It’s very important to choose the best place to stay in Washington, D.C. so that you’re close to the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and other tourist attractions of the capital of the United States.
Although there are many things to do in Washington, D.C., most are quite close, so you can visit them on foot. Washington, D.C. is nothing like any of the other cities in the United States. With small houses and lots of green areas, the only thing it has in common with cities like New York or Los Angeles is the price of accommodation. It will be difficult for you to find cheap hotels in Washington, D.C. and even more challenging if you don’t book early.
We moved to Philadelphia, which is two hours from Washington, D.C., 3 years ago, so we’ve visited D.C. countless times. We have stayed in the city more than 10 times and tried different areas to stay in Washington, D.C., so I know which ones to recommend for each type of traveler.
To help you choose where to stay in Washington, D.C., in this article you will find:
- Best areas to stay in Washington, D.C.
- Washington, D.C. neighborhoods to avoid
- Best hotels in Washington, D.C.
- Cheap accommodations in Washington, D.C.
- Map of the Washington, D.C. neighborhoods where to stay
where to stay in Washington, D.C.
In this section, you will find the different neighborhoods to stay in Washington, D.C. that I recommend. In addition, I’ll tell you which tourist attractions are nearby or what things you can do in the area, so that you can choose the one that best suits your travel style. The first four areas are my favorites and are very close to each other, so you can choose any of them and walk everywhere from there. However, they also have their differences, as I will explain below.
I have also included the hotels in Washington, D.C. that I recommend.
1. National Mall, the best place to stay in Washington, D.C.
The National Mall is the best place to stay in Washington, D.C. for first-timers. Accommodations here are quite expensive, but if you are short on time, this is the best option since the main memorials, the Capitol, the White House, and most of the tourist attractions are here. If you can afford it, don’t think twice about booking here.
If you are going to stay in the city for a longer time, it’s also a very good option, but you should bear in mind that due to its location and high demand, the prices are quite high. In my opinion, other well-located areas in Washington, D.C. are more suitable for multi-day stays. We don’t stay in this area of Washington, D.C. anymore.
These are the recommended Washington, D.C. hotels on the National Mall:
- Premium option: Holiday Inn Washington- Capitol
- Standard option: State Plaza Hotel (our hotel in Washington, D.C. during our first visit)
- Low-cost option: Harrington Hotel
2. Downtown DC, an excellent option to stay in D.C.
Downtown DC is one of the best places to stay in Washington, D.C. because it is the authentic center of the city, close to all the places of historical and cultural interest that you will surely want to visit. It takes no more than 10 minutes to walk to the National Mall, and you will have plenty of restaurants and cafes on hand.
I honestly like this area more than the National Mall itself, so whenever I find a good deal on accommodation in Downtown D.C., I stay there. However, that’s usually difficult, since the prices for something decent in the center don’t usually drop below $150, even during the off-peak travel season. This means that if you’re going to spend many days in the city, your travel expenses will add up quickly.
These are the hotels in Downtown, D.C. that I recommend:
- Premium option: Hyatt Place Washington D.C./White House (this hotel is amazing, but I haven’t found any good deals for the last year)
- Standard option: Club Quarters Hotel in Washington D.C. (I’ve stayed here twice)
- Low-cost option: HI Washington, DC Hostel
3. Capitol Hill, a good option to sleep in Washington, D.C.
Capitol Hill is the largest historic residential neighborhood in the city and a good place to sleep in Washington, D.C.
This area is very nice to look for a hotel in Washington, D.C., with colorful townhouses from the 19th century and beautiful parks. In addition, it’s a few-minutes’ walk from the main tourist attractions, especially the Capitol.
This neighborhood is also perfect for dining out, enjoying street markets, thrift stores, and partying. It’s an area that, in general, has everything. Of course, it is not exactly cheap.
If you are looking for accommodation in Washington, D.C. in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, I recommend the following hotels:
- Premium option: Yotel Washington D.C.
- Standard option: Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill
- Low-cost option: Capitol Hill Hotel
4. Chinatown, one of the best places to stay in Washington, D.C.
Chinatown is a cool neighborhood where you should stay in Washington, D.C. if you want to be close to all the main tourist attractions. However, I have to say that unlike the Asian neighborhoods of other American cities, where hotels are usually cheaper, the opposite is true here. The neighborhood is smaller in comparison to others, and this means that there are few hotels here and prices are high.
Of course, you will be very close to Downtown D.C., the National Mall, and the White House. That is why I think it’s one of the best-located neighborhoods to stay in Washington, D.C.
These are the accommodations that I recommend in Chinatown, Washington, D.C.:
- Premium option: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Washington Downtown
- Standard option: Hampton Inn Washington D.C. – Convention Center
- Low-cost option: Pod DC Hotel
5. Georgetown, the coolest neighborhood to stay in D.C.
Georgetown is one of the most exclusive neighborhoods to find accommodation in Washington, D.C. This area’s highlights include narrow cobbled streets and historic houses.
If you decide to stay in Georgetown, you can stroll along the Potomac River and enjoy one of the many bakeries, patisseries, and ice cream parlors in the area. In addition, there are very good restaurants and places of historical and cultural interest to visit.
I consider this neighborhood a good place to stay in D.C. if you have been to the city several times and you want to mingle with the locals rather than going to the tourist sights. However, keep in mind that it will take more than half an hour to get to the center on foot, so it’s not a place that I recommend if it’s your first time in the city. If we go when family or friends aren’t visiting us, this is the area we almost always choose.
Here are the best boutique hotels in Washington, D.C. located in Georgetown:
- Premium option: Georgetown Inn
- Standard option: Georgetown Suites Courtyard (We’ve stayed here three times and love it)
- Low-cost option: The Georgetown House Boutique Inn
6. Foggy Bottom, a good choice for accommodation in Washington, D.C.
Foggy Bottom is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city and a very good place to sleep in Washington, D.C. Its location is excellent, close to many monuments that you will surely want to visit and between the White House and the Potomac River.
If you are wondering where to stay in Washington, D.C. for couples, Foggy Bottom is a great option. It has so many restaurants, bars, and cafes, which makes it quite convenient.
If you decide to stay there, I recommend you book well in advance. As with some other areas, it has a very small hotel offer that fills up quickly.
These are the best hotels to stay in Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.:
- Premium option: ARC THE HOTEL, Washington DC
- Standard option: The River Inn -A Modus Hotel
- Low-cost option: Hive Hotel
7. Dupont Circle, the cheapest area to stay in Washington, D.C.
Dupont Circle, north of the city, is the area where you can find cheap hotels in Washington, D.C. By “affordable,” I mean about $100 a night depending on the time of year. Hopefully, in the off-peak tourist season, you might find something for $70. It may seem like a lot for a cheap hotel in D.C., but if you take into account the prices for the rest of the areas, I assure you that it is cheap. This area is where we almost always stay when we come with groups of friends and there is someone who doesn’t want to spend too much.
In this neighborhood, there are several embassies and historical buildings, and you will not be short of restaurants and places to eat. In my opinion, this is one of the best places to find cheap hotels in Washington, D.C., since you won’t be too far from the tourist area of the city. It will take approximately 15 minutes to get to the center by public transport and about 30 minutes if you prefer to walk.
These are the best accommodations in Washington, D.C. around Dupont Circle:
- Premium option: The Dupont Circle Hotel
- Standard option: Kimpton Hotel Palomar Washington D.C.
- Low-cost option: The Embassy Row Hotel
8. Logan Circle, a historic area where you can stay in D.C.
Logan Circle is another neighborhood that I recommend for looking for lodging in Washington, D.C. for its good value for money. It is quite close to the center, about a 30-40 minute walk from it; hence, it is a very good place to stay.
The area is quite cool, with stately homes, trendy shops, and numerous restaurants and bars to eat at. If you like shopping, this is the best place where you can find a hotel in Washington, D.C. There are also several interesting places where you can go at night to taste craft beers and enjoy their atmosphere.
Here are the best hotels in Washington, D.C. located in Logan Circle:
- Premium option: Cambria Hotel Washington, DC Convention Center
- Standard option: Washington Plaza Hotel
- Low-cost option: District Hotel
Washington, D.C. neighborhoods to avoid
I can assure you that Washington, D.C. is one of the safest cities in the United States. I have toured the city at night and have never felt uncomfortable, even going out alone. However, certain areas are reputed to be somewhat unsafe, and although I have never had any negative experiences, it may be better to avoid them.
The areas to avoid in Washington, D.C. are Shaw, Adams Morgan (unless you aren’t bothered by the noise of the bars), and Near Northeast, so if you see any bargain outside the areas that I have recommended, check where it is before booking it.
Best hotels in Washington, D.C.
If you don’t care about the area because you’re looking for the best hotel in Washington, D.C. to surround yourself with comforts and luxury regardless of the price, there are also very good options in this city.
These are the best luxury hotels in D.C.:
- The Melrose Georgetown Hotel, Washington’s Best Value Hotel
- Sofitel Lafayette Square Washington D.C., to stay in the heart of Washington, D.C.
- JW Marriott Washington D.C., a modern hotel in downtown D.C.
- The Watergate Hotel Georgetown, Deluxe Rooms in Washington, D.C.
- Trump International Washington D.C., one of the best hotels in D.C.
Cheap hotels in Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. is a city where accommodation is expensive and it is difficult to find good hotels for less than $100. But finding cheap accommodation in Washington, D.C. is not impossible if you book it early enough.
So you don’t make the mistake of ending up in a neighborhood that may be unsafe, if you are traveling on a budget and want to explore the capital of the United States, I recommend these cheap hotels in Washington:
- DC International Hostel 2, a cheap place to sleep in Washington, D.C.
- Days Inn by Wyndham Washington D.C./Connecticut Avenue, cheap accommodation in Washington, D.C.
- Dupont Circle Embassy Inn by FOUND, a cheap place to stay in Washington, D.C.
- Days Inn by Wyndham Arlington Pentagon, budget accommodation near Washington, D.C.
Map of the Washington, D.C. neighborhoods to stay in
Now that you know the best places to stay in Washington, D.C., here is a map so you can locate them (download an interactive map of Washington, D.C. here). That way, you can find a hotel in Washington, D.C. that best suits your needs.
If you have any questions or need help finding your accommodation in Washington, D.C. you can leave me a comment and I will try to help you in any way I can.
Enjoy the capital of the United States!