Nightlife Washington DC: Although known as a rather serious place, the capital of the United States is actually a very fun city. From electronica to Latin beats, hip-hop to house music, Washington DC has something for every niche interest. Whether you're looking for a party night or a relaxed dinner and drink with a view, here's your guide to the best and best nightclubs in Washington DC!
Nightlife Washington DC
US capital transforms into a bustling destination, Washington, DC is emerging as a popular destination for East Coast vacationers, with an explosion of restaurants, clubs, coffee shops and boutiques. In addition to Washington, DC's main traditional attractions, you'll also find great food, exciting nightlife , arts and culture, as well as the Smithsonian museums and the Capitol.
Between marble monuments and prominent politicians, Washington, DC is home to many famous museums and interesting neighborhoods, even though government is still the heart of the city. You can also visit traditional DC attractions like the White House, Washington Monument, and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History , as well as several farmers' markets.
But in addition to the culture, the capital of the United States attracts students and tourists, who want to experience the best nightlife in Washington DC . As the sun sets, you can explore Washington's best places to hang out and relax with friends. Thanks to its hip neighborhoods and artistic geniuses, this notorious capital is always at the forefront when it comes to nightlife.
While the rest of the country is steadily aging, Washington, DC is getting younger, and ranks second among millennials in terms of job availability, salaries, and housing conditions, making it the city of choice to live and thrive. It's no wonder, then, that Washington DC's nightlife is expanding to reflect the intimacy of its youth. You'll find everything from pubs, hip hangouts and hipster dance parties.
As the night goes on, Washington's nightlife reveals a vibrant and wholly unexpected side to the nation's capital. There are a variety of night clubs and bars in Washington, DC where you can relax or have a gala night. The capital is home to a wide variety of bars and nightclubs, including beer halls, happy hours, rooftop bars, karaoke bars, sports bars and live music clubs, so you can stay for days on end.
When it comes to must-see events in Washington, DC, happy hour is definitely one of them. The population of Washington goes crazy for happy hour , which is why the city's bars offer cocktails and special discounts for this occasion. The drinks flow freely, especially in Washington DC's two main nightlife areas: Georgetown and Adams-Morgan.
After the happy hour ritual, Washington night begins, when the city lights up and people party until dawn.
Where to go out at night in Washington DC
Washington DC isn't as formal as you think: the gray buildings and traditional dress are just for the daytime business hours. It turns out that DC has a very lively nightlife, which is spread over the different neighborhoods that cater to different tastes, including hipsters, tourists and college students.
Here are the best areas for nightlife in Washington DC :
Here you'll find historic townhouses, fraternities and cobbled streets. This neighborhood predates DC It retains its old world charm while remaining fresh and young. Home to Georgetown University and many world class shops and restaurants.
U Street Corridor
This creative neighborhood is awash with live music. Jazz, alternative rock, hip hop and more. Among the townhouses are some of the best Caribbean food restaurants and soul spots in the city.
If you want a loud and fun night out, look no further than Adam's Morgan, with plenty of bars, nightclubs and pizzerias nearby. Leave the suit and heels at home.
H Street Corridor
The area is home to trendy little bars and restaurants and its eclectic atmosphere has certainly made it a popular spot.
This is a developing area famous for Martin Luther King Jr.'s speech at the local high school. From relaxation to coziness, the area is home to a variety of pubs, family-run bakeries and back streets covered in murals.
Here, you'll find impeccably manicured streets, Embassy Row that attracts more locals than tourists, an outdoor daytime scene, and a farmer's market. Stop by for Sunday brunch.
Events not to be missed in Washington DC
As the nation's capital, there are always events happening both in Washington and in the metro area. Here are the main events not to be missed:
Time your visit to coincide with the National Cherry Blossom Festival in March and April to see canopies of pink flowers everywhere. Afterward, enjoy a more contemporary setting with hip neighborhoods, world-class art and craft galleries, and bustling farmers' markets.
Instead, as September approaches, Washington DC celebrates the Bavarian tradition of Oktoberfest : enjoy the beautiful autumn weather with German beer and Bavarian pretzels.
Also in June, the district erupts and rainbow flags fly at the Gay Pride Festival . In addition to the parade, other events celebrate the local LGBTQ+ community throughout the week.
Finally, also in early June is the Washington Jazz Festival , one of the largest in the country. If you are a fan of jazz music and are staying in the capital during the Jazz Festival, this is a must. Also, many concerts are free.
Clubs and discos in Washington DC
With a space of 30,000 square feet, Echostage is one of the largest nightclubs in Washington DC . This cavernous warehouse-like club is so vast that you'll hardly have to wait in line to get inside. Order a drink from one of the two bars or book a table on the mezzanine to sip a bottle of drink and enjoy the spectacular view of the vibrant crowds below.
Echo Stage's eclectic space has welcomed well-known artists to the area, including David Guetta, Avicii, Hardwell, Calvin Harris and Tiësto.
Soundcheck is one of Washington DC's most popular nightclubs , with regular events from popular DJs like Tiësto and Steve Aoki. Almost every weekend it attracts locals with the many Latin nights and its EDM parties held here. Choose from EDM parties featuring house, trance, hip-hop and more.
This gorgeous restaurant and lounge bar offers a cabaret experience and transforms into one of Washington DC's most popular nightclubs on the weekends. Step into an open space with 60-foot ceilings to reveal Versailles-inspired crystal chandeliers and gold accents. The highlight of this spot is the enclosed stage above the bar where live entertainment takes place, including live performances of modern ballet, pole dancing, and more.
With a variety of refreshing cocktails and live artistic performances by talented professionals, this is the perfect place to experience the best of Washington DC nightlife .
This elegant Washington DC nightclub is a stylish, sophisticated and fun party spot that promises elegance and carefree fun. At midnight, the dance floor comes to life as the DJ plays electronic dance music and hip hop. This underground club has cozy rooms with leather furnishings and gold accents, which give the place a very elegant look.
You can see the elegant elite flock here to enjoy a variety of cocktails and fine champagnes. The drinks menu offers a variety of signature cocktails and a large selection of wines and beers. One of the best nightlife destinations in Washington DC.
This historic Washington DC live music nightclub has been a hit since its first show in 1980 and is consistently voted one of the best music venues in the country. The club is now known for its serious DJ beats, traveling shows and a variety of events that appeal to all ages. The roster of artists featured here is surprisingly impressive, including both local and international artists.
Enjoy beautiful music and order a delicious meal from the menu, which includes vegetarian or vegan options, or stop by one of the 4 bars and enjoy a beer, spirits or drink.
This is one of the trendiest nightclubs in Washington DC . Ages 21 and up. A great place for those who enjoy Latin music and dance, the club hosts a Latin dance show every weekend. The whole lounge has a bohemian vibe and the dim lights create the perfect Latin vibe. Live salsa music is played daily by a Latin band and guests can be seen dancing to the tunes and enjoying themselves.
Featuring studio quality acoustics, this club features extravagant lighting, a dance floor, bar and seating. There is a separate dance floor on the ground floor and bespoke cocktails and a rooftop dance floor for electronic lovers. Tickets can be expensive, but the house vibe is always perfect and DJs come from all over the world to spin on the weekends.
Rosebar is a beautiful restaurant and lounge that transforms into a nightclub at night on the weekends. The club offers a sophisticated combination of a splendid restaurant and an elegant lounge, a trendy meeting place for dancing and relaxing.
Entering and going up the stairs you will find a bar, some tables and a small dance floor. Further up the stairs is a rooftop bar with a DJ booth, larger dance floor, and VIP tables, playing music that ranges from R&B, rap, and hip-hop.
Located on Dupont Circle, Cafe Citron is a lively and colorful Washington DC nightclub. It's a Latin American snack bar that spectacularly transforms into a nightclub at night, with a DJ playing a variety of tuneful tunes ranging from salsa, house, reggaeton and Latin to his own pop to get guests in the right mood on all three levels of the club.
Known as a weekend hangout for locals, this club embodies the spirit of the Caribbean with its colorful décor and refreshing tropical drinks to quench your thirst after working up a sweat. Cuban mojitos, Brazilian caipirinhas, house-made margaritas and Spanish sangria complement a variety of smooth cocktails. When hunger strikes, satisfy your appetite with South American cuisine.
Located on U Street Corridor, this eclectic Washington DC nightclub combines Victorian decor with hip-hop and wild DJ nights. There are also special shows and themed nights to keep guests entertained. DJs spin upstairs and the dance floor heats up downstairs, while dance parties go on regularly until 3am.
Known as one of the few authentic Caribbean dance clubs in Washington DC , Club Timehri is a place where you can feel the tropical vibe in the city. DJs spin a mix of reggaeton, soca, afrobeat and old school. The crowd is energetic and reflects the rich diversity of Washington DC nightlife.
A great club to experience 1930's Washington DC nightlife. There are five rooms in total and the lighting is dim. These halls are furnished with velvet furniture which offers comfortable and elegant seating. This is one of the most popular nightclubs in the capital and a great place to party and relax on the weekends.
Open since 1993, the Black Cat plays the best indie music and has hosted bands such as Foo Fighters, Kings of Leon, Radiohead and The Strokes. Concerts are held in the venue's Main Concert Hall, which has 7,000 square feet of seating. Top artists perform, while the backstage suite hosts other smaller acts, solo artists, DJs, dance parties, independent film screenings and more.
Rock music rules the club, with a montage of DJs, comedy, karaoke, wizarding and muggle movies, its drink specials. One of Washington DC's longest running nightclubs.
U Street Music Hall is one of Washington DC's most famous underground nightclubs. The club offers evening events with DJs and live artists, as well as events that guests under 21 can enter.
Located on several floors, Decades is another great nightclub in Washington DC. Each of the four levels is dedicated to a different musical decade, from the 80s to the present day. In the warmer months, head up to the rooftop to dance under the stars.
This Washington DC club is known for its elegant evening menu and subsequent fun on the dance floor. Enjoy hip-hop, R&B, Top 40 hits and reggae as you tour the 4 floors of the elegant wood-paneled club. Dress to make a good impression, as there are always bouncers and a strict dress code.
This high-energy club offers five floors of Washington DC partying, with light shows and six full-service bars. One of the hot spots of the capital's nightlife.
The Blues Alley Club offers intimate jazz and blues entertainment tucked away on a charming street in Georgetown, Washington DC. Its history goes back even further to 1965. It is the district's jazz supper club and, by the way, the longest running club in the country. There are tables near the stage so you can watch the passionate musicians perform up close. Touring and local artists showcase their talents in a welcoming and relaxed atmosphere.
The venue hosts several shows in the evenings and tends to feature notable talent on the weekends. Blues fans of all ages are welcome, but the atmosphere makes it an ideal place for couples too. Places are limited and are on a first-come, first-served basis, so please arrive early.
Located in the Columbia Heights neighborhood, this two-story Washington DC nightclub hosts DJs and dancing takes place on the top floor, while the ground floor serves as a bar and meeting place. Plus, the outdoor terrace is perfect for a drink outside during the warmer months.
This bar and live music venue operates with an immersive twist. A late night happy hour offers very reasonably priced drinks on all three floors. Relax in the cozy first floor booths, dance the night away on the second floor, or unwind on the third floor outdoor terrace.
With quirky décor, large sofas and drapes throughout the venue, this popular Washington DC nightclub offers local residents a place to unwind in the evening and forget their problems and worries in style with the best dance music. If you're coming with a group, it might be best to book in advance. There's also over 5,000 square feet of event space where you can host birthday parties and bridal showers.
The bars and pubs of Washington DC
Nellie's Sports Bar, located just a 5-minute walk from Howard University in Washington, DC, offers a lively atmosphere perfect for sporting events. Televisions and extravagant memorabilia adorn the walls of the two-story sports bar. In addition to watching your favorite sports, Nelly's hosts will organize themed entertainment nights.
What is a typical sports bar most nights, takes on a completely different spectacle on Fridays and Saturdays, with locals dancing under disco balls until 3am to what the bar calls glitter pop. Other festive events include karaoke, ping pong, trivia games, dance parties and sports league nights. A DJ invites guests to dance while bartenders serve up beer, craft cocktails, popsicles, and slushies. If you're still hungry after dinner, head to Nellie's for delicious appetizers and a generous buffet.
POV is an elegant Washington rooftop bar located on the top floor of the W Hotel, with even more impressive views of the city. This is one of Washington DC's best bars , where you can enjoy panoramic views of the bustling capital while sipping a variety of drinks from the well-stocked bar. The vibrant, vibrant music fills the whole room and makes everyone want to dance along. A sophisticated casual dress code applies on Fridays and Saturdays after 09:00.
Plush furnishings and stylish lighting create a sociable atmosphere, while the POV Rooftop draws a trendy crowd. Find a comfortable spot to relax, watch the sunset, and have a drink with a rare view.
Located near Howard University, El Techo is the perfect place to enjoy some Latin atmosphere in Washington DC, between sweet and spicy margaritas, tacos and ceviche. Their all natural cocktails are made with homemade agave syrup.
In Georgetown you have found this true institution of Washington DC nightlife for over 40 years. Once a student destination, today it has a more sophisticated ambiance that reflects its high-end and refined clientele. If you want a quiet night out in style, Clyde's is the place to go.
801 Restaurant & Bar is a beautiful Washington DC rooftop bar. If you're really thirsty why not try the 801 Mega Mule, a giant copper mug that resembles a Moscow Mule and can be shared with others. The business here is constantly evolving, making it one of the most energetic and vibrant bars in the city.
Board Room is a Washington DC bar where you can put away your smartphone and play more than 30 games and socialize with your neighbors. The game selection includes classic games such as Scrabble, Yahtzee, Trivial Pursuit, Connect 4, Backgammon, Life and more. If you can't find your favorite board game, the staff encourages guests to bring their own.
Choose from 21 draft beers, seasonal wines, and handcrafted cocktails as the competition heats up. If you want to watch the big game, there are nine of its big screen televisions in the boardroom where you can watch the game. The staff also caters for private parties for groups of over 200 delightful guests.
Located on 18th Street, Madame's Organ is a Washington DC blues bar with live music seven nights a week. The ground floor hosts local and regional blues events, while the upper floor features a bar, lounge and pool table.
Warm up your vocal cords for an open mic night with your boisterous friends and join in the singing fun. If you want to unwind, head to the starlit rooftop deck or tiki bar and feel the evening breeze.
If you're looking for a space filled with cheerful energy, this is the place. Open all day Monday, while there are discounts on beer and food from Tuesday to Thursday and Sunday afternoon this place becomes the most popular LGBTQ+ hangout in Washington DC. This outdoor oasis is surrounded by Shaw District restaurants and bars, including the city's most popular microbreweries and the recognizable and magnificent White House.
Tombs is one of the most popular Washington DC bars among Georgetown college students. In an easygoing and bubbly atmosphere, happy crowds share huge mugs of beer while chatting up the latest campus gossip.
Bar Charley is located in the heart of Adams Morgan and is the perfect meeting place for friends near and far. This basement bar fills up on Mondays when happy hour deals go on all night. Discounts on cocktails, beer, wine and food on weekdays Tuesday through Thursday.
One of the most romantic things to do in the evening in Washington DC is spend an evening at Lulu's Wine Garden. This fresh and inviting space is perfect for a date night.
Lush greenery and twinkling lights create the perfect atmosphere for social gatherings and set the tone for a backyard garden party. The pub serves beer, wine, bottles and specials every day during this so-called 'golden hour'.
The Rocket Bar is a favorite among Washington DC's younger crowd. This basement bar has all kinds of distractions to keep you entertained, like Air hockey, darts, billiards, shuffleboard, and an arcade. Very popular for Happy Hour which runs 4-8pm daily including weekends. No food is served, but you can bring in food from outside.
Located steps from Nellie's, The Dirty Goose is a bar with great drinks and vibes in the heart of the U Street corridor. This popular bar offers half price drinks and cocktails on weekdays from 5pm. at 21.00.
This rooftop bar atop the Pod DC hotel is the perfect place to hang out and take in the sunset view of the Washington Monument. In addition to beer, wine, and cocktails, the bar also offers bar snacks like oysters, ham, and whipped goat cheese dip.
Located near Dupont Circle, Saufhaus is a true German beer garden in Washington DC. The menu includes Bavarian pretzels and bratwurst, as well as a selection of local and European beers.