Welcome to the "Mother of all States" – Virginia awaits you with beautiful nature, charming towns, and many historical highlights!

Virginia facts

Capital: Richmond
Area: 111,000 km²
Population: about 8.5 millionen
Location: East of the USA
Nickname: The Old Dominion, The Mother of Presidents
State animal: Northern Cardinal
Time zone: UTC-5 (Eastern)

Virginia: location & population

Virginia borders the state of Maryland and Washington D. C. to the northeast, West Virginia to the northwest, Kentucky to the west, and North Carolina and Tennessee to the south. A coastline along the Atlantic Ocean runs in eastern Virginia.

With a growth rate of 1.15%, densely populated Virginia is one of the US states experiencing significant population growth. In the 2010 Census, The Old Dominion broke the eight million population barrier for the first time. The largest metropolitan areas are to be found in the northeast near Washington D. C., around the capital city of Richmond, and in the southeast on the Atlantic coast.

About 11.7% of Virginia's predominantly white population (about two-thirds) are descendants of immigrants from German-speaking countries. About 11.1% have ancestors from Great Britain and 9.8% from Ireland. At 19.6% and 6%, African-Americans and Hispanics represent the largest population groups in Virginia, along with the white population group originating from Europe.

The largest cities in Virginia

Apart from the capital city of Richmond, there are several other significant places in Virginia. Based on their population, the largest cities are::

City Population
Virginia Beach 438,000
Norfolk 243,000
Chesapeake 222,000
Arlington 208,000
Richmond 204,000

Nature and climate

If you travel across the state of Virginia, you will find a great variety of landscapes. The western part of The Old Dominion is dominated by the high peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, which belong to the Appalachians. Virginia's only national park, Shenandoah National Park, is located here, and Mount Rogers, Virginia's highest mountain, rises to 1,746 m.

A sprawling metropolitan area around the federal district of Washington D. C. occupies northeastern Virginia. Driving south from there near the ocean, you'll cross the beautiful Atlantic coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay.

Except for the humid continental mountain region of the Blue Ridge Mountains in eastern Virginia, a mild ocean climate prevails throughout the state. You'll experience all four seasons, with snow in winter and temperatures reaching 32 °C in July and August.

Best time to travel to Virginia

Virginia is most pleasant from April to October. You can count on pleasant to hot temperatures, but only a little rainfall.

Virginia in summer

Music festivals and live concerts make summer in Virginia an exciting time. Visit the Virginia Highlands Festival in late July high in the Blue Ridge Mountains. And once you're there, you can explore the fascinating plant world in the mountains of Virginia, which is at its most vibrant in the summer, while enjoying the pleasantly warm temperatures. Don't forget your rain jacket, though, because Virginia's mountains experience showers all year long.

Virginia in autumn

Virginia's fall festivals provide the perfect setting to sample Virginia's best local foods, beers, wines, and spirits. If you like more hustle and bustle, the ten-day "State Fair of Virginia" at Meadow Event Park in Doswell is the place to be in late September. The annual Virginia Beach Funk Fest jam and dance event offers an irresistible mix of live music, art and dance, and the wonderfully clear ocean air of the Atlantic.

Travel to Virginia

There are five major airports located in the state of Virginia::

  • Washington Dulles International Airport
  • Richmond International Airport
  • Norfolk International Airport
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
  • Charlottesville–Albemarle Airport

Located in the Washington metropolitan area, Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD) is the largest of them all in terms of passenger numbers and a major hub for United Airlines.

Lufthansa and Air Canada offer direct flights from Munich to Washington Dulles Airport. Virgin Atlantic takes you directly from London Heathrow to your destination.


Start Destination Flight time
Munich Washington Dulles about 8-9 hours
London Heathrow Washington Dulles about 7-8 hours


You should calculate around €500 to €600 for your flight back and forth between Munich and Washington Dulles Airport. The cheaper option is to travel from London, for around €400.

Flights to Virginia

Virginia entry permit

If you are not a US citizen or Green Card holder, you are required to obtain a US visa or ESTA to travel to Virginia. You can apply for the comparatively uncomplicated ESTA travel authorization if you originate from one of the countries participating in the Visa Waiver Program (e.g., Japan, Australia, and most EU countries).

Airport Transfer in Virginia

Washington Dulles International Airport is located approximately 36 km west of Washington D. C., and is connected to the metropolitan area via the following transfer options:

Taxi from Washington Dulles Airport

Cabs are waiting for you at exits 2 and 6 of Washington Dulles Airport.

Shuttle from Washington Dulles Airport

Silver Line shuttles depart from Washington Dulles Airport, Entrance 4, in the center of the terminal building, and take you to the Wiehle-Reston East Silver Line Station in Washington, D. C. During the day, buses operate every 15 to 20 minutes at the cost of $5 for a one-way trip.

Public transport from Washington Dulles Airport

To date, there is no direct connection from the airport to Washington D.C.'s metro network, but you can use the Silver Line shuttle buses.

National Parks and natural wonders in Virginia

The jewel in Virginia's landscape is Shenandoah National Park, the state's only national park.

Shenandoah Nationalpark

If you follow Skyline Drive, one of the most famous scenic roads in the US, you'll enjoy a fantastic view of Virginia's only national park, Shenandoah National Park. A whole 169 km of breathtaking landscapes await you! The spectacular Skyline Drive also takes you to the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains and through the Marys Rocks Tunnel. When you take a break in the great outdoors, you can get up close with local wildlife, including bears, snakes, deer, and wild turkeys.

Top 10 Sightseeing-Highlights Virginia

Nature, history, art - Virginia's top ten sights will prove to you just how diverse and breathtaking The Old Dominion is!

  • Shenandoah National Park
  • Mount Vernon
  • Arlington National Cemetery
  • Busch Gardens Williamsburg
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Monticello
  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • The Omni Homestead Resort
  • Luray Caverns
  • Kings Dominion

City highlights in Virginia

Virginia is home to both beachfront vacation paradises and historic sites with cultural highlights. Want to get a taste of both? Add these two cities to your vacation bucket list:

City highlights Richmond

Virginia's capital, Richmond, located on the James River, offers a fascinating blend of old and new. Formerly the Confederate capital during the Civil War, Richmond is one of the oldest cities in the United States and will impress you with its rich cultural heritage and many exciting museums. However, Richmond is also a dynamic and lively university city. You will find beautiful colonial houses and historic cobblestone streets, but also trendy new neighborhoods with modern buildings.

Get inspired by these city highlights in Richmond: :

  • Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
  • Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden
  • Maymont
  • American Civil War Museum - Historic Tredegar
  • Virginia State Capitol

Accomodation in Richmond

City highlights Virginia Beach

The seaside resort of Virginia Beach stands out, especially for its coastal strip. The famous Virginia Beach boardwalk is where life happens: here, you will find restaurants, boutiques, entertainers, street musicians, and much more.

At Chesapeake Beach, with its gentle waves and somewhat wilder nature, you'll find opportunities for kayaking and paddleboarding, as well as quiet spots for sunbathing and building sandcastles.

These city highlights are waiting for you in Virginia Beach:

  • First Landing State Park
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
  • Norfolk Botanical Garden
  • Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel
  • Cape Henry Lighthouse

Accomodation in Virginia Beach

Road trip in Virginia

As one of the first US states to be colonized by Europeans, Virginia has a rich history. If you want to experience the atmosphere of the early days of the United States firsthand, you should add the following places as stops on your Virginia road trip.

Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon ranks among the most visited places in Virginia and is even one of the most popular historical sites in the United States! The first American president, George Washington, and his wife Martha Washington lived on this plantation for over 40 years. Now, Mount Vernon is home to a museum, magnificent gardens, a farm, a blacksmith shop, a grist mill, and the whiskey distillery, which is still in operation.


Less than an hour's drive from Shenandoah National Park, you'll find the Monticello vineyard. This magnificent mansion is not so much known for its wine, however, but was first and foremost the architectural masterpiece and home of Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States. For over 40 years, the Jefferson-designed estate and its gardens were built and rebuilt! Nowadays, Monticello is the only American private home that UNESCO has added to the World Heritage List for its historical and cultural significance.

Colonial Williamsburg

Today, the city of Williamsburg is more commonly known as Colonial Williamsburg. The special thing about it? The whole town is a huge living museum! As the capital of the Virginia Colony, Williamsburg played an important role in the American Revolution from 1699 to 1780. Any visitor who comes to Williamsburg and walks among the 88 historic buildings experiences a return to a fascinating past. A must-see: the Williamsburg Historic District, Duke of Gloucester Street, and the College of William and Mary.


History enthusiasts shouldn't miss the town of Lexington on their tour of Virginia's past. Here, the Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and 'Stonewall' Jackson are buried. In addition to numerous historical sites and monuments, you can also visit the Virginia Military Institute and Washington and Lee University.

Instagram hotspots Virginia

Have you really been there? To share your experiences with your followers, you need the right scenery for your Instagram posts. We've found five fantastic places for high-impact photos:

  • USS Wisconsin
  • Natural Bridge
  • Colonial Williamsburg
  • Virginia Beach
  • Shenandoah National Park

Cuisine in Virginia

The US state of Virginia is known for its rural Southern cuisine. Typical foods in The Old Dominion are peanuts and apples. The cultivated oysters and blue crabs from the Chesapeake Bay are also well-known around the world.

When traveling through Virginia, also try these regional culinary highlights:

  • BBQ & Country Ham – Tip: Try the famous Smithfield ham, which by law must be smoked within the town limits of Smithfield!
  • Brunswick Stew – hearty stew based on vegetables and meat (mostly chicken or pork)
  • Mountain Trout – trout traditionally smoked on applewood or prepared with cornmeal

Fun Facts Virginia

Do you want to know even more about the US state of Virginia? We have found some interesting facts:

  • About half of all American Civil War battles were fought in Virginia.
  • America's first Thanksgiving was celebrated at Berkeley Plantation in Charles City, Virginia.
  • A total of eight US presidents originate from Virginia – no other state has brought forth so many. That's why the state of Virginia is also called The Mother Of Presidents.
  • The College of William & Mary in Williamsburg is the second oldest university in the United States. The oldest one is Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
  • The Pentagon is not located in Washington D. C., but in Arlington. Thus, it lies on the territory of the state of Virginia.

Immigrate to Virginia

The Old Dominion has you hooked with its Southern feel? Read our information about living and working in Virginia. You're sure to find some tips on how to tackle the project of moving to Virginia.

Working in Virginia

The Old Dominion belongs to the economically more successful US states. Important industries can be found in agriculture, including oyster fishing and cattle ranching. In addition, the cultivation of tobacco, cotton, peanuts, wheat, and corn are important sources of income.

Jobs in Virginia are also created by the mining of mineral resources such as coal, iron, and natural stone, as well as in wood, paper, and glass processing and shipbuilding. In the coastal areas, in particular, you also have good job opportunities in the tourism industry.

Living in Virginia

According to the Cost of Living Index, your overall cost of living in Virginia is about the same as the US average. Overall, you'll pay about 3.7% more.

Within Virginia, there are slight regional variations. While costs in the capital Richmond are a tad below average, they are 5% higher in the coastal city of Virginia Beach.

There is one exception, however: in northeastern Virginia near Washington D. C. you can expect very high rents. Housing in Arlington, for example, is nearly 200% more expensive than in the rest of the state.

To Virginia with a Green Card

Once you have decided to move to Virginia, you should apply for a Green Card. Officially called a Permanent Resident Card, it allows you to live and work in any US state without a time limit.

A quick and easy way to get a Green Card is to participate in the Green Card Lottery. Within this lottery, the US government raffles off a total of 55,000 of the coveted Green Cards every year. Try your luck right now!

Green Card CheckAre you eligible?