Best areas to stay in Washington DC

Where to stay in Washington DC

Boasting everything from history to hipsters, Washington DC is well worth a visit on any visitor to the USA’s bucket list. With so much variety to choose from, it can be difficult narrowing down exactly where to stay. But there’s no need to worry! We’ve hand-picked some of the best areas to stay in Washington DC.

  1. Georgetown
  2. Shaw
  3. Capitol Hill
  4. National Mall
  5. Adams Morgan
  6. Dupont Circle
  7. Downtown

Whether it’s art, coffee, museums or boutiques you’re after, you’ll find it all during your Washington DC holidays. The neighbourhoods are delightfully different from one another, offering a host of landmarks, attractions and establishments that cater for all interests.

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1. Georgetown

Admire Georgetown’s European-style architecture, such as pre-Revolutionary The Old Stone House and red-brick Dumbarton Oaks. There’s also the Federal-style Tudor Place. The best way to soak up this quintessential DC neighbourhood is by booking onto a guided tour that will see you take in even more stunning 18th- and 19th-century houses that are sprawled across the neighbourhood. After all, this is the area where former US President John F Kennedy and renowned cook Julia Child once stayed (at separate times, of course!).

Area: Northwest

While you’re here: Take a day trip to Arlington National Cemetery, where JFK is buried.

2. Shaw

Get your hipster on in Shaw, another Northwest area to consider staying in Washington DC, with its boutique coffee shops like Slipstream and indie/rock live music nights at 9:30 Club and The Black Cat. But it’s also a historic spot with tons of African-American heritage; big-band jazz composer Duke Ellington was born here, and his statue sits outside the Howard Theatre, where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Marvin Gaye also performed. You can also pay a visit to the African American Civil War Memorial, which sits on the corner of a plaza.

Area: Northwest

While you’re here: Ted’s Bulletin is an upmarket diner that’s great for all the family.

3. Capitol Hill

You can’t go to Washington DC and not explore Capitol Hill (aka The Hill) – so why not remove the hassle of transport and base yourself there, instead? Although Washington DC can be a costly place to stay, many hotels slash their rates pretty reasonably at the weekends; so treat yourself to staying in one of the best areas in the city! This is the place to come to check out mighty national institutions: the United States Capitol, Supreme Court and Library of Congress are all here, as are many more political hotspots. They’re all worth tours in their own respects. You never know, you might even unknowingly rub shoulders with someone high n’ mighty as you queue for coffee or wander down the streets past 19th-century rowhouses!

Area: Southeast

While you’re here: Shakespeare fan? Head to Folger Shakespeare Library.

4. National Mall

The National Mall area is known as ‘America’s front yard’ thanks to its belt of cultural institutions and elegant tree-lined boulevards that the whole family will enjoy. In the west of the area, there’s no missing the Washington and Lincoln Memorials which commemorate two of the country’s most influential Presidents. To the east is the National Museum of African American History and Culture and also the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Area: Northeast

While you’re here: There’s no missing the iconic White House. To take a self-guided tour, consult the British Embassy first.

5. Adams Morgan

f you’re looking for a slice (or should that be shot?) of the action, stay in Adams Morgan neighbourhood. It’s a colourful place both in spirit and buildings alike, with tempting restaurants like Rogers Union, art galleries like DC Art Centre and even a hotel set in a 110-year-old church. Don’t miss the chance to go vintage shopping, either, with a number of quirky stores and boutiques to browse.

Area: Northwest

While you’re here: Sample the diverse cuisine on offer here, from falafel to Brazilian food, West African and more.

6. Dupont Circle

This much-loved area is a great place to stay, with swanky bars and restaurants making it a popular spot for visitors and locals alike. Swing by the Phillips Collection, which is a key art gallery in the city, and spend a day waving to the giant pandas at the National Zoo. If you’re looking for a cosmopolitan area with a friendly vibe, head to Dupont Circle!

Area: Northwest

While you’re here: Stay in a Victorian townhouse.

7. Downtown

In the heart of the city is Downtown, which actually provides a surprisingly quieter vibe compared to the likes of the National Mall neighbourhood. There’s a whole host of accommodation options in Penn Quarter, from where you can travel to the Federal Triangle and New Downtown to hit up the sights: the National Portrait Gallery, National Museum of Women in the Arts and Ford’s Theatre National Historic Site are particularly enjoyable.

Area: Central

While you’re here: he nearby International Spy Museum will help you learn your ninjas from your spy moles.

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