How to Get from Dulles Airport to Washington DC

How to get from Dulles Airport to Washington DC

There are several methods of transportation to get you from Dulles Airport Airport to Washington DC. Getting from Dulles Airport to Washington DC is not a complicated matter; nonetheless, you should know that you will be landing more than 27 miles away, approximately 44 kilometers, from the city. 

Air travelers have three options for arrival: Dulles (IAD) , Ronald Reagan Airport, and the Baltimore/Washington International Airport. None of these airports are actually in the District; two are in Northern Virginia and the third is outside of Baltimore.

The largest and busiest of these three airports is Dulles, and it is where most international flights arrive.

With all the above in mind, here are a few things you should know about the various ways you can get from Dulles Airport to Washington DC:

READ ALSO: Where to stay in Washington DC

How to get from Dulles Airport to Washington DC

1. Metrorail Silver Line, the cheapest way to get from Dulles Airport to Washington DC

The Metrorail Silver Line is the cheapest way to get from Dulles Airport to Washington DC. The Silver Line provides an economical connection between Dulles Airport and Downtown. The trip takes 50- 55 minutes.

The maximum that Metro charges from Dulles Airport to Downtown is $6 on weekdays and fares drop to a flat $2 after 9:30 p.m. on weekdays and all day on weekends.

With the Silver Line you can get anywhere in the city. There are five stations along the line where you can transfer to another rail line:

  • East Falls Church (Orange Line)
  • Rosslyn (Orange Line and Blue Line)
  • Metro Center (Red Line)
  • L’Enfant Plaza (Yellow Line and Green Line)
  • Stadium-Armory (Orange Line and Blue Line)

The hours of operation for the Silver Line are:

  • Monday through Thursday from 5 a.m. to midnight
  • Friday from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m
  • Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m
  • Sunday from 7 a.m. to midnight

1st and Last Trains to service Dulles Airport differ from the Silver Line open and close times.

Dulles International Airport is connected to the metro station via a pedestrian tunnel with moving walkways.

More info: Metro

2. Taxi Service

Dulles International Airport has one exclusive taxi service: the Washington Flyer Taxicabs. You do not have to make reservations to use these service, which operates a fleet of SUVs and sedans painted black. 

Depending on the number of flights and passengers, you may have to wait in line for available taxis at Door 2 or Door 6 of the ground transportation terminals. 

If you happen to run into heavy traffic conditions during rush hour, you may have to pay more for the ride, but the fares are strictly regulated by the municipal council. As of summer 2020, average Flyer Taxicab fares from Dulles Airport to Washington DC are about $70 without additional tolls or tips.

Tipping is not mandatory but is highly encouraged because this is how many American drivers are able to make a living. 

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3. Private Transfer Service

Without a doubt, this is the best means of ground transportation from Dulles Airport to Washington DC because it serves this specific purpose with the comfort of travelers in mind, particularly those who are traveling in a group. 

There are several advantages to booking a private transfer leaving from Dulles Airport to Washington DC; first of all, travelers know that they will be picked up upon arrival by a professional driver who speaks English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 

The fleet of vehicles used include luxury sedans for up to three passengers or large SUVs for more than four travelers. This is a safe experience that includes nice personalized touches such as water bottles and refreshments. 

Drivers are very familiar with the D.C. area and its various traffic patterns, which means that they can avoid traffic jams and delays. Private transfers also offer shared services with more competitive pricing options, and travelers can also book additional services such as tours.

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4. Car Rental

While there are many American cities that beg to be explored by means of leisurely driving, the nation’s capital is not really one of them. 

There is a good reason public transportation and ridesharing services have grown substantially in the D.C. area, and that reason is gridlock. Constant traffic jams are a way of life for D.C. residents, but they try to avoid them whenever possible. 

If you are renting a car upon arrival at Dulles, you will need to descend from the baggage claim section to the ramp at doors 2 and 4; this is where you will see the shuttle buses to take you to the rental car desks and lots. 

Following the signs to exit the airport is pretty easy; you will drive on Virginia State Road 267 until it merges with I-66 going east, but you can also stay on VA-267 all the way to the city. 

Another way to drive from Dulles Airport to Washington DC is to take George Washington Memorial Parkway, which is more scenic, but it is often jammed with traffic. 

There will be tolls to pay on the way to D.C., and they may fluctuate according to traffic conditions; you will need to check with the car rental agent about this.

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5. Hotel Shuttles and Charter Services

Quite a few hotels in the Northern Virginia and D.C. region offer courtesy shuttle pick-up and drop-off service at the Dulles ground transportation terminal. 

When booking online reservations, be sure to look for information regarding shuttle or charter bus service from Dulles Airport to Washington DC; if you do not see it on the hotel booking platform, contact the hotel directly before boarding a flight to Dulles.

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6. Personal Transportation Apps: Uber and Lyft

The U.S. is where popular transportation services such as Uber and Lyft originated, and you can certainly use them to travel from Dulles Airport to Washington DC, but they are the last recommendation on this article because the aforementioned options are generally better. 

When arriving from other countries, be sure to activate your smartphone GPS and update your location on the personal transportation app. Don’t forget to indicate how many are traveling in your group as well as the luggage carried so that the right vehicle can be dispatched. 

You will have to meet the drivers at the Main Terminal just outside the Arrivals level, and this is where it can get complicated because this section of Dulles is usually crowded and can get confusing; by comparison, the doors outside of Baggage Claim, where you meet private transfer drivers, are more organized. 

Keep in mind that many Uber and Lyft drivers only provide services occasionally using their personal cars, which means that they may not be too familiar with Dulles traffic conditions. Average fares to Washington DC are about $45 – $70.

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