Nationals Park is a baseball park located along the Anacostia River in the Navy Yard neighbourhood of Washington, D.C, USA. It is home to the Washington Nationals (MLB) and opened in 2008, 3 years after the Montreal Expos, moved to Washington. It has a capacity of 41,546 spectators.

The Nationals Ball Park officially opened on March 30th 2008, with the Nationals defeating the Atlanta Braves, there was an exhibition game the day before against the Baltimore Orioles, but the 1st game was between the GW Colonials baseball team and  Saint Joseph’s University on the 22nd of March. Other events held at the park include concerts, NHL and a Papal Mass.

Nationals Park offers plenty of non-gameday tours and select game day tours for games that start at 7pm.

Nationals Park closest Metro station is Navy Yard station, which is on the Green Line and a block away from the park.  You can take the Orange, Blue or Silver Lines to the Capitol South station which is a 15 minute walk to the ball park.

Washington Nationals
Washington DC Dulles Airport

How to Get to Washington DC

Washington DC is served by Dulles International Airport (IAD) which is located 26 miles west of Downtown Washington DC. British Airways, Virgin Atlantic and United Airlines all fly direct from the UK.

If your already in the US and looking to travel to/from Washington DC then you have the choice of most US domestic airlines including Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Allegiant Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines and United Airlines.

Washington DC is also served by Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), which provides internal flights by Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Jet Blue, Southwest and United Airlines

Washington DC is also well served by AMTRAK Train connecting East Coast cities.

Public Transport

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority is the principal public transport operator in Washington DC and immediate area. The Silver Line runs from Dulles International Airport and takes about 50 mins to get to downtown Washington DC. Click Here for the WMATA Website.

Finding a Metro Station

At the airport, the Metro station is well signposted once you get through Customs.

Once in Washington DC, Tall brown columns with a large M identify the station entrance. Colour stripes on the column show the lines that serve the station.

Paying the Fare

Fares are based on length of trip and entry time, and are subject to change during special events. Due to these caveats, I would recommend buying a 3-day ($28.00) or 7-day ($58.00) pass, depending on the length of visit.

You can also just add $ value to the card and app, and as you have to tap in and tap out of stations, it works out your fare and reduces your credit accordingly.

You will need to load the pass or $ value on a SmarTrip card, which can be purchased from a farecard machine at any Metro Station or downloading the SmarTrip app to your phone and purchasing via the app. I downloaded the app prior to getting to Washington and purchased a pass and it activated on first scan.

One other reason to use a SmarTrip card or app, which also covers busses in Washington DC, is if you transfer from Bus to Metro or vice versa, is that you get free or discounted fares for 2 hours after you start your journey.

Washington DC Metro Map
Washington DC Metro Train
Washington DC Map

Staying in Washington DC

There are plenty of choices of places to stay in Washington DC depending on your preferences and budget. As the Metro system covers a lot of Washington DC, so getting to the ballpark is quite easy from anywhere, you can balance budget and location accordingly.

First time visitors to Washington DC, I would suggest staying somewhere near the National Mall, because it is home to most of the main attractions in Washington DC such as iconic monuments, federal buildings and Smithsonian museums, which you will glad to know are all free to visit.

As with most major cities, you have the choice of all the usual accommodations, from Airbnb and Sonder to Premium hotels, either booked directly or via one of the hotel reservation booking sites.

Washington Nationals Tickets

The Washington Nationals sell their tickets via and the MLB Ballpark App.

SeatGeek has replaced StubHub as the official ticket resale partner for MLB.

Baseball fans can still use other resale ticket marketplaces to buy and sell tickets to MLB games. MLB will verify those tickets so buyers know they’re getting a legitimate ticket.

Here are links to the main ticket resale sites. Click on the link, which will open up a new window, and you can compare the prices on the different ticket resell sites, bearing in mind that the prices shown are before the selling platforms fees are added, so take time to have a read of my tips to Buying Tickets in North America.

I recommend downloading the Ballpark App to your phone as it contains a lot of Gameday information for the Ballpark you are visiting and a place to check in and record all the baseball games you have been to.

Game Day

I visited Nationals Stadium to see Tampa Bay Rays @ Washington Nationals on the Wednesday 5th of April 2023 @ 1.05pm.

I arrived into Washington via Dulles International Airport with United Airlines on Tuesday, and used the METRO for the 45 minute journey from the airport to where I am staying in the downtown area of DC. I purchased the 7 day pass to cover all my METRO journeys for my stay in DC.

As I will be staying in DC for 6 nights, I am staying at a Sonder, which if you’re not familiar, I would describe as a cross between Airbnb and a hotel, in that it’s a self-contained apartment, but Sonder leases whole apartment buildings for short-term rentals. I initially discovered them via a hotel reservation site but find booking direct cheaper.

Its not far from a METRO station and within walking distance of the National Mall area, and due to the warm weather that coincided with my visit, walking was preferable.

I had purchased my game ticket via the MLB Ballpark app, prior to arriving in the US, however, for Nationals games, this isn’t necessary as they rarely sell out, especially for midweek afternoon games, but it is Spring Break, so there were a lot of families making the trip to the ballpark.

Gates generally open 90 minutes prior to start of play, so I made my way to the ballpark in plenty of time so as to have a look around the ballpark area.

I travelled by METRO to Navy Yard which is the closest stop to Nationals Park. Depending on which exit you use, you could be half a block or a block and a half away from the entrance to the ballpark, either way, you can’t miss it.

The nearest exit will bring you out on Half St SE, where there are plenty of bars and restaurants as well as the Bullpen, which I will describe as a fairly large Beer Garden.

I went into the ballpark fairly early to take a look around, but one thing I do check is if there are any ticket upgrade offers via the MLB Ballpark app and on this occasion, there was one upgrade that caught my eye, which was entry into the FIS Champions Club with a seat in Row A on the 2nd level over 3rd plate. All soft drinks were free and due to the game start time, the weather and other commitments, this suited me.

Some tips on buying tickets for the Nationals, one of which I learnt too late! It’s a good idea to sign up to the teams app prior to your visit, and if your birthday falls between signing up and you going to a game, on your birthday, they send you a 20% off discount code for a future ticket. Also, if you’re going to a couple of games, only purchase the 1st game, as The Nationals have a special discounted ticket offer for all fans who use the MLB Ballpark App to check in to games at Nationals Park.

Once I scanned my ticket on entering, they sent me a 35% discount link to selected other games of which there were plenty to choose from.

On entering the park, you do have the airport style security checks, but you just walk through, no need to take everything out of your pockets, after that it’s the ticket scan and then your into the park. 1st stop, the club store, however there are smaller ones in other locations round the park.

The park was built like a bowl, so you enter the park at the top of the lower tier seating so you just walk down to your seat, there are escalators and ramps to take you to level 2 and above.

As with most sports venues now, its cashless, so you will need your credit/debit card with you. The prices. Not including Tax, on the gameday I went were:

  • Hot Dog $9.99
  • Cheeses Burger $14.99
  • Popcorn (Bucket) $9.99
  • Domestic Beer $14.99

In amongst all the concession stands was a booth selling game used, authentic merchandise where you could purchase all sorts of items from bats, balls, base plates and even jars of dirt!

I did make use of the free phone charging stations, although I smiled at the warning that said The Nationals would not be responsible for any data that was stolen while i used it.

As it’s a new stadium, there aren’t any bad sightlines and if your in the upper deck, you can see some of Washington’s landmarks such as the Capitol and the Washington Monument.

The Nationals lost the game 7-2 to the Rays who are still unbeaten and are 6-0. As a neutral, it was a good game to watch.

On leaving the park after the game, I headed to Walters Sports Bar just outside the ballpark to watch the 2nd half of the West Ham v Newcastle game which was just about to start. They turned one of the TV’s over to the game and a plate of pork bits and a very reasonably priced beer were the order of the day whilst watching the rest of the game, which ended in a score that wouldn’t have been out of place in a list of baseball scores!!

This also allowed the crowd to go down and so once I was ready to go back to downtown, there were no queues at the METRO.

The Bullpen Beer Garden

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