Where to Stay in Washington, DC 2017 Guide

where to stay in washington dcFrom the historic charm of Alexandria, to the bustling bar scene of Arlington and beautiful brownstone embassies in Dupont Circle Washington, DC has a diverse set of neighborhoods that carter to most any traveler’s expectations. Whether you’re looking to party, focused on museums, trying to impress a loved one, or bringing the whole family, DC has a neighborhood for you.

Lesson #1 - Getting Around

Use the Metro to Save Stress, Time & Money.

DC has an outstanding public transportation system that offloads the hassles of driving around what is notoriously one of the most congested cities in the U.S. Getting around DC can often be made a lot easier by considering what areas have a Metro station and a hotel within walking distance.

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Lesson #2 - Weekends are Cheaper

Where to stay in Washington, DC on a budget.

Travelers will find the average hotel price drops by $50 to $75 on Friday and Saturday nights. Coming on the weekend saves. Weekday travelers must debate offsetting the hotel costs by commuting into the city on the Metro. Below are the best places to staying in DC on a budget.

Best Places to Stay in Washington, DC on a Budget

StationHotelAvg. WKAvg. WKDWhyCommute
Franconia / SpringfieldWingate$96$87Free Parking, Best Value30 mins
Falls ChurchEcono Lodge$97$85Free Parking, Best Value20 mins
Branch Ave.Country Inn & Suites$105$107Free Parking, Best Value30 mins
BethesdaAmericana Inn$112$103Location w/ Free Parking20 mins
Spring HillQuality Inn$113$102Free Parking, Best Value30 mins
Crystal CityAmericana$115$112DCA, Free Parking15 mins
Mt. VernonMt. Vernon B&B$125$125Bed & Breakfast5 mins
Shady GroveComfort Inn$130$117Free Parking, Best Value40 mins
Huntington-EisenhowerHoliday Inn$133$119Free Parking, Best Value30 mins
BraddockBest Western$143$136Alexandria w/Free Parking20 mins
BallstonComfort Inn$154$118Location w/ Free Parking15 mins
New CarrolltonCourtyard by Marriott$155$121Free Parking, Best Value30 mins
BallstonHoliday Inn$163$107Location, Rates, All Around15 mins
L'EnfantHoliday Inn$169$160Family, National Mall5 mins
Dunn-LoringCourtyard$183$89Free Parking, Best Value30 mins
RosslynHoliday Inn$196$101#1, All Around10 mins

Find a Place to Stay in D.C. for You

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Smithsonian Musuems

Where to stay in Washington, DC for sightseeing.

Smithsonian / L’Enfant

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: The neighborhood around the National Mall is dead at night. This can be welcome for those who enjoy a peaceful walk through the National Mall, but not welcome for others. The area is surrounded by massive government buildings and when five o’clock rolls past commenters travel home leaving the area bland and sterile. Hotels near Smithsonian / L’Enfant Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up This area is best for families who want to prioritize the museums and intellectuals reluctant for nightlife. Hotels near Smithsonian / L’Enfant Metro.

Dupont Circle

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: Dupont Circle is a trendy, urban area in the heart of DC. Close to downtown and to the major tourist destinations, this neighborhood is a mix of many things—high rise buildings and massive row homes, young professionals and seasoned diplomats, local boutiques and national chains. A bustling area full of embassies and wealthy residents, this area is comfortable and safe, though you may find some of the city’s homeless taking up residence inside the park at the center for Dupont Circle. Hotels near Dupont Circle Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up Staying in the area to be pricey, but for those not traveling on a budget the proximity to downtown DC and the vibrancy of the neighborhood is worth the money. Hotels near Dupont Circle Metro.


Familes

Where to stay in Washington, DC for families.

where to stay in washington dc for families

thumbs_upParents typically prioritize a safe neighborhood, a hotel with a pool, and suite rooms when researching where to stay in Washington, DC with kids. The Capitol Holiday Inn 3 blocks from the National mall has a rooftop pool, and is often well spoken of by families.

Smithsonian / L’Enfant

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: The neighborhood around the National Mall is dead at night. This can be welcome for those who enjoy a peaceful walk through the National Mall, but not welcome for others. The area is surrounded by massive government buildings and when five o’clock rolls past commenters travel home leaving the area bland and sterile. Hotels near Smithsonian / L’Enfant Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up This area is best for families who want to prioritize the museums and intellectuals reluctant for nightlife. Hotels near Smithsonian / L’Enfant Metro.

Ballston

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: The Ballston Neighborhood is located just off of I-66 about 15 minutes outside DC in Virginia along the Orange and Silver lines. It is part of Arlington, VA. Ballston is a vibrant area filled with luxury apartments and office buildings. Walk 3 blocks from the Metro and the urban landscape turns to dense suburbia filled with townhomes. Ballston’s population is predominantly young professionals. There is a yuppie vibe to it, but with that affluence brings charming squares and over 40 restaurants. Most travels and residents will describe Ballston as as safe place with people on the streets late into the night and early in the morning. If Arlington is your destination Ballston is generally your best choice. Hotels near Ballston Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up This neighborhood and hotel price point appeals to just about all travelers. With good proximity to downtown, airports and the National Mall it is hard to go wrong at Ballston as long as your budget can handle the high weekday rates. Hotels near Ballston Metro.

Bethesda

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: The Bethesda Neighborhood is a vibrant urban center just outside of Washington, DC in Maryland. Home to affluent young professionals and families, this neighborhood is a hot spot for excellent restaurants and trendy boutiques. While hotel rates are expensive the area will suit mature couples, families and business travelers well. The area around the metro station is very walkable and in good weather you’ll find locals enjoying the many outdoor patios and pedestrian walkways Bethesda offers. Hotels near Bethesda Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up Bethesda will appeal to upscale business travelers, and mature couples who want to experience good restaurants after a day of site seeing. Families might have a hard time finding the right hotel at the right price, but will like the neighborhood. Hotels near Bethesda Metro.

Branch Ave

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: Branch Avenue metro station is at the end of the green line in Maryland, just southeast of DC. A suburban area that is home to quite a few government buildings, visitors will safe if they chose to walk the short distance from the hotels to the metro. There is parking available at the metro for over $5 per day if the weather is not good. Hotels near Branch Ave. Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up Branch Avenue is great for travelers, particularly families, on a budget who are looking for a base to launch their vacation from or for those with business at Joint Base Andrews Naval Air Facility. Hotels near Branch Ave. Metro.


Young Couples, Friends

Where to stay in Washington, DC for Nightlife

where to stay in washington dc for young couples and nightlife

thumbs_up Couples or groups passing emails about where to stay in DC will likely demand a mix of nightlife options and accessibility to tourist spots. There are bars between Dupont Circle and downtown, this area carters to gays and lesbians. Hotels near Chinatown which is in the heart of downtown DC near the Version Center will offer up plenty of bars. Clarendon is well suited for 20 somethings, and Adam’s Morgan is a rowdy area with a lot of bars.

Clarendon

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: The Clarendon and Courthouse metro stations form the heart of bustling Arlington. A little less than a mile separates these two stations, but the area is a vibrant, urban center, and the section of Arlington that has the most to offer visitors. Full of luxury high-rises and single-family homes, Clarendon/Courthouse is home to affluent families and young professionals. Though the area can get a bit rowdy on weekend nights, this neighborhood is safe and welcoming. Hotels near Clarendon Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up This neighborhood is ideal for all visitors. Families and those traveling without children will all find something about this comfortable area to recommend. Shoppers will enjoy the mix of major retailers, like Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn, and independent shops, like South Moon Under, a local clothing boutique. Hotels near Clarendon Metro.

Chinatown

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: Chinatown in DC is a very busy urban neighborhood. Populated with businesses, apartment buildings, shopping, and nightlife, Chinatown never shuts down. Being at the crossroads of major metro and bus lines, this area is a big hangout for the city’s teenagers, so it can get quite rowdy. Mostly home to young professionals, this area also includes a few low income housing complexes and a large homeless shelter. While generally a safe neighborhood, visitors will notice a higher amount of panhandling in Chinatown and should be cautious in the area at night. Hotels near Chinatown / Gallery Plaza Metro.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up Visitors not interested in a noisy, rowdy neighborhood should look elsewhere, but Chinatown is a great option for those attending an event at the Verizon Center or who are looking to party like a local. It is also easy to walk to the National Mall from this location. Hotels near Chinatown / Gallery Plaza Metro.


On Business

Where to stay in D.C. on business.

where to stay in dc on business

thumbs_upThere is one hotel most business travelers will appreciate and that is the Americana near DCA in Crystal City. Parking is free, there is an airport shuttle, and the hotel averages $100 less than the local competition. Business travelers should reference our Metro map to find the best hotels options near their meetings and offices.

Americana – Crystal City

Weekday Avg. Rate $115
Weekend Avg. Rate $112


crystal-city-americana

Hotel Specs

Closest Station3 Blocks
WifiFree Wifi
ParkingFree
BreakfastFree Buffet. Cold Items
RestaurantNone
Shuttle to AirportYes
Hotel ShuttleYes. To Crystal City and Pentagon City.
GymNo gym
PoolNo Pool
Room TypeStandard. King, Queen, Doubles
PetsNo
SmokingNo

Places to Stay in Virginia

Best Places to stay outside DC in Virginia.

LocationNeighborhoodWhyStation
Alexandria, VAUrban ResidentialAlexandria w/Free ParkingBraddock
Alexandria, VAUrban ResidentialFree Parking, Best ValueHuntington-Eisenhower
Arlington, VAUrban Residential#1, All AroundRosslyn
Arlington, VAUrban ResidentialDCA AccessCrystal City
VAUrban ResidentialLocation w/ Free ParkingBallston
VASuburbsFree Parking, Best ValueDunn-Loring
VASuburbsFree Parking, Best ValueFalls Church
VASuburbsFree Parking, Best ValueFranconia / Springfield
VASuburbsFree Parking, Best ValueSpring Hill
StationNeighborhood
BraddockUrban Residential
Huntington-EisenhowerUrban Residential
RosslynUrban Residential
Crystal CityUrban Residential
BallstonUrban Residential
Dunn-LoringSuburbs
Falls ChurchSuburbs
Franconia / SpringfieldSuburbs
Spring HillSuburbs

Places to Stay in Maryland

Best Places to stay outside DC in Maryland.

LocationStationNeighborhoodWhy
MD, Fedex FieldNew CarrolltonSuburbsFree Parking, Best Value
MDBethesdaUrban ResidentialLocation & Boutique
MDBethesdaUrban ResidentialLocation w/ Free Parking
MDBranch Ave.SuburbsFree Parking, Best Value
MDShady GroveSuburbsFree Parking, Best Value
StationNeighborhood
New CarrolltonSuburbs
BethesdaUrban Residential
BethesdaUrban Residential
Branch Ave.Suburbs
Shady GroveSuburbs

Shoppers

Where to stay in Washington, DC for shopping.

where to stay in washington dc for shopping

Tysons Corner

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: Tyson’s Corner is a suburban area in northern Virginia. The immediate area is made up of office buildings, shopping centers, and a few apartment buildings. A bustling hub, Tyson’s Corner can be very congested, even on weekends when the malls are very busy. It’s location on the silver line has made this area much more accessible to downtown DC and welcoming for those who are not driving. While Tyson’s is generally a safe area, the amount of traffic in the area, and the multi-lane highways, mean that pedestrians should always exercise caution. There are two stations in Tysons Corner. Hotels near Tysons Corner.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up This area is great for visitors looking for excellent shopping and for visitors looking for easy dining options, if not a whole lot of neighborhood charm. Business travelers will appreciate its proximity to many of the companies headquartered in northern Virginia and the opening of the silver line makes this an increasingly viable option for those looking for access to the tourist attractions in downtown DC. Hotels near Tysons Corner.

Metro Center

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nieghborhood_vibe_48Neighborhood Vibe: Metro Center is a business district at the heart of Washington, DC. At the junction of almost all of the metro lines—Red, Orange, Blue, and Silver, it is also a major transportation hub in the city. The National Mall is going to be a 15 to 20 minute walk or quick ride on the Orange line. Foot traffic dies down on weekends as you won’t find many who actually live in this area, though upscale condos have started going in at various spots in this neighborhood, such as City Center. While Metro Center is generally a safe neighborhood, you will find panhandlers on the corners and should take care when walking around at night. Hotels Near Metro Center.

Who is Best for this Location?

thumbs_up Metro Center is an ideal location for those looking to stay in the heart of DC and desire convenience to all that the city has to offer. Tourist will appreciate the upscale hotels during the weekend when rates drop. This is a popular spot for business travelers. Hotels Near Metro Center.

Cyclists

Where to stay in Washington, DC for cyclists.

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thumbs_up If you love to bike DC loves you. There are over 75 miles of trail spanning in all directions and bikers often don’t have to navigation busy roads to enjoy the miles and miles of bike trails. Bikers who are comfortable riding between 10 to 15 miles per day can experience riding from their hotel to the National Mall. Stay in Bethesda and commute in via the Capital Cresent trail, or through Rock Creek Park. Stay in Ballston and take the Custis trail. Or, stay in Alexandria and ride in via the Mt. Vernon trail.

Where Not to Stay in Washington, DC

Travelers sometimes remark feeling uncomfortable near these metro stations; NoMa station, Union Station, Navy Yard.