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Useful Information for your Stay in Washington, DC

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WHEN BEST TO GO

The recommended time of year to travel to Washington, DC is during the pleasantly mild spring and autumn months, although the hot, humid summer remains the busiest season for tourism.

Winter in the capital can get exceedingly cold, with temperatures generally hovering just above freezing.

LOCAL CUSTOMS

Many laws vary from state to state, including those regarding traffic rules, fines and punishments. The age at which one can legally buy and consume alcohol is 21 years nationwide. Tipping is normal practice in most of the US. Waiters will expect 15 to 20 per cent.

ATTIRE

Business casual dress is usually fine for most restaurants, but pricier establishments will likely insist on a jacket and tie for men. Attendance at cultural events usually requires formal dress, while smart outfits are recommended for the capital’s bars and nightclubs.

LANGUAGE

American English

CURRENCY USD EXCHANGE RATE

GBP 1 = USD 1.60
EUR 1 = USD 1.38

COUNTRY DIALLING CODE

+1

24 HOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT

Ambulance: 911
Fire services: 911
Police: 911
Coastguard: 202 475 3576

EMBASSY CONTACTS

UK: + 1 202 588 6500

TIME ZONE

GMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November)

POPULATION

Washington, DC has an estimated population of 600,000.

RELIGIOUS DEMOGRAPHIC

Like the rest of the United States, the majority of Washington’s residents are Christian, although the city has a sizeable number of Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and nonaffiliated people.

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS

New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, George Washington’s birthday, Emancipation Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Veterans’ Day, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day are the main public holidays observed in Washington, DC.

TYPICAL OPENING HOURS

Opening hours may vary, but 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday are the most common business hours.