Religious Sites in Washington DC

Religious Sites in Washington DC, DC

Religious Sites in Washington DC

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21 places sorted by traveler favorites
  • Things to do ranked using Tripadvisor data including reviews, ratings, photos, and popularity.

What travelers are saying

  • ElaineAndGreg
    Chesterland, OH2,971 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The Washington National Cathedral is something like the sixth largest in the world and its tower purports to be the tallest spot in Washington DC. We've visited cathedrals in many different countries. This is certainly worth a visit, but the experience also suffers from some weaknesses.

    The cathedral was built just after the turn of the last century, so it is a little over 100 years old. Although technically part of the Episcopal Church, it seeks to appeal to individuals of all faiths. As the name suggests, it also tries to place itself as the nation's cathedral, kind of an American Westminster Abbey.

    There is a $15 fee to enter as it does not receive federal funding and it has significant upkeep costs. Parking can be a little tight in the area, but they built a large and convenient underground parking garage that we would recommend if you can't find parking on the street.

    They give you a map that is fairly helpful, but we wished for a little more in terms of detail and signage generally. For what it's worth, the high points for us were:

    -The Nave (that's the main church area). There is mostly modern stained glass here, but it's magnificent if you stand in front of the altar and look towards the back of the church and up. There is a large rosette window and the sides are lined with flags of the 50 states. It's very impressive.

    -About half way up, the "space" window was installed five years after the successful Apollo 11 moon mission and actually has moon rocks built into it.

    -The tomb of President Woodrow Wilson is on the first floor.

    There is a somewhat controversial pair of windows towards the center. In 2017, the cathedral removed windows installed in the 1950s commemorating Robert E. Lee and Thomas ("Stonewall") Jackson and replaced them with what they call "now and forever" windows, which more or less commemorate the civil rights movement. Whether you like them or not is a matter of your taste.

    -There is a memorial to Helen Keller and Anne Sullivan in the crypt in the basement. It is not well marked, but is on a pillar in the St. Joseph of Arimathea Chapel. Note that it has the memorial both in written text and in Braille.

    -It isn't listed as an attraction, but the Garth is on the map behind the cathedral, about 100 yards from the visitor entrance. You'll want to visit it. It has pillars with Native-American-themed carvings at the top and images such as cats with birds. You see a fair number of wedding/engagement photos taken in this area.

    -The Darth Vader chimera is toward the top of one of the towers. It's very hard to see without binoculars or a strong telephoto lens.

    If you are looking for a break, there is an Open City restaurant in the chapter house only about 100 feet from the Cathedral itself. The food is good and the ambience is casual.

    Enjoy your visit!
    Written May 19, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Penny A
    Chapel Hill, NC11 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a 'must see' building, equal to any cathedral in Europe. There are 2 well-stocked gift shops as well as a cafeteria. I counted over 40 Christmas trees before I stopped counting. There is the most-beautiful mosaic art throughout the Basilica, the chapels and the ceiling. Each individual shrine is well-documented in 2 languages, and fascinating. The crypt-area is as large as the main church and there was a service being held in it as well. It was uncrowded and there were guided tours available for free. The people working in the Basilica were helpful and very friendly. if you are interested in art and/or architecture, or seeing the building for its religious significance, I highly recommend a visit. I was there for hours.
    Written January 1, 2024
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Tracy D
    Tonawanda, NY38 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Could not have been more pleased with this stunning tribute to JPII! Moving exhibits detailing his life and dedication to our Lord and Mother complete with Relics. Spend some time and immerse yourself in the amazing life, ministry and obedience. Truly remarkable. A Saint whom has intimately touched our lives in so many ways. Grateful for the opportunity
    Written January 11, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Vicky Silve
    Abbadia Lariana, Italy667 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Another culture I’ve always been fascinated by is Jewish culture. During every trip I have, I always try to find synagogues and memorials about Jews. Well, the Washington synagogue didn’t disappoint me! Seems like one of the synagogues you can see in movies!
    Written July 2, 2021
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • The_Lankan
    Rochester, MI1,108 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    My wife and I were visiting Washington DC for a weekend and went to 8:00am mass on Sunday. Our hotel was a 15 minute walk from the church. This is a beautiful Catholic church and the mass was nice but the only thing that was strange was there was no music at all. I found that very different from the Catholic Churches we go to in Michigan. Maybe the person in charge of music was sick or not available. There was hardly any people in attendance for the mass, I’m not sure if that is normal or not.
    Written July 9, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • The_Loup_Garou
    Phoenix, AZ166,349 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    A Beautiful Church - Church of the Presidents

    I have visited St John’s Episcopal Church many times, as we often stay in that neighborhood.

    On this March visit, we were just across the street, at the Hay-Adams Hotel, and I was glad that I visited again.

    Besides being lovely, it is very historic, and worth the look around, regardless of one’s religion. Even though I am Jewish, and my wife a Catholic, this is a great church to visit.

    Besides the unique history, it is lovely, and intimate, and well-worth the half-hour to explore

    Unfortunately, I had no idea that rioters would set fire to this beautiful church, not too long after I visited it.
    Written October 16, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • aly
    Washington DC, DC14 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful, peaceful building. This was my first time ever going to a mosque. I respect the dedication and diligence Muslims have in their worship.

    I wanted to peek inside the prayer room out of curiosity but wasn’t sure if I could go in. I saw the sign asking to remove shoes, but i didn’t remove them while I opened the door to peek in without stepping in (I planned to remove them if I decided to go in, of course). Anyway, a few women were sitting on the steps and one of them yelled at me for not removing my shoes. I understand this may be an important request, but is it more important than welcoming visitors with open arms? It would have been nice if the women (or anyone from the Mosque) welcomed visitors as they approached the steps and kindly asked us to remove our shoes, answered any questions, etc.
    Written September 10, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Jennifer
    8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful church with traditional thinking. Perfect lunchtime stop for daily mass. Confession offered with great confessors. Homily gets you back on track for the remainder of your day.
    Written July 5, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kittygal 🇺🇦 🌻
    Los Angeles, CA8,740 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    On my recent DC visit, I was staying just up the street from this beautiful old church. As I was walking past, I asked a churchgoer if I could have a quick look at the beautiful organ. They invited me in for service, even after I explained I was actually on my way to Catholic mass at the nearby parish.

    The artwork, architecture and setting were beautiful and the choir sounded delightful. After services, I was also invited for food and drink in the church hall. A very welcoming congregation to this out if area visitor. And a very inclusive ministry. All are welcome.
    Written January 23, 2020
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • LisandroVoyager
    Washington DC, DC768 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    We held my mother's funeral mass and reception here last Saturday. The pastor provided a good document of guidelines so the event went very smoothly both in the church as well as in the Undercroft below. The pastor and staff are experienced in handling celebrations and events of this kind. They were available in advance for planning purposes. Our reception was catered for about 90 people, and we made use of the microphone and audio-visual equipment. The reception lasted nearly 2 hours. Parking in the alley and nearby lot was sufficient. Overall the event went very well and was a dignified one to honor our departed mother. Many commented on the beautiful of the interior with its graceful arches, stain glass windows and beautiful sacristy. The organ music provided the right atmosphere.
    Written March 23, 2022
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Seamus
    Oakville, Canada1,544 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    We observed the same as the previous reviewers. This is a fine Church that offers respite in the university area that largely occupies Foggy Bottom. Despite its age (as old as Canada) it appears to have a modern design of clean and spacious lines, not ornate in the least, keeping with the simplicity and strength of the message. The Monsignor offered a fine homily and the cantor was wonderful.
    Written December 10, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Valerie J
    Baton Rouge, LA582 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    This was a stone meeting house with the entrance located between the historic stone building with an enclosed garden and a red brick building. There are several exterior doors, which can cause a bit of confusion. This is a Quake House with no religious symbolism. The Living room area has walls lined with books. There is an elevator available. The steps to the upper floors are wide with white railings. The bathrooms are unexpectedly modern bathrooms. The staff and volunteers were polite, efficient, and unobtrusive. The “Celebration of Life” Quaker Memorial Meeting was unique and unusual for me. I was one of the speakers from the audience. The program was explained to those of us who were not Quakers.
    Written December 2, 2023
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • QuickWhitTravel
    Washington DC, DC3,804 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    This is a pretty little Catholic church in Northwest DC, easy to find and worth the trip to see it. It looks more traditionally Spanish than American to me.
    Written May 10, 2016
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Josh A
    Melbourne, Australia159 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Unfortunately the synagogue appeared closed when we walked by (it was a Tuesday though)!

    The outside is beautiful and it's in a great area that's really safe and lovely to walk through.

    Worth a visit!
    Written July 4, 2017
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
  • Kiran K
    Miami, FL50 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Masjid are always beautiful and this one was close to my hotel. Jumma prayers we went super early because it was quickly filled up and its not big enough to handle jumma crowds. It has men and women in the same hall so you are basically sitting in back rows after men rows. Imam was very good and contemporary in his thinking. Masjid requires expansion and hope it finds the funding it needs. AMeen
    Written December 28, 2019
    This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
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