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    Where to sleep in Washington: in which area to choose for your hotel?

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    Martí Micolau

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    Washington DC is a very interesting city, full of attractions and particularly suitable for a vacation of relaxation and beauty. However, in order to experience an ideal stay, it is essential to know the areas of the city, especially to find good hotel accommodation. In short, the question is: where to sleep in Washington?

    Obviously the accommodation must be in function of most interesting areas to visit, this will certainly make the holiday easier and more comfortable. In this post I will therefore talk about better neighborhoods where to look for a hotel, the quietest areas, suitable for a holiday and above all near (or well connected) to the main attractions of the capital. If you are looking for a hotel, Washington will certainly offer you many, but in the city you will also find a wide range of bed & breakfasts, apartments, hostels and alternative solutions that I will discuss in the last part of the article.


    • The best neighborhoods to sleep in Washington DC
      • Capitol Hill: the Capitol Hill
      • The Child Plaza e dintorni
      • Georgetown: lively and fun… even if a little uncomfortable!
      • Dupont Circle: elegant and mundane neighborhood
      • Downtown: Wahsington DC operations center
      • The tranquility of Foggy Bottom
      • Save money by staying just outside the city: Arlington
    • Hotels in Washington… where to look?
    • Alternatives to sleep in Washington
      • The rooms of the universities
      • Bed and Breakfast a Washington
      • Washington apartments
    • Other useful tips

    The best neighborhoods to sleep in Washington DC

    The ideal neighborhoods to sleep in in Washington are different and each one has its advantages. Here is a list of the best areas:

    Capitol Hill: the Capitol Hill

    It is a symbolic district, close to the monuments and museums (all free), set up in the large ones National Mall, representing the flagship of Washington DC. In the same neighborhood you will also be able to see the places of American power up close, such as the Supreme Court, the Senate, the Chamber, the Library of Congress and of course the Capitol and the White House (if you want to see all these attractions, this itinerary of Waghington DC). Here are two recommended hotels, one mid-range and one superior:

    • Capitol Hill Hotel: Opposite the beautiful Catholic Church of St. Peter and a few minutes from the actual hill, you will find this excellent hotel with rooms and suites with kitchenettes. There is also a fitness center and a bar offering wine tastings on the property. Breakfast is included!
    • Capitol Hill B&B: almost the same name, but a lower category than the previous one. This B&B is in a good location and has slightly less expensive prices. Being family-run, it offers the pros (welcome) and cons (some flaws in the organization of the staff).

    Find accommodation on Capitol Hill

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    The Child Plaza e dintorni

    After Capitol Hill here is another area that is particularly suitable if you don't want to stray too far from National Mall and its most significant monuments such as the Washington Monument obelisk and the Lincoln Memorial. To make this area of ​​the city particularly convenient is the presence of the Washington metro station of the same name served by the Blue, Green, Orange, Silver and Yellow lines. As usual, I propose two hotels of different ranges to help you choose the one that best suits your needs.

    • Mandarin Oriental, Washington DC: One of Washington's most renowned luxury hotels. It sits on the banks of the Potomac River and offers suites ranging in price from medium to… sky-high. Known to be the favorite destination of many Hollywood actors such as Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey when they find themselves having to stay in Washington.
    • Holiday Inn Washington-Capitol: three-star hotel with a good quality / price ratio recommended for those who want to stay in this area of ​​the city without spending too much but at the same time without lowering its quality standards.

    Find accommodation in Enfant Plaza

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    Georgetown: lively and fun… even if a little uncomfortable!

    Georgetown it is one of the most youthful areas of the city; is the university district, where you will find many clubs, restaurants and a lively nightlife. However, it has a flaw, that of not having a subway nearby (you will have to walk a bit to reach the first stop). Georgetown's only means of transport is the DC Circulator, a simple bus that connects the neighborhood to other areas of the city, however the timetables are not very convenient, especially for those who want to stay up late.

    However, it remains a characteristic, lively district with an indisputable charm, which also preserves some historic buildings of some interest in American history. Here are a couple of structures available:

    • The Graham Georgetown: top class 4 star hotel in the Georgetown neighborhood. The rooms, furnished in traditional style, offer all the comforts one can expect from such a structure. There is a restaurant and an excellent lounge bar on the top floor.
    • Georgetown Suites Harbor: Cheap accommodation is hard to find in all of Washington, especially in Georgetown. However, this hotel offers suites with kitchenettes at a slightly more affordable price. The strategic position and the breakfast offered in the dining room are also good.

    Find accommodation in Georgetown

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    Dupont Circle: elegant and mundane neighborhood

    In many ways it is similar to Georgetown; it is in fact the fashionable district par excellence, with nightlife and many beautiful clubs. Unlike Georgetown, however, it is well connected to the metro (the Dupont Circle) and therefore it is in my opinion preferable to look for a hotel. If you stay overnight in this area do not miss the Phillips Collection, an art gallery with masterpieces ranging from the Renaissance to the contemporary era, and make a stop in at least one of the excellent restaurants in the area. Take a look at these two hotels:

    • The Jefferson Hotel: this heavenly boutique hotel in the heart of Washington is not for all budgets: anyone wishing to turn their stay in the city into a daydream can book a room here. Hospitality and attention to detail are the strong points, but it is difficult to find fault with accommodations like these.
    • Holiday Inn Washington-Central / White House: the impression you get from this accommodation is that of being able to have an overall luxury room at a good price. Watch out for breakfast: it is included in the price, but only part of the menu is included. Major attractions are within a fifteen minute walk.

    Find accommodation in Dupont Circle

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    Downtown: Wahsington DC operations center

    This is the center of Washington, the neighborhood immediately behind the National Malls and not far from Capitol Hill. The area is pleasant, full of offices and beautiful modern buildings, very lively during the day and with all the necessary services and connections. It is the city business district and, unlike other US cities, it has a rather low skyline, which makes one think more of a European than an American citizen. If you love ethnic neighborhoods, you might like to know that Chinatown is just a few steps away, which will be announced by its unmistakable and picturesque entrance arch.

    Like all financial districts, it tends to empty in the evening, but being well connected to the metro, you can easily move to other areas of the city. Furthermore, the center is not far from Gallery Place, a rather lively area with clubs and restaurants that can be easily reached on foot and by metro (Gallery Place / Chinatown stop).

    • Kimpton Donovan Hotel: sumptuous hotel with a contemporary design, offering impeccable and state-of-the-art services. Swimming pool overlooking the rooftop and Japanese restaurant give the touch of class.

    • Courtyard by Marriott Washington Embassy Row: The location near the White House, the friendliness of the staff, and the slightly sub-standard price of DC are the advantages that could convince you to book a room at this elegant but honest hotel. There is even a small swimming pool!

    Find accommodation in Downtown

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    The tranquility of Foggy Bottom

    It prides itself on being a neighborhood of offices and employees. The area is quiet, well connected with the metro (stop Foggy Bottom), and is close to Georgetown and the National Mall (west side). Here you will find the headquarters of George Washington University, many government offices, the most important theater in the city (Kennedy Center) and the famous Watergate hotel.

    As in Downtown, in the evening Foggy Bottom does not have much to offer, but you can count on excellent connections with the Metro to move to other districts of the city. How about these accommodations?

    • The River Inn-A Modus Hotel: excellent hotel offering accommodations in contemporary designed rooms, equipped with small kitchen and living room. In addition to the impeccable services offered by the hotel, we point out the tranquility of the area, a stone's throw from the Potomac.

    • The George Washington University Inn-A Modus Hotel: traditional hotel of good quality that is not suitable for those who want particular services (spas, wellness centers and such vices). On the other hand, you spend a little less and you are still in a strategic area for visiting the city. 

    Find accommodation in Foggy Bottom

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    Save money by staying just outside the city: Arlington

    Choosing to stay outside the city can be interesting as it will allow you to save both on hotel expenses and on all the services in the area; in this sense the best choice is undoubtedly Arlington, a city in Virginia located on the border with the District of Columbia (DC) which houses the famous military cemetery. The choice is right not only because you will be within walking distance of one of the main attractions of Washington DC, but also for the connections that characterize it: there are in fact various metro stops that lead to the area, including that of Arlington Cemetery and the Pentagon, just one station away.

    Do you have to take a domestic flight to get around? Even better! Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport is just a few stops away on the subway! Here is where you might find accommodation:

    • Hyatt Arlington: first-class hotel, with first-rate services and helpful and courteous staff; great for visiting the city of Washington and the places of interest in Arlington itself. For a hotel of this standard, on the other side of the river you would spend a little more!

    • Americana Hotel: three main advantages of this good 2-star hotel. 1) proximity to the metro to Washington; 2) the affordable price compared to DC standards; proximity to the airport.

    Find accommodation in Arlington

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    Hotels in Washington… where to look?

    These are in my opinion the best areas where to sleep in Washington DC, however, if you prefer to search for a hotel in Washington regardless of the city areas and neighborhoods, I would like to point out the hotel search sites where, from experience, I have always found the best hotel deals.

    Hotels in Washington su

    Washington hotels on Expedia

    Hotel di Washington su Booking

    Alternatives to sleep in Washington

    If you are looking for alternative accommodation to the classic hotel you will find various solutions in the city: some of them are well known, such as rooms for rent, hostels and bed & breakfasts, but in some specific cases you can also fall back on more unusual, such as universities.

    The rooms of the universities

    Yes, Catholic, Georgetown and George Washington University have many in the summer rooms empty (the students leave them to go home) and therefore rent them to tourists. These are real mini-apartments, where you can also cook; the prices are quite cheap and therefore it can represent the most advantageous solution. The drawback of this choice is that a minimum stay is often requested (1 to 3 weeks) and that you have to rely on advertisements on the internet or directly on university campuses.

    Bed and Breakfast a Washington

    To spend little (or at least less than the average price of a hotel) even i B&B they are a great solution and are usually run by reputable agencies. Most of them are located in the north of the city, among the main ones I point out:

    • Swan House: beautiful bed and breakfast located in the Dupont Circle area, an elegant neighborhood that also has the advantage of being well connected thanks to a dedicated underground stop.
    • Birdhouse: this B&B is located in the historic district of Ledroit Park. Shaw-Howard University Station is less than a 10-minute walk away.
    • Adam's Inn: another elegant bed and breakfast a little further north than the others but still very close to a very popular attraction like the Washington DC Zoo.

    If you want to have a more general idea of ​​Washington bed and breakfasts, or consider other alternatives to those listed, you can click on the link below.

    Scopri i Bed and Breakfast di Washington DC

    Washington apartments

    Finally there are the apartments and . There are not a few distinguished ladies from Washington DC who rent a room, often a basement, and make it available to tourists. However, this is not the cheapest solution, especially in the most prominent districts of the capital. However, it can be a solution to consider if you are a family, traveling in a group of friends, or simply want to have more space available and independence.

    Discover Washington DC apartments

    Other useful tips

    To better organize your stay in Washington, I recommend you read our tips on:

    • How to get around Washington DC to understand how you can reach the attractions of the capital in the best possible way
    • Washington DC weather: when is best to go and what to expect from the weather in the city
    • Where to park in Washington DC: in case you want to use your car to reach the center, move around the capital and its surroundings
    • What to see in Washington DC in 1 day: a daily itinerary for those who can't spend much time visiting the city
    • How much time to spend visiting Washington? Guide for planning a multi-day itinerary
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