With the heart of US government inhabiting its monumental core, Washington DC is one of the world's most instantly recognisable cities. "Time Out's" local experts give the low-down on this famous patch of land, its buildings and their meaning. They also look beyond the institutional icons - the White House, Capitol and more - to take the pulse of the wider Washington. The city's museums are world-class and definitive. Whether it's the 15 sites of the venerable Smithsonian Institution, the brand new Museum of the American Indian or the National Air & Space Museum, these collections reflect America's perception of itself. But beyond both the buttoned-down corridors of power and the national collections, lies yet another Washington - a diverse cityscape that is home to a vibrant cultural life, with award-winning restaurants, innovative art and a unique home-grown music scene.