Washington DC is proud. Proud of its history, proud of its people and most of all proud of its status as ‘the’ city to visit, filled with grand buildings and the ghosts of all those that have passed through the corridors of power this is a city of extremes, nothing is done in half measures, everybody always gives everything that they have to give.

Safe in the knowledge that living in the capital of such a huge nation gives them a unique position, the locals have opinions and expect the rest of the world to listen, but scratch below the surface and remove the traditions to find generous people that are proud of where they live and want to share it with everyone.

There is so much to see and do in Washington, the mix of cultures creating a whirlwind experience; after hours brings out those that want to party hard, no shrinking violets prowl the streets at night just those that are looking for the stimulation that this great city offers.

Perfect for its location close to the White House the Madison is well known throughout the city, recently modernised the Madison has maintained its charm with a sense of the artistic. The flair of the city is caught perfectly with the eclectic mix of restaurants and room styles. The perfect hotel to sum up the very nature of Washington.

If it unrivalled luxury that you require then the Capella in the Georgetown district is an absolute must, wood panelling, hushed tones and opulence are the trademarks are this fabulous hotel. Beautifully decorated with all the facilities that you would expect from a hotel of this calibre; the hotel roof terrace is an unexpected bonus – weather permitting it is the perfect place to enjoy the city sunset.

Of course not everyone has the budget to spend on five star hotels and the city has some great low cost hotel options including Embassy Inn, Budget Inn, Express Inn and Canal Inn but don’t let the low prices put you off, most of these offer adequate facilities and clean comfortable rooms; the locations may not be perfect but public transport in the city is excellent.

The choice of restaurants in Washington will blow you away, most of the hotels have excellent restaurant facilities but the best rewards are often found by heading to the independent restaurants in the cultural areas of town, small friendly and often family run these are the places that you will get to sample the true diversity that this great city offers.

The Old Ebbitt Grill has been an institution since the mid 1800’s and its location close to the white house sets the tone for this amazing eatery, great food is served alongside serious conversations that just beg to be eavesdropped on. The food is as solid and reliable as the clientèle, the atmosphere of history enhancing what is already a great meal.

Sesto Senso offers authentic Northern Italian cuisine, with thin Italian pizzas served as a speciality, no American thick crusts here – although the evening often starts in the most serene of ways this restaurant is renown for embracing the lively crowd and becomes much more rowdy as the evening progresses.

Washington has one of the most generous admissions policies of anywhere in the world, all the monuments and memorials are free of charge, including the National Gallery of Art and the National Zoo. Visitors are encouraged to take in all the sights that Washington DC has to offer without having to pay a penny; just another example of the pride that America has in its great capital.

The tourist information offices will provide maps and great information for the must see city sights but if you want something a little different then be sure to visit the Franciscan Monastery, totally at odds with the residential area in which it sits, the grounds are something else with their unexpected beauty; although some of the reproductions of the monuments of the Middle East are a little more theme park than religious retreat this just adds to the quirky appeal of this strange but glorious attraction.

Washington has four distinct seasons that follow the pattern of hot humid summers, cold winters with snowfall and pleasant spring and autumns. Not exempt from extremes there have been cases of tornadoes and flooding has also been known around the banks of the Potomac River. Hurricanes however are rare due to the inland nature of the city.

There really is always something happening in Washington, whether it is cultural, political or just fun, no matter which time of year you choose to take your city break there will be some form of event taking place, making your stay that little bit more special.