Arlington National Cemetery is probably the most famous cemetery in the United States. Directly across the Potomac from the Lincoln Memorial, and connected by Memorial Bridge, it occupies a 624-acre site next to the Pentagon. On its other side is the Iwo Jima Memorial and Netherlands Carillon. Also next to it is the Air Force Memorial.
Most of Arlington National Cemetery is covered in endless rows of small white headstones. Some areas have larger, more ornate graves. The JFK gravesite occupies a special place on the hill directly in line with Memorial Bridge below Arlington House (Custis-Lee Mansion). The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier features the changing of the guard of sentinels (from April 1 through September, every half hour; from October 1 through March 31, every hour). On most days, there are a couple of dozen or more funeral ceremonies at the cemetery.
Photos of Arlington National Cemetery
Getting Here & Hours
Arlington National Cemetery has its own Metro stop on the Blue Line. The Washington Metro Trip Planner is very handy for working out how to get from A to B on Washington’s public transport. There a reasonably large paid parking lot at Arlington National Cemetery, although it does fill up at very busy times like Memorial Day or when the cherry blossoms are blooming. It’s also a pleasant walk across Memorial Bridge from the Lincoln Memorial.
There are no entry fees to the Cemetery, but its parking lot is a pay lot.
You can find information about hours and tours on the official website.
The Cemetery provides this guidance for photographers and videographers:
Photography is permitted within the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery. Public use of a tripod or lights is not permitted without permission from the Office of Public Affairs. News photographers and videographers need to make arrangements with the Office of Public Affairs ((877) 907-8585).
We ask media and cemetery visitors/tourists seeking to photograph those visiting gravesites to respect the solemnity of Arlington National Cemetery by refraining from taking pictures or filming someone who is visibly mourning and asking for permission to film or photograph those visiting a gravesite. Many are very open to talking with media and cemetery visitors about their loved ones and want to see their loved ones honored and remembered.
Washington DC Visitor Guides
If you're coming in from out of town, here are some of the most popular guidebooks that can help you make the most of your visit.
- Elise Hartman Ford
- Publisher: FrommerMedia
- Stephan Van Dam, Illustrator, Editor
- Publisher: VanDam, Inc
- DK Travel
- Publisher: DK Eyewitness Travel
And here are some interesting options for less traditional guidesbooks if you'd like an emphasis on exploring DC on foot or diving into some of the region's rich history.