Depending on whether you want private or public transportation and how much you want to spend, there are several ways to conveniently travel between D.C. and Alexandria. There are options not only to go back and forth but also to get around within each area. The good news is that most methods of transportation will not break your travel budget. Below are some of the best ways to travel around Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, VA:
1. Metrorail: The Metrorail system operates in both Washington, D.C. and Alexandria, VA. From Old Town Alexandria, the King St.-Old Town Metrorail station is at the top of King Street near the George Washington Masonic Memorial. From the Metrorail station, it is a1.2 mile walk down King Street to get to the waterfront. You can use the Yellow and Blue lines to travel between Alexandria and D.C. In D.C., you can access the Metrorail system from various stations throughout the city. In Alexandria, you can also use stations like the Braddock Road, Eisenhower Ave, Huntington, and Potomac Yards, which are all on the Yellow Line.
Here is a link to the map.
Here is a link to service times.
The cost to ride will vary by day and time. A one day unlimited pass is $13. Check out fare prices here.
2. Metrobus: The Metrobus system connects neighborhoods within D.C. and Alexandria. It is a good option after taking the Metrorail to then commute locally with the Metrobus. There are many cross-city bus routes in both D.C. and Alexandria. For example, Metrobus routes go through the heart of Old Town Alexandria. Check the website for more information.
3. Alexandria DASH Bus: Another popular public transportation option is the Alexandria DASH (Driving Alexandria Safely Home). DASH is a local bus service within the city of Alexandria. It serves many neighborhoods and travels through the heart of Old Town Alexandria. Check out the DASH website to see the full map and fares. DASH also operates the popular King Street Trolley.
King Street Trolley is FREE. It runs seven days a week, 365 days a year from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm. It leaves every 15 minutes from the corner of King and Fairfax in between Market Square and the Visitors Center. It frequently stops to let people off at the many shops and restaurants on King Street. It travels from Market Square to the King Street Metrorail Station.
4. Capital Bikeshare: Capital Bikeshare operates in both D.C. and Alexandria. It is a popular service to rent bicycles to get around town. A 24-hour day long pass is $8. Bikes can be picked up from one of many stations and returned to any other station within the network. This option is ideal for exploring specific areas or enjoying a scenic ride along the Potomac River. Check out the website.
5. Potomac Water Taxi: This is a very popular and fun option to get from Alexandria to D.C. and then back to Alexandria. The Potomac Water Taxi will travel from Alexandria to Georgetown and the Wharf in D.C. The Wharf is close (~ 1 mile) to Nationals Park. There are also audio tours available on the trips. Trips start at $22. Departure from the Wharf begins at 11:45 am. Departures from Alexandria may vary. Check out the website to learn more.
6. Taxis and Ride-Sharing Services: There are many private transportation options such as taxis and ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. These drivers will cover all of D.C. and Alexandria. They provide convenient door-to-door transportation and the most direct connection to a specific location.
If you are looking for the best way to travel between D.C. and Alexandria, then the good news is that there are many convenient and low-cost travel options. There are also great options when you get to each location. With a day pass on the Metrorail/ Metrobus and then a day pass with Capital Bikeshare, you could travel all around the area for $21. You could come into Alexandria from D.C. on the Metrorail and take a bike or walk to Market Square. When you get to Market Square, join us for a walking tour and see the many historic sites in Old Town on foot.
Here is an example of what a traveler in D.C. could do. Take the Metrorail from D.C. to King St.- Old Town Station. Walk with us on a 10:30 am public Discover Alexandria tour. At the end of the walking tour, we will offer recommendations for lunch spots along the water. Have lunch and a cocktail by the water. After lunch, ride a bike along the Potomac River on the Mount Vernon trail. Return to Alexandria, and take a Water Taxi back to the Wharf in D.C. Enjoy drinks and dinner at the Wharf! There are many ways to get around, stay active, enjoy great drinks and food, and experience the rich history and excitement of the area. Enjoy!