Local’s Guide to Hotels in Washington, DC Area

Finding a hotel in the Washington, DC area can be very expensive, especially if you choose to stay in the downtown. However, travelers will be happy to know that you don’t have to sacrifice convenience to get a good deal on hotels.

The 2 Secrets to Finding the Right Hotel Around Washington, DC

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The first secret to finding the right hotel around Washington, DC is to use the Metro system that can take you to all the major DC sites quickly and for cheap. Taking advantage of that will reduce your costs significantly, and opens up many areas around DC for choosing hotels. In some cases, especially for families and tourist driving to DC these hotels have major advantages because they offer free parking.

The second secret to finding the right hotel in the Washington, DC area is to consider the timing of your trip. Hotel rates typically drop between $75 to $50 per night on the weekend. DC is heavily business oriented, so hotels keep higher rates on weekdays for business travelers.

Cheap Hotels in Washington, DC Area

For travelers who don’t want to stay that far outside of downtown DC but still enjoy a good location checkout the Days Inn just a few blocks from the Van Ness Metro line. Van Ness is a neighborhood that is in the upper northwest area of DC, along the red metro line. The Van Ness area is predominantly young professionals and new families living in high rise apartments. If you travel around the main drag, you’ll find more family homes with a suburban feel. The area is quite safe, and the metro ride to Downtown DC only takes 10 minutes.

Days Inn which offers great deals and a short two blocks to the metro station. Although amenities may be somewhat lacking, the affordability and the close proximity to major DC sites is a big draw. Parking still isn’t free, but it comes a much less a cost than alternatives in downtown or Dupont Circle.

Hotels in Virginia Suburbs Around Washington, DC


Ballston is a popular choice for all travelers due to its easy access to DC sites and I-66. The orange and silver metro lines run through this neighborhood, and the metro ride into DC only takes 15-20 minutes. Ballston offers a mix of an urban center surrounded by a suburban neighborhood, making it appealing for young professionals and families. There’s much to do in Ballston that will appeal to everyone, with its large number of restaurants, sports bars and bike trails that also connect to the National Mall. One hotel in Ballston offers free parking, rates are typically less than downtown DC hotels. There are five hotels within walking distance to the Metro in Ballston. Learn more about Ballston hotels.

Crystal City – Located in Arlington, VA, Crystal City is a business oriented area and close to Reagan National Airport. Tourist will appreciate Crystal City’s close proximity to DC. It is only a 10 minute ride on the Metro into downtown Washington, DC. The area offers its own urban vibe with a selection of restaurants nearby, although nightlife is fairly nonexistent as most people leave after work. Overall, Crystal City is convenient, safe and a good option to find savings outside of DC.

Dunn Loring – Along the Orange metro line, 25 minutes from DC, you’ll find Dunn Loring — a community in Fairfax, Virginia. The area has an affluent vibe, with many families living in the area. Dunn Loring is made up of shopping centers and high-rise apartments, as well as some quiet streets tucked away with single family homes. Families will also appreciate the local culture, with the locally artistic Mosaic District and close proximity to Historical sites from the Civil War. The shopping malls in Tysons Corner are also a short distance from Dunn Loring.

The best hotel in Dunn Loring is the Courtyard, only a block away from the metro station. The Courtyard in Dunn Loring boasts free parking and easy access to I-495 and I-66, for families who plan to drive. Take advantage of their low weekend rates, which tends to drop significantly compared to weekdays.

Hotels in Maryland Suburbs Around Washington, DC

hotels around washington, dc in bethesda maryland

Bethesda – Located on the outskirt of the DC city limits, the Bethesda neighborhood is an urban center along the red line about 20 minutes away from Downtown DC and home to a handful of hotel options. Certainly vibrant, Bethesda is home to many boutique shops, restaurants and families in an affluent setting. Nearly all travelers will call the area comfortable and families will appreciate the walkability of the area. Nightlife is available in Bethesda as well, and many residents find Bethesda to be a hub of fun and activity for all ages.

The best hotel in Bethesda is the Americana Inn. Although Bethesda is typically somewhat expensive, the Americana Inn offers very affordable rates and free parking. The metro station is 5 blocks away and the hotel offers a free shuttle within a mile radius. Guests will also appreciate the free breakfast buffet and outdoor pool (seasonal).

New Carrollton – A suburban area in Maryland at the end of the Orange metro line, New Carrollton is a typical suburbia with mainly chain restaurants and strip malls. Although the area may not be overtly exciting, it’s very convenient and has access to the MARC and Amtrak trains making this a good location if you are flying into BWI. The commute into DC takes about 30 minutes, and Fedex field is close by for football fans. Families looking to save on hotels with easy transportation and see the Washington Redskins game will appreciate this area.

The best hotel in New Carrollton is the Courtyard. You’ll find good rates for a nice hotel here. Reviews have been positive and the metro station is only a block away. Families will especially appreciate the availability of free parking and suite rooms. The hotel also features an indoor pool, which is a nice touch.