Get excited for your trip to DC by watching a movie or TV show set in Washington. Here are our top five recommendations for movies and films to catch before your trip.

The West Wing

This Aaron Sorkin-scripted drama is one of the top political shows of all time—and it won’t leave you feeling jaded, either. While lighthearted and often funny, this comedic take on life in the White House provides real insights into how the political scene operates and is a must-watch for anyone who’s a fan of American politics.

House of Cards

Netflix’s dark drama about a power couple’s rise to the presidency stars Kevin Spacey as plotting leader Francis Underwood and Robin Wright as his scheming partner in crime (and politics). This show is bound to keep you entertained, with plenty of action and characters you’ll get invested in with each season. And you won’t be able to help yourself from rooting for the Underwoods to win, no matter how wild their schemes get.

Designated Survivor

If you loved 24, don’t miss out on this Kiefer Sutherland-fronted drama about a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who winds up as the President after an explosion wipes out the rest of the cabinet- and most of the House and Senate. You’ll love following the different threads that make up this story, from the FBI’s investigation of the explosion to Sutherland’s development into a real leader.

The American President

Another Aaron Sorkin-scripted production is worthy of a mention- this time, a movie starring Michael Douglas as a widowed president who falls for the one woman he shouldn’t be with. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll start to feel hopeful about politics again when you watch this presidential rom-com.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

This old-school black-and-white movie is an all-time classic, featuring a young, freshly-arrived U.S. Senator who arrives in DC eager to make real change. The movie culminates in one of the best-known monologues in film history- so you’ll definitely want to have watched this one before your trip to DC.