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Old 02-06-2013, 09:46 AM   #1
Ricky P
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Question for Washington D.C. Metro users

Hi,

My wife and I are planning a weekend in D.C. We are staying at the L'Enfant Plaza Hotel. We're planning to park at Green Belt and take Metro to Hotel on Saturday. We will plan to use Metro to go to Arlington Cemetery and then from hotel to Green Belt on Sunday. Will this be easy? About how much would it cost? Should I get tickets ahead of time and what kind? We're not city people, so mass transit is a little intimidating! These are the only 3 trips on Metro planned, the rest of sight seeing will be by shoe leather express! i.e. just around the Mall. Can the experts put my wife and I at ease!

Thanks, Rick and Mel
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:53 AM   #2
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Riding the metro is really easy. The blue line stops at Arlington Cemetary and your hotel so no transfers needed.

This website will help you figure out fares and parking. Be careful thinking you are going to do some long term parking at the Greenbelt lot. There are limited "long time" parking and you can be potentially ticketed if not in an appointed spot. http://www.wmata.com/rail

You don't need to purchase metro cards ahead of time unless it just makes you feel better. When you get to the metro station you will see the fare card machines and you add the amount of money you would like. EACH person does need their own card. The metro workers are really helpful as well. Don't be afraid to ask questions.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:19 AM   #3
3angelsmom
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We are not from DC but used the metro once when taking a day trip. I wouldn't worry - it was very easy to figure out. I found it a lot less stressful than the NYC subway system.

Also, the people were nice. While we were standing at the kiosk trying to figure out what to purchase, a woman walked up to us and gave us two day passes that she didn't need any more. Also, we got off at our stop and walked up the stairs, then paused to figure out if we were to go left or right to our attraction. Someone stopped to ask what we were looking for, then pointed us in the right direction. I guess we really looked like tourists!

We used the website the pp mentioned to plan our trip.
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:29 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3angelsmom View Post
We are not from DC but used the metro once when taking a day trip. I wouldn't worry - it was very easy to figure out. I found it a lot less stressful than the NYC subway system.

Also, the people were nice. While we were standing at the kiosk trying to figure out what to purchase, a woman walked up to us and gave us two day passes that she didn't need any more. Also, we got off at our stop and walked up the stairs, then paused to figure out if we were to go left or right to our attraction. Someone stopped to ask what we were looking for, then pointed us in the right direction. I guess we really looked like tourists!

We used the website the pp mentioned to plan our trip.
My adult son and I visited Washington D.C. for the first time in October. Our experience was very similar to this. I was nervous about using the Metro. I approached the booth, told the man that we were from out of town and needed help with the Metro. He was VERY nice. Came out of the booth to speak with us and explained everything. We were also approached by someone who worked for the city when we came out of the Metro and didn't know which way to go. It was a very good experience. Loved Washington, D.C. So much to see and do.

Have fun!
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Old 02-07-2013, 08:00 AM   #5
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DS18 is a student at AU & uses the Metro frequently. He is totally comfortable with it & so am I.

Like maneuvering in any large city, you have to be smart about your surroundings but compared to other mass transit systems it's really great (clean, affordable, safe).

FYI - You can also get day passes instead of paying per trip.
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Old 02-08-2013, 09:31 AM   #6
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I went to dc in the fall with a friend. We stayed at the same hotel. I found we walked most places and only used the metro to go to old town, Arlington, and the airport. The metro is super easy from that hotel. You take the lobby elevator down to the metro. There is a small food court type area and the you take an escalator down to the metro. There are pay machines with very clear instructions on how to purchase. I would just get what you need as you may find you don't need it as much as you thought initially. Also if you go to a place like Georgetown, I would take a cab they wait right out front of the hotel and I think round trip with a tip was only 20 to Georgetown.
Have fun!
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Old 02-08-2013, 11:00 AM   #7
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We are small time people where there is NO transit system but we do travel frequently. We find the meto in DC one of the easier and safer to use. We buy cards for our length of stay the first time each trip and it is never hard or very expensive. We have used other systems places like NYC, Atlanta, San Francisco etc, and we are most comfortable with DC.
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Old 02-08-2013, 12:55 PM   #8
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You will be fine. It is very easy. You can buy your ticket when you get here. I am a local and a word of caution: keep your cell phone out of site on the metro!!!! I can't stress this enough. Thieves will grab them and run out when the doors open. They take any phone. This has been an ongoing problem made worse by a new ATM machine put downtown that accepts cell phones for money.

Other than that have a wonderful time visiting the nations capital.
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:04 PM   #9
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You will be fine. It is very easy. You can buy your ticket when you get here. I am a local and a word of caution: keep your cell phone out of site on the metro!!!! I can't stress this enough. Thieves will grab them and run out when the doors open. They take any phone. This has been an ongoing problem made worse by a new ATM machine put downtown that accepts cell phones for money.

Other than that have a wonderful time visiting the nations capital.
That is a great tip about the cell phones. I also want to add...stand to the right because stair climbing people are coming up the left and sometimes in a big hurry.
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Old 02-08-2013, 07:29 PM   #10
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And do not eat or drink on the metro or in the station. You can carry closed drinks and food that is in containers. No open food and no eating on metro
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Old 02-09-2013, 02:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MinnieGirl33 View Post
DS18 is a student at AU & uses the Metro frequently. He is totally comfortable with it & so am I.

Like maneuvering in any large city, you have to be smart about your surroundings but compared to other mass transit systems it's really great (clean, affordable, safe).

FYI - You can also get day passes instead of paying per trip.
My daughter is also at AU. Shout out to a fellow AU parent!

As other said, the Metro is very easy to navigate. We have stayed at that hotel before and there is a Metro stop right there. Have a great time!
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Old 02-09-2013, 04:01 PM   #12
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Is there any reason why you're not going to park at the hotel? I really wouldn't want to leave my car at a Metro parking lot unattended for a weekend.

Also, if you want to do a lot of the museums and monuments you could consider getting a pass for the Tourmobile. It also goes to Arlington Cemetary.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by quiltymom
Is there any reason why you're not going to park at the hotel? I really wouldn't want to leave my car at a Metro parking lot unattended for a weekend.

Also, if you want to do a lot of the museums and monuments you could consider getting a pass for the Tourmobile. It also goes to Arlington Cemetary.
Good point.
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