Washington, DC

A Foreigner's First Time Experience in Washington, DC

Jessica Ufuoma

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I'd heard so much about Washington DC, whether from the news or media or even social media. I was itching to go there as a lover of all things arts and museum. One day, the opportunity to visit for a weekend came and I took that opportunity head on. I packed my bags in anticipation for a weekend in Washington, DC.

By no means is a weekend enough to explore the beautiful city of Washington DC, you can only scratch the surface. But if you’re like me and weekend escapism is your strong point, then you’ve got it on lockdown. You can still have an amazing experience in that limited time.

First impressions

People were friendly

I thought it was lovely. Upon getting to the airport, everything was orderly, people were nice and friendly to me. From the taxi man at the airport to the conceirge at the hotel. I felt very welcome and respected and I couldn't wait to explore the city the next day.

The weather was great.

I went in June and it was summer time there so it was really warm in the most refreshing way. I loved soaking it all in.

The city can be explored by foot

It was great to see that the city can be experienced by foot, I mean, all the major monuments and sights can be seen very easily which was great for a foreigner like me who had no license to drive there. I'm glad I packed comfortable shoes.

Lots of great museums to explore

I love visiting museums when I travel and DC is packed with so much history and art that made it very fun for me. Art and culture lovers will love it too. I also felt the rich Black history as well by visiting the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial during my stay.

Overall, I give Washington, DC a 9 out of 10 for a beautiful and wholesome experience for a first timer.

Here are some of the things I got up to in DC

On Day One — History Saturday

I hit the streets of DC and headed to the Capitol Hill first, which is one of the major spots in Washington DC.  Beautiful, beautiful architecture. We then headed to the National Mall, which is not to be confused with a shopping mall. The National Mall is home to some of DC’s best monuments so a great place to start your DC adventures.

Sights I saw on day one.

The US Capitol Hill, Washington Monument, National Gallery of Art, The Reflecting Pool, Lincoln Memorial and the Botanical Garden.

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On day two — Art Sunday

On day two, I made it to the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial and if you don’t know anything about that great guy, the summary is: He fought and gave a voice to Black people in America. As a Black person, it was great to experience this place in all of its glory and reminisce on how far we have come in the fight for racial equity.

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We had really wanted to see the African American Museum, which is one of the newest museums in DC but we couldn’t as it was so popular that you had to buy tickets months and months in advance. So, if you have a particular place in mind, definitely look into booking in advance. Meanwhile, do you visit museums when you travel? I used to detest them but not anymore. They are a cool and relaxing way to learn about a new city and see cool art.

There’s still so much left to uncover in Washington, D.C and I wouldn’t mind heading back sometime again in the future. I thoroughly enjoyed my two day visit there, even though short, it was definitely sweet. I'd be back again in the future.

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I write about lifestyle and travel experiences in the United States. I'm also passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and that reflects in some of the pieces I write. My topics range from culture, travel, uplifting marginalized voices and much more. If you're interested in these topics, feel free to hit the subscribe button.

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