This post lists the various Washington, DC night tours available to you, including walking, bus, bike and Segway tours. We review and compare the different options to help you make the best decision for yourself. Many of Washington, DC’s famous sights are meant to be seen at night. There is no shortage of options, from our pay-what-you-wish walking tours to double-decker bus tours and more exclusive small group bus tours. Likewise, many bike tour companies offer several different night tour options. Be sure to also check out our post on other things to do at night in DC, including musical performances, theater, and restaurants.
Washington DC is perhaps best experienced through walking tours. Although bus and boat tours will give you a unique perspective of many historically important memorials, most of these attractions can only be accessed on foot. If you want to get a good, close look at the landmarks that are sprinkled across our nation’s capital, we offer a variety of DC walking tours at night. In addition to getting closer to these locations, you can also expect to learn a lot about our nation’s history. All of our tours are pay-what-you-want, which means that you can actually enjoy them for free if you wish. We do recommend offering gratuity of some sort to our guides, but it is not necessary. This is a great way to save money while experiencing as much of the capital as possible.
You have to look no further than our tours. So far, we have yet to receive any negative ratings on TripAdvisor. Our service currently sports an overall 5 star rating, and most comments mentioning our night tours are very positive. Some reviewers described the monuments as “absolutely stunning” at night, while others showed appreciation for their informative and helpful tour guides. These are great tours for all kinds of guests, but families appear to appreciate this experience more than any other group of people.
National Mall Tour – We offer this tour both day and night. Walk along the National Mall and discover the history of the United States through the many memorials and monuments in the area. Discover the Washington Monument, The White House, The Lincoln Memorial and many other significant landmarks on your journey. Reservation required.
Lincoln Assassination – Hear the tale of Abraham Lincoln’s last days and discover the truth behind the plot to assassinate our nation’s 16th president. Uncover the truth and find out what really happened on that night over 150 years ago. Visit locations such as The National Theatre, Ford’s Theatre and the Star Saloon to learn more about how it all went down. Reservation required.
Ghosts of Georgetown – Washington DC is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the United States, and there is a lot of history behind the area of Georgetown. Do the ghosts of our nation’s past still lurk these streets? Join us for this family friendly night tour and visit a variety of historic locations as you hear some of the spooky tales that were born in this area. Reservation required.
Haunted Georgetown – ADULTS ONLY – On this evening walking tour you will stroll the historic streets of Georgetown and hear long ago tales of tragedy, romance and lore. With its architecture, pedigree and ambiance, Georgetown is a lovely place to visit. However, the houses, churches and cemeteries of this tony neighborhood are still haunted by their past. Come find out why… We go to dark, quiet places to tell scary stories. We recommend this tour for ages 14 and above.
White House at Night – Secrets and Legends – ADULTS ONLY – Scandalous side of White House? Who would’ve thought it? Join Free Tours by Foot, if you’re an adult, for a walk through the neighborhood around the White House at night to talk about presidential affairs, nearby duels, murders and scandalous first ladies. Our historian guides take you through this small park, known as Tragedy Square, for the true stories of some of the city’s darkest secrets and most haunted houses, including the White House.
Whether you want to avoid inclement weather or you would just like to relax while a tour guide shows you around our nation’s capital, a bus tour could be the perfect option. There are a lot of bus tours at night in Washington DC, and they’re all quite highly rated. Some companies use double-decker buses, which could have 30-45 passengers, while others use smaller shuttles that seat no more than 30 people. One company offers sprinter buses with no more than 11 passengers. Some of these night tours have both a driver and a tour guide, which means you will be provided guided walking tours at some stops. Also, some memorials, such as Iwo Jima and the Air Force Memorial, are not really accessible by foot. Expect to pay between $30-$50 on average per adult ticket.
Some of the night bus tours listed below can be taken as part of a larger bus tour package. Visit our Washington DC bus tour comparison post for more details.
This 3.5-hour open-top bus tour will take you past all of the most iconic buildings in DC. Of all the hop-on, hop-off companies, DC Trails offers the most stops of any similar night tour. Stops include White House (Photo stop only)
U.S. Capitol (Photo stop only), Vietnam Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean Memorial, Nurses Memorial, World War II Memorial, Iwo Jima Memorial, FDR Memorial, MLK Memorial. DC Trails Twilight Bus Tour offers a live guide who will get off the coach with you at each stop. We like how a child ticket is just $20. Combined with our discount, this is also the cheapest of the night tours. In our opinion, this is the best value night tour (other than ours).
DC Trails gets good overall reviews and that also goes for their night tour, which guests rate highly.
3.5 hours departing daily at 7 pm.
NOTE: This night tour is included for free with the purchase of a 48 hour DC Trails hop-on, hop-off ticket.
DC BY FOOT’S TWILIGHT BUS TOUR
We’ve taken our name your own price tours on the road. There is a reservation fee to pay for the bus seat, but the tour itself is pay-what-you-want. The evening tour takes you to see some sites that are off the beaten path. This trip includes stops at locations such as the Air Force Memorial, Iwo Jima Marine Corps Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial – which is definitely a must-see! With our tour, you have the same driver, coach and guide the entire time! Unlike traditional hop-on, hop-off tours, the guide hops off with you to lead you to the best views and some special hidden areas that you might not know about.
This tour cannot accommodate strollers, luggage or wheelchairs. By law, every person must have a seat/ticket. No lap-sitting. Child seats cannot be provided so please do not bring small children.
Cost: You choose! Pay your guide at the end of the tour. There is a $23 reservation fee for your seat since the bus doesn’t work for your appreciation, but both your driver and tour guide do!
Duration: 3.5 hours
When: This tour is not currently offered.
Reviews of DC by Foot
We don’t like to blow our own horn, so we’ll just let our guests do that for us. DC By Foot currently has a 5-star rating on TripAdvisor with a total of more than 2,000 positive reviews. Only a handful of people have reported having a negative experience while on one of our tours, and that’s a pretty good track record. Most customers enjoy how informative and entertaining our guides can be, making sure to mention them by name in their glowing comments. According to several reviewers, this is likely to be one of the most affordable and educational trips that you can experience in Washington, DC!
USA GUIDED TOURS
USA Guided Tours is one of the better reviewed bus tour companies in DC. The DC at Dusk Tour is the similar to our night tour in that it has both a driver and a tour guide. Your tour guide will join you for guided strolls through each stop, which is helpful as sometimes the sights cannot be fully experienced from the road. This is a premium service with a maximum of 30 guests per tour and thus reflected in the prices. The tour stops at and includes guided walking tours at the following locations:
Hotel Pick Up can be arranged via select hotels, otherwise you can meet your tour at the Naval Memorial conveniently located downtown on Pennsylvania Ave NW – there is a Metro station right there on the Green/Yellow lines.
BIG BUS DC NIGHT TOUR
This two-hour tour begins just after the sun goes down, allowing you to see what the nation’s capital looks like after dark. Unlike their other offerings, the Big Bus Night Tour includes a live guide that will explain the significance of every landmark on your journey. The night tour is not a hop-on, hop-off tour like their day tours, rather you will see most of the sights listed on their page from the bus. The tour includes 1 stop where your tour guide will accompany you to the Lincoln, Vietnam, and Korean War Memorials.
Reviews of Big Bus’s night tour are better than the company as a whole. This is probably due to the fact that passengers are guaranteed one bus for the entire evening and will not have to wait for the next bus, as they do with the daytime hop-on, hop-off tours.
2 Hour Tour
NOTE: The night tour is included in the price for the 2 day all inclusive ticket, which is just $20 more per adult. This combo pass also includes a free bike rental, free refreshments and free admission to Madame Tussauds.
Ticket Price: $59 for Adults | $39 for Children
NOTE: This is only $20 more than the price of their night tour alone.
OLD TOWN TROLLEY MONUMENTS BY MOONLIGHT TOUR
In addition to their hop-on, hop-off National Mall and their Arlington National Cemetery trolley services, Old Town Trolley also offers a night tour. Professional guides will lead you around the city and provide a plethora of information about the history of our nation. Purchase your ticket with confidence, as Old Town Trolley offers a money-back guarantee. This is not a hop-on, hop-off tour, rather you will make 3 stops with your tour guide, as opposed to Big Bus’s 1 stop, including a stop at the Iwo Jima Memorial. Old Town Trolley also offers shuttle service from certain hotel areas to the tour starting point, which is a nice addition.
Like Big Bus, Old Town Trolley’s night tour gets good overall reviews. Complaints seem to be the chaotic boarding processes and plastic windows, but the vast majority rate this tour very good to excellent.
2 ½ Hour Tour
CITY SIGHTS DC NIGHT TOUR
Our nation’s capitol likes to light up the night, keeping our monuments well lit at almost all hours of the day. Seeing these significant locations after sunset is an entirely different experience, and this company provides a somewhat longer tour than some of their competitors. If you want an experienced guide to show you around the city after dark, this is going to be one of your best options.
Reviews of this tour are not nearly as good as Big Bus or Old Town Trolley, but like both of these companies, CitySights’s night tour scores higher than its day tours.
3 Hour Tour
NOTE: The night tour is included at no additional cost in the 2 day ticket and the attraction passes.
Epic Evening Bus Tour – Discover all of the most significant locations in DC during the evening! There are a few good points for this tour.
However, this is a driver-guide only tour, so there is no tour guide to accompany you through the memorials which can be a negative if you have any questions while at the sites since many sites cannot be seen from the coach. With that said, none of the reviewers seem to have any issues with this aspect and the guided bus portion seems to make up for it.
They do offer hotel pick up and drop off. As the tour is a small group, they do allow flexibility with the itinerary and are sometimes are able to incorporate a specific request like Embassy Row or the Kennedy Center.
There are at least a few notable bike tour companies that offer night tours in our nation’s capital. Public bike tours are usually very affordable, but they are also very popular. Some reviewers complain about large groups, suggesting that these tours can get a little hectic if there are too many people booked. If you want to avoid large crowds, you may want to consider a more expensive private tour. Public tours will typically run you about $40-$45 per ticket. This activity is particularly popular with families.
If you are not interested in a group bike tour, then you might be up to riding on your own with the Capital Bike Share program.
Bike and Roll DC
Bike and Roll is well known for providing excellent service in cities all over the country. In Washington DC, they offer a wide variety of excursions both day and night. Each of their night tours will take you to several monuments and memorials in the area, where tour guides will explain the historical significance of each landmark. Get a close look at our nation’s history after dark when you take a bike ride around the National Mall and other notable locations. Bike and Roll’s night tour starts just off the National Mall at L’Enfant Plaza.
With a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor, it’s clear that most guests really appreciate the service that Bike and Roll provides. Although there are a few negative comments, they don’t indicate any recurring problems with the company. A majority of positive reviews came from customers who went on this tour with their families, suggesting that this may be an excellent option for family audiences. Reviewers enjoyed both the information provided by their guides and the opportunity to explore several different landmarks in our nation’s capital.
Monuments @ Nite
Tour Length: This tour will require 4 miles of cycling over the course of 3 hours.
Capital Sites @ Nite
Tour Length: This tour will require 7-8 miles of cycling over the course of 3 hours.
Availability: Summer only
Although they only offer one bike tour at night, it is very similar to the service provided by their competitors. Bike through the National Mall and discover some of the most beautiful monuments this nation has to offer with the help of a professional tour guide. Learn all about our history through the many memorials which have been built to commemorate some of the greatest leaders and soldiers the world has ever seen. Capital City Bike Tours begin from near the west end of the National Mall in Foggy Bottom.
Much like their competitors, Capital City Bike Tours has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Reviews for their sunset tour are almost all positive, with most guests referring to their tour guide as both friendly and helpful. By and large, this bike tour is especially popular among families, indicating that this may be a great family activity. It would appear that this company is an excellent alternative to similar services.
Tour Length: 3 hours
DC Cycling Concierge
If you’re looking for a more exclusive experience, DC Cycling Concierge might be your best bet. This company offers high quality private bike tours for small groups. Discover all of the most significant monuments and landmarks with the help of a local who knows their way around on a bicycle. These night tours are a little bit more expensive, but they might be better for audiences who want to avoid large groups. Make your family event as memorable as possible with a private tour around Washington DC.
Just like their competition, this company enjoys a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. However, unlike the other bike tour companies in the area, DC Cycling Concierge has yet to receive any negative reviews. Guests who took the night tour suggested that this is one of the best ways to see DC. Reviewers recommend a private bike tour for anyone who doesn’t feel comfortable riding with large crowds in a public tour. Unlike the other options on this list, it would appear that this service is popular with all types of audiences.
Price: $299 per person
Tour Length: Expect to cycle 6-12 miles over the course of 2-3 hours
NOTE: Although we have offered a free bike tour in the past, this service is currently on hold. We may bring it back at some point, but there are currently no immediate plans for this.
Seeing the sights from the water can be just as fun and educational as getting a closer look. Thankfully, there are several companies that provide night tours by boat in Washington DC. Some of these services are actually dinner cruises, and they will typically cost more than the other options on our list. On average, the typical boat tour will cost between $25-$50, while a dinner cruise will run you about $90-$130. Reviews indicate that these trips do not focus much on providing historical information about our nation’s capital, instead serving more as sightseeing opportunities. Most of these excursions are only going to be available between March–November.
Dandy Restaurant Cruises
Some of the boat trips on this list are all about dancing and socializing, while others are a bit more classy. The Dandy Dinner Cruise provides the experience of fine dining while you drift down the Potomac. Get a good look at the monuments of Washington DC as you enjoy a wonderful meal. Narration is offered at various different points of interest. Due to the inclusion of food and the length of the cruise, ticket prices are quite a bit more expensive than a boat tour.
Opinions on this service are mixed, and Dandy Restaurant Cruises has received a 3 ½ star rating on TripAdvisor. Some customers complain about the quality of the food, suggesting that it isn’t anything special. Others take issue with the lack of communication when trying to purchase tickets. Positive reviews indicated that their service is excellent and the crew was very helpful. Several guests felt the food was delicious, so it’s difficult to say whether or not previous complaints have much merit.
Availability: A minimum of 25 passengers are required for this cruise to depart. As long as they have at least 25 guests, Dandy Restaurant Cruises will be happy to provide service.
Tour Length: 3 hours
When it comes to dinner cruises in our nation’s capital, few names are as notable as Spirit Cruises. This company is well known for providing excellent service, and they are one of the most popular choices for a nighttime cruise on the Potomac. Unlike their competition, you’ll actually have access to a dinner buffet on this cruise. This company also provides DJ music and dancing for anyone who wants to finish the night off with a party.
Most of the reviews for their dinner cruise are positive, but there are a few negative comments as well. Complaints range from lack of service to poor food quality, but there are just as many customers who enjoyed their meal and the people who served them. Several reviewers mentioned that their food was delicious and the crew was both helpful and polite. This seems to be a common thread among both happy and unhappy guests.
NOTE: Ticket prices fluctuate depending on how many seats remain open and other factors.
Ticket Price: $87.90-$99.90 per person
Availability: This cruise is available pretty much year round, but departures depend on whether or not Spirit Cruises has filled enough seats.
Tour Length: 2 ½ – 3 hours
This cruise company is actually owned by the same business that runs Spirit Cruises. Their dinner cruise offers fairly similar service, but it is intended as a much more upscale experience. Odyssey Cruises offers live music and three course plated dinners, ensuring a more romantic and intimate experience. Enjoy a more traditional and professional dining experience as you float past some of the most notable monuments in Washington DC.
As a result of offering a more opulent service, Odyssey enjoys an overall 4 star rating on TripAdvisor. A majority of the reviews for this dinner cruise are positive, indicating that most people enjoyed their fine dining experience. Even those who took issue with the food quality admitted that the live music was excellent. Most passengers were very impressed with the cruise, stating that both the staff and their meal were wonderful. Odyssey Cruises is particularly popular among couples due to its focus on a more romantic atmosphere.
Washington DC Dinner Cruise
NOTE: As with Spirit Cruises, ticket prices fluctuate depending on remaining seats and other factors.
Ticket Price: $107.90-$127.90 per person
Availability: Odyssey’s dinner cruises are also available year round, but the boat won’t depart unless they receive enough guests. You will be informed if this is the case.
Tour Length: 2 ½ – 3 hours
If you’re looking for a more entertaining sightseeing experience, consider DC Cruises. Although they don’t necessarily focus on providing a lot of information about our nation’s capital, their Monuments By Moonlight cruise will give you an opportunity to see the memorials and landmarks from the Potomac. They offer panoramic windows, indoor and outdoor decks, and a full bar. This trip is definitely more about having fun and seeing the sights!
With an overall rating of 3 stars on TripAdvisor, DC Cruises doesn’t exactly have the best reputation. Ratings for their Moonlight cruise are mixed, with some customers complaining that the music on the boat is too loud and the trip is too short. Other passengers knew what they were getting into and actually enjoyed their experience. If you’re looking for a more laid back cruise, reviews indicate that this may be an excellent service for that purpose.
Although it’s a sightseeing cruise, there will be very little narration. Instead, you will hear a selection of popular music as you float by the monuments.
No Children under 10
Tour Length: This cruise will last approximately 45-60 minutes. It is offered on Fridays and Saturdays at 8 PM from March – November.
In addition to their sightseeing trip, DC Cruises also offers a party service during the spring and summer. This is intended as more of a party, with loud music and social drinking.
No Children Allowed
Tour Length: The Exclusive hour runs from 9:15 PM-10:30 PM. The DJ Party Cruise runs from 10:30 PM-11:45 PM. Both cruises are only available during the warmer months of the year.
Boomerang Boat Tours
Much like DC Cruises, you’ll find that this tour company is more about having fun and sightseeing than it is about providing an educational experience. If you want to see the monuments from the Potomac while enjoying a few drinks on a yacht, this would be an excellent option. Tickets for the Nighttime Party Yacht are a bit more expensive than the services offered by competitors, but reviews for Boomerang are also a lot more impressive. This yacht includes a full bar and an air conditioned dance floor in the main cabin.
According to customers on TripAdvisor, this is one of the most entertaining cruises in Washington DC. Reviewers have seen fit to give the Boomerang Party Yacht a 4 ½ star rating, and most of them seem very happy with their experience. A majority of positive reviews came from guests who brought a friend along for the ride, indicating that this could be a great activity for groups of friends. Older customers weren’t as excited about the trip, but they did suggest that this would definitely be more fun for younger audiences.
Nighttime Party Yacht Cruise
Price: $35-$45 per person
Additional Information: This cruise is limited to adults 21 and older. An ID will be required to board the yacht.
There are actually a wide variety of segway tours in Washington DC. Unfortunately, most of them do not offer night tours, instead opting for trips at sunset. Some of these sunset tours will last long enough to see the monuments as the sun goes down and during the magic hour, which is yet another wonderful experience. Others will run until 9 PM, giving most guests an opportunity to see our most treasured landmarks after the sun goes down. This is certainly the case the closer you are to June 21st. Expect to pay anywhere from $60-$80 per person for each tour.
NOTE: These tours cannot accommodate children or youth under 16 years of age.
This company offers fairly long tours and one of them begins at 6 PM. This 3 hour trip will last until about 9 PM, giving you plenty of opportunity to see the monuments and memorials both as the sun sets and at twilight. Watch as these landmarks are lit up and experience the history of our nation during the magic hour. One of their tours will take you through the National Mall, while the other explores a variety of important locations in Washington DC. As you might expect, these segway tours are only offered during the warmer months of the year.
As of yet, City Segway has yet to receive any negative reviews for their sunset/night tours. Some guests described this experience as the highlight of their trip. Dozens of customers agree that this segway tour is both informative and entertaining. A majority of positive reviews came from families and couples, indicating that this is probably an excellent excursion for reasonably sized groups.
This trip is intended for guests who are new to Washington DC. If you want to learn the basics, this is the perfect introduction to our nation’s capital.
This journey is intended for those who may have seen a few notable locations in DC before. Visit all of the most important landmarks and learn all about our history.
In addition to their many bike tours, this company also offers a segway tour which has one offering at 6 PM. Each tour lasts for 2 ½ hours, so it’s entirely possible that you will see the monuments during sunset and after night fall. This is one of the most affordable segway trips on the list, and it comes from one of the most trusted tour companies in Washington DC. As with most outdoor tours, there is limited availability during the winter.
As we previously mentioned, Bike and Roll enjoys an excellent 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Most reviews for their sunset/nighttime segway tour are positive, with some guests referring to their tour guides as both engaged and knowledgeable. The few negative comments don’t seem to indicate any serious or recurring problems. Families and couples were most likely to leave a positive review, so this is probably a good option for both small and middle sized groups.
Just like the other services on this list, you can expect Capital Segway to offer tours starting at about 6 PM. Unfortunately, this is a much shorter trip than their competitors offer, which means that it will probably end before the sun goes down. With that in mind, you might want to consider this option during the spring and fall in order to see the monuments both during sunset and potentially after dark. Although this segway tour is shorter than the rest, it’s also more affordable. Keep this tour company in mind if you are working with a tight budget.
This company has a 5 star rating on TripAdvisor and all indications are that their service is excellent. Every review for their night tour is positive, and few customers have had anything bad to say about Capital Segway. Reviewers suggest that this tour is a great way to beat the summer heat and that it’s perfect for anyone who doesn’t have a lot of time in Washington DC. Most guests found their journey both informative and entertaining.
Segs in the City
All puns aside, this tour company is actually one of the highest rated segway services in Washington DC. Unlike their competitors, they offer a tour that is specifically intended to provide a sunset/nightfall experience at the National Mall. This is the most expensive option on our list, but it’s also the only one that is designed primarily as a night tour. Although this segway tour is only 2 hours long, it runs from 7 PM-9 PM, giving you plenty of time to see the monuments as the sun sets behind them.
Segs in the City is yet another segway tour company that has a perfect 5 star rating on TripAdvisor. Although there are one or two negative comments, they don’t indicate any significant issues with the service. By and large, most customers report that their night tour is very fun and informative. That being said, it’s worth noting that several of the positive reviews also mention that this is more of an entertaining experience than it is educational.
Several tour companies provide combo packages and deals which allow you to save money on their services. If you’re in the market to experience more than one attraction or activity in Washington DC, you might want to consider one of the following opportunities. There is also a tourist attraction discount card that allows a mix and match of different tours. Some of the bus tours we listed above offer combo tickets which include their night tour for free. If you want to see Washington DC both during the day and after dark, this could be a great way to save money on your trip around the nation’s capital.
Just like their competitors, this company also provides a free night tour with every 48-hour ticket. Prices are comparable to other bus tours and reviews for this service are very good.
Ticket Prices: $56 for Adults | $27 for Children
Big Bus Tours
With the purchase of a Deluxe 2-Day ticket, you will receive access to their night tour. This combo pass also includes a free bike rental, free refreshments and free admission to Madame Tussauds.
Ticket Price: $59 for Adults | $39 for Children
NOTE: This is only $20 more than the price of their night tour alone.
City Sights DC
Similar to Big Bus Tours, City Sights offers their night tour for free when you purchase a 2-Day ticket. However, they also offer a combo pass which includes everything you get with a 2-Day ticket plus admission for up to 5 different attractions.
City Sights DC also offers a variety of discounts through Groupon. These will not always be available, but you should always check to see if your chosen tour is currently on sale.
For more information on their combo pass, check out our comparison of Washington DC attraction passes.
Go Washington DC Card
Although most of the attractions and tours included with this combo pass are daytime activities, there are a few options you can experience during the night. For instance, if you choose to build your own pass, you could actually save money on both The Capital Wheel and the Sites By Segway tour offered by Bike and Roll DC. Each of these activities can be experienced after dark, and you can save 20% or more by using the Go Washington DC Card!
For more information on the Explorer Pass and the Build-Your-Own Pass, please look at our comparison of Washington DC attraction passes.