7 Washington DC Apps every visitor should download before you visit

Washington DC is a tourist paradise with free museums, great restaurants and more politicians roaming around and having power lunches than you probably notice. DC isn’t the easiest to navigate, which is why these Washington DC apps and travel apps are essential to make your trip go as smoothly as possible.

Washington DC apps

These Washington DC apps cover parking, navigating the metro, dining and just getting around the city in general. You could try to get around DC with a paper map or just your wits. You would find yourself lost and confused, taking away precious time from your travels and explorations of the nation’s capital.

Washington DC apps

Smithsonian Mobile

Free. When it comes to museums, the Smithsonian rules Washington DC. Although there isn’t an individual app for every museum in their system, you will want to download the Smithsonian Mobile for museum open hours, floor plans, special events and more.

Washington DC apps


NPS National Mall app

Free. The NPS National Mall app will help you navigate everything on the National Mall that you will want to see. Trust me. It’s a lot. Pull up a map, find out what programs are happening when, and take a free self-guided walking tour.

Washington DC Apps

iTrans DC and Metro and Bus apps

Free. If you plan on using the DC metro and bus system to navigate the city, the Metro and Bus Washington DC apps is useful for grabbing bus times and stops, plus metro locations, times and an overall map to figure out your route. We regularly us iTrans DC and DC Metro and Bus to navigate the city.

Washington DC Apps

Parking Panda

FREE. Anyone planning to drive should have the Parking Panda app on their phone. This Washington DC app allows you to find the cheapest parking garage near whatever sight you wish to see.

It is perfect on weekdays when it is hard to get a metered spot, and it can save you a bundle of time and energy looking for the cheapest lot.

Washington DC Apps


FREE. More and more parking meters are going digital, and DC, as well as the DC metro area, is no exception.

Simply enter your meter code into the Parkmobile app and you don’t have to worry about having enough loose change to park.

It will also let you know if your spot doesn’t require a fare that day, particularly on Sundays when many meters are free throughout the city. If you are traveling into the DC suburbs you should download Pango and MobileNOW! as well.

Washington DC Apps

Open Table

FREE. Dining out in a new city is one of the many pleasures of travel, but if you can’t get a table at that restaurant you have been reading about, your trip might not be as great as you had hoped.

Use Open Table at numerous Washington DC restaurants across the city to guarantee you get a spot at every DC restaurant on your list.

Washington DC Apps

Google Maps

FREE. Yes, you probably already have this app on your phone, but in Washington DC it is even more useful.

DC is a very confusing city to navigate thanks to multiple quadrants with NW, SW, NE, SW and more in the street address, which if you don’t get it right, you could end up on the opposite side of town.

Google Maps allows you to figure out your route whether you want to drive, walk or take public transit.

Keep an eye on those travel times. Sometimes it is faster to walk than drive and find parking in DC.

Washington DC apps and general travel apps can definitely help you avoid the headache that comes with DC traffic.


Women using mobile, white house and man using mobile via ShutterStock.com

1 thought on “7 Washington DC Apps every visitor should download before you visit”

  1. Jenn

    These apps would have been so helpful when I went last. The most my phone was able to do at that time was play centipede. We got lost a few times in the museums. Do you know how the connectivity is in the buildings like the Smithsonian?

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