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Travel and Housing: Washington DC Area

If your internship is onsite at a location other than the DC area (for example, New York, Edgewater MD, Boston, Panama, etc.), please be in touch with your unit coordinator for guidance around travel and housing. 

Local Airports 

There are three airports that service the greater Washington DC area: 

National Airport (DCA) is located closest to DC and the National Mall. There is a Metro stop attached to the airport. 

Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is located closer to Baltimore, approximately 40 minutes outside of DC. It is serviced by MARC and Amtrak trains. 

Dulles International Airport (IAD) is located in Virginia, 45 minutes to an hour away from DC. There is a planned metro stop there that is currently set to open around February 2022.  

All three airports have taxi services, as well as Uber and Lyft availability. The price of these is completely dependent on the length of the drive.  


Getting Around the Greater DC Area

Due to the difficulty of parking in DC, we recommend that you leave your car at home and take advantage of the extensive public transportation system in DC and the surrounding areas. 

Smithsonian Employee Shuttle: The Smithsonian operates shuttle routes around many museums, offices and research centers. Check with your Unit Coordinator for more details.  

Washington Metro Area Transit Authority (WMATA): DC’s Metro is the most common way to get around the city and surrounding areas.  

Buses: WMATA also offers bus service, including the Circulator bus, which runs many routes near the Smithsonian’s museums, and connects with multiple bus services in surrounding counties and municipalities. 

Virginia Railway Express (VRE) and Maryland Area Regional Commuter (MARC): these train lines can be very useful if you are staying outside of DC and will need to commute in.  

Amtrak: a great option for visiting towns and cities along the East Coast. 

Taxis and Rideshare: Uber, Lyft, and taxi service is available throughout most of the metropolitan area. 



If you are relocating to DC for your internship and will need to arrange housing, we recommend that you begin your search as soon as possible. Finding short term (and long term) housing in DC can be difficult and expensive.  

If you are currently enrolled at or a recent alumnus of an academic institution, we recommend checking there for on-site Washington housing or alumni connections to housing. Many local colleges and universities also rent out dorm rooms during summer break. 

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