Washington Dulles Airport serves the Washington metropolitan area as well as the city of Washington D.C. (District of Columbia), the capital of the United States of America (USA). Operational from 1962, it was designed by world-renowned architect Eero Saarinen and named after John Foster Dulles, the 52nd Secretary of State who served between the years of 1953-1959. With an area of more than 10,000 acres, it is one of the largest airports in the USA and the busiest in the Washington metropolitan area it serves, with more than 20 million passengers passing through yearly. The bustling airport offers both domestic and international flights to over 100 destinations all around the world, and - despite its already imposing number of passengers and size of compound - is set to undergo even further developments that will significantly increase its maximum passenger capacity.
Washington Dulles Airport is located about 42 kilometres from Washington D.C., but with numerous means of public transport available, the commute to the city is fast and easy. Tourists can use the region’s rapid-transit system - called the Metrorail - by taking the Silver Line Express bus that runs from Washington Dulles’ Main Terminal down to the Silver Line’s Wiehle-Reston East Metrorail Station, and from there continue on into downtown Washington D.C. The Metrorail is set for even further expansion and plans are underway for the rail network to eventually connect directly to the airport.
Otherwise, tourists can also take the Metrobus, which connects Dulles Airport to L’Enfant Plaza, located at the heart of Washington D.C, stopping at numerous Metrorail stations along the way. Shared ride vans or shuttles are also available at the Ground Transportation section of the airport. For those in a hurry, you can take a taxi directly from the ranks outside the airport.
What to see and do
If you’re in Washington D.C, you cannot miss the world-famous, iconic US landmark -- the White House, official residence and workplace of the President of the United States. Designed by architect James Hoban, the beautiful and imposing White House was completed in 1800 and has since borne witness to several of the most important decisions ever made in the history of the United States, by the most powerful people in the country. Not only is the White House the headquarters of the President and his office, it is also the site of many official ceremonies, and serves as a museum and tourist attraction. Built of white-painted sandstone, it is one of the oldest public buildings in the US and classified as a National Heritage Site, and is also considered one of America’s Favorite Architecture (as reported by the American Institute of Architects).
The White House Complex has been modified several times in history but today includes the Executive Residence, East and West Wing, Eisenhower Executive Office Building and Blair House. Public tours are often available for visitors to admire the White House from within, and several sites are also open to the public (such as Lafayette Park, a beautiful public park located across the White House). Garden Tours of the White House are also open to the public at select points of time during the year.
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