Getting around the city can be a bit challenging at first, but you will quickly find that the city has an excellent public transportation system and Georgetown also offers the Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle or GUTS bus.
It is almost impossible to drive a car to Georgetown University each day, because parking in the university lots is VERY expensive, and parking in the streets around the campus has a two-hour limit. Some people do this though! They drive to campus, park in the streets right around campus, and move their cars every two hours. It’s doable, but you might get parking tickets if you pass the two-hour limit. (Note: on the weekends there is no limit). I would recommend not doing this.
The FREE Georgetown University Transportation Shuttle (GUTS)
There are 5 different GUTS routes; the two most popular routes go between campus and the Dupont Circle metro (red line) and the Rosslyn metro (orange and blue line). These two routes run multiple times per hour on weekdays and also have service on weekends. Other routes are the Arlington loop (which may be helpful for students living near Courthouse and Clarendon metro stops), the Law Center shuttle (within walking distance of the Union Station and Chinatown metro stops), and the Wisconsin Ave. loop (which some students living in Glover Park use). They don’t run as frequently, but if your schedule allows it doesn’t hurt to save a little on transportation.
Georgetown does not have a metro stop. If you live near the metro or bus to the metro to get to campus, get off the train at either Rosslyn (orange/blue) or Dupont (red) and take the free GUTS bus to campus.
Metro fares vary based on distance traveled and time of day (with higher fares during morning and evening rush hours). Recently Metro has started to charge more for paper fare cards, so one easy way to save a little bit of money on transportation costs is to buy a Smartrip card (http://www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip/). The card costs $5, and can be purchased online, at metro sales offices, commuter stores (one of which is in Rosslyn), or at some CVS stores. It works like a pre-paid debit card; you can add money at any metro station (cash or credit) or on any bus (cash only). Once you have purchased the card, you can register it online, and that way you can recover any unused money if you lose your card.
There are a few buses that run to campus: the G2 runs between the front gates and the Shaw neighborhood, and the D1 (Glover Park-Federal Triangle), D2 (Glover Park-Dupont Circle), and D6 (Sibley Hospital-Stadium Armory) all stop at the north side of campus by the medical center.
If you are thinking about living in Northern Virginia or Maryland and are unsure if there is a bus line nearby that connects the neighborhood to the metro (or are in DC and are wondering what bus lines are near your house), WMATA has an online tool that lets you find service near any address: http://www.wmata.com/rider_tools/servicenearby/index.cfm.
Like the Metro fare, the Metrobus fare is different for riders who have Smartrip cards and riders who pay cash. Additionally, the Metrobus has FREE transfers from bus to bus for two hours, but ONLY for riders who use Smartrip cards, as well as a discount for those who transfer between rail and bus. Again, buying the Smartrip can save you money (maybe just 25 cents per ride, but that adds up! – so check it out: http://www.wmata.com/fares/smartrip/)
Favorite places in D.C.
D.C. offers a wide arrary of cultural and social activities that you should take advantage of. The Smithsonian Museums are free to enter and oftentimes have interesting exhibits and expositions. For locations and a list of exhibitions, please see the Smithsonian website, http://www.si.edu/.
You should also check out the monuments and the botanical gardens located near the capitol building. The United States Botanical Gardens website is: http://www.usbg.gov/. Go spend an afternoon there and take a picnic.
Since you’ll be spending a lot of time in and around Georgetown, you should familiarize yourselves with what the area has to offer. Take a walk down to the waterfront or stop in at the Dumbarton House and Gardens. Walk up to the National Cathedral, located on Wisconsin Avenue near Massachusetts Avenue.
Below you will find a list of students’ favorite places in the city. Try some of them out and see what you think!
1. Baked and Wired – café & cupcakery, delicious treats near the waterfront
2. Bread & Brew – Good eats in Dupont Circle, go here for lunch
3. Thomas sweets – a Georgetown institution, go here for ice-cream
4. National Museum of the American Indian
5. Jaleo – tapas bar and student favorite located near Metro Center
6. Café Citron – mojitos, music and more in Dupont Circle
7. Kramerbooks – eat brunch here on the weekend
8. National Portrait Gallery
9. Sahara Dance Studio
10. Eighteenth Street Lounge – Tuesday is Tango night
11. Laptop-friendly coffee shops: Caribou on 14th and Rhode Island; Soho on 22nd and P
12. Hirschorn Museum & Sculpture Garden
13. 9:30 Club – great for live music
14. Woodley Park Yoga
15. Open City Diner – get oatmeal if you go for breakfast
16. Tryst – coffeehouse
17. Cakelove on U St
18. Busboys and Poets
19. Nooshi restaurant
20. Tropicana eatery – Jamaican food
21. Sala Thai restaurant
22. Malcom X Park & Recreation Center
23. Library of Congress
24. The Tudor House – Historic house and gardens
25. Politics and Prose – Friday night is open mic
26. Big Bear Café
27. Ben’s Chili Bowl
28. American University Library
29. Capital Crescent Trail – great for running and biking
30. Pentagon City Mall
31. E St Cinema – good mix of independent and foreign films
32. Teaism – for brunch and tea
33. The Grill from Ipanema – discounted caipirinhas during happy hour
35. Oyamel – great Mexican food
Hopefully, that’s enough to get you started. For more suggestions, ask anyone in the Department.
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