We list the best hotels and accommodations in Washington D.C. as recommended by travel experts from CNN, Lonely Planet, Frommer’s, Fodor’s, New York Times and more. All hotel recommendations have been referenced with customer reviews and we only listed places with at least a 4 out of 5-star customer review rating.
“One of the city’s great heritage hotels, the Hay is a beautiful old building where ‘nothing is overlooked but the White House.’ The property has a palazzo-style lobby and probably the best rooms of the old-school luxury genre in the city.”
“If you can afford to, stay at The Jefferson, which I consider to be D.C.’s best hotel. And if you can’t afford to, at least stop in at Quill, the hotel’s delightful bar, where the bartender will invent a cocktail to please you, right on the spot.”
Featured as Frommer’s Exceptional Choice in Washington.
“This grandiose, opulent Beaux-Arts Hotel, the crown jewel on DC’s most famous street (and just a block from the White House), has sat in the middle of the city’s political and social scene since 1818.”
Featured as Fodor’s Choice in Washington.
“Eaton DC has the trappings of any cool city hotel: a botanical-heavy, Instagram-ready rooftop bar that slings strong cocktails and pan-Asian tacos; a wellness studio offering alternative therapies like reiki and crystal-healing; rooms (a staggering 209) curated with records and mini-libraries.”
Featured in CN Traveler’s Best New Hotels of 2019.
“The major chain hotels can be found within a mile of the Capitol, but a better option is the Hotel George, a Kimpton Hotel with a fun George Washington theme and animal- print robes. A stone’s throw from Union Station and the Capitol, it has the added bonus of a very decent restaurant, Bistro Bis, which also has a sexy bar.”
Featured in New York Times’ 36 Hours in Washington, D.C.
“A less expensive and slightly less elegant but equally convenient option is the Liaison Capitol Hill, an Affinia Hotel, with 343 rooms and a seasonal rooftop deck and pool, an unusual feature for hotels at this price. Locals still flock to the four-year-old Art and Soul, run by Art Smith, best known as Oprah’s chef.”
Featured in New York Times’ 36 Hours in Washington, D.C.
“The Graham embodies the duality of Georgetown, a neighborhood that is both a raucous night-life haunt and home to genteel Washington society. Tranquil, modern rooms paired with a vibrant rooftop offer hotel guests equal parts serenity and excitement, not to mention a tucked-away spot from which to start exploring the city.”
“In a city that’s traditionally very industry and sort of “meh” when it comes to anything that’s not a museum or a monument, it stands out for being a seriously cool hotel with excellent design and really great food and drink offerings.”
Featured in CN Traveler’s 2018 Hot List.
Lonely Planet, Fodors, Frommers, Telegraph
New York Times, Fodors, Telegraph
Frommers, Fodors, Telegraph
Fodors, Frommers, Telegraph
CN Traveler, Telegraph
New York Times, Fodors
New York Times, Fodors
New York Times, Telegraph
New York Times, Telegraph
CN Traveler, CNN
Washington, the seat of power of the United States of America, it is a unique blend of classical structure and modern formation, located along the bank of Potomac River. If you are visiting Washington, here are some of the places that you can visit and stay in:
It is one of the primary locations and is centrally placed in the historic district. This area is extremely safe and boasts some of the best restaurants and vivacious nightlife. It has several 5-star hotels as well as bed and breakfast options for its visitors.
Apart from its obvious connection with political power, this tree-lined neighbourhood has statuesque classical structures which are juxtaposed against the Eastern Market, where you will get local produce and handicrafts. It also boasts an eclectic mix of eateries like pizzeria, bakeries and world cuisine.
It is a commercial space and houses several museums including the famous Smithsonian and theatres. The Penn quarter and Chinatown boosts of several mouth-watering eateries. Gallery Place is a hub of bars, restaurants and luxury retail stores.
It is located near the marina, and has one of the best fish markets in America- the Maine Avenue Fish Market, which offers a varied choice of seafood eateries and cafes. The view of the river at Haines Point is breathtaking. It also has a world-class golf course.
It is an extremely modern neighbourhood with shopping arcades selling everything that you can think of from around the world. The area is dotted with trendy eateries and boutique hotels.
Also check out our guide about the best areas to stay in Washington D.C.
Washington is expensive but If you're looking for an affordable hotel, then book Hotel Hive. It's an excellent budget hotel offering great value for money. It's in a good location, it's been recommended by travel experts and the hotel has excellent customer reviews. Also check out our list of the best cheap hotels in Washington D.C..
You like some luxury but don't like the famous chain hotels. If you're looking for the best boutique hotel in Washington D.C., you should check out The Line DC. It's a very cool hotel that has been highly recommended by travelers and experts.
Also check out our list of the best boutique hotels in Washington D.C., it's a manually curated list of the most unique and romantic hotels in the city.
If money isn't a problem and you're looking for a luxury hotel in Washington D.C., then go for Hotel The Hay-Adams. The hotel offers excellent service, it's in a top location, it has been rated very highly by previous guests and renowned travel critics have recommended it.
Also check out our list of the best luxury hotels in Washington D.C., it's a manually curated list of the most exclusive 5-star hotels in the city.
Looking for a good and affordable private room or cozy dorm in Washington D.C.? Check out Highroad Hostel DC. The hostel has been highly rated by backpackers. Also check out our list of the best hostels in Washington D.C..
If you're looking for a room with a view, then try The Watergate Hotel. The hotel offers amazing views of Washington D.C. according to recent customer reviews.
For a 3-star hotel you have to pay around $220 per night and for a 4-star hotel you would be looking at $270 per night. If you're after a luxury 5-star Washington D.C. hotel then you can expect to pay around $450 per night.
Looking for a great rooftop bar with some nice views of Washington D.C.? Try The Watergate Hotel, it offers nice views and a great rooftop bar.
If you're looking to stay in Washington D.C. with your family, then try Hotel The Hay-Adams. The hotel has excellent review ratings by families.
Capitol Hill and DC Monuments Tour by Electric Cart. Hop aboard a special eCruiser vehicle and enjoy an educational and entertaining narrated history of our nation’s capital. Get a glimpse of the White House and travel around and through Capitol Hill, the Smithsonian museum complex, plus a plethora of famous memorials and monuments. Price: $62.
Monuments by Moonlight: Washington DC Nightime Trolley Tour. Experience the sights of Washington D.C. by night! The Monuments by Moonlight Tour will take you on a guided trolley tour of the city's most popular monuments. Along the way, you’ll learn about the fascinating history of the nation's capital. Price: $45.
DC At Dusk Night Tour. Gaze at floodlit memorials and monuments, such as the magnificent Lincoln Memorial and the glow of the Jefferson Memorial reflected in the Tidal Basin. Price: $58.
More things to do in Washington D.C.
From the White House to the Capitol, The Smithsonian and everything in between, Washington DC offers visitors a variety of sights to see. But with so much history in one place, where do you even begin? By planning your trip in advance, of course! Whether you’re looking for the top spots to see the Cherry Blossoms or are simply trying to figure out what’s worth seeing, we have you covered. Read on for our ultimate guide to things to do in Washington DC as a tourist.
The Best Things to Do in Washington DC
The White House – Located in the heart of the city, this iconic landmark is one of the most famous buildings in the world. Although security around the building is tight, visitors can still get a good view of it from the sidewalk. Be sure to check the president’s schedule before your visit, as he may be conducting business on the grounds.
The Lincoln Memorial – This memorial is a timeless reminder of Abraham Lincoln’s life and work in the abolitionist movement. If you arrive early enough, you may be able to snag a spot on the steps during the sunrise.
The Jefferson Memorial – This memorial to Thomas Jefferson will give you a beautiful view of the Potomac River. You can also walk right up to the water’s edge, making it an ideal place for a picnic.
The National Mall – This is one of the most historic places you will visit in Washington DC. With monuments, public art, and beautiful flower gardens, this is more than just a walk in the park. The Smithsonian is also on the National Mall, so it’s a good place to start your Washington DC sightseeing adventure.
Opportunities to See the Cherry Blossoms in DC
One of the most popular times to visit Washington DC is during the Cherry Blossom Festival in the spring. Unfortunately, the blooms don’t last long: they bloom for just two weeks each year, beginning in March or April. You can view the cherry blossoms in various places around the city, but the most notable spot is the Tidal Basin, where they are planted on both sides of the basin. There is also a smaller collection of cherry blossoms at the Washington Monument grounds. You can find more information about the best places to see the cherry blossoms from the National Park Service.
The National Arboretum – This is a great place to view cherry blossoms, as it hosts two of Washington DC’s most popular cherry blossom trees: the Yoshino and the Akebono. The Yoshino is one of the oldest cherry trees in the city, and it is famous for its pink and white flowers. The Akebono, on the other hand, is the largest cherry tree in Washington DC, with a trunk 14 feet in diameter and a lifespan of several hundred years.
National Geographic Society Gardens – This is another popular place to view cherry blossoms, though it may be a bit less crowded than the Arboretum. The National Geographic Society Gardens also offer plenty of other attractions, such as the Butterfly Garden, the Fountain Garden, and the Native Plants Garden.
Free Museums in Washington DC
These are just a few of the many museums in Washington DC that are free to visit.
The National Gallery of Art – This museum is filled with countless pieces of art, ranging from modern masterpieces to classic works by old masters. You can easily spend an entire day exploring the National Gallery of Art.
The National Air and Space Museum – This museum is dedicated to the evolution of aviation and space travel, with a focus on American achievements in those fields. If you’re visiting with children, you’re sure to find something interesting at the Air and Space Museum.
The National Museum of African American History and Culture – This museum showcases the African American experience from the Colonial period to the present day. It’s a fantastic place to learn about and gain a better understanding of African American history.
The National Museum of American History – This museum explores the development of American society and culture, including the many scientific and technological breakthroughs that have shaped our nation.
The National Museum of Natural History – This museum features a large collection of dinosaur skeletons and other fossils, as well as gems and minerals. It’s an interesting place to visit, especially if you have children.
Visiting the Capital
The Capitol – This is the building where the Senate and House of Representatives conduct their business. You can take a guided tour of the Capitol, and you’re likely to see a few members of Congress in the process.
The Library of Congress – This library houses the largest collection of books and other printed materials in the world. It also features a Thomas Jefferson-designed building, as well as a museum that showcases the evolution of the library over the years.
The Supreme Court – This is the place to visit if you want to see where the Supreme Court holds its sessions, as well as the building where the justices’ offices are located. Guided tours of the Supreme Court are available to the public, though you may want to call ahead to schedule one.
The Smithsonian – This is one of the world’s largest museums and research organizations, with 19 different museums and galleries under its umbrella. There’s something for everyone at the Smithsonian, and admission is free.
The Smithsonian is a collection of 19 museums and gardens that are all free to visit. You could easily spend a week visiting each museum and not see everything they have to offer. If you only have a few days, you’ll have to prioritize what you want to see. If you’re not sure where to start, the Smithsonian has a comprehensive list of the museums and their hours, admissions, and other information. If you’re interested in culture, history, or science, there’s a Smithsonian museum for you. Many tourists don’t realize that the Smithsonian also includes gardens that are open to the public. The National Zoo is also part of the Smithsonian, and you can visit the pandas and other animals for free.
Other Paid Activities in and around Washington DC
If you’re looking for things to do in DC that don’t involve museums, you can always try one of the many attractions or activities that have a fee. Washington DC is home to a variety of sports teams and stadiums, so you can cheer on your favorite team while on vacation. Alternatively, you can visit a more unique attraction, such as a haunted house, an escape room, or a ropes course.
Washington Wizards – This is the NBA team that plays its home games at Capital One Arena. The Wizards have had a few good seasons in recent years, and it’s always fun to watch a game in person.
Washington Capitals – This NHL team used to be one of the best teams in the league, but they’ve fallen a bit in recent years. Regardless, it’s still a fun experience to visit a hockey game, especially since tickets aren’t too expensive.
Washington Nationals – Washington DC’s baseball team plays at Nationals Park, and they’ve been one of the best teams in the MLB in recent years. It’s always fun to visit a baseball game, and it’s even better when it’s in another city.
Washington Wizards – If you’re visiting in the winter, you can head over to the Capital One Arena to watch a Wizards game. If you visit in the summer, you can take advantage of the Monumental Sports and Entertainment’s Summer at the Gardens outdoor concert series.
Washington DC is full of history and culture. It’s a great place for a vacation, and you can easily find cheap flights to DC during the off-peak months. If you want to visit during cherry blossom season, be sure to plan your trip for the first two weeks of April. If you’re not interested in the cherry blossoms, you can visit any other month and still see plenty of great sights.
We recommend you read our guide about where to stay in Washington. It provides an excellent overview of the most popular areas, highlighting the main attractions and hotel recommendations for each area.