If you’re planning a visit to Washington DC, keeping a few things in mind before you go can help your trip go more smoothly. Here are a few tips to consider as you do your planning.

Choose What to See

Washington DC is a very large city. You won’t likely have time to visit all of the major highlights in one trip. Knowing which sites you really want to see will help you plan your days to get in the most sightseeing. There are plenty of ways to figure out your focus, including reading tourism books. If you haven’t decided before your trip, a DC tour bus can help you understand the city’s layout and see a lot of sites in a short time. This is a great activity to include early in your trip.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

Many people don’t realize the size of the National Mall. From the Lincoln Memorial to the U.S. Capitol building is almost 2 miles. Washington DC is a great city to walk in, so put on comfortable shoes and head out the door to see all the city has to offer. A trip to the National Zoo is a must for many people, and this requires a great deal of walking as well.

Use Public Transportation

Washington DC is too large for visitors to walk to everything. Thankfully the public transportation system is efficient and easy to use. Knowing the Metro stops that are closest to the sites you want to visit can help you plan your transportation needs in advance. The city’s buses are also an inexpensive resource for getting around.

When you decide to visit Washington DC, plan ahead of time what you’d like to do. Knowing your sightseeing options can help you optimize your time and ensure that you see the sites that are most important to you.