You're trying to figure out where to live — let's help you figure out the best neighborhoods in Washington DC for you.
If you're looking for a weird (mostly useless) "Where should you live in Washington DC?" quiz that asks you what your favorite meal is and then gives you a neighborhood recommendation, then you're in the wrong place!
This article is designed to give you the information and resources you need to determine which neighborhoods might be a good fit for your move to DC.
Also keep in mind that this is the city with the most gentrification happening outside of Portland in the entire nation. That means the neighborhoods of Washington, DC, are rapidly changing, sometimes becoming much more expensive or wholly redeveloping in the span of a few years. Our local experts keep their fingers on the pulse of what's happening in the city.
We hope you'll find this neighborhood guide useful for identifying which areas would be the best Washington, DC, neighborhoods to live in!
The area around the university is considered to be one of the nicest parts of the city. Unfortunately, Georgetown also features some of the most expensive average rent prices, costing $2,600 per month in 2015.
- Historic homes dripping with old-world charm and modern luxuries.
- Eclectic restaurants and fine dining options.
- Noted as being a very walkable neighborhood.
Want to get a feel for Georgetown? Check out this great article from Destination DC on 16 Things to See & Do in Georgetown!
Here's the Georgetown neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Georgetown neighborhood. Feel free to "walk" around!
Chevy Chase/Friendship Heights
If you want the calm glamour of suburbia within the city, this moderately expensive neighborhood is perfect for you. Besides the Palisades, these two areas are considered to be a couple of the best neighborhoods in Washington DC for families.
- A fashionista's mecca full of designer stores and shops here.
- It's an idyllic region often compared with the setting of The Andy Griffith Show.
- Offers great local schools.
Here's the Chevy Chase neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Chevy Chase neighborhood.
H Street Corridor
Rated one of the "hippest" neighborhoods by Lonely Planet.
"H" stands for "hipsters" in Washington, DC. Neighborhoods guide the feel of the whole city sometimes, and if this fast-changing area is a litmus test for the rest of the region, then one should expect the whole of the capital to be overrun with bars, coffee shops, and hot foodie spots.
- Trendy eateries make for interesting nights out on the town.
- This part of town is in the midst of revitalization, with a local farmers' market as well as a handful of still-seedy areas.
- Hard hit by riots following the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., H Street has flourished thanks to a joint effort on the parts of local government and businesses.
- That being said, H Street is a very rapidly gentrifying area.
Want to explore the H Street neighborhood? Check out Airbnb's neighborhood guide!
Here's the H Street Corridor neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the H Street Corridor neighborhood.
Columbia Heights/14th Street
This may be considered to be a mid- or post-gentrification area; where H Street has hipsters, Columbia Heights has "yuppies." That being said, it's full of ethnic restaurants and shops along with the big retailers. With plenty of metro stops and a low average age of just above 30, this is a favorite choice for young renting singles and professionals.
- Great public transportation
- Beautiful and unique mural-covered side-streets
- Big box stores and entertainment are on the rise
Want to get a feel for Columbia Heights? Check out this great article from Destination DC on 8 Things to See & Do in Columbia Heights!
Here's the Columbia Heights neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Columbia Heights neighborhood.
Famous for its period row houses, this historic area boasts a calm atmosphere.
- It's a favorite for money-saving twentysomethings, possibly because it offers reasonably priced lofts alongside bars and parks.
- It's also a fairly nice neighborhood for young families.
Want to explore Capitol Hill? Check out Airbnb's awesome neighborhood guide!
Here's the Capitol Hill neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Capitol Hill neighborhood.
This may be the most sought-after area of the capital. So much of the city's culture is packed in and around the circle, which is littered with different types of architecture and businesses. The energy here is electric; it feels much more like the city's central hub.
- Because Dupont is in the middle of things, it has an absolutely excellent walkability score; you can do well without having a car.
- This neighborhood has a low crime rate, making it one of the safest areas in the city to rent in.
Here's the Dupont Circle neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
This older part of Washington, DC has gotten a few updates, with new luxury condos popping up recently. And when we say "luxury", we mean it! New properties offer many high-end amenities; think roof-top pools and high-end suites.
- There are activities close by here, and if you live in this somewhat expensive area, you'll likely not need a car.
- The West End is also home to the prestigious George Washington University.
Here's the West End neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the West End neighborhood.
Mix modern style with old manners and you'll get the fashionable tastes of Logan Circle.
- The food and bar scene may be the best in the city.
- This part of the city is often voted to be the most LGBTQ-friendly neighborhood.
Want to explore Logan Circle? Check out Airbnb's awesome neighborhood guide!
Here's the Logan Circle neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Logan Circle neighborhood.
This very small, very culturally diverse area is full of fun to be had. Adams-Morgan features an active nightlife, plenty of fusion restaurants, and fun things to do after dark.
- It's one of the up-and-coming areas of the city.
- Very casual
- Perfect for young renters, maybe less so for families.
Want to explore Adams Morgan? Check out this fantastic guide from Airbnb!
Here's the Adams Morgan neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Adams Morgan neighborhood.
Arts District/U Street/Shaw
Here, you'll find that the places and people are quintessentially cool. Within Shaw is the U Street Corridor, which is a buzzing nightlife area with a fascinating history. Called "Black Broadway" in the 1920s, riots later broke down this area. It reemerged in the 1990s as the jazzy center of style.
- Local breweries and cafes dot the landscape of Shaw.
- Students from nearby Howard University keep the area feeling young.
Want to explore U Street? You can thanks to Airbnb!
Here's the U Street neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the U Street neighborhood.
This is the central business district of the city.
- Be right next to museums, theaters, and art galleries when you live right downtown, and make sure everything is within walking distance.
- Chinatown has slightly more crime.
- Many young professionals chose to move to Penn Quarter, where things get a little bit more cozy and trendy.
Want to explore Downtown/Penn Quarter? Look no further than Airbnb's awesome neighborhood guide!
Here's the Downtown/Penn Quarter neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Downtown/Penn Quarter neighborhood.
North Massachusetts Avenue (NoMa)
NoMa is an artistic, fun, walkable area that was once riddled with crime. After being revitalized in the 1990s, NoMa continues to invest in attracting smart people to the area.
- Tons of public events to enjoy.
- It is very easy to get around with the well-linked public transit systems.
- While many businesses are moving to the area, it's considered to be mid-gentrification.
Want to see more of NoMa? Destination has you covered with 7 Things to Do & See in NoMa!
Here's the NoMa neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the NoMa neighborhood.
A residential neighborhood, this is a better area for older families, retirees, and young people looking for a calmer area to live in.
- This area is full of big, historic homes and open spaces.
- There's a diverse housing market here, meaning that you'll likely be able to find apartments of several sizes before you land the ideal listing.
Here's the Cleveland Park neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Cleveland Park neighborhood.
This area is perfect for those who want to live both on the water and close to work. It is packed with government offices and major organizations, making the commute for those employees a breeze.
- This young neighborhood is for recent graduates.
- It has very, very high rent, coming in only after Georgetown and parts of Downtown, such as Mount Vernon Square in average rent prices.
Here's the Foggy Bottom neighborhood on the map.
And here's a street-level view of the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.
Heads up! There are plans to make Ivy City the next big thing.
Definitely a great neighborhood to consider and keep your eye on!