXPRESS trains connect several outlying Virginia communities with Washington, DC. AMTRAK passenger rail service is headquartered in Washington, DC and connects major cities throughout the entire region with the rest of the country.
One of the best ways to experience Washington is on foot, with wonderful pockets including the inspiring monuments and museums found on the National Mall as well as the intimate museums, world-class theatres and splendid gardens, squares and circles throughout the District. There are also great guided tours of the city to get you oriented.
Here are a few tips to get you started:
Metro: Metrorail subway system and Metrobus provide the safest, cleanest and most efficient way of getting around Washington, DC and the metropolitan suburbs. Five rail lines and an extensive bus system connect the District with the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. Train lines are named for colors: Red, yellow, blue, green, and orange. Station entrances are marked by brown pylons, capped with the letter “M” and colored stripes indicate which lines are available.
Route maps are posted at each station and inside each subway car. Metrorail opens 5:30 a.m. weekdays and 7 a.m. on weekends. It closes at midnight Sunday to Thursday. On Friday and Saturday nights, when it stays open until 3 a.m. Each train displays the name of its farthest destination. Base subway fare is $1.35 and increases during rush hour and for longer trips. Daily passes with unlimited riding privileges are available after 9:30 a.m. during the week and all day on weekends for $6. Rail farecards can be purchased at vending machines located inside the stations. Farecards are inserted into the turnstile gates to enter and exit subway platforms. The fare is automatically deducted each time you exit a station. To continue your trip by Metrobus, obtain a transfer at your originating station before boarding the train. Buses travel to Georgetown and other areas not serviced by the subway.
To obtain schedules for connecting Metrobus service, locations of Metro sales offices, and other public transportation information, call Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority at (202) 637-7000.
Taxis: Taxis are readily available in downtown Washington and fares are reasonable. Washington, DC cabs operate on a zone system instead of meters. By law, basic rates must be posted in every cab. The base fare for one zone is $5.00. There is a $1.50 charge for each additional passenger in the party and a $1 surcharge during morning (7-9:30 a.m.) and evening (4-6:30 p.m.) rush hours. There is a radio dispatch service charge of $1.50.
A ride for one passenger between Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and downtown is about $12-$15. Maryland and Virginia cabs have metered fares and may transport you in and out of the District, but not between points within the District.
information provided by Washington, DC Convention and Tourism Corporation
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