Charles Dickens in DC Private Tour

Tour Number

Activity Level



Youth and Family, Museums / Culture, Local Experience, City


Kid Friendly: Yes. Suitable for children over ten years old.

Friendly: Yes.

Maximum travelers: 10



English (fluent)

Re-trace Dickens' footsteps in DC in this entertaining and thought-provoking tour!

The great English novelist Charles Dickens visited the US in 1842. He was only 30 years old but already a huge celebrity in the USA as well as in Britain because of phenomenally popular stories such as "The PIckwick Papers" and "Oliver Twist". It was like a rock star from England coming to America! He visited Washington DC as well as New York and Boston and other cities. Dickens wrote a book about his American visit, "American Notes for General Circulation", with a whole chapter about Washington DC and his amusing, sometimes scathing, observations.

I have performed excerpts from Dickens' works as one man shows at many locations in the UK, continental Europe and the US. This unique tour will re-trace DIckens' footsteps in DC as we hear, quoted from memory, what Dickens said about the sights we are seeing. Along the way I will perform excerpts for you from the works that made Dickens famous in the US, hilarious, horrifying and moving by turns!

The tour involves a short walk of about fifteen minutes.


We will meet in the lobby of the historic Willard Hotel, on the site of the hotel that Charles Dickens stayed at on his visit to DC in 1842. If it is desired, we can have refreshments in the restored Round Robin bar, which has a picture of Dickens on the wall in pride of place to commemorate his stay on the site.

We will hear Dickens' impressions of the neighborhood on the morning walk he took from the hotel and go for a short walk to see the north side of the White House, where Dickens was invited to meet President John Tyler and left a hilarious account of the meeting.

Then we will view the outside of the US Capitol, which Dickens also visited and was not overly impressed by what he saw of the proceedings. Another short walk brings us to the Smithsonian American Art museum, in a beautiful building Dickens admired, at that time the US Patent Office, where there is a bust of the author modeled from life on his visit. Along the way, enjoy excerpts for the works that made Dickens famous in the US!

Meeting Location + Tour Duration

Meeting location: The lobby of the Willard Hotel.

I can also meet you at any metro station or hotel in the DC metro area if desired.

End location: Smithsonian American Art Museum,Washington, DC 20001.

Duration: 2 hours 30 min.


This is a walking out - but we are not walking the whole 2.5 hours! Only a short distance, the rest of the time we are enjoying Dickens' impressions of the city and his writings.

What’s Included

My time and services as your private guide for the duration of the tour are included.

Estimated Local Cash Needed

20 USD - No payments are necessary unless drinks or snacks are desired.

What’s Extra

Nothing, unless it is wished to purchase souvenirs, snacks or drinks.


I am not a driver guide but can arrange transportation upon request. DC is compact, a lot of the sights are easy to walk to from one to another or metro is also easy to use.

Private tour guide Stephen

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Tours by Stephen M.

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