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Where to Stay in Washington, D.C. in 2024 | Best Areas & Hotels

Where to Stay in Washington, D.C. in 2024 | Best Areas & Hotels

What are the best places to stay in Washington, DC?

Washington, DC neighborhoods cater to various preferences and interests. Downtown DC stands out for its iconic landmarks, luxurious amenities, and bustling atmosphere.

While Logan Circle attracts visitors with its vibrant nightlife scene and trendy ambiance, Chinatown offers a unique mix of cultural experiences, budget-friendly dining options, and a laid-back atmosphere, making it a favorite among travelers.

Struggling to decide where to stay in Washington, DC is a common problem for visitors to the US capital. It’s one of the most populous cities in the country and the center of politics and US history. 

Over 20 million people visit Washington, DC each year, mostly due to the city’s historical importance as the capital of the United States. The area is overflowing with historical sites, museums, and other attractions. 

Washington, DC is formally called the District of Columbia. It sits on the Potomac River and covers just under 70 square miles, but it is a large city with a population of close to 700,000.

Most visitors tend to stay near the historical attractions around Capitol Hill and downtown Washington, DC. However, the city has much more to explore. Outside of the city center, you’ll come across vibrant neighborhoods with unique features.

The Best Places to Stay in Washington, DC

Vector map of Washington DC, pictured with several of the best places to stay and attractions to visit

Washington DC has a couple of dozen distinct neighborhoods, each with separate attractions and reasons to visit. Out of the many areas to stay in Washington, DC, the following parts of the city are among the most popular:

  1. Downtown DC: Best for first-time visitors and history buffs, within walking distance of most attractions
  2. Logan Circle: Best for nightlife, within walking distance of most attractions
  3. Chinatown: Best for budget travelers and foodies
  4. Georgetown: Best for families and shopping, quiet but further away from attractions
  5. Capitol Hill: Best for political junkies, within walking distance to most major attractions
  6. Dupont Circle: Best for culture and close to museums, within walking distance to the most popular attractions

The Best Areas and Hotels in Washington DC

If you’re ready to plan your trip to the capitol city, you should first decide where to stay. Here’s a quick look at the best areas of Washington, DC and some of our top picks for hotels in each one.

1. Best Area to See Everything: Downtown

Image of downtown Washington DC, one of the best place to stay when visiting


The downtown area is the most visited part of Washington, DC. It’s where you’ll find the most luxurious hotels, restaurants, and shops. It’s also where you’re likely to spot a politician or news personality grabbing a drink or bite from a local restaurant or bar.

People typically come to downtown DC for the variety of historical and cultural institutions in the area. It’s home to the White House, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery of Art, and more.

Downtown DC also offers dining and shopping. Head over to CityCenterDC to browse over 40 world-famous restaurants and stores. CityCenterDC is a sprawling mixed-use development with over two million square feet of residential and commercial space. 

Downtown DC is the perfect spot for first-time visitors, as everyone should visit the White House and the Smithsonian at least once. However, it’s also one of the more costly places to stay in the DC area.

Things to Do

  • Take a public tour of the White House, but check the available time slots before you go, as self-guided tours are only available during limited intervals. 
  • Visit the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, which houses some of the most famous artifacts in the world. 
  • Spend the day shopping and eating at CityCenterDC.
  • View priceless works of art and illuminating exhibits at the National Gallery of Art.

Where to Eat

  • Surfside Taco Stand offers low-priced Mexican food and a cafeteria-style setting.
  • Try the Shake Shack for tasty burgers and shakes at decent prices. 
  • Iron Gate Restaurant. Fancy Mediterranean restaurant with dine-in, takeout, and delivery options.

Luxury Hotel

Marriot Marquis Washington DC

Photos of the Marriot Marquis, one of the best places to stay in Washington DC

The Marriott Marquis Washington, DC, stands as a luxurious and contemporary haven in the heart of the nation's capital. With its sleek design, upscale amenities, and proximity to major attractions like the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, this hotel provides a sophisticated retreat for discerning travelers in downtown DC.

Luxury Hotel
Photo of the Hamilton Hotel, one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC

Hamilton Hotel Washington DC

The Hamilton Hotel in Washington, DC, combines historic charm with modern elegance, offering a refined experience in the heart of the city. Located near the White House and vibrant neighborhoods, this boutique hotel provides a stylish and comfortable retreat, blending classic architecture with contemporary amenities for a distinctive stay in the nation's capital.

Budget Hotel
One of the best hotels in Washington DC's downtown area, the Washington Plaza

Washington Plaza Hotel

The Washington Plaza Hotel in DC is a sophisticated urban retreat, centrally located near the bustling Dupont Circle. With its modern architecture, stylish accommodations, and convenient access to iconic landmarks, this hotel offers a perfect blend of comfort and convenience for both business and leisure travelers in the heart of the nation's capital.

2. Best Area for Nightlife: Logan Circle

Logan Circle in DC, one of the best places to consider when thinking about where to stay in Washington DC

Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

The Logan Circle neighborhood gets its name from a traffic circle at the intersection of Vermont Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, and 13th Street. 

Logan Circle caters to the young, hip crowd. The trendy boutiques, small galleries, gay nightclubs, and cafes make it the trendiest neighborhood in DC. It’s also home to a wide assortment of bars and pubs.

Most of the action is found on 14th Street, which is a block west of the traffic circle. Dupont Circle and downtown DC also border the Logan Circle neighborhood. You can walk to many nearby landmarks, including the White House and the National Geographic Museum. 

Logan Circle is considered the best place to stay in Washington, DC for its nightlife. While it’s a quiet area during the daytime, families may prefer one of the other neighborhoods. 

Things to Do

  • Catch a play at the Studio Theatre, which often gets plays that were recently on Broadway.
  • Visit the National Geographic Museum to see some of the greatest wildlife photographs and exhibits.
  • Stroll around the Logan Circle traffic circle, which is surrounded by Victorian mansions.
  • Learn more about one of the nation’s civil rights pioneers with a trip to the Mary McLeod Bethune Council House National Historic Site

Where to Eat

  • Le Diplomate is a luxurious French restaurant on 14th street.
  • Enjoy Thai dining in a minimalist setting at Rice Restaurant
  • Pizzoli’s Pizzeria is the top pizza place in Logan Circle and is a short walk from the traffic circle.

Luxury Flat

Liz by Black Swan - DC Executive Flat

Liz by Black Swan, one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC

Liz by Black Swan - DC Executive Flat in Washington, D.C., is within a 19-minute walk from Walter E Washington Convention Center and 1.2 miles from The White House. The property is close to attractions like Washington Monument (1.7 miles), US Holocaust Memorial Museum (1.9 miles), and The National Mall (2 miles). Free WiFi is available throughout.

Luxury Hotel
Lyle Hotel, one of the best hotels in Washington DC

Lyle DC

The Lyle Hotel in Washington, DC, is a chic boutique stay known for its unique charm and modern amenities. Situated in Dupont Circle, it offers stylish lodgings with a blend of historic elegance and modern design, providing a convenient retreat near cultural attractions, dining, and entertainment.

Mid-Range Hotel
Room view of the Viceroy hotel, one of the best hotels in Washington DC

Viceroy Washington DC

Viceroy Washington DC, near Logan Circle, offers pet-friendly stays with on-site dining, private parking, and amenities like flat-screen TVs. The hotel provides a 24-hour front desk, fitness center, and custom-designed PUBLIC bikes. The White House is 0.7 miles away and the Washington Monument is 1.1 miles away.

3. Best Area on a Budget and for Dining: Chinatown

Chinatown streets along Pennsylvania Avenue, one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC

Studio Melange/Shutterstock

Chinatown stands out from the other DC neighborhoods due to its rich culture. It’s a small area just east of Downtown DC and packed with buildings and storefronts featuring Chinese architecture and décor. Crossing under the iconic arch that marks the start of Chinatown is like stepping into a different city.

While Chinatown appears crowded, it has a relatively laid back atmosphere compared to other areas of DC. The streets are always busy, but the neighborhood feels less hectic. 

Chinatown tends to offer lower prices for accommodations, eating, and shopping. You can find a variety of small restaurants and street vendors that serve large meals without breaking your budget. 

Along with budget meals and street food, Chinatown has many highly rated restaurants. It’s considered one of the best neighborhoods in DC for foodies. 

While this is a fun place to stay and visit, the area has fewer hotel options compared to other parts of Washington, DC. 

Things to Do

  • Snap a photo as you walk under the Friendship Archway, which marks the entrance to Chinatown.
  • Watch the Washington Capitals or the Washington Wizards play, or catch a show, at the Capital One Arena
  • Gaze at the vibrant displays and performances during the Chinese New Year Parade, when visiting during the Lunar New Year. 
  • Visit the National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, which are just a few minutes away on foot.

Where to Eat

  • Choose from a wide range of sushi and ramen dishes at Kofuku Ramen & Sushi.
  • Tony Cheng is a popular two-floor restaurant with Chinese cuisine upstairs and Mongolian barbecue downstairs. 
  • Reren Lamen & Bar offers affordable ramen dishes, dumplings, and more.
  • If you want something other than Chinese cuisine, visit Nando’s PERi-PERi for Afro-Portuguese grilled chicken.

Luxury Hotel

Kimpton Hotel Monaco

Photos of the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC

The Kimpton Monaco in Washington, DC, is a luxurious and eclectic hotel known for its distinctive design and top-notch amenities. Located in a historic building, it combines elegance with modern comfort, offering a unique and sophisticated stay for guests in the heart of the nation's capital.

Mid-Range Hotel
Lobby at the Motto in Chinatown, one of Washington DC's best places to stay

Motto by Hilton

Motto by Hilton in Washington, DC, is a contemporary and innovative hotel brand that prioritizes a personalized and efficient travel experience. With a focus on micro-rooms and modern design, it caters to the needs of today's urban explorers, offering a stylish and functional stay in the heart of the city.

Budget Hotel
Fairfield Inn and Suites lobby in Washington DC, one of the best places to stay in Chinatown

Fairfield Inn & Suites

The Fairfield Inn and Suites in Washington, DC, is a welcoming hotel providing comfortable accommodations in a convenient location. With a focus on modern amenities and a friendly atmosphere, it offers a pleasant stay for visitors exploring the attractions of the nation's capital.

4. Best Area for Families & Shopping: Georgetown

Quaint view of the shops in Georgetown, one of the best areas to stay in DC


Georgetown is an upscale neighborhood and contains more residential areas compared to other parts of Washington, DC. With fewer historical attractions and landmarks, Georgetown is also less crowded.

Georgetown is mostly known for being home to Georgetown University, which helps prepare the next generation of leaders and public policy decision-makers. The area near the university includes bookstores and college bars.

If you want to shop or eat, walk over to Wisconsin Avenue, which runs through the center of the neighborhood. It’s the main commercial strip and where you’ll find the most shops and restaurants.

Georgetown isn’t as busy or crowded as most of the other parts of DC, making it a great choice for families. While the area has college bars, it doesn’t have the most vibrant nightlife scene. 

Those wanting to party or see the most important historical sites may want to stay in other areas. Georgetown is further from the main sights in Washington, DC. You’ll likely need to take a taxi, bus, or subway line to reach the attractions in and around downtown DC.

Things to Do

  • Shop and dine on Wisconsin Avenue.
  • Ride a kayak or a paddleboard down the Potomac River. 
  • Take a tour of Tudor Place, which is a historic home that belonged to the descendants of Martha Washington for six generations. 
  • Take a stroll through the 27-acre Dumbarton Oaks Park, which sits at the highest point in Georgetown. 

Where to Eat

Luxury Hotel

Four Seasons Washington DC

Four Seasons picture collage, one of the best areas to stay in Georgetown in Washington DC

The Four Seasons Hotel in Washington, DC, is a prestigious and opulent luxury hotel known for its impeccable service and upscale accommodations. Situated in a prime location, it provides a sophisticated and refined experience, making it a preferred choice for discerning travelers in the nation's capital.

Mid-Range Hotel
Photo of the Graham in Georgetown, one of the best hotels in Washington DC and a top pick for where to stay in the city

The Graham Georgetown

The Graham Georgetown is a stylish boutique hotel located in Washington, DC. Renowned for its chic design and upscale amenities, it offers a sophisticated retreat in the historic Georgetown neighborhood, providing a blend of modern luxury and classic charm for an elevated stay in the nation's capital.

Budget Hotel
Photo of the outside of one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC, the ARC Hotel in Georgetown

ARC Hotel Georgetown

Located in the historic Foggy Bottom Neighborhood near iconic landmarks like The Watergate Complex and The John F. Kennedy Center, ARC HOTEL Washington, DC Georgetown. The hotel is conveniently close to major attractions in Washington, DC, with the Foggy Bottom Metro Station only 525 feet away.

5. Best Area for Political Buffs: Capitol Hill

Photo of Capitol Hill, one of the best places to stay when visiting Washington DC


As the name suggests, the Capitol Hill area is home to the US Capitol. The Capitol sits on top of Jenkins’ Hill, which is now commonly called “Capitol Hill”. This is perhaps the best place to stay without a car.

The US Capitol Building and the National Mall are iconic sights that you must see, even if you choose not to stay on Capitol Hill. The Capitol Visitor Center is open Monday through Saturday throughout the year.

Along with the capitol, this neighborhood has the Library of Congress and the United States Botanic Garden. Barracks Row is another must-see destination known for its selection of high-end restaurants. 

If you come during baseball season, you can also try to catch a home game at Nationals Park, which is the home field for the Washington Nationals. 

As with downtown DC, Capitol Hill is a great place to stay for those that want to visit the capitol’s landmarks. It’s also a little pricey and crowded, which may not appeal to those traveling with a large group.

Things to Do

Where to Eat

  • Crazy Aunt Helen’s offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner at great prices. 
  • Visit Good Stuff Eatery for burgers, shakes, fries, and salads. 
  • Ted’s Bulletin is a favorite spot for DC workers and politicians needing a quick lunch, with a menu that includes burgers, sandwiches, and more. 
  • Enjoy pizza and beer at the posh Matchbox restaurant on 8th Street.

Luxury Hotel

AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC

Collage of images at one of Washington DC's best hotels on Capitol Hill, AC Hotel by Marriott

The AC Hotel by Marriott in Washington, DC, offers a contemporary and stylish lodging experience. Known for its modern design and European-inspired flair, the hotel provides a sophisticated stay in the heart of the nation's capital, catering to travelers seeking a blend of comfort and urban elegance.

Mid-Range Hotel
Outside of one of the best places to stay on Capitol Hill in Washington DC, Homewood Suites

Homewood Suites by Hilton

Homewood Suites by Hilton in Washington, DC, offers comfortable and extended-stay accommodations for travelers. Known for its spacious suites equipped with kitchens and other amenities, the hotel provides a convenient and homelike experience for guests exploring the attractions of the nation's capital.

Budget Hotel
Room at one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC on Capitol Hill, YOTEL DC

YOTEL Washington DC

YOTEL Washington, DC, is a contemporary and innovative hotel known for its tech-savvy features and modern design. Situated in a prime location, it offers a stylish and efficient stay, catering to travelers seeking a dynamic and forward-thinking experience in the heart of the nation's capital.

6. Area in Walking Distance of Most Attractions: Dupont Circle

Area near Dupont Circle, one of the best parts to stay in Washington DC

Naveed Ashraf/Shutterstock

Dupont Circle is the cultural center of the capitol. The “circle” is at the intersection of Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire Avenues, but the surrounding blocks are part of this vibrant neighborhood.

Dupont Circle is close to (and within walking distance of) many art galleries, museums, and other cultural attractions. You’ll also find an assortment of the hip, trendy coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Head over to Connecticut Avenue for the neighborhood’s best dive bars and dance clubs. 

Visitors also typically enjoy walking around and admiring the architecture. Embassy Row is a section of Massachusetts Avenue with stately manors built in the late 1800s. Several embassies and attractions are also found on Embassy Row, including the Mahatma Gandhi Memorial. 

The variety of galleries and important sites make Dupont Circle the best area in DC for culture. It also has a lively nightlife scene but remains a great place for families during the daytime. 

Things to Do

  • Take a walk down Embassy Row to see the historic homes and embassies that line the street.
  • View works of art from Vincent van Gogh, Claude Monet, and other masters at The Phillips Collection.
  • Take a tour of the inside of the Heurich House Museum, which is a gilded age mansion in the center of the neighborhood. 
  • Check out the latest upcoming local artists at the Dupont Underground Art Gallery. 

Where to Eat

  • Alero Restaurant is a Mexican restaurant known for its margaritas and vibrant atmosphere. 
  • Sit outdoors while feasting on Greek cuisine at Zorba’s Café.
  • BIBIBOP Asian Grill offers health-minded cuisine inspired by Korean bibimbap. 
  • Pizzeria Paradiso is a casual pizzeria with wood-fired pizzas and a large selection of beer. 
Luxury Hotel

The Dupont Circle Hotel

Collage of images of the interior of our luxury pick for where to stay in Washington DC on Dupont Circle, The Dupont Circle Hotel

The Dupont Circle Hotel is a sophisticated and elegant hotel located in the vibrant Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, DC. Known for its chic design, upscale accommodations, and central location, the hotel provides a refined and comfortable stay for guests exploring the cultural and historical attractions of the nation's capital.

Mid-Range Hotel
Interior room at one of our top picks for where to stay in Washington DC, the Residence Inn on Dupont Circle

Residence Inn Washington DC

The Residence Inn in Washington, DC, offers comfortable extended-stay accommodations with spacious suites and fully equipped kitchens. Known for its convenient locations and amenities such as complimentary breakfast, it provides a homelike atmosphere for travelers exploring the attractions of the nation's capital.

Budget Hotel
Budget pick for where to stay in Washington DC on Dupont Circle, the Churchill

The Churchill Hotel

The Churchill Hotel in Washington, DC, is a historic and elegant accommodation known for its classic charm and upscale ambiance. Situated near Embassy Row, it offers a sophisticated stay with well-appointed rooms, making it a distinguished choice for travelers.

Save Big on Your Trip to Washington, DC

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✅ Best Area to See EverythingDowntown
🎉 Best Area for NightlifeLogan Circle
🍽️ Best for Budgets & DiningChinatown
👪 Best for Families & ShoppingGeorgetown
🏛️ Great for Political BuffsCapitol Hill
🏰 Most Historic AreaDupont Circle

You’ve now explored six of the best places to stay in Washington, DC. If you’re visiting for the first time, consider staying in the downtown or Capitol Hill areas. 

Georgetown and Dupont Circle are great for families while Logan Circle has the best nightlife.

If you want the best prices, look for a hotel in Chinatown. Pick the spot that offers access to the attractions you want and find a hotel that fits your budget and itinerary for visiting Washington, DC.