We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Mapping out a Mall Walk - very moving but allow time to read and reflect”
Review of National Mall

National Mall
Book In Advance
More Info
and up
Monuments of DC Segway Tour
Ranked #21 of 492 things to do in Washington DC
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Fee: No
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Open area of gardens, fountains, trees and monuments stretching nearly two miles between the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial.
Reviewed 4 April 2018

It is really worth allocating time on your itinerary to do the full National Mall walk. You can do parts of the walk on your way to other sites, but I’d recommend planning the Mall walk as a ‘to do’ item on its own because it does take some time. The monuments might look close together on a map, but the walk is about 2.5 miles and you will also need time to read and reflect.
It is hard not to experience a full range of emotions if you visit each of the memorials.
Some, like the the Martin Luther King Memorial carry such inspiring words and others, like the Vietnam Memorial wall, with its list of names, speak to the carnage and loss of war. You will be in awe at some, moved or saddened by others and even angry at the loss of lives.
The thing about the National Mall is that each memorial is so different but they are all very moving in very different ways.

Suggested walking map:
i) Vietnam Memorial Wall and sculptures - We started here. This saved time because we didn't have to double back on ourselves. It was also a convenient entry to the mall after seeing the White House
ii) Lincoln Memorial - From the steps, you can look straight down the Reflection Pool towards the Capitol at the opposite end of the mall – a wonderful visual link between two and it makes a beautiful photo.
iii) Korean War Memorial
iv) Cross the road to the Martin Luther King Memorial
v) Jefferson and the Roosevelt Memorials - If you have time you can walk to these. However, if like us, you are running out of time, then you can simply look across the Tidal Basin to the Jefferson Memorial, from the MLK Memorial and then go back across the road to the WWII Memorial
vi) WWII Memorial
vii) Washington Monument - Normally you can ride the elevator to the top of this monument but it was closed when we were there and is not due to re-open until 2019.
viii) The Smithsonians - Depending on your timetable and itinerary, you can finish the walk at this point to visit one of the museums or you can continue on to the Capitol building. We continued on as we had passes for the Senate.
ix) Capitol Building and gardens

Other Tips:
• Entry is free.
• If it is a wet day and you can juggle your itinerary, then wait for a brighter day. There is nowhere to shelter during rain and on a fine day, your photos will look much better.
• We were there in winter in Feb and the Reflection Pool was mostly drained – it would be more beautiful in summer
• Consider checking out some of them by night because some like the Washington obelisk are illuminated and look lovely in the evening

3  Thank Mairwen1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a ReviewReviews (7,147)
Traveler rating
Traveler type
Time of year
  • More languages
All reviews
"washington monument"
in 628 reviews
"smithsonian museums"
in 297 reviews
"great walk"
in 87 reviews
"walking shoes"
in 91 reviews
"wear comfortable shoes"
in 99 reviews
"white house"
in 283 reviews
"both sides"
in 55 reviews
"reflecting pool"
in 162 reviews
"walk around"
in 71 reviews
"korean war memorial"
in 57 reviews
"take your time"
in 55 reviews
"american history"
in 77 reviews
"tidal basin"
in 68 reviews
in 56 reviews
in 189 reviews
in 253 reviews
in 129 reviews

417 - 421 of 7,150 reviews

Reviewed 4 April 2018

Spend a day enjoying the history, visiting the political institutions, museums, sites, taking a boat or bicycle ride or just relaxing

Thank LuisTravel1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

We must have walked the Mall 10 times and it never gets old. Everything is located around the Mall and it gorgeous! Walk, walk, walk, you will love it.

Thank RWG19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

Overall it was a great time spent exploring the monuments. I expected it to be more well kept up. Over and over the reviews talk about how much walking it is, especially if you go around the tidal basin. It was actually less than I was expecting. I am not out there running marathons, but I track more miles going to Disneyland all day.

1  Thank JWWA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
See more reviews
Reviewed 3 April 2018 via mobile

So many lives have marched across t area to experience their First Amendment right of assembly and freedom of speech from the great Doctor Martin Luther King Junior to the recent young people who are Marching on behalf of young people dying in schools because of gun violence this is truly a place to visit and to see a reflection of the greatness of this country my daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed walking this Great Mall would have heaviness on our heart and understanding how important and significant this is as a National Treasure

Thank mark d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed National Mall also viewed


Been to National Mall? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.

Claim Your Listing