Washington DC is one of the most recognizable cities in the USA. It has a rich history, magnificent landmarks, and is bursting with culture.
But with so many things to see and do, choosing where to stay can be overwhelming. Which is exactly why we wrote this epic guide on where to stay in Washington DC.
Whether you’re looking to see the tops sights or party all night long, you’ve come to the right place! By the time you finish you should know exactly what DC neighborhood is best for you.
So without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about where to stay in Washington DC!
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Where to Stay in Washington D.C.
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are my top recommendations for places to stay in Washington DC during your epic USA trip:
Best Hotel in Washington DC: The River Inn-A Modus Hotel
The River Inn-A Modus Hotel is a charming and elegant four-star property. It has a fitness center, free bike rental, and friendly staff. There is also a popular on-site restaurant and a stylish lounge bar, all for a reasonable price. All this combined makes it my pick for the best hotel in Washington DC!
Best Airbnb in Washington DC: Historic home in Urban Area
Start your journey of exploring DC at this cute townhouse. You can have the whole thing all to yourself in one of the country’s most historical neighborhoods. The home is sitting in the historic Mews located near most of DC’s major attractions. This home is expansive, and affordable: It can accommodate up to 4 people if you wish. And hey, if couch snoozing is your thing, these couches are to die for they are, in fact, they’re proper cuddle puddle material sofas!
Best Hostel in Washington DC: Duo Circle DC
With a friendly staff, a home-like atmosphere, and brand new everything – it is no wonder this is a top-rated Washington DC hostel. At the heart of the action, this property is close to landmarks, sightseeing, and great restaurants and bars. It has free internet and spacious sleeping quarters.
Washington DC Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Washington DC
Located in the city’s West End, Foggy Bottom is our recommendation for where to stay if you’re visiting Washington DC for the first time.
For travellers on a budget, there’s no better place to stay than Logan Circle. This charming and historic neighbourhood is where you’ll find a great selection of budget hostels and boutique hotels to fit any budget.
Dupont Circle is a trendy and historic neighbourhood where you’ll find the best bars, pubs, nightclubs and dancehalls, as well as restaurants, galleries, and shops in DC.
H Street Corridor
Culture vultures, fearless foodies and trendsetting travellers won’t want to miss the H Street Corridor. What was once one of the city’s most shattered area, the H Street Corridor is now one of the hippest and most happening parts of town.
Georgetown is one of Washington DC’s most prestigious and upscale areas. The oldest part of the city, Georgetown is famous for its narrow cobblestone streets that are lined with tall, leafy trees and spectacular historic homes.
Washington DC is a small city that packs a big punch.
The capital city of the United States, Washington DC is where you’ll find some of the country’s most storied and important landmarks, monuments, museums, and attractions.
There’s plenty to see and do while traveling in Washington DC, from dining on delicious cuisine and dancing the night away to stepping back in time and exploring the stories and figures that shaped the USA.
Although the city covers an area of less than 180 square kilometers, Washington DC is home to a whopping 131 neighborhoods.
Downtown DC is located at the center of Washington DC It contains the city’s most visited attractions, including the Supreme Court Building, the White House on the famous Pennsylvania Avenue, the Capitol Building on Capitol Hill, the Lincoln Memorial, as well as dozens of the nation’s best museums.
Needless to say: Downtown will likely take up most of your time, especially if you’re a history buff. You can find plenty of luxury hotels if that’s what you’re looking for.
Travel north of Downtown and you’ll arrive in the bustling and vibrant Dupont Circle. A great destination if you’re looking for a night out, Dupont Circle is home to vivacious bars and lively clubs, as well as numerous restaurants, cafes, and shops.
West of Downtown are the prestigious neighborhoods of Georgetown and Foggy Bottom. Here you’ll find everything from energetic nightlife and eclectic restaurants to historic architecture and urban greenspaces.
Head east from Downtown and you’ll pass through Capitol Hill and the H Street Corridor. One of the city’s newest hotspots, the H Street Corridor is where hip DC locals like to hang out.
Now that you’ve got an overview let’s get into the specifics to see which neighborhood works best for your Washington DC itinerary.
5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Washington DC
It’s time to detail a more detailed look at the five best neighborhoods to stay in Washington DC! If you get it right, you’re looking at one of the best places to visit in the USA. Each is a little different than the last so be sure to pick the neighborhood that’s the right fit for you and your travel style!
Located in the city’s West End, Foggy Bottom is my recommendation for where to stay if you’re visiting Washington DC for the first time.
Don’t be distracted by the unique name, Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It sits nestled between the White House and the Potomac River and is packed with must-see attractions and historic landmarks.
In addition to the White House, Foggy Bottom is within walking distance of some of the best places to visit in Washington DC. Namely, the infamous Watergate Complex, the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, the National Academy of Sciences, the Smithsonian, and many, many more. You’ll also find plenty of restaurants, bars, cafes, and boutiques here.
Best Airbnb in Foggy Bottom: Historic home in Urban Area
Begin your DC trip at this cute townhouse! You can have the whole thing all to yourself in the heart of America’s historic districts. The home is sitting in the historic Mews located near most of DC’s major attractions.
This home is expansive, and affordable accommodating up to 4 people if you wish. Bring your walking shoes —the metro station is only 2 blocks away and the listing is 3 blocks from Whole Foods! Yes, that means you can explore and make time to grab some groceries to cook in the beautiful kitchen this home has.
Best Hotel in Foggy Bottom: The River Inn-A Modus Hotel
The River Inn-A Modus Hotel is a charming and elegant four-star property. It has an on-site fitness center, free bike rental for guests, and helpful and welcoming staff. There is also a popular on-site restaurant and a stylish lounge bar. It’s also within walking distance of some MAJOR DC attractions! All this combined makes it a top pick for where to stay in Washington DC for sightseeing.
Best Hotel in Foggy Bottom: ARC THE HOTEL Washington DC
ARC THE HOTEL is a modern, stylish and strategically located three-star hotel in Washington DC. Set in central Foggy Boggy, it is close to shops, restaurants, nightlife, and tourist hot spots. Recently refurbished, each room comes complete with air conditioning, tea/coffee facilities, a private bathroom, and a refrigerator.
Things to See and Do in Foggy Bottom
- Take a tour of the White House, the official residence and workplace of the President of the United States.
- Catch a free performance every night at 6 PM at the outstanding John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.
- Wander through the Smithsonian, the world’s largest museum, education, and research complex.
- Dine on delicious dishes at Founding Farmers DC.
- See the imposing and inspiring Lincoln Memorial.
- Walk, bike, hike or run through lush and leafy Rock Creek Park.
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For travelers on a budget, there’s no better place to stay than Logan Circle. This charming and historic neighborhood is where you’ll find a great selection of budget hostels and boutique hotels to fit any budget.
Logan Circle is characterized by its Victorian homes and colorful storefronts. Although it’s mainly residential, this neighborhood enjoys a central location and is within walking distance of Washington DC’s most popular tourist attractions.
But you don’t need to leave the neighborhood to have a good time. Logan Circle is packed with interesting landmarks and attractions. It offers delicious restaurants, trendy bars, and a great selection of stylish boutiques.
It’s where travelers can enjoy all the very best things to do in Washington DC without breaking the bank!
Best Hostel in Logan Circle: Duo Circle DC
With a friendly staff, a home-like atmosphere, and brand new everything – it is no wonder this is one of the best hostels in Washington DC! At the heart of the neighborhood, this property is close to landmarks, sightseeing, and great restaurants and bars. It has free internet, spacious sleeping quarters, and easy access to the city’s Union Station.
Best Hotel in Logan Circle: The Architect Washington DC
Enjoy spotless rooms and a central location at this fantastic 2.5-star hotel. Located within the Logan Circle neighborhood, the Architect is well connected throughout the city. It has 72 comfortable rooms that are outfitted with stylish and modern amenities. Nearby you’ll find a great selection of bars, cafes, clubs, and restaurants.
Best Airbnb in Logan Circle: Cozy Apartment in Logan Circle District
This entire condo can be your oasis for the weekend as you learn and explore as much as you please. Located just outside of Logans Circle, you can walk to the Plaza, Long View Gallery for more of an artsy hip sense of DC and minutes from the Whole foods grocery store.
Kick your feet up and lounge on these “fit for a king” size sofas that have you slowly drifting into a nap before your night out. You’ll feel right at home here as you are overlooking the neighborhood from above or lying on the shag carpet petting it almost like its an animal.
Cozy Apartment in Logan Circle District is one of our favourites in Washington DC but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Best Hotel in Logan Circle: Embassy Inn Washington DC
The Embassy Inn is a great base for your time in Washington DC Close to famous landmarks and popular tourist attractions, many of the city’s top sites are within walking distance. It has 38 recently refurbished rooms with essential amenities, private bathrooms, and cable/satellite channels.
Embassy Inn Washington DC is one of our favourites in Washington DC but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Logan Circle
- Tease your taste buds at Compass Rose, a restaurant whose dishes are inspired by the owner’s exotic travels.
- Visit the Fourteenth Street Historic District.
- Catch a show at the Black Cat, a two-level music hall with pinball, pool tables, and a fantastic menu.
- Marvel at the detail of the National City Christian Church.
- Enjoy a glass of wine at Barcelona Wine Bar on 14th Street.
- Grab a seat and indulge in a delicious meal at the rustic and trendy restaurant, the Pig.
- Snap a pic of the colorful and quirky Watermelon House.
Dupont Circle is a trendy and historic neighborhood where you’ll find the best bars, pubs, nightclubs, and dancehalls, as well as restaurants, galleries, and shops. It’s one of the best areas to stay in Washington DC, especially if you’re planning to partake in the city’s nightlife.
In Dupont Circle you can dance the night away in a restored mansion, sip custom cocktails in a swanky lounge, or sing your heart out as DJs spin the hottest tunes from the 80s, 90s, and now.
Located just north of Downtown, Dupont Circle is an ideal base for your time in the capital. Not only is it within walking distance of Washington DC’s top landmarks and attractions, but it’s well connected via transit making it easy and convenient to explore other parts of the city.
Best Airbnb in Dupont Circle: Victorian Boutique Room
Nestled on a beautiful tree-lined street in the majestic home in the Dupont Circle district. —The party spot! And the coolest cafes are nearby–like Kramerbooks & Afterwords, which you have to make sure you stop by before leaving. This home is located on the 2nd floor of Victorian Brownstone and its furnishings are anything but average. The intricate interior will seriously make you feel like royalty. One of the best things this home has is the bathroom pullout mirror. You’ll see what I mean!
Best VRBO in Dupont Circle: Artist Studio Carriage House
I don’t think it could possibly get cooler than staying in a Carriage House–and luckily, you can just that while staying in Dupont Circle with this epic Washington DC VRBO.
Formerly the studio of a metal sculptor, the property is absolutely perfect for artists of all kinds with its high ceilings and open spaces. Unique and historical details can be found at every turn–needless to say, you won’t find another place to stay in D.C that’s quite like this!
The space can sleep up to 3 people, and features an outdoor garden as well. You can also easily access the best things to do in D.C. from this cute studio–the metro station is but a short walk away, and some fantastic restaurants are right in the neighborhood.
Best Hostel in Dupont Circle: Hotel Baron
Located close to Dupont Circle, Hotel Baron is our pick for the best budget hostel in the neighborhood. There are plenty of restaurants, bars, and shops nearby, and Washington DC’s top tourist attractions are a short walk away.
Enjoy newly renovated rooms, modern amenities, and comfortable beds, all for cheaper than most of the other places to stay in Washington DC.
Best Hotel in Dupont Circle: The Fairfax at Embassy Row Washington DC
This classic and elegant four-star hotel is my top choice for where to stay in Dupont Circle. Centrally situated in Washington DC, this hotel is close to top tourist attractions and landmarks. Each of its 207 rooms is filled with modern facilities and amenities to ensure a pleasant stay.
The Fairfax at Embassy Row Washington DC is one of our favourites in Washington DC but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in Dupont Circle
- See a comedy show at the Mayflower Hotel.
- Visit former president Woodrow Wilson’s old house.
- Explore the National Geographic Museum.
- Dine on fresh and delicious oysters, seafood, and more at Hank’s Oyster Bar.
- See incredible works of art at The Phillips Collection, America’s first museum of modern art.
- Climb to the top of the Spanish Steps and enjoy the view.
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Culture vultures, fearless foodies, and trendsetting travelers won’t want to miss the H Street Corridor. What was once one of the city’s most shattered areas, the H Street Corridor is now one of the hippest and most happening parts of town.
Stretching just one-and-a-half miles in Northeast DC, the H Street Corridor is a dynamic neighborhood packed with nightlife, bistros, festivals, and fun. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re bound to find it in the H Street Corridor.
Love to eat? This is the place for you! The H Street Corridor is home to some of D.C.’s most innovative and eclectic restaurants. Enjoy everything from hearty bowls of ramen to New York-style bagels in this happening ‘hood.
Best House in H Street Corridor: Central 3-Bedroom Row-House
You might not need it, but having three bedrooms to choose from is a really cool luxury – and it’s even better when it’s affordable too. This stunning apartment is big enough for you and a group of friends or you can enjoy the massive home all to yourself.
Located in the heart of the neighborhood, you’ll have loads of things to do around you. It’s a walkers paradise, with plenty of public transport options around. And once you’ve had enough of exploring the city, just head back home and enjoy a refreshing drink in your private backyard.
Best Hotel in H Street Corridor: Phoenix Park Hotel Washington DC
A great location and comfortable beds are just two of the reasons this is our recommendation for where to stay in the H Street Corridor. Close to well-known and popular attractions, this hotel is set at the center of the city. It has concierge and valet services, as well as an on-site restaurant and lounge.
Best Airbnb in H Street Corridor: Stunning Basement Apartment
Why not book an entire apartment when visiting Washington? If you hear your wallet scream, don’t worry, this amazing Airbnb is one of the most affordable ones in the area but it comes with a crazy amount of bang for your buck.
This English basement apartment just finished an extensive renovation, so everything is brand new with world-class finishes and fixtures. Enjoy the historic charm with original exposed brickwork, a perfect mix of old and new. Yes, it’s a basement apartment, however, the lighting is so welcoming and bright that you won’t even miss a window view. Besides, you’ll be in the heart of the neighborhood anyway, so most of your time will probably be spent exploring the city!
Stunning Basement Apartment is one of our favourites in Washington DC but they’re not taking guests right now. We’re not sure if they’re closed for good but we hope they’ll come back soon.
Things to See and Do in H Street Corridor
- Check out a neighborhood food tour.
- See fantastic performances by artists and musicians at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.
- Shop the stalls, stands, and local brands that showcase their wares at the weekend H Street Farmers Market.
- Check out a neighborhood food tour.
- Try blue cheese muscles at Granville Moore’s.
- Enjoy an afternoon of backyard beers at Biergarten Haus.
- Grab a drink at Little Miss Whiskey’s Golden Dollar.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Washington DC with family, Georgetown is one of the capital’s most prestigious and safe areas. The oldest part of the city, Georgetown is famous for its narrow cobblestone streets that are lined with tall, leafy trees and spectacular historic homes.
Mainly a residential neighborhood, Georgetown is also home to a myriad of great restaurants, national landmarks, and enchanting activities and attractions. This is why Georgetown is the ideal place to stay for families visiting Washington DC.
Overlooking the Potomac River, Georgetown is a great base for enjoying the city’s nature. It boasts lush parks and the waterway offers a wide range of activities, from SUP to canoeing, kayaking, and more, that are sure to enthrall all members of your family.
Best Airbnb in Georgetown: Huge Suite in Townhome
Live like a local resident staying in the east village of Georgetown. Hands down the most phenomenal place to stay with lots of little personal touches to make you feel right at home when you are looking for some peace with the kids.
There are three floors, and the third is entirely yours during the stay. Sink your eyes on one of the many books on the bookshelf or find yourself getting cozy on this huge peaceful bed as the neighborhood is nice and quiet you can watch cable TV with HBO or work from home at the desk. You are welcome to let the kids play in the backyard as you enjoy your morning cup of joe or glass of vino if that’s what suits you.
Best House in Georgetown: Newly Renovated Row-House
Traveling with your loved ones? This stunning place is the perfect home away from home for you and your family. Enjoy the convenience of staying in one of Washington’s finest and most sought-after neighborhoods, ideal if you’re looking for a safe area.
The sunny row house is super bright, welcoming, and has been renovated recently, so you can expect flawless design, great amenities, and brand-new equipment. There’s a small brick patio outside which is perfect to sit and read a book in the early morning hours. You’ll be within walking distance to great cafes, loads of cool attractions and public transport options.
Best Hotel in Georgetown: The Georgetown House Inn
This is the best hotel in Georgetown for a reason: it’s clean, comfy, and even located on a cute canal. The Georgetown House Inn is close to all must-visit stores and restaurants and even features an outdoor balcony, a true rarity in Washington D.C. The rooms come complete with air conditioning, a flat-screen TV, a desk, and a coffee/tea maker. Enjoy the peace and quiet while still being able to easily access the capital’s top attractions.
Things to See and Do in Georgetown
- Cruise to Georgetown on the Potomac River.
- Shop until you drop at Georgetown’s upscale boutiques.
- Enjoy an afternoon in bustling Washington Harbor. If you’re visiting in winter, rent a pair of skates and go for a spin on the outdoor ice rink.
- Go on a walking food tour.
- Explore Tudor Place.
- Marvel at the incredible architecture.
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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Washington DC
Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Washington DC and where to stay.
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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Washington DC
Washington DC is a city that offers so much to travelers, from its rich history and diverse culture to a fantastic food scene and awesome nightlife. No matter your age, interest, style, or budget, there’s something for everyone in the nation’s capital. And good thing, because it’s one of those places to visit in the USA that you just can’t miss.
After finishing this post, you should now be familiar with the five best neighborhoods in Washington DC, and have a good idea of where you want to stay on your trip to the capitol. Ultimately, the best place to stay in Washington D.C is entirely dependent on the type of trip you’ll be on.
And luckily this city has enough variety to accommodate them all!
So what are you waiting for? Book that Washington D.C trip today–your ideal hotel/hostel/Airbnb/VRBO awaits!
Updated April 2022 by Samantha Shea
And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!