Neighborhoods of interest include:
- Old Town was laid out in 1749, making it the oldest section of the city, and is a historic district. Old Town is chiefly known for its historic town houses, art galleries, antique shops, restaurants, and its unique cobblestone streets and red brick sidewalks.
- Del Ray is to the northwest of Old Town, much of which was once in the separate town of Potomac. It has a vibrant commercial corridor.
Alexandria is accessible from the three Washington, D.C., area airports.
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) is located just north of Alexandria in Arlington. From Reagan National, downtown Alexandria (King Street Station) is only two Metro stops away: take the Yellow metro line in the direction of Huntington or the Blue line towards Franconia/Springfield.
- Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is 30 miles northwest of Alexandria.
- Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI) is 40 miles northeast of Alexandria.
For information on traveling to Alexandria from DC area airports, see the "Get in" section of Washington DC.
As an hub for commuters, Alexandria is well served by rail. Virginia Railway Express (VRE) provides weekday, daytime rail service to Alexandria station from Fredericksburg, Manassas and Washington, D.C. Intercity trains are provided by Amtrak and its Northeastern Regional service. Southbound trains originate in Boston and stops in New York City among several other cities. Northbound trains runs from Lynchburg, Newport News or Norfolk with the last two also stopping in the capital of Virginia, Richmond.
Several long distance trains makes a stop in Alexandria, including the Cardinal (New York-Chicago), Carolinian (New York-Charlotte), Crescent (New York-New Orleans), Palmetto (New York-Savannah) as well as the Silver Meteor and Silver Star between New York and Miami.
is located at 110 Callahan Dr, adjacent to King Street Station, served by the yellow and blue metro lines.
Metro stations in Alexandria served by the Blue and Yellow lines include: Braddock Road, King Street-Old Town,Eisenhower Avenue, Van Dorn Street, Huntington.
For more information on riding the metro, see Washington DC#Get_around
By carMajor roads of note:
- Interstate 95/Interstate 495 (the "Capital Beltway"), a major freeway that serves the southern part of Alexandria and circles the Greater Washington D.C. area. The Capital Beltway section just east of Alexandria, known as the Woodrow Wilson Bridge, is the last major crossing point of the Potomac River in the southern part of the metro area. For those traveling from the Virginia side to Old Town Alexandria, failure to make the last exit before entering the bridge, will result in a long, difficult journey across the bridge and appropriate turn-abouts are spread thin on the Maryland side. If traffic is backed up at the Wilson Bridge or the Beltway/Hwy 1 interchange and you still want to get to Old Town, simply exit north at Telegraph Road and proceed up to the Duke Street exit going east. Take Duke Street a mile or so until you get to around Patrick/Henry and then meander your way north a couple of blocks to King Street. No reasonable alternatives exist for those traveling west out of Maryland.
- Interstate 395 runs north-south along the western section of Alexandria
- U.S. Highway 1 depending on where you are, this is the Jefferson Davis Freeway or Patrick/Henry - a major north-south artery into Washington D.C.
- George Washington Memorial Parkway, , known as Washington Street in Alexandria, it runs north-south along the Virginia side of the Potomac River and is an easy and pleasant drive to Mount Vernon.
- King Street (State Route 7) - runs east-west from Old Town Alexandria out towards Falls Church, Virginia.
- Duke Street (State Route 236) - runs east-west into Old Town Alexandria.
By footStroll down King Street and visit the side streets of Old Town. The main Old Town section begins about a half-mile east of the King Street-Old Towne Metrorail Station and provides a combination of restaurants, art and antique shops, souvenir traps, and public buildings. With its French-style open-air cafes, gas lamp-styled lights, red brick sidewalks, and historical, old-style architecture, King Street provides one of the most romantic settings in the DC metro area. More than just a tourist destination or open-air museum, Old Town is a vibrant community of residents who take great pride in their city. The streets north and south of King Street near the river boast nearly 4000 18th- and 19th-century buildings still used as private residences. Unlike many of the planned communities promoted by new urbanism, the streets of Old Town simply ooze a sense of character and authenticity that is not normally seen outside the best cities in Europe.
By trolleyKing Street Trolley operates a free transportation service from the King Street metro station to the waterfront. These black and red rubber tire trolleys are free and will stop at any one of the signs for the trolley stops along King street.
By busDASH also operates many buses that will take you from the King Street Metro station to the historic center.
By carGetting around Alexandria beyond Old Town and the Duke Street business district is a little more difficult, and will require bus transit or a car.
Two-hour parking is often available a few blocks away from King Street (though it can be harder to find on weekend evenings), but read the parking signs carefully. Some parking is free, some is metered, and some is for locals only. Tires are frequently marked (chalked) by parking enforcement staff; if you exceed 2 hours you will get a ticket. If you plan on leaving your car for more than a couple hours it would be wise to pay to park in one of the many parking garages in the city.
By water taxiA water taxi runs from the waterfront at the end of King Street to both Georgetown in Washington D.C. and to National Harbor in Maryland.
By bicycleFor information on bike-sharing programs in the Washington DC area, see Washington DC#Get_around.
Big Wheel Bikes, located near the waterfront just south of King Street, offers bike rental services.
Bicycle trailsThe Mount Vernon Trail runs through Alexandria (although the Old Town section is streets), goes all of the way to Mount Vernon, and connects with the greater D.C. area.
The Alexandria Visitor's Center is in the old Ramsay House at 221 King Street.
Alexandria Black History Museumphone: +1 703 838-4356address: 902 Wythe St
phone: +1 703 548-1789address: 614 Oronoco StreetThree houses east of the Lee-Fendall House on Oronoco Street is a state historical marker in front of the boyhood home of American Civil War General Robert E. Lee. Please respect the fact that the home is a private residence.
The Spite Houseaddress: 523 Queen StDating from around 1830, this private dwelling is only 7 feet wide and about 33 feet deep. It was built in an alley to prevent people using the alley without permission. Because of its diminutive size, this house has been featured on HGTV, and other similar shows and publications. Please respect the fact that the home is a private residence. There are several other spite houses in Old Town, but they're more difficult to spot than this bright blue house.
Tall Ship ProvidenceA 1976 replica of a Revolutionary-era naval ship that was built for the Bicentennial and appeared in some of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. Available for tours and cruises.
Cameron StreetAt 508 Cameron is the location of George Washington's town home and office. Washington's original town house burned down in the 1850s and was reconstructed from plans in the 1960s. Also on this block are the homes of Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee, a famous cavalry officer of the American Revolution and father of Robert E. Lee, and Lord Fairfax. Please respect the fact that all the homes are private residences.
phone: +1 703 838-4565address: 105 North Union StA former World War I munitions depot that once housed the Nazi war archives after World War II, the Torpedo Factory has been turned into an artist studio/learning center for local artists.
AthenaeumHistoric building, now an arts center.
phone: +1 703 549-2997address: 121 North Fairfax StFormer home to a successful local merchant, the house served as the headquarters of British Maj. Gen. Braddock before his ill-fated 1755 campaign in western Pennsylvania. The house also served as the site where several colonial governors met to discuss financing of the French and Indian War, and later, the state of affairs with the British Crown, leading to subsequent meetings at Annapolis, and Philadelphia, where the Declaration of Independence was drafted. Supposedly the only house in town that's not haunted because Carlyle had a cat entombed in a wall.
Ice WellRenovations at this spot uncovered a previously unknown underground ice well. Until the invention of refrigeration, large blocks of ice were brought down the river and kept here for storage. Small blocks of ice were cut and presumably sold to citizens. There is no sign or other marker at the site - just a small staircase and guardrail that from the street, does not appear to go anywhere.
phone: +1 703 549-1450address: 118 North Washington StThe first church in the city; George Washington, George Mason, and Robert E. Lee were members of this historic church. Although, some three to four hundred headstones disappeared during the Union occupation of the city, the churchyard has headstones dating from 1771. On 1 January 1942, President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, along with Winston Churchill, attended a service at Christ Church for a National Day of Prayer in the wake of Pearl Harbor.
phone: +1 703 838-3852address: 105 S. Fairfax StA local museum which recreates the apothecary/pharmacy that stood at this location from the late 18th century through the early 20th.
Alexandria City HallIncludes a large public square
Friendship Firehouse MuseumAn 1855 firehouse, now a museum
Captains Row and Gentry RowCaptains Row contains many of the oldest residences in the city, mostly consisting of Federal style houses built by wealthy merchants and sea captains. Complete with cobblestones and charming architectural details, this is probably one of the most picturesque colonial village blocks anywhere. The 200 block of Prince Street is Gentry Row where you will see house after house marked with Historic Alexandria Foundation plaques. Houses along this block were owned by such prominent figures as William Fairfax, one of Alexandria's founding trustees, and Dr. James Craik, surgeon-general during the American Revolution and George Washington's personal physician.
address: 517 Prince StreetAn 18th-century home, one of the earliest homes in the city
AppomattoxA bronze statue commemorating Confederate soldiers from Alexandria, Virginia. It has been the object of much controversy, culminating in the Alexandria City Council voting in 2016 unanimously to move the statue to another location; however, the statue cannot legally be moved without permission from the Virginia State Legislature, which has not been forthcoming.
Freedom House MuseumA museum with exhibits about the slave trading firm and the life of a slave
Old Presbyterian Meeting Housephone: +1 703 549-6670address: 321 S Fairfax StA memorial service for George Washington was moved from Christ Church to the Meeting House because of bad weather. In the courtyard to the west is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from American Revolution.
Wilkes Street TunnelAn 1851 rail tunnel that is open to pedestrians
Contrabands and Freedmen CemeteryA mid-19th cemetery for African Americans that was abandoned and later restored as a memorial
Jones Point ParkA small national park containing a historic lighthouse, the southern boundary stone for the District of Columbia, displays about the site's history as a shipyard during World War I, and great views of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge
Outside of Old Town
George Washington Masonic National Memorialphone: +1 703 683-2007address: 101 Callahan DrDesigned and built by Freemasons in the 1930s, this monument to George Washington was made to resemble the Lighthouse at Alexandria, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Free tours are available daily except on major holidays. The tour takes visitors through a unique series of rooms each designed to illustrate some element of Freemasonry and presents visitors with artifacts from the group's past. At the end, visitors are treated to an outstanding view of Washington D.C. and Old Town Alexandria.
Alexandria National CemeteryPredecessor to the better-known Arlington National Cemetery.
National Inventors Hall of Fame and Museumaddress: 600 Dulany StreetInside the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters.
Ivy Hill CemeteryFinal resting place of several notable people, including Wernher von Braun.
phone: +1 703 838-4848address: 4301 West Braddock RoadFort Ward is the best preserved of the system of Union forts and batteries built to protect Washington, DC during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Fort Ward Museum interprets the site's history and offers exhibits on Civil War topics, education and interpretive programs, tours, lecture and video series, bus tours, and living history activities throughout the year. The Museum and Historic Site also interpret Alexandria, Virginia as an occupied city, the city's role as a vital Union Army crossroads, life within the Defenses of Washington, and the everyday life of Civil War soldiers and civilians.
Alexandria Colonial ToursHistoric Ghost Tour of Old Town Alexandria.
Doggie Happy HourKnown as a very dog-friendly community, Hotel Monaco continues the tradition of doggie happy hour. The event draws an interesting mix of locals and tourists who bring their dogs to socialize and have a few cocktails. The season culminates with the doggie hallowe'en contest in late October.
phone: +1 703 960-0767address: 4001 Eisenhower AvenueLocal park offering fishing, miniature golf, batting cages, and the Great Waves water slides.
Farmers Marketaddress: Market Square, 301 King StA favorite of local residents, Alexandria's Farmers' Market has been meeting continuously at the same site for more than 240 years—longer than any other market in the country.
Annual Alexandria Holiday Boat Parade of Lightsaddress: Alexandria Marina, Behind the Torpedo FactoryAnnual festival held in the first week of December at the Alexandria Marina featuring dozens of decorated boats cruising the Potomac River from Old Town Alexandria to DC's Southwest waterfront. Holiday music, Santa Claus and other holiday related festivities will also be present.
A large concentration of small business, walkable shopping is on King Street in Old Town. There are a little shops up and down Washington Street.
- The Farmers' Market at the Market Square, 301 King St. Held each Saturday morning from 5:30AM to 10:30AM, year round. A favorite of local residents, Alexandria's Farmers' Market has been meeting continuously at the same site for more than 240 yearslonger than any other market in the country.
address: 3671 Jefferson Davis HwyThe largest shopping area within Alexandria city limits is the newer Potomac Yard Center, an open-air power center that includes many big-box stores on US Route 1 just south of Reagan National Airport. Among the major chains with stores here are Barnes & Noble, Best Buy, Old Navy, Staples, Target, and the Sports Authority. Potomac Yard also has a large Regal Cinemas multiplex.
phone: +1 703 278-8752address: Beauregard Street & Little River TurnpikeLarge shopping center includes restaurants, clothing stores, wine/beer store, a grocery store, and other various shops.
Alexandria Commons Shopping Center
Brad-Lee Shopping Center
Foxchase Shopping Center
Old TownAs a rule of thumb, restaurant prices in Old Town get more expensive as you approach the waterfront. A typical meal for one might run $7-12 near the King Street Metro and $15-30 near the Potomac.
The Creameryaddress: 110 King Street Alexandria, VA 22314This Mom & Pop ice cream shop has been satisfying the sweet tooth of Alexandria residents and tourists for the past 25 years. They have about 40 flavors of homemade ice cream including all the classics, and a few others like jack daniels, pistachio, and cheesecake. This is the best ice cream shop in the DC area, and a must for after dinner dessert.
phone: +1 703 683-0300address: 208 Queen StLight/fancy - no dress code. Advertised as a wine bar. Recommended is their homemade bread and the Bilbo's salad (greens, with apple slices, mandarin orange slices, caramelized walnuts, crumbled Feta cheese with a raspberry vinaigrette - it's delicious, almost a dessert - yet healthy and light). The dining area is a little cramped - but the look and feel of the place has its own draw, exposed timbers in the ceiling, old stone work and the like. Or. just get the salad to go!
address: 728 King StreetFish 'n chips , Dublin style, in a cozy pub setting. Since the establishment only has space for 20 diners, seating is hard to come by during lunch and dinner hours. Carry out available. Worth a try, especially if you have eaten the real thing in Dublin. Very comparable.
phone: +1 703 548-1288address: 138 N Royal StA 325-year-old dining spot, and a favorite of the first five U.S. Presidents! Thomas Jefferson celebrated his 1800 election victory and George Washington celebrated several birthdays in the upstairs ballroom. The museum , +1 703 838-4242, is in the old 1785 portion of the tavern and has access to the historic ballroom. Tour times vary but usually end at 4PM in the winter and 5PM in the summer. The restaurant occupies the bottom floor of the relatively new 1792 section and provides an impressively historic setting with food styles influenced by the original tavern. The food is just okay, but is not really why you come here.
address: 112 S West StCheap food (mainly chili), Western ambiance. Four different types of chili are offered, but those who prefer Cincinnati chili may be disappointed.
address: 112 N St Asaph StreetA southern/BBQ restaurant with an unusual and bold decor. Restaurant is known for their ribs, po-boy sandwiches, and homemade potato chips. Entrees run in the $7-15 range.
phone: +1 703 837-9117address: 911 King StAmerican food done really, really well. Everything except the butter is made here, including the outstanding bacon and ham. Casual family atmosphere. The prices are comparable to other places in the area, but the quality is heads and shoulders above.
phone: +1 703 706-0450address: 110 S Pitt StThis one of the D.C. area's great restaurants, a four-star operation for special occasions, comparable to Citronelle in Georgetown. Also has a separate bistro section and bar, which also serves outstanding food for a much lower price.
phone: +1 703 684-9669address: 1120 King StRun by a master chef, Vermillion is often mentioned in the same breath as Eve when describing Alexandria's most prestigious cooking. It's far less expensive, though, so it's possible for the masses to treat themselves to Anthony Chittum's seasonal, local cuisine, nearly all of it prepared in-house.
phone: +1 703 836-2834address: 119 King StThe seafood here really isn't so noteworthy as that of its competitors above, but the beautiful, old-timey Alexandria waterfront ambiance most certainly is. And it has rich desserts to die for (or from).
phone: +1 571-970-3669address: 106 S. Union StRestaurant and sidewalk cafe across from Waterfront Park.
Outside of Old Town
phone: +1 703 519-3776address: 1201 N Royal StCountry-style French cuisine with all organic, local ingredients, served in a romantic atmosphere are good reasons to wander a little north of Old Town. The cassoulet and the pastries are some of the kitchen's particular specialties.
Hee Been Korean BBQphone: +1 703 941-3737address: 6231 Little River TurnpikeThe quality of food here is excellent, you can prepare it yourself at the table on the provided grills or you can ask the cooks to prepare it for you (good for a first try and they don't mind!) and you will be amazed at how much you enjoy it. Standard recommendations are "Kal bi" - thick slices of meat in a tangy-sweet sauce (not like American BBQ, but a similar idea), or "Bul go ki" - thinner slices almost like the way a Philly cheese steak is prepared - but with a sweeter seasoning. Their salmon is excellent and the "Bim bim bop" or Korean fried rice is delicious. (For a treat ask for "Dol Sot bim bim bop" - which is the same dish in a hot stone pot but unmixed, you get to mix it together with as much (or as little) spicy seasoning paste as you want and it's much fun.
House of Dynastyaddress: 7550 Telegraph RdTry their sesame eggplant. They have a ginger soy sauce for their steamed meat dumplings which you'll want to drink straight. Their house mustard and duck sauce are worth the trip. Their chicken and corn soup is unique and amazing. Some favorite meals: Kung pao anything, sesame chicken (sweet and delicious), crispy prawns and walnuts (you can get the walnuts as an appetizer if you like), Schezuan string beans and their "Banana Delight" for dessert. After appetizers they bring out a small serving of lemon sorbet "to cleanse the pallet" and let you come fresh to the main courses. After dinner they bring out steamed wash cloths to clean up with. The place serves large generous servings at very reasonable prices. You can get out for surprisingly cheap, especially during lunch hours.
Paradisophone: +1 703 922-6222address: 6124 Franconia RdItalian. They have a very respectable atmosphere of a high class establishment - but they accept casual dress and are completely welcoming of all - in fact they have a children's play room with Disney videos and toys for families, Sunday mornings they have a brunch with some delicious selections (try their bruschetta) and Karaoke Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday nights on the bar/patio side.
address: 815 South Washington StThis local favorite features cuisine from the low country region of the American South, with generous portions at reasonable prices.
phone: +1 703 370-3800address: 4580 Duke St, Alexandria, VaCaribbean. The drink menu at the sunny tropical-theme restaurant is a case in point.
address: Multiple LocationsGood for some cheap Mexican food.
address: Multiple LocationsThese guys make organic pizza. A large pizza is about $25, so it is pricey.
Pubs and bars
Daniel O'Connell's Restaurant and Pubphone: +1 703 739-1124address: 112 King Street
phone: +1 703 548-1717address: 713 King StOne of the happiest Irish pubs around, with 14 amazing beers on tap, a big fireplace, surprisingly good Irish food for the very low prices, and high-quality live Irish music every night of the week, which the crowd gets very into. Murphy's boasts an impressively tasty menu, including gourmet lunch and dinner specials. Enjoy their Champagne Brunch from 10AM-3PM every Sunday.
phone: +1 703 299-8384address: 728 King StThe classiest of the swankiest bars/lounges in the D.C. area, in a beautiful historic building, with mixed drinks that are widely considered the D.C. area's best, and easily some of the best you'll find in the nation. The gin and tonic is a standout, despite seemingly being a very boring choice, as it is made to perfection with house-made tonic. If the various wild rides on the menu (e.g., tobacco-infused bourbon with lemon and honey syrup) don't catch your fancy, the expert bartender will craft you any cocktail you can dream of. The bar is extremely small and intimate, and both reservations (days in advance for F Sa) are a must, as is classy attire—a jacket is not a bad idea.
phone: +1 703 548-1785address: 121 S Union DrThe Union St Pub is an Old Town institution, in no small part due to its location and for the roomy (several rooms), comfy interior where you'll be able to sit even on a crowded Old Town weekend night, and where you'll find a good selection of local Virginia craft beers. The building itself is historic, dating back to when George Washington used it as a warehouse. Seafood fans should head to the left and the back towards the oyster bar.
phone: +1 703 600-2899address: 901 Slaters LnThe best reason to come may be the long hours when you can sip and surf the free WiFi. The close second runner up, though, are the treats—the brioche breakfast sandwich (think an omelet between rich brioche bread) is the local favorite, but the panini and desserts are also worth ordering. Tired travelers who need to spend some good time online updating Wikivoyage should brave the long walk and just check in here for the full day.
Misha's Coffeehouse and Coffee Roasteraddress: 102 South Patrick Street
Old Town Coffee Tea and Spiceaddress: 215 South Union Street
Outside Old Town
address: 3701 Mt. Vernon AveA locally famous musical hall which has had a spectrum of artists from country acts such as Charles Daniels to classic rockers like George Thorogood.
phone: +1 703 224-5051address: 827 Slater LnDespite billing itself as a restaurant, this is a much better place for drinks (the food is overpriced). For drinks however, you'll find an enormous list of craft beers, and a very beer-knowledgeable staff.
address: 5239 Duke StShooter McGee's has been a neighborhood restaurant and tavern for almost 30 years.
address: 642 S Pickett StNorthern Virginia's premier live country venue. Enjoy live bands, line dancing, couples dancing, and karaoke nightly.
address: 901 North FairfaxIn Old Town Alexandria.
phone: +1 703 642-3422address: 6254 Duke StOff Interstate 395, 24-hour IHOP Restaurant located on the premises.
phone: +1 703 837-0440address: 1767 King StHiltons are always nice, if big and impersonal, and this one has a fine location just west of Old Town, and next to the Metro stop for a very easy commute into the city.
phone: +1 703 549-6080address: 480 King St
phone: +1 703 894-3434address: 1600 King StreetHotel and spa in Old Town Alexandria. Has pet-friendly options.
phone: +1 703 838-8000address: 116 S Alfred StIt's hard to compete with this B&B. Staying right off King St in the heart of Old Town, in a beautiful, stately, chandelier filled mansion in the colonial style. Has tuxedo-clad butlers, a classy piano bar, and a restaurant competitive with the best in the area.
phone: +1 703 370-9600address: 100 S Reynolds StAll-suite hotel with large suites and kitchens. Free breakfast, parking, internet, and shuttle to Metro/local area.
Sheraton Suites Old Town Alexandriaphone: +1 703 836-4700address: 801 North St. Asaph StreetA hotel within walking distance of the Braddock street Metro station. While it's not in Old Town, the hotel is a short walk from historic sights and several high-quality restaurants. The entire property is non-smoking. The hotel has an on-site restaurant and an on-site fitness center with a lap pool. The hotel sometimes offers discounted rates for suites, an added bonus for those seeking to obtain relatively inexpensive Starwood points.
In addition to the above, there is a large cluster of reasonably priced motels/hotels on Hwy 1 just outside city limits in the South Alexandria section of Fairfax Co., within walking distance of the Huntington Metro. Prices in the area will likely run about half what more posh accommodations on King Street in Old Town would.
- Arlington - Location of the Pentagon, Marine Corps War Memorial (Iwo Jima Statue), and Arlington Cemetery.
- South Alexandria
- Mount Vernon - George Washington lived here in the mansion by the same name which overlooks the Potomac River.
- Washington, D.C. - Explore America's national capital.