Getting to the Festival

Getting to DC

DC is well-connected by plane, train, and car.

The DC area is home to three international airports. In order of nearness to the National Mall and the city center, they are:

Dulles at Dusk
Dulles at Dusk

Reagan International Airport (DCA):

Reagan Airport is the closest airport to DC. From Reagan, you can reach the city by the metro or rideshare.

Dulles International Airport (IAD):

Located 24 miles west, Dulles Airport also offers metro (Silver Line) and rideshare connections to DC.

Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI):

Located about 30-40 minutes north of DC, Baltimore/Washington Airport connects to DC by rideshare or bus.

Airport Transfer Deal: Get to and from the airport with ease. Use Code: AIRPORTDEAL.

Tip: When booking flights into DC, most travel sites allow you to choose either a preferred single airport or all three to compare prices.

Also check for special rates from our partners, like Southwest Airlines, which is offering 5% off all flights to the festival.

DC’s Union Station is the second most popular train station on the Amtrak line, serving millions of travelers and commuters every year. Also, Union Station is in the center of the city, saving you an additional step. Especially for Northeast residents, Amtrak is a convenient, fun, and eco-conscious way to travel.

For a live listing of all trains to Washington, click here.

Pennsylvania street and US Capitol in Washington DC, USA

For all you locals of the DC Metro Area, Waze, Google Maps, and Apple Maps can help you navigate your way to the festival.

That being said, we encourage everyone to ride share or use the metro as much as possible to avoid traffic delays and parking.

Parking: If you do choose to drive, you can reserve your spot in advance at the National Mall SpotHero Parking Page to save up to 50% off drive-up rates.

Getting Around DC

Ok, now you’re here…welcome to the nation’s capital!

The National Mall is centrally located and can be reached by:

  • The DC Metro System
  • Public bus
  • Ride share apps
  • Rentable bikes & scooters


Did you know? DC is a small city. In fact, 58% of commuter travel in DC is by walking, biking, and public transit!

Read more about getting around DC from our friends at Getting Around DC

Tip: When you use Google Maps and pick the bus symbol, it will show you step-by-step how to reach your destination by public transit.

Metro stations close to the National Mall:

  • Smithsonian (Blue/Orange/Silver Line): Although closest to the National Mall, it will be extremely crowded during the festival.
  • Federal Triangle (Blue/Orange/Silver Line): Located a short distance from the National Mall.
  • L’Enfant Plaza (Blue/Orange/Silver/Green/Yellow Line): Convenient for festival goers, offering multiple metro line options.

    For help planning your trip, please visit the WMATA website.

  • Metrorail fares vary from $2 – $6 one-way based on distance traveled. After 9:30 p.m. and on weekends all fares are $2 for any one-way trip.
  • Metrobus fares are $2 for all regular route service, and free when transferring to/from Metrorail with a $2
    transfer discount.
  • To determine your fare, use Metro’s trip planner and enter your date and time you plan to travel. Each passenger 5 years of age and older must have his or her own SmarTrip card or One-Day Pass.
  • SmarTrip mobile pay is your best option to avoid long lines at fare vending machines. Download the SmarTrip app for iOS or Android to purchase a mobile SmarTrip card or passes.
  • One-Day Passes are available for $13; or purchase a mobile SmarTrip card with enough round-trip value for you and all your travelers. (SmarTrip cards and a One-Day Pass may also be purchased at station fare vending machines.)
  • A One-Day Pass allows unlimited trips on Metrorail and Metrobus throughout the day.

Buses circulate the National Mall and cover areas from Union Station to the Lincoln Memorial.

Operating hours during the festival are:
Sept 29: 7 am – 8 pm
Sept 30: 9 am – 8 pm
Oct 1: 9 am – 7 pm

All buses are free to ride as of September 2023!

Have questions?
Please check out our FAQ area.