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Trains from Dulles to DC?

by rmdw Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 9:10 AM

I can get a great deal on a hotel right beside Washington Dulles Airport. If I were to go there I would simply want to head into DC each day to visit museums & such.

What options, if any, are there to take a train (or metro) between the two locales? Also, is it expensive?

Robert

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14 Answers
  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by Greggor58 Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 9:49 AM

    Hi Robert....spent "grand" and historical monuments and buildings,Smithsonian etc etc are located here..

    I found a pretty good B&B more central to the downtown and walked and used Metro buses in and out of the Mall area...it was certainly faster than coming in and out
    from Dulles area..I wouldnt stay out that far..my choice..


    If you do end up staying somewhere that you need to use Transit..get yourself a "Smartcard"...and throw twenty or thirty dollars on it..depending on how much you'll need to use it..

    There is a link for DC Transit on my Washington page..it was easy...simplifies the process using public transit in DC..stay downtown somewhere...my advice..save yourself the transit time in and out..
    Happy Trails!!!

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by mccalpin Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 11:51 AM

    I guess you've seen that www.wmata.org is the website for the public transit system in the greater DC area; it's a pretty useful website.

    As noted, there is no rail out to Dulles. Politicians are constantly talking about it, but little ever seems to get done. As noted, you'd either bus all the way to DC, or take a local bus to the nearest rail station - and I don't know how close your hotel is to the bus line.

    I would guess that if you try to head into town in morning rush hour from a station near Dulles, that you will find yourself competing with a large number of commuters, who drive in from the surrounding country to the farthest out stations, then park and ride into the City.

    So, for me, staying out at Dulles would be a serious handicap without a car. Note: I always rent a car in DC because we're visiting my mother-in-law in Alexandria, but it's not the best thing for short-term tourists who are there primarily to see the sights in central DC.

    Note: the Air and Space Museum (Annex?) of the Smithsonian is on the south side of Dulles Airport. This is a much larger building than the one on the Mall, holding (among other things) a Blackbird spy plane, a 707, a Concorde, and a space shuttle...yep, if you are into air or space, it is a MUST SEE place. Sadly, it is not easy to get to without a car or taxi, as it is not near the airport entrance...but perhaps the hotel shuttle (if one) might take you over there and drop you off.

    I concur with the suggestion to stay closer in near a rail stop. Alexandria Old Town is a good place to stay, in that it is a very walkable area in its own right with plenty of history, and the King Street Metro station (about 1/4 mile west of the edge of Old Town) will take you straight into the heart of DC (well, metaphorically speaking - it actually takes a wide curve through Arlington, but it's direct enough). Now that the area around the King Street Metro station has become gentrified (gee, they even have a Whole Foods grocery store there now), it's possible to stay close to the station and walk into Old Town instead.

    Bill

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  • GracesTrips's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by GracesTrips Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 12:12 PM

    The metro runs from Ronald Reagon Airport and hotels out there are less expensive than right in the heart of DC. We stayed in Crystal City and that worked out well for us on our visit earlier this year. The metro isn't too expensive and works very well in DC. Dulles is about 30-45 minutes by car (without traffic) from all the sites in DC. The airport shuttle may run you about30 one way from Dulles.

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by Dabs Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 2:24 PM

    You can't fly into Reagan? That's connected to the metro, like someone above me, I stayed in Crystal City which was on the metro and found it a decent place to stay and commute from. Some of the hotels are better located than others, the one I ended up at was a good 20-30 minute hike from the metro (they did have a shuttle) but others were much closer. I got my hotel on Priceline, you might also have a look at Hotwire if there is still a ban on Canucks using PL.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by mccalpin Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 3:27 PM

    It's not a question of where he flies in, it's a question of a very good deal he's being offered by a hotel near Dulles...

    Bill

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  • OiKnow's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by OiKnow Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 4:19 PM

    There is no metro train to Dulles (it is now under construction, but will be 2-3 years before it opens.)

    I understand there are express busses from Dulles airport to the end of the Orange line and to Rossyln metro stations.

    Metro calculates fare based on distance between the station you enter and the station and the station you exit and the time of the day (higher for rush hour.) I would factor in an extra5-$6 each way for the bus and higher metro fares (if you use the route planner tool on the metro site it will estimate the fare for you) and expect to spend 60-90 minutes traveling each way to and from the Dulles Airport into the City. My commute from Crystal City to 2 blocks from the White House is about 25 minutes at rush hour.

    Enjoy

    David

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  • littlesam1's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by littlesam1 Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 6:33 PM

    As has already been noted there is not direct service from Dulles to the city. And Dulles is a long way from the city of Washington. It would be a major handicap in my opinion to be staying out near Dulles, if you want to d sight seeing in Washington.

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  • Greggor58's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by Greggor58 Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 6:40 PM

    Oooooooooooops...new keyboard...new laptop...seems I need to proof read any posts before clicking "post"...the first sentence of my post is missing..
    Whatever you choose.. I hope you'll enjoy DC...I certainly did!

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  • Dabs's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by Dabs Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 6:43 PM

    "It's not a question of where he flies in, it's a question of a very good deal he's being offered by a hotel near Dulles..."

    Oh, I understand that, but there's more than 1 cheap hotel in the DC area and it would be more convenient to fly into Reagan based on public transport options. I think when I went the other VTers stayed in Arlington which also had cheap hotels and I think it was also near the metro.

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  • mccalpin's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by mccalpin Online Now Nov 11, 2009 at 8:25 PM

    I quite agree...

    Bill

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  • risse73's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by risse73 Online Now Nov 16, 2009 at 3:01 PM

    Hi Robert, here are your transportation options from your chosen hotel at the Dulles airport area to DC and back:

    1.) Washington Flyer (coach/bus service):10/OW or18 RT--it runs every 25-30 mins. & takes about 30 mins. to get to the nearest Metro (DC's subway) station, which is at the Orange Line--West Falls Church Metro Stop. Buy a Metro/train fare for DC (about2.35 OW). I'd suggest to buy a day/week pass for a better Metro deal. If you have a SmartCard, fares are a bit cheaper. From here, take the train to "New Carrollton," which takes you to downtown DC.

    2.) Washington Flyer (airport van shuttle a.k.a Super Shuttle): this is a more costly alternative, at around30 per person/OW (discounted rate for 2+ persons), but higher for an individual OW rate.

    3.) Metro Bus Route 5A: the cheapest alternative at3/OW or cheaper with a Metro SmartCard for2.35/OW. Try to buy a week/day pass to cover your train/bus needs during your DC travel.

    Note: I've done the #1 option several times, without any problems, and the #2 option only once without problems. I've never tried option #3, but have heard that it's good enough and a pretty economical way to get to DC from the Dulles airport.

    Here's a helpful link of Dulles-DC transportation options:

    mwaa.com/dulles/parking_tran...


    Good Luck & Enjoy Historical DC!

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  • risse73's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by risse73 Online Now Nov 16, 2009 at 3:14 PM

    BTW, option #3 takes you directly to DC (around L'Enfant Plaza) with a few stops along the way. I'd say this is your best bet cost-wise, and it gets you closer to the realities of local life. I may try this option next time.

    Good Luck Again & Enjoy Historical DC!

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  • rmdw's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by rmdw Online Now Nov 17, 2009 at 12:21 PM

    Thank you, Marissa! FYI I'm just exploring my options right now. Nothing is confirmed yet.

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  • risse73's Profile Photo

    Re: Trains from Dulles to DC?

    by risse73 Online Now Nov 17, 2009 at 12:32 PM

    You're quite welcome, Robert! I hope you enjoy your trip to DC regardless of what your ultimate decision is. I just posted the options, so you know that it is not quite a disadvantage to choose to be in the Dulles airport area if that works best for you.

    Good Luck & Enjoy Historical DC!

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