Washington, D.C.

Washington may seem pretty far away, but that doesn’t mean that you have to fly. Flights can be expensive and are sometimes not all that much faster than some of these other options, and as a general rule they are less environmentally-friendly. Check below for all of the various options to get to Washington, and choose the one that’s right for you.

  • How: United Airlines runs a handful of flights a day between Albany and Washington-Dulles. Dulles Airport is on the Virginia side of the city, about a 55 minute drive from the city center, or a $5, 15-minute bus ride followed by a $4, 45 minute metro ride from Wiehle-Reston to Metro Center on the Silver Line. (Not sure how to get to Albany? Check the Albany page for some ideas).

    Travel Time: ~1:30 flight time, but keep in mind all of the extra time (getting to the airport early, possible delays, getting to your final destination after disembarking)

    Cost: ~$200-500 round-trip, depending heavily on the flight you choose and when you book

    Environmental Impact: These flights are the worst options from an environmental standpoint, likely by a sizable amount. Short flights especially are very energy-intensive per mile traveled, and other good options exist to get to Washington that are almost as quick.

  • How: American Airlines operates a few flights a day between Albany and Washington-Reagan. Just over the line in Virginia, Reagan Int'l airport is smaller than the others but by far the closest to the city center, only a 10-15 minute drive or 20 minute metro ride away on the Yellow or Blue line. (Not sure how to get to Albany? Check the Albany page for some ideas).

    Travel Time: ~1:30 flight time, but keep in mind all of the extra time (getting to the airport early, possible delays, getting to your final destination after disembarking)

    Cost: ~$200-500 round-trip, depending heavily on the flight you choose and when you book

    Environmental Impact: These flights are the worst options from an environmental standpoint, likely by a sizable amount. Short flights especially are very energy-intensive per mile traveled, and other good options exist to get to Washington that are almost as quick.

  • How: Southwest runs a handful of flights a day between Albany and BWI, which lies in Maryland to the north of the city. The airport is about a 55 min drive from the city center, or about 1:45 using public transportation. (Not sure how to get to Albany? Check the Albany page for some ideas).

    Travel Time: ~1:30 flight time, but keep in mind all of the extra time (getting to the airport early, possible delays, getting to your final destination after disembarking)

    Cost: ~$200-500 round-trip, depending heavily on the flight you choose and when you book

    Environmental Impact: These flights are the worst options from an environmental standpoint, likely by a sizable amount. Short flights especially are very energy-intensive per mile traveled, and other good options exist to get to Washington that are almost as quick.

  • How: Take a train from Albany-Rensselaer to New York Penn Station, and then transfer to a train to D.C.'s Union Station. Trains run frequently throughout the day, so check the schedule here. (Not sure how to get to Albany? Check the Albany page for some ideas). Amtrak runs two different trains between Washington and New York: the slightly faster but way more expensive Acela, and the much more reasonable Northeast Regional (and other similar trains). Also, don't be afraid to mix-and-match trains and buses if you find an option you prefer—you'll have to transfer anyway in NYC.

    Cost: ~$100 one-way ($250+ if you take the Acela)

    Travel Time: 6-7 hours from Albany to Washington

    Environmental Impact: Very clean. Trains tend to be the most energy-efficient method of transportation per mile traveled.

  • How: Check the New York City page for transportation options between Williamstown and NYC, and then check out this list of all the possible buses between New York and Washington (there's quite a few). Also, don't be afraid to mix-and-match trains and buses if you find an option you prefer—you'll have to transfer anyway in NYC.

    Travel Time: ~4-5 hours from NYC to Washington (~8-10 hours from Williamstown to Washington)

    Cost: $1-30 between NYC and Washington

    Environmental Impact: Not quite as good as the trains, but certainly better than flying.

  • Travel Time: ~6:15-8:00, depending on traffic (usually around 6:45)

    Environmental Impact: Because of the distance, the specifics matter a lot here. A small hybrid with four people? Almost as good as the Amtrak. A Hummer with just the driver? Maybe worse than flying.


Need to get around the city once you’re there? Check out this guide for all your transportation options.