Best Budget Hotels in DC

One of the major costs of visiting a city like DC is your choice of hotel. Having worked in tourism for many years, we are familiar with many of the affordable hotels in DC’s downtown area. In this blog post we want to highlight some of the budget friendly places to stay when you come to visit. We don’t have any connection to the following hotels, but we chose to list these because of their proximity to downtown and their price.


Hotel Harrington – On 11th and E Streets NW

This hotel opened in 1914, so as history enthusiasts we have to put this on our list. Nothing fancy here but the location is…. the best. Steps away from Ford’s Theater and Pennsylvania Ave, all the sites and museums are nearby. In fact, our Lincoln Assassination tour ends one block away! The fact that it is still family run gives it added charm. Busy season rates can be $125 – $160 a night, and in the off season you can find an even better deal here. This hotel is a great secret of Washington tourism so check out their website and let us know if you stay there.

Hilton Garden Inn – 815 14th Street N.W – 1-202-783-7800

Located on 14th Street, one of the most vibrant streets in the city. Guests can easily walk down to the memorials on the National Mall, the Smithsonian Museums, or the White House. As part of a hotel chain, the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown might not have as much character as other hotels, but the service is very reliable.

Dupont Circle 

The Carlyle Dupont Circle – 1731 New Hampshire Ave NW – (202) 234-3200

A beautiful boutique hotel right off of Dupont Circle. Very reasonably priced rooms and excellent customer service. The White House is just a few blocks away, and the metro is across the street. Dupont is a fun and less touristy part of town, with easy access into Georgetown.

Embassy Row Hotel – 2015 Massachusetts Ave NW – 855.893.1011

Newly renovated and right on Embassy Row, this hotel comes with one of the only rooftop pool bars in the city. A kitchen with homemade gin drinks and great food downstairs and beautiful views, you might not want to leave. This hotel offers a great location as base to explore all of the city. In fact, you might run into many of our guides at the pool in the summer as it’s one of our favorite secret oases in the city!

Foggy Bottom / Georgetown

The Allan Lee Hotel – 2224 F. Street NW 202.331.1224

This old hotel was recently renovated and opened under new management. Its the location that  sets this hotel apart from all of the competition. It is located in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood near George Washington University, the White House and the Lincoln Memorial. You could walk to the Lincoln Memorial in about 10 minutes from this hotel – perfect for anyone attending our National Mall tour. Rooms can be rented for just under $100, or as much as $140 per night during the busy season. If you want a luxury hotel, this is not the place for you. However, if you are just looking for a place to sleep that is clean and close to the action, check out the Allan Lee Hotel (and look for our flyers in the Lobby).

Budget Hotels Just Outside Downtown DC

Other excellent budget options that are just outside of the city include:

Save Money on Hotel Parking in Washington DC

If these hotels seem out of your price range, consider staying in a hostel or a bed and breakfast, both of which are often more affordable.

One of the most frustrating expenses associated with staying at a hotel can be paying the outrageous prices that they charge you to store your car on the premises. If you’re driving into the city, it’s almost impossible to avoid these fees. Until now.

A popular service in DC called Parking Panda enables drives to view all of the available parking options near their destination and see how much it might cost to park for any particular time period. You can even pay for a guaranteed space ahead of time online. While your hotel may charge upwards of $50 per night, you might find a garage through Parking Panda right down the street for less than half the cost!

What’s more, these garages often offer discounts for booking online through Parking Panda. Once you purchase your spot, Parking Panda will email you a parking pass and make sure that a space is reserved at the garage. You can drive into DC knowing that a parking spot will be waiting for you, and that you saved a few bucks in the process!

You can save even more money by booking a spot at a garage outside the heart of the city, but close to a Metro stop. Simply drop the family off at the hotel, go park the car, and Metro back to the hotel. It takes a bit of work, but you’ll surely be outsmarting the crowd.