Where to Stay in Washington, DC: The Best Hotels & Areas

If you’re about to wing your way to Washington, DC, you’ve probably got a jam-packed itinerary. Loaded with historic and cultural attractions, the nation’s capital is a sightseer’s dream. But with so much on your to-do list, figuring out where to stay in Washington, DC, can be a challenge.

“The District” is home to a wealth of diverse neighborhoods. You’ll find many of the best hotels in Washington, DC, (and sightseeing opportunities) in central areas like Downtown DC and Capitol Hill. But other less central districts like Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Georgetown can be excellent alternatives worth exploring. Thanks to the comprehensive transit system, you’ll have easy access to all the city’s iconic sights no matter where you lay down your head.

Not sure where to start your accommodation search? Find your just-right spot with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Washington, DC.

Best places to stay in Washington, DC

For a city of less than 70 square miles, Washington, DC, punches well above its weight in must-see attractions. If you want to make the most of your visit, nailing down the right place to stay will be key to enjoying your experience to the max.

washington dc

For first-time visitors, the best area to stay in Washington, DC, is Downtown. The neighborhood is the focal point for major attractions like the Smithsonian Museum and the Lincoln Memorial and is home to many of the city’s top hotels.

Bordering downtown but still central, lively neighborhoods like Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom, and Logan Circle are excellent alternatives with a wide range of lodging options. Or you may want to venture further west, slow your pace, and nestle down in lovely waterfront Georgetown for a taste of Victoriana.

The best areas to stay in Washington, DC, are:

Downtown DC

✓ Best area to stay in Washington, DC, for first-time visitors

If you want to immerse yourself in the historic and cultural wonders of the US capital, dive into Downtown DC. Stretching from Union Station to Georgetown just north of the landmark-laced National Mall, this area is the best place to stay in Washington, DC, for first-time visitors.

The White House

The Downtown District is loaded with iconic treasures like the White House, the Jefferson Memorial, and the Capital Building. It’s also home to a vast array of world-class museums and galleries, including the National Gallery of Art and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, a landmark 1800s building showcasing contemporary art collections.

But DC isn’t afraid to kick up its heels. Downtown DC is packed with popular restaurants, high-end shopping, and a vibrant nightlife that’ll keep your dance card full.

With its convenient location, most Downtown hotels are in the mid-to-high price bracket. But budget travelers can easily check out more affordable options like hostels or furnished apartments.

Wherever you touch down in Downtown, you’ll be well-connected by the Metro Center Station, the central hub of the Washington Metro.

Hotel Lombardy

Hotel Lombardy

Nestled on Pennsylvania Avenue in Downtown DC, the elegant Hotel Lombardy is just minutes from major attractions like the National Mall and the Lincoln Memorial. Lavish guest rooms are decorated with fine furnishings and stunning art. Hit the fitness center, then sip a cocktail and savor French-inspired cuisine in the Venetian Room lounge.

Morrison Clark Inn

Morrison Clark Inn Washington DC Convention Center

If you’re looking for a mix of modern luxury and Old World charm, you’ll find it at the Morrison Clark Inn Washington DC Convention Center. Housed in a beautiful 19th-century Victorian Mansion, this hotel offers modern amenities, including free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs – but it’s added special touches—like antique furnishings, marble fireplaces, and a lavish outdoor courtyard complete with fountains—that really set the mood.

Eaton DC

Eaton DC

If your tastes lean towards the cutting edge, you’ll want to experience Eaton DC. A favorite with creatives and entrepreneurs, this design-forward hotel goes retro-Scandi with its earthy tones, low-slung leather furniture, and cozy blankets. Check out the ensuite record player and curated vinyl selection! Get unwound in the Wellness Center, then end the day at Allegory, the hotel’s “secret” bar.

The Hay - Adams

The Hay-Adams

Beautifully refurbished, the Hay-Adams has been a Washington, DC, icon for almost a century. Along with amenities like Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, and a state-of-the-art fitness center, this five-star luxury hotel adds extra flourishes like goose-down pillows and complimentary turn-down service. Hit the heights at Top of the Hay, where the hotel’s stunning wraparound roof terrace offers amazing panoramic views of the White House, Lafayette Square, and the city skyline.

Capitol Hill

✓ Recommended neighborhood to stay in Washington, DC, for political junkies & foodies

Want to tap into the political nerve center of the US (and rub elbows with political power brokers)? Then put Capitol Hill on your must-see list. As the seat of government power, this district is the site of many impressive federal buildings, including the United States Capital Building, the Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress.

US Supreme Court

An upscale residential neighborhood, Capitol Hill is conveniently located just east of Washington, DC’s Downtown. This leafy neighborhood is filled with elegant 18th- and 19th-century townhouses and loads of public green spaces, including the beautiful United States Botanical Garden.

Capitol Hill is also packed with terrific cafes, restaurants, and pubs that are popular politico hangouts. Foodies will be drawn to the diverse eateries of bustling Barracks Row on 8th Street SE, and shoppers will want to explore the vibrant Eastern Market 7th St SE to check out a tempting array of goodies from local vendors.

This posh political hotspot is beautiful, historic and close to major area attractions. Expect to find upmarket accommodations (and prices to match) here.

Capitol Hill Hotel

Capitol Hill Hotel

Set in a quiet neighborhood just a block away from the Capitol South Metro Station, the stylish Capitol Hill Hotel offers modern accommodations at very reasonable rates. Enjoy a complimentary breakfast, kitchenette, free WiFi, bar & lounge, and fitness center – and wine hour every evening! You’ll be just a few minutes’ walk away from the city’s most popular attractions, including the National Mall, the Capitol Building, and Eastern Market.

Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard

Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capitol-Navy Yard

The Homewood Suites by Hilton Washington DC Capital-Navy Yard suites feature kitchens, free WiFi, and flatscreen TVs. Hit the gym or the indoor pool, then grab a bite from the hot breakfast buffet to start your day. You’ll be just a short walk from the Navy Yard metro station, which makes it a quick trip to the Washington Monument, the Lincoln Memorial, and other Washington, DC, landmarks.

 

Thompson Washington D.C.

Thompson Washington DC

Enjoy upscale lodgings with a unique naval twist at the Thompson Washington DC Set in the historic Washington Navy Yard, this luxury 4-star hotel features weathered wood, glass, and dark grey brick evoking the neighborhood’s nautical history. Bike along the Anacostia River Trail, or take a stroll to explore the nearby Smithsonian museums. Top off your day with a handcrafted cocktail on the rooftop bar.

AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard

AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard

You’ll find comfortable and affordable accommodations at the AC Hotel by Marriott Washington DC Capitol Hill Navy Yard. Hit the gym for a workout, grab a bite at one of the on-site restaurants, and you’re good to go for the day. You’ll be within walking distance of the historic Washington Navy Yard district and many more of DC’s top attractions. Public transportation is just a short walk away at Navy Yard Station.

Dupont Circle

✓ Top-rated district to stay in Washington, DC, for nightlife & gallery browsing

Washingtonians would like you to know that there’s more to their town than grey brick buildings. Find out for yourself in Dupont Circle, one of Washington, DC’s most popular neighborhoods. Just north of the city center, this area buzzes with lively bars and nightclubs, trendy cafes, and restaurants. It’s also packed with unique art galleries and boutique shops just waiting to be browsed!

Dupont Circle

Dupont Circle’s central location makes it an easy stroll to the south when you want to take in the top tourist attractions in Washington, DC – but do some sightseeing right in the neighborhood!

Drop into the century-old Phillips Collection gallery to view its impressive array of international modern art ranging from Renoir to Rothko. Nature enthusiasts should check out the National Geographic Museum, while history buffs can explore the oh-so-cool Mansion on O & O Street Museum (complete with Prince’s Purple Rain jacket).

This neighborhood doesn’t offer a huge range of accommodation options, but you’ve still got a solid selection priced at mid-range – all well serviced by the Dupont Circle metro station.

Hotel Madera

Hotel Madera

Looking for a haven from the hubbub? You’ll find it at the Hotel Madera. Set on quiet, tree-lined New Hampshire Avenue, it’s just two blocks from Dupont Circle’s bustling hub. Spacious rooms furnished in calm colors and soft textures make it easy to unwind. You can even open a window to catch a breeze! Union Station and an abundance of restaurants, bars, shops, and galleries are just steps away.

Lyle DC

Lyle DC

If you’re looking for an oasis of calm, check into Lyle DC. Featuring neutral colors, Berber carpets, and rattan seating, this hotel spells “relaxation.” Just a few minutes’ walk from Dupont Circle and the Dupont Circle Metro Station, you’ll have major attractions like the White House and the National Mall at your fingertips. Want to explore on two wheels? Rent a bike at the Capital Bikeshare station just steps away.

Canopy by Hilton Washington DC Embassy Row

Canopy by Hilton Washington DC Embassy Row

Looking for family-friendly, affordable accommodations? Canopy by Hilton Washington DC Embassy Row is a great choice because kiddos stay free! Rooms feature Wi-Fi, a flat-screen TV, a large walk-in shower, and a Nespresso machine.

Just a half-mile north of the White House, Canopy makes a perfect sightseeing perch. Hop on a complimentary bike and explore the neighborhood’s historic landmarks and green spaces. Refuel at Canopy’s Cafe & Bar.

The Jefferson Hotel

The Jefferson Hotel

You’ll score swanky hotel bragging rights at The Jefferson Hotel, a stunning haven of splendor perched on the outer edge of Logan Circle near Downtown DC. Exuding the elegance of an old-school luxury apartment, its rooms feature custom furnishings, rich fabrics, skyline views, and Italian marble bathrooms. The Jefferson’s renowned menu showcases locally grown ingredients in classic regional dishes and handcrafted cocktails.

Foggy Bottom

✓ Top area in Washington, DC, for culture vultures and sightseers

Don’t let the name fool you: there’s nothing remotely swamp-like about Foggy Bottom. Set between the White House and the Potomac River northwest of Downtown, this vibrant area is one of DC’s oldest neighborhoods – and the beautiful views along its historic waterfront are a big part of its charm.

National Mall

Foggy Bottom is packed with lively bars, restaurants, and cafes – and the presence of George Washington University lends the neighborhood a youthful vibe. A short walk gets you to Washington, DC’s top places to visit, including the National Mall, the Lincoln Memorial, and the (in)famous Watergate Complex.

Culture vultures will want to take in a performance at the famed John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, while science geeks will want to check out the impressive displays at the National Academy of Sciences.

You’ll find an excellent range of places to stay in Foggy Bottom, many priced at mid-range. If you want to venture further afield, just hop aboard one of the lines at the GWU Washington Metro station.

Hotel Hive

Hotel Hive

If you’re on the go and want to focus on buzzing around to see the sights, head for Hotel Hive. Washington, DC’s first micro hotel, its hip rooms are tech-friendly spaces equipped with complimentary Wi-Fi, smart TVs, and Bluetooth speakers. Chill out over a slice and a cocktail on the rooftop terrace. Right across the street from George Washington University, the Hive is four minutes from Foggy Bottom-GWU metro station.

The River Inn-A Modus Hotel

The River Inn-A Modus Hotel

Set on a quiet tree-lined street, this elegant boutique hotel offers spacious furnished apartments with full kitchens and dining & living areas – making them ideal for families and extended stays. Enjoy panoramic views of the beautiful Potomac River. Hop on a rental bike to explore the C & O Canal path. You’re minutes away from the metro, the Kennedy Center, and Georgetown’s shops and restaurants.

State Plaza Hotel

State Plaza Hotel

Slip into the sleek and sophisticated State Plaza Hotel for a relaxing experience at an affordable price. Conveniently located in a quiet neighborhood adjacent to George Washington University, these furnished apartments offer free Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, a bar and lounge, an on-site fitness center, kitchenettes, and a business center for visitors working on the go.

Courtyard by Marriott Washington, D.C./Foggy Bottom

Courtyard by Marriott Washington, D.C./Foggy Bottom

If you’re looking for comfort and convenience, the Courtyard by Marriott Washington, D.C./Foggy Bottom offers both. Rooms feature modern décor, smart TVs, and free WiFi. Hit the fitness center, then enjoy an alfresco meal on the patio. You’re within minutes of the George Washington University campus, the White House, and the National Mall, and conveniently close to local metro stations.

Logan Circle

✓ Best district in Washington, DC, for hip neighborhoods and historic architecture

If an intriguing blend of historic and hip sounds good to you, set your sights on Logan Circle. Sitting northeast of Downtown DC, this gentrified neighborhood is within easy walking distance of the capital’s major tourist spots. And you’ve got easy access to other interesting DC neighborhoods: To the south is the bustle of Chinatown, and to the west is the buzz of Dupont Circle.

Logan Circle

Logan Circle is one of the oldest parts of the city, so enjoy a stroll to take in the area’s charming Victorian homes and colorful storefronts. Browse a great selection of trendy boutiques, and check out neighborhood hotspots like the Fourteenth Street Historic District and the Logan Circle Heritage Trail. Foodies will want to head over to 14th Street NW to check out its strip of amazing restaurants, bars, and cafes.

If you’re in the market for excellent accommodations in the mid and higher price range, you’ll find plenty to choose from here. To explore outside Logan Circle, just board a train at the Shaw-Howard U Metro Station.

The Madison Hotel

The Madison Hotel

The Madison Hotel offers sophisticated guest rooms or elegant suites with terraces. Settle back in the trendy Lobby Lounge, and treat yourself to an innovative cocktail and a meal made from fresh local ingredients. You’ll be steps away from The Smithsonian Museums, the National Mall, the White House, and two metro stations. Here for business? The hotel is just six blocks from The Walter E. Washington Convention Center.

The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center

The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center

You’ll enjoy calm and comfort at the four-star The Westin Washington, D.C. City Center. This luxury hotel offers easy access to many DC destinations, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center and the Lincoln Theatre. Work out in the fitness center or get your work done in the 24-hour business center. Sample from the in-room spa menu, then top off the day with a craft beer at Infamy Bar & Restaurant.

Viceroy Washington DC

Viceroy Washington DC

Set on a tree-lined street just steps away from Logan Circle’s bustling 14th Street Corridor, the Viceroy Washington DC is the perfect place to relax and rewind. This 4.5-star boutique hotel offers spacious, residential-style rooms and suites, modern marble bathrooms, Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and even an on-site art gallery. Top off your day on the rooftop with a cocktail and fantastic views of the capital’s skyline.

Hotel Zena, a Viceroy Urban Retreat

Hotel Zena, a Viceroy Urban Retreat

The chic, ultra-modern Hotel Zena, a Viceroy Urban Retreat, is a unique blend of hotel and art gallery. Sleek wired workspaces make it easy to get your work done, and the hotel’s fitness center and rooftop pool make it easy to unwind. Step outside, and you’re on bustling 14th Street. Take a short walk to explore colorful and historic U Street and the century-old Lincoln Theatre, important touchstones for the neighborhood’s African American community.

Georgetown

✓ Top-rated neighborhood in Washington, DC, for families & history buffs

Looking for a choice for where to stay in Washington, DC, that scores high on the family-friendly scale while dazzling even the most discerning diners and shoppers in your crew? Then you’ll want to round ‘em all up and head out to Georgetown. Set on the Potomac River to the northwest of downtown DC, this historic neighborhood exudes an irresistible old-world charm.

Georgetown

With its cobblestone streets and beautifully preserved 18th and 19th-century brick buildings, Georgetown has an almost European feel. Stroll along the Potomac in Georgetown Waterfront Park, or explore over 1700 acres in Rock Creek Park, DC’s most popular outdoor retreat. Both parks offer loads of recreational options, from hiking to biking and tennis to horseback riding.

Georgetown is an upscale neighborhood, so you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to top-flight dining and high-end shopping. If you’re looking for some nightlife buzz, you’ll find it in plenty of lively bars and clubs popular with the Georgetown University Crowd.

This Georgetown district is less central than the others, but you’ll have easy Downtown access via the DC Metro.

The Georgetown House Inn

The Georgetown House Inn

Set in a refurbished 1830s-era building on the banks of the C&O Canal, the Georgetown House Inn is a unique and very affordable option that’s great for budget-watchers. Rooms are small but quaint – some with balconies overlooking the canal. All are equipped with flat-screen TVs. The kitchen space is shared, but you’re covered. Downtown Georgetown’s dining and shopping delights are right on your doorstep!

The Graham Georgetown

The Graham Georgetown

Set on the banks of the Potomac River, The Graham Georgetown is one of Georgetown’s premier luxury hotels. Nestled on a quiet street, this stylish boutique hotel offers a range of chic guestrooms, some featuring private decks. It’s a short walk to the iconic M Street, a magnet for foodies and shoppers. Unwind in the Speakeasy, or take in stunning views from The Graham Rooftop.

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C.

Housed in a beautifully-refurbished historic building, The Ritz-Carlton Georgetown, Washington, D.C., is a perfect blend of quiet charm and modern luxury. Polished suites feature marble bathrooms, soaking tubs, and hi-def TVs. Hit the fitness center – then unwind in the spa, or tuck into artisanal cuisine and sip a craft cocktail at the on-site bistro. Two local metro stations put major DC attractions just minutes away.

Four Seasons Washington DC

Four Seasons Washington DC

For the ultimate VIP experience, head for the fabulous Four Seasons Washington DC. Presiding over Pennsylvania Avenue, this 5-Star, 5-Diamond hotel is the place to see and to be seen.

Luxurious suites feature sunken marble baths, state-of-the-art TV and audio, Italian espresso machines, and private terraces overlooking the C&O Canal and Rock Creek Park.

Browse the hotel’s amazing art collection. Work out at the 3-level fitness center/lap pool/spa. Then treat yourself at the Michelin-starred Bourbon Steak, where you can wine, dine, and recline in 5-star luxury.

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