Dulles International Airport

The Capital city of the United States of America is majorly served by three international airports. There is Washington Dulles International Airport which handles most of the international flights but is not so close to Downtown DC. The second one is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and is much smaller than the former one. The third and the last one is the Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport which is the busiest airport in the Baltimore-Washington Metropolitan Area. Each of these airports has some kind of pros and some kind of cons. If you are just flying to the US capital in a couple of months, you must be searching the internet to find out information about these three airports.

This article is a must-read for you if you really want information about the Dulles International Airport. Here we have put together a detailed guide to the airport. Depending on your travel plans, this will be helpful for you to determine whether you want to fly into this airport or not. With distance from the main city, special features and so many other tidbits, this article shall help you to the core.

A Detailed Guide To The Dulles International Airport In Washington DC:

Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD):

  • Location: Loudoun and Fairfax counties in Virginia. 42 km west of downtown Washington DC.
  • Time Needed To Reach Washington DC: On an average, 1 hour.
  • Operated By: Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.

Dulles Airport is one of the airports in Washinton DC where international flights arrive to and depart from. Although not very close to the National Mall or Wahington DC, you often get cheap flights to this airport. If you are staying in western Virginia suburbs, Dulles Airport will be the best for you. it serves more than 90% of the international passengers in the Baltimore-Washington region.


When opened, the original Dulles International Airport had only three runways. Now, the name of the airport has been changed to Washington Dulles International Airport and it serves more than 11 million passengers annually.

Connectivity With Washington:

As the airport is not at a very comfortable distance from downtown DC, here are some of the connectivity options explained for your convenience.



Metrobuses are readily available to Downtown DC on the 5A route. There are buses every 30 minutes or an hour. You need to find out curb 2E to reach your bus. The bus has 3 stops. Herndon-Monroe Park and Ride, Rosslyn Metro Station Stop, and L’Enfant Plaza Metro Station.


Pocket Pinch:

  • $7.50 for Smart Trip card users and guests.
  • $3.75 for seniors or physically disabled.

Yays: Taking this bus can be the most cost-effective means to reach the district. If you have an early morning flight to catch from Dulles, 5A is the best route. You do not need to make multiple transfers with heavy luggage in your hands.

Nays: When you are in a real rush, this route is certainly not the best choice.

DC Metro Rail:


There is no direct metro line from the airport as of now. When the Silver Line Metro extension will be done, there will be direct connectivity of the metro from the airport. For now, you have to take the Silver Line Express bus from arrival level door no 4 and that will take you to Wiele-Reston East Station which takes just 10 minutes. From there you will get a metro for anywhere you want to go to the city.

Pocket Pinch:

  • (For the bus): $5 from the airport to the station.
  • (For the metro): $5.90 from the station to Downtown DC.

Yays: Best pick during the rush hours.

Nays: As it includes transfers, not so convenient if you have luggage.



Outside the airport, Washington Flyer Taxicabs are the only taxicabs that exclusively serve the Dulles International Airport. You do not need any prior reservation to make and the taxi service remains open round the clock. This is one of the most expensive transportation options to and from the airport.

Pocket Pinch:

Expect to spend around $60 – $80 to reach anywhere near downtown DC.

Yays: Fastest and the most comfortable.

Nays: Expensive.

There are other rental car services and shuttle services from the airport which you also need to consider before you choose your best means of transport.

The Overall Amenities:


Talking about the passenger amenities, Dulles Airport is probably the best with its best lounges, shops, restaurants, and so many things to do. If you have a short layover to spend here, there are a lot of things you can do. There are plenty of sit-down restaurants and Starbucks and food chains like Potbelly to take care of your hunger pang. Concourse B is the best area if you are really planning to shop from the duty-free. Spend some good time at the bookstores or just relax and unwind sitting in the lounge area.


Our next article shall be dedicated to the other two major airports that serve the Washington DC. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, both serve the city with domestic and international flights and have some pros and cons that you would want to know before you land in the capital city of the United States. We hope you have got benefitted from today’s article where we have discussed a few things related to the Dulles International Airport. Let’s meet you guys with our next article. Till then, stay happy and travel more.

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