Washington, D.C. is more than its rich political history – it’s a cultured city home to world-class museums, a diverse dining scene and peaceful public spaces that locals love to live around. When looking for the best place to live in D.C. it’s vital to work out what’s most valuable to you in a neighborhood location. Perhaps you’re looking to be in the center of the city where all the actions at, a quieter residential community or something in-between?
How to decide where to live in D.C.
Take into consideration the following lifestyle factors when deciding where to live in D.C.
Employment: Are you office based or working remotely? Will you be commuting to a university or looking for a local coworking space from which to make ends meet? These location-based factors can impact commuting times. As well as identifying which neighborhoods have access to the best facilities you need for a productive professional life.
Infrastructure: How you are going to get around the city is a basic but big factor in determining the best area to live in D.C. Having easy access to public transport or allocated parking spots are no-brainers. If you have a family, investigate education options and moving to a neighborhood with higher-ranking schools, top public school districts or your international school of choice.
Amenities and entertainment: If you love arts and culture, it makes sense to live nearby cultural institutions like museums, public libraries, and theatres. For those that prioritize well being and physical activity – are there gymsor yoga studios within walking distance? Not forgetting the social butterflies, who should check out the nightlife options for eating out, drinking or going out dancing.
Outdoors: Outdoor green spaces in urban cities can soothe the soul, and provide some much needed restful recreational space. If you have a pet or prioritize easy access to parks, beaches or green spaces consider if these areas are on offer by neighborhood.
Safety: Feeling safe where you live means being in a neighborhood where the risk of personal or property crime is lower. Crime statistics by locations can be found online, as well as contacting local police departments for information in this area. Also, visiting an area in person and interacting with locals can give you a gut feeling as to how safe you could feel living there day to day.
Here is our guide to the capital city’s best high-quality neighborhoods to help you find out which one is right for you. We’ve taken it a step further by showing you the average monthly rent for an unfurnished and furnished one-bedroom apartment in each area (according to RENTCafe and Blueground, respectively).
You may also want to consider the option of using a cosigner to get the apartment of your choice, seeing as the renter’s market is extremely competitive.
In this trend-setting neighborhood, beautifully restored Victorian housing sits alongside luxury new loft conversions. Everything in Logan Circle is at your doorstep for young professionals, from gyms and coffee shops to specialist grocery stores. It’s also home to some of the hottest restaurants in town, popular with D.C.’s hip and hungry crowd. Plus a vibrant live music scene. Because of its central location, it’s easy for busy city dwellers in this area to reach adjoining neighborhoods and get downtown.
The West End is an upmarket and convenient place to live. Family-friendly, it’s known to be a safe neighborhood in D.C. with parks and playgrounds within walking distance. There’s also places to visit with the kids like the National Geographic Museum and West End D.C. Public Library. By night locals enjoy an upscale casual dining scene and low-key evenings at movie theaters. Multiple transportation stops are close by the luxury residential condo-style apartments typically found in this neighborhood. The West End is serviced by a great transportation hub making it easy to get to work.
This historic neighborhood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, offers a quiet area with access to good schools. Also a cultural hotspot, many performing arts centers and venues can be found nearby. Additionally, the areas award-winning diverse culinary scene is not to be missed. Time outdoors can be spent by the Potomac River. Or Rock Creek Park, where locals can enjoy walking trails, picnic areas and a golf course.
One of the most happening areas in D.C., this southeast neighborhood is a fast-growing waterfront neighborhood with new residential developments and historic roots. Art galleries and rooftop bars are hallmarks of the area’s trendy reputation. Locals can also enjoy major sporting events at Nationals Park. Or grab dinner at a microbrewery or one of the many upscale Mediterranean-themed eateries.
A bustling center for commerce, shopping, and nightlife, Downtown D.C. is a premium neighborhood close to everything for business-focused professionals. This walkable part of D.C has a historical feel with landmark attractions like the must-see Smithsonian Museums. With all the essentials close by, from coffee shops to CVS stores, it’s also walkable to the vibrant nightlife in Dupont Circle. More relaxed evenings can be enjoyed in the area’s easygoing but upscale dining scene.
This neighborhood is an ideal location for arts and entertainment lovers. Whether it’s the National Portrait Gallery or Shakespeare Theatre Company, there’s always something to see. This central neighborhood is known to be safe and easily accessible by bus and metro. Not so much a place to switch off, Penn Quarter has a host of bars and restaurants with popular happy hours. But residents can let off steam jogging or taking time out in Franklin Square Park or John Marshall Park. In this happening enclave, housing is found in refined apartment living in modern buildings with luxurious on-site amenities.
This cosmopolitan neighborhood is near many of the cities finest museums, historic housing and foreign embassies. Residents living in renovated high-rise apartment buildings feel safe in this established residential area. The circle itself is a hub for the community with its well-kept green spaces and classic fountain focal point. Local haunts popular with young professionals and families alike include independent stores like Kramerbooks. Plus the year-round outdoor market, Dupont FreshFarm Market, and specialty grocery stores like Glen’s Garden Market. By night the area comes alive with an eclectic drinking and dining scene known to be one of the most popular in the city.
Mount Vernon Triangle is a culturally diverse neighborhood. Historic housing sits alongside modern apartments and condos featuring premium amenities like rooftop pools and more. This central area is convenient and just a short walk to your errands. From local coffee shops and restaurants to fitness centers and green spaces in the five National Park Service pocket parks. Residents have easy access to the metro and central hubs like Chinatown, with a short journey onwards to Reagan National Airport.
Committing to a new neighborhood can be exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time. For peace of mind, you could always try a short stay in a new neighborhood to see if it suits your lifestyle. So you can be sure before you settle, a solution for temporary accommodation could be a Blueground apartment. Blueground’s leases are flexible for month-to-month stays across the best areas in D.C. Who knows, you may love it so much that you stay put in a D.C. furnished apartment for a few years!