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A beginner’s guide to Washington, D.C.

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District of Columbia, or Washington, DC, is a great place to visit, but it’s an even better city to live in. For those of you who are thinking of joining the DC community, here’s a beginner’s guide to getting you acclimated to the area like a pro.

Getting around the city

People say that DC is one of the most walkable cities in the country. It’s true; the city’s major attractions and downtown areas are flat and well-connected, great for foot travel. If it’s too cold or too humid out, then you can always opt to take public transportation.

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DC’s Metro is ranked as one of the best public railway systems in the nation! There are 6 major lines, and you can easily find your way around with Google Maps or the physical maps in every station. Capital Bikeshare, a chain bike rental system, is also available all around the city and relatively cheap. Even as a beginner, you won’t be lost wandering the streets in this city!

Eating & caffeinating

DC’s food and coffee culture won’t disappoint. You’ll find all kinds of international eateries: Eritrean, Ethiopian, Georgian, Lao, and more. Compass Rose, for example, serves a concoction of Bangladeshi, Korean, and Peruvian dishes all in one dinner table.

One of our favorite places to eat near Common Richardson is Espita Mezcaleria. They’ve got authentic Mexican tacos, amazing cocktails, and a great happy hour. District Taco and Founding Fathers are other high-ranking options.

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Take a train or bus to Union Market, the communal indoor food market with tons of diverse stalls. You’ll find local seafood and Burmese desserts, that you can enjoy on spacious picnic tables. Be strategic about the time you visit because it’s a tourist hotspot!

Georgetown (one of DC’s oldest standing neighborhoods) is another great and colorful area to spend some time in, especially at its many delicious treats. There’s the famed cupcakes from Georgetown Cupcake, a latte from Baked & Wired, or brunch at Kafe Leopold.

As for coffee, here’s a full list of where the best spots are in DC.

Things to do in DC

Being the nation’s capital, DC has so much to offer in this front. Obviously, there’s the National Mall. Some of the sights to see there include The White House, Washington Monument, Jefferson Memorial, The WWII Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. Don’t forget to visit the many incredible national and Smithsonian museums — National Museum of African American History and Culture, Air and Space Museum, American Art Museum, etc. — most of which are free!

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Trying to avoid the crowds of people at the National Mall? Other places you can visit are the Renwick Gallery, the Spy Museum, the Blind Whino, and the Kennedy Center. The Library of Congress on Capitol Hill is another must-see. You can take a guided tour of the beautiful building, see a rotating exhibit, or just sit down with a nice book in the Reading Room.

When the weather is warm, definitely spend some time people-watching at Meridian Hill Park. You’ll be able to spot some picnics, yoga gatherings, and possibly a drum circle on Sundays.

Going out in DC

DC is known for its abundance of happy hours. Practically half the city’s population ditches their cubicles for beer gardens and dive bars by 6 p.m. Some great spots to meet people for those occasions are Boqueria in Dupont Circle, Vinoteca on U Street, and Commissary near Logan Circle.

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Speakeasies can also be found all over the city, but we recommend getting a reservation at The Gibson. It’s sleek, chic, and serves up some of the best Prohibition-era cocktails. For a more casual time, try Penn Social, where you can partake in trivia, or Iron Horse Tap Room, for some good beer.

Where to live

If you’re thinking of moving to the nation’s capital, then you have to check out our beautiful coliving options in DC. It’s the most convenient way to live in a big city.

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Common Bowman and Common Richardson are located in Chinatown and Shaw, respectively, which means you’ll be close to all the attractions, restaurants, and cafes mentioned above. At Common, you’re guaranteed a fully furnished, private bedroom, large suite, free onsite laundry, free weekly cleanings, and free Wifi. Your one all-inclusive rate also covers exclusive discounts at national brands and events around the city.

Don’t believe us? Take a free tour today, and see for yourself.

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