The Best 6 Ways to Get Around Alexandria, Virginia


Photo from Capital Bikeshare Facebook Page

Don’t be intimidated by Alexandria’s proximity to Washington, DC, because it feels like a world away. There are plenty of ways to entertain your family and friends on any given day of the week. Exploring the small city on foot, on wheels, or by boat is easy. 

Check the weather forecast, pre-plan your routes, and get to know Alexandria like the locals.

1) Alexandria by Foot


By far, the most user-friendly way to navigate Old Town Alexandria is block by block, as the scenery is never the same twice. Walking never goes out of style, mostly because parking is difficult. Parallel parking in tight spaces and high-priced garages is the norm unless you walk in from neighborhood streets. Available spots are timed at two or three hours and monitored by parking enforcement. 


The George Washington Memorial Parkway runs through Alexandria as Washington Street. It cuts through the heart of the city, and walkers can try restaurants and shopping along the way. If you want to play tourist in Alexandria, there are several self-guided walking tours throughout the city. You can visit African-American historical sites, enjoy a scavenger hunt, or venture back in time with a Civil War walking tour.

2) Bike Alexandria

Alexandria is officially known as a Bike Friendly Community. The city continually improves access to the nearly 50 miles of on-street bike lanes, shared lanes, and bike trails. Similar to the walking self-guided tours, Alexandria offers self-guided bike tours. 


Alexandria is expanding its Bikeshare program to include membership in the Capital Bikeshare, including Arlington and Montgomery County. The program also offers discounted rates for qualifying residents.


3) E-bikes and Scooters


Although contentious with residents and drivers, e-bikes and scooters are more popular than ever. Because of the demand surge, Alexandria allows riding but restricts riders to bike lanes and specific trails.


Need more Alexandria commuter tips? Check out Insider Tips for Your Alexandria, Virginia, Commute.




4) Book a Ferry Ride


Ferry rides are popular with residents and tourists in Alexandria. They are perfect for July 4th fireworks and a nighttime monument tour and ideal for an afternoon on the Potomac headed into Mount Vernon, Georgetown, the Wharf, and National Harbor. Are you in the mood for a dinner cruise? There are plenty of chances to schedule upscale dining on the water.


Sports fans love the quick trips via water taxis to the Nationals Park for a baseball game or to Audi Field to catch a major league soccer game. And if you’re the proud owner of a boating dog, then you’ll want to check out Alexandria’s canine cruises. 


City Cruises operates the majority of services in Alexandria, and their routes change with the season. Water taxi services start around $20, and site-seeing adventures range from $28 to $60. In addition, there are various ways to dine aboard, from brunch to themed dinners. These tours range from $80 to $250 and up per person.




Photo from Virginia Railway Express Facebook


5) Take on the Train Systems




The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA), the Metro, operates six stops in Alexandria.  

  • Potomac Yard (Yellow and Blue Lines)
  • Braddock Road (Yellow and Blue Lines)
  • King Street Old Town (Yellow and Blue Lines)
  • Eisenhower Avenue (Yellow Line)
  • Huntington (Yellow Line) 
  • Van Dorn Street (Blue Line)

Tourists frequently ride the Metro to hit all the right spots, like The Smithsonian museums, the National Mall, and Reagan National Airport when it’s time to go home. The Metro also serves a large population of Alexandria residents headed into Washington, DC, each day and connects those riding into Maryland for work.


The Virginia Railway Express (VRE) takes commuters from Alexandria (adjacent to the King Street Metrorail Station) and the suburbs of Northern Virginia into Washington, D.C., daily.  


A hidden gem in Alexandria is the bustling Amtrak station adjacent to Alexandria’s King Street Metro station. Cross-country train trips are within reach up and down the East Coast. Routes to New York and Philadelphia are especially popular.

6) Ride the Bus



Because a commuter’s life can be challenging, WMATA operates a network of buses that transports commuters to and from Metro stations daily. They also bail out commuters when trains have emergencies, run late, or detour the service.




The local bus service in Alexandria is the DASH. The Alexandria Transit Company operates a far-reaching system. Routes run from Old Town to the far corners of the city’s borders.




Photo from Visit Alexandria VA Facebook Page


King Street Trolley


Not technically a bus, the free King Street Trolley takes weary Alexandria walkers up and down historic King Street to cut down on walking time and find a little respite while taking in the city’s sights. The trolley is perfect for a weekend of shopping and dining in Old Town. 


Alexandria definitely has big-city amenities. Culture, dining, shopping—it’s all there, and you don’t want to miss anything. You might think you need an Uber or Lyft to see all the sites, but save some money and try one or two of these highly accessible ways to get around Alexandria.


New to the Alexandria area? Get your free guide to the area below!