Capital Region Transportation Guide

Get travel information on Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC transportation options.
Amtrak train Lounge Car and Bar
Amtrak Lounge Car
Bikeshare programme (Photo credit: Arlington Convention & Visitor Services)
Washington DC Metro
Riding the Metro
Getting around the city by bus
Metro articulated bus in Washington, DC's Chinatown neighbourhood
Washington Metro Station
Washington, DC's Metrorail
Amtrak train Lounge Car and Bar
Washington DC Metro
Getting around the city by bus
Washington Metro Station

Tour Operators

Prefer someone else to organise your USA tour? Learn about USA transportation services to Washington, DC, Virginia and Maryland offered by tour operators from your home country.

Major Highways

Major highways in the Capital Region include the north/south Interstate 95 and the Capital Beltway (I-495) that encircles DC, as well as I-395, I-295, I-66, I-270, the Baltimore-Washington Parkway and Dulles Toll Road. 

Bike Share

The Capital Bikeshare programme is a network of more than 4,300 bicycles at 500-plus stations across DC; Arlington, Alexandria, Falls Church and Fairfax County in Virginia; and Montgomery County and Prince George’s County in Maryland. Rental options start at $8 for 24 hours, but three-day and 30-day usage is also available. Pick up a bike and pedal to wherever your plans take you, with the ability to return your ride at any station nearby.

Metro

The DC Metrorail system covers the DC area plus nearby towns in Virginia and Maryland. Metro SmarTrip® fares range from $2–$6, depending on the time of day. The Metrobus takes you from Metro stations to many convenient stops around DC, Maryland and Virginia. Until the Metrorail Silver Line’s expansion to Washington Dulles International Airport is completed this year, travellers can connect to Metrorail using the airport’s Silver Line Express Bus to the Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail station. See the website for timetables and routes. 

Certain Metro stations might be impacted by an ongoing Metro improvement plan. Visit wmata.com/safetrack to help plan your trip. Maryland’s MARC train service and Virginia’s VRE rail service connect to DC daily and on weekdays, respectively.

Taxi Cabs, Uber & Lyft

Taxis can be hailed on busy streets or at hotels and other landmarks; dispatch may also be called ahead of time to arrange pick-up. Find approximate taxi rates and fees at dctaxi.dc.gov. Tipping 10% to 15% is customary.

Uber, Lyft and similar ride-sharing services are available in many locations.

Car Rental

Travel on your own schedule by renting a car from companies in major airports and larger cities. If you’re staying in Maryland or Virginia, or travelling outside of Washington, DC, a rental car makes sense. In Washington, DC and adjacent areas, neighbourhoods are pedestrian-friendly and affordable public transportation is readily available.

For a short trip outside the city, consider renting a Zipcar, available by the hour or day. 

Although not required, drivers are advised to get an international driving permit before the trip. Sample car rental rates (prices vary by pickup location): compact ($74/day), standard ($80/day), full-size ($113/day), luxury ($133/day), plus taxes and fees.

Amtrak Trains

Amtrak trains include comfortable standard and business-class seats, sleeping cars and glass-domed observation cars. The Acela Express and Northeast Regional routes take you quickly to major East Coast cities such as DC, Baltimore, Richmond, Norfolk, Philadelphia, New York City and Boston, as well as Charlottesville, Lynchburg, Newport News, Roanoke, Virginia Beach (via coach transfer) and other cities within the Capital Region.

Experiencing the Region by Amtrak: Sample Itineraries

Washington, DC to Roanoke on the Northeast Regional
Experience the “Rails, Trails and Ales” getaway, which explores the city’s breweries, recreational trails and transportation history. 4 hours 58 minutes; $49 coach

Washington, DC to Richmond on the Northeast Regional
Ride into the heart of Virginia and be immersed in American history and charm. 2 hours 40 minutes; $38 coach

Washington, DC to Baltimore on the Northeast Regional
Take a scenic journey through the Maryland towns that inspired the US national anthem. 40 minutes; $19 coach

Washington, DC to Norfolk on the Northeast Regional
Travel through Richmond, Colonial Williamsburg and Newport News before arriving at the riverfront city of Norfolk. 4 hours 45 minutes; $63 coach

Washington, DC to Charlottesville on the Northeast Regional
Travel to the home of two Presidents and the University of Virginia. 2 hours 30 minutes; $37 coach

Travel times and fares are based on one-way trips and are subject to change.

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