7.2 out of 10

Downtown

Ranked 33rd best neighborhood in Washington
38.9004808093254 -77.0288521525822
Great for
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
  • Eating Out
  • Internet Access
  • Parks & Recreation
Not great for
  • Parking
  • Cost of Living
  •  
  •  
  •  
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 1/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 4/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 4/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Is this really a neighborhood?"

Downtown is a neighborhood in the northwest section of the city and falls within the boundaries of Massachusetts Avenue N.W., 9th Street N.W, E Street N.W and 15th Street N.W. Here you will find the J. Edgar Hoover Building, which is the headquarters of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. What is striking about this neighborhood is that it is primarily a commercial center although a few condominiums and apartments are located here as well. Offices and hotels are abundant.

Residents, visitors and workers within Downtown are treated to a wide range of dining and shopping experiences including he Capitol City Brewing Company and Macy's Department Store. The Warner and Ford theaters are also located within the Downtown neighborhood to provide entertainment. Public transportation is fantastic with many Metro busses operating within the neighborhood as well as McPherson Square and Metro Center Metro stops. Green spaces are focused primarily on McPherson Square and Freedom Plaza. The only school located in the Downtown neighborhood is Thomson Elementary School. Downtown is pretty much noisy 24 hours a day. Parking during the day can be a real challenge and expect to pay to park anywhere.

Crime is mainly focused on property crimes and that is is not really a problem as a vast majority of the buildings have 24 hour security and there is a heavy law enforcement presence in the neighborhood. As always, check the crime data for yourself and make an informed decision on the risks prior to moving into any neighborhood.
Pros
  • close to the office
  • always something to do
  • dining
  • shopping
Cons
  • heavier traffic, since it's at the city's center
  • never a quiet moment
  • no real distinguishing factor from the rest of DC, besides being close to monuments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 5/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 1/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Right in the middle of everything"

Downtown DC is like many others, but with two differences: there are loads of government buildings, and there are no sky scrapers. This is because no building in the District is allowed to be taller than the US Capitol building. With the government owning so much of downtown DC real estate, and with other real estate demanding high prices for commercial applications, there are relatively few apartments. No single family homes or duplexes exist in downtown—except perhaps that most famous one of all, the White House. In this area, you will find all kinds of interesting things: hotels, bars, restaurants and swank shops.
During the summer, there will be tourists everywhere. For those lucky enough to find an apartment or condo, the neighborhood has much to offer. There are many Metro stations, and bus routes are abundant. Whatever you might want to eat is readily available, from Asian food to steak. At night, you might take in a show, or enjoy a concert. Many times, there are people on the street until quite late. Also, traffic is terrible: many streets are blocked off since terrorism became a concern in the DC area. At rush hour, the congestion nears gridlock for a couple of hours. However, if this does not bother you, or if you can get to work without driving, then you might enjoy living here.
Pros
  • always something to do
  • dining
  • shopping
Cons
  • heavier traffic, since it's at the city's center
  • never a quiet moment
  • no real distinguishing factor from the rest of DC, besides being close to monuments
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 2/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 4/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 2/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
2yrs+

"Quintessential city life"

There are a few places of note here, particularly if your interests are food and shopping. Zaytinya is a fantastic Greek restaurant, and was the original stomping grounds for Mike Isabella, of Top Chef DC (we are quickly gaining popularity in terms of high-end restaurants, look out New York City!). There's also plenty of shopping opportunities, but only if you're female or a really trendy straight boy.

Besides that, along with being steps from the White House, and having your typical astronomically expensive real estate, there is little above mediocrity here. There are about four Starbucks within ten feet of each other, and at the center of it all is Macy's. But there is no real distinguishing feature in this neighborhood, good or bad, it just is. And, in a way, is a perfect example of the city at large. And in all honesty, where else should it be like this, so quintessentially normal DC, than an area called "downtown"?
Pros
  • shopping
  • dining
Cons
  • no real distinguishing factor from the rest of DC, besides being close to monuments
  • heavier traffic, since it's at the city's center
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish
5/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 5/5
  • Clean & Green 5/5
  • Pest Free 5/5
  • Peace & Quiet 2/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 3/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 5/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 1/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 5/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 5/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"The Center of the World"

Downtown Washington DC is a mecca for tourists and professionals from all over the country, and the world. While there are very few places to live, there is an unending collection of places to visit. If you’re hear on business or to try to influence the government, you’ll probably spend most of your time in one of the many federal office buildings ringing the area. Or maybe you get to visit on of the very centers of power: the Capital or the Supreme Court building.
But come on, there’s more to life than work. Since the Smithsonian Museums are only open during normal working hours, you need to take at least an afternoon off to visit the Hope Diamond, or see Old Glory.
While most people clear out come nightfall, you can still grab a bite to eat at any of a number of restaurants. And there is always a lecture or live performance available for those with a higher than average brow.
As I said before, there aren’t a lot of places to live here. But if the Downtown area is really where you want to be, you can find housing in one of several new complexes being built to draw more residents. Just be prepared to pay top dollar for the high end apartments. On the other hand, if it’s a single family home with a yard that you’re looking for, look somewhere else.
Pros
  • always something to do
Cons
  • never a quiet moment
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Families with kids
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish

Best Streets in Downtown

1

G St Northwest

3.5/5
"Its as Perfect as a Street can be!"
38.898314420106 -77.0289040114843
"A jungle of buildings"
38.8998149013476 -77.0286239130092

Unranked Streets in Downtown

"Quite typical nothing extraordinary."
38.8973382173236 -77.0285463302485
"Quiet Street of Offices"
38.9037382593783 -77.0300413527869

Best Neighborhoods to Live In

Best Cities to Live In

Tell everyone what you love about your neighborhood!

Leave a Review

Have a question?

How are schools? Is the area safe? What about public transit options?" Why not ask our community of locals!

Ask Now

Selling or Renting Your Home?

Maximize the selling price of your home by sharing what you love about your suburb to increase its appeal...

Leave a Review

Corporate Relocation Manager?

Enable your employees to share local knowledge in a private, trusted environment with those relocating... while building community.

Learn More