The nation’s capital is not the cheapest city. Bars are expensive, hotels are expensive, meals are expensive, and, as any of the hordes of underpaid government interns living on the Hill will tell you, living in general is expensive. There are a few ways to keep costs down on your trip, though.
1. Visit the free National Museums.
This is the most obvious money-saver: most of the major attractions in DC are free. Most of the free ones are along the Mall, stretching from the Capitol to the Potomac. The Capitol rotunda is cool, but try the Library of Congress instead if you want to avoid the crowds — it’s just as pretty and they have books!