The Washington Monument is one of the most recognizable and impressive landmarks in all of Washington D.C.—a city known for its museums, national historic sites, government buildings, and other famous monuments devoted to the founding fathers.

However, what sets the Washington Monument apart is its size, shape, and overall majesty. At 555-feet tall, the towering, pristine obelisk looms over the rest of D.C. and is instantly recognizable from afar, making it the most prominent landmark in the city—and a must-see for visitors.

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About The Washington Monument

The Washington Monument was built to honor the leadership, accomplishments, and overall contributions to American history by George Washington, the first president of the United States. Completed in two phases, the structure was ultimately finished in 1884 and has been an impressive memorial in the heart of D.C. ever since.

At the time of its completion, the Washington Monument was the tallest building in the world. Shaped like an obelisk, its construct is both awe-inspiring and dynamic. With clean lines and a plain, unadorned aesthetic, its simplicity is overshadowed by its overall size and grandeur.

Throughout the years, the monument has been restored several times; however, its overall shape and impressiveness have not diminished over time as it remains the tallest and most imposing monument in D.C.

What To Know Before You Go

Because the Washington Monument is one of the most famous landmarks in the city, it is important to be prepared before visiting.

Health And Safety

The Washington Monument is currently adhering to all safety protocols in accordance with COVID-19 health and safety guidelines. For the safety of all visitors to the monument, the following protocols are currently in place.

  • Timed ticketing and limited entries
  • Physical distancing, including reduced elevator capacity
  • Additional cleaning and safety measures, including access to touch-free sanitizer dispensers throughout the monument
  • Touchless check-in
  • Face coverings are required for all persons over the age of two while inside the monument, regardless of vaccination status

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Ticket Information

Visitors must purchase timed tickets to ride the elevator to the top of the Washington Monument. Currently, the demand for tickets is very high and usually sells out within a few minutes—so be prepared.

  • Tickets are available online ONLY from recreation.gov. There is no onsite ticket purchasing or distribution
  • Tickets are available starting at 10 AM daily for the following day’s visits. Every ticket is good for up to 4 persons in a group who are traveling together. There is a non-refundable $1.00 reservation fee per ticket

Need To Know

  • All visitors are subject to a security screening before entering the monument. Bulky items such as strollers are prohibited. There are no weapons allowed. For a full list of restricted items, visit the National Park Service website.
  • To enter the monument, follow the posted signs to the waiting areas designated for specific entry times; the waiting area is located on the east side of the monument. From there, visitors will be directed to security screening areas.
  • The elevator ride to the top lasts just over a minute, and there’s no time limit for the observation level. Those uncomfortable with small spaces and/or heights should be aware that there is no alternative way to the top other than by elevator.
  • The waiting area is outdoors, so be prepared to wait outside in an area exposed to sun, wind precipitation, etc. The monument may be closed in the event of severe or unsuitable weather conditions—tickets will be voided for any affected entrance times.
  • There are no restrooms inside the monument. The nearest restrooms are in the Washington Monument Lodge.
  • There is a small museum located on the floor below the observation deck for those wanting to learn more about the history of the Washington Monument.

Other General Information

  • Address: 900 Ohio Drive SW Washington, DC 20024
  • Phone: (202)-426-6841
  • Hours: 9 AM-5 PM daily, except July 4 and December 25. The last tour begins at 4:30 PM
  • Getting There: The easiest way to get there is by taking the Metro (the closest stops are Federal Triangle and Smithsonian). However, the monument is also accessible by bus by taking the National Mall route, or by driving—visitor parking is available on Ohio Drive.

Fun Facts About The Washington Monument

  • Visitors can expect to see approximately 25 miles in every direction from the observation deck
  • The elevator was renovated in 2019, and can now accommodate hundreds of visitors (due to COVID-19 protocol, the limit is currently 8 passengers)
  • The Washington Monument is located on the National Mall between the U.S. Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial, so there’s plenty to see after a trip to the top of this historic monument
  • The Washington Monument is the world’s tallest free-standing stone structure

Visitors to Washington D.C. will be inspired by the impressive Washington Monument towering over the city. This distinctive structure is special not just because of its historical impact and importance, but because of the stunning views of the city from the observation deck over 500 feet above the ground that offer panoramic views of everything from the U.S. Capitol Building to the White House.

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