Best Hotels in Arlington, VA – Metro / DCA / Sightseeing

Written by – Updated Sept 17, 2021

Having lived in Arlington, VA for several years my wife and I are always being asked about where to stay when visiting Washington, D.C. and almost always we suggest looking at a hotel in Arlington. But, there are things to watch out for, here are the three most common mistakes when looking for a place to stay in Arlington, VA.

guide to hotels in arlington va

Mistake #1

The most common mistake people make when booking a hotel in Arlington, VA is failing to find a hotel close to the Metro. There are over 20 hotels within walking distance to one of several Metro stations in Arlington, VA. Plus, on weekends hotel rates near the Metro tend to drop as business travelers leave the area making it even easier to find a hotel.

Mistake #2

The second common mistake is booking a hotel in Arlington’s grittier neighborhoods. Arlington is home to a few pockets of lower socio-economic areas, these areas can make tourist feel uneasy at night where crime is higher. To avoid these areas stick to hotels around the Metro stations and hotels mentioned on this page.

Mistake #3

The third mistake is book a hotel in Northern Virginia, for example an area like Falls Church. When you browse major booking sites they may begin to suggest hotels outside of Arlington further into VA suburbs. Be careful you are not chasing a deal on a hotel in the suburbs of Northern Virginia.

Guide to Arlington Hotels

Hotels Near Arlington, VA Metro Stations

hotels near Arlington, VA metro stations

What Are the Best Hotels Near Arlington, VA Metro Stations?

Answer: There are 4 primary Arlington, VA Metro stations that have hotels within walking distance. The stations we suggest considering first are Ballston and Rosslyn. Each station has a handful of hotels nearby that will cater to all Washington, D.C. travelers including families, romantic getaways, and economy driven travelers. My wife and I lived in Ballston for 3 years and it is a charming urban pocket with many restaurants nearby. Rosslyn is ideal because it is across the Potomac River from downtown DC, Georgetown and the National Mall. It is the intersection for all of DC’s bike trails, and a quick ride to Smithsonian Museums. Many of the hotels in Rosslyn have excellent views of the city. Read more about the neighborhoods below, or click here to look at a complete list of hotels near Arlington, VA Metro stations.

Runners up to these options include the Crystal City Metro station and Courthouse Metro station. Hotels near Arlington’s Courthouse Metro station are a good runner up to Ballston with the same basic neighborhood vibe. Lots of people will consider Crystal City adjacent to Reagan National Airport. Crystal City will lack charm, but will offer up a large variety of hotel options and that can bring about cheaper rates. Read more about the neighborhoods below, or click here to look at a complete list of hotels near Arlington, VA Metro stations.

5 Cheap Hotels in Arlington, VA

cheap hotels in Arlington, VA

3 Best Hotels in Arlington, VA

best hotels in arlington va

Hotel Area Rates Why
Comfort Inn Ballston $$ Free Parking, Value
Le Meridien Rosslyn $$$ Romantic Getaways, Veiws
Residence Inn Ballston $$$ Families, Suite Rooms, New

What are the best hotels in Arlington, VA?

The best hotel in Arlington, VA for amenities and service is the Le Meridian. The hotel sits near the Potomac river in Rosslyn and has excellent views of the city (image above) that set the tone for a romantic getaway in Washington, D.C. If best means a mix of value and location than we like the Comfort Inn in Ballston for its free parking and proximity to the Metro.

Where to Stay in Arlington, VA

Places to Stay in Ballston

hotels in Ballston Arlington, va

nieghborhood_vibe_48Ballston Neighborhood: With good proximity to downtown, highways, airports and the National Mall it is hard to go wrong at Ballston. This is one of the best locations in Arlington, VA. There is a yuppie vibe to it, but with that affluence brings charming squares and over 40 restaurants. A commute to the National Mall is about 20 minutes via the Metro. The urban area around the Metro quickly drops off into charming parks, and suburban Virginia. The Mall nearby has an ice rink which is an excellent way to beat the heat in the summer. Use the local Custis trail to ride a bike into DC in 30 minutes. Of the five hotels near the Ballston Metro the Comfort Inn is preferred because it offers free parking, breakfast and wifi. No other local hotels offer free parking.

The Best Hotels in Ballston

Hotel Rates
Comfort Inn $$
Westin $$$
Hilton $$$
Residence Inn $$$
Holiday Inn $$

Places to Stay in Crystal City

hotels in Crystal City in Arlington VA

nieghborhood_vibe_48Crystal City Neighborhood: Crystal City offers tourist and business traveler’s immediate access to DCA Airport with a short commute to downtown DC, or the National Mall. Located in Arlington, VA altogether the area is a welcoming urban pocket. The neighborhood can empty out after business hours. Often the local residents are young professionals making their home in one of numerous luxury high rises that blend in with office buildings and hotels.

Families should note Crystal City straddles a major highway, so those with small children should be cautious of traffic while walking around. With plenty of restaurants and access to the Mt. Vernon trail, DCA, Alexandria, and a short commute to all the tourist attractions Crystal City should always be considered when visiting Washington, DC. here are over 10 hotels within a 10 minute walk of the Crystal City Metro station. Every traveler should consider the Americana Inn before looking into other hotels because you can save as much as $100 per night during the week (Sun – Thu) compared to the nearby brand name hotels.

The Best Hotels in Crystal City

Hotel Rates
Westin $$$
Marriott DCA $$$
Marriott Crystal City $$$
Radisson Hilton $$
Hampton Inn $$$

Places to Stay in Rosslyn

hotels in Rosslyn, Arlington, VA

nieghborhood_vibe_48Rosslyn Neighborhood: Rosslyn will be appealing to all travelers for its quick access to downtown, the National Mall and Georgetown. It is easy to walk to Georgetown, just cross over the Key Bridge. The Metro ride to DCA is about 10 minutes, and there is an express bus that can take you directly to Dulles airport. Active travelers will enjoy riding their bike to Smithsonian museums along trails. Rosslyn is home to mostly young professionals. This area is the commercial center of Arlington; you’ll find better nightlife and activity options in the Clarendon neighborhood one stop away, but can expect plenty of fast casual restaurants around Rosslyn.

The Best Hotels in Rosslyn

Hotel Rates
Hyatt $$$
Marriott $$$
Best Western $
Le Meridien $$$

Places to Stay in Clarendon

hotels in Clarendon Courthouse Arlington, VA

nieghborhood_vibe_48Clarendon / Courthouse Neighborhood: The Clarendon and Courthouse metro stations form the heart of bustling Arlington. A little less than a mile separates these two stations, but the area is a vibrant, urban center, and the section of Arlington that has the most to offer visitors. Full of luxury high-rises and single-family homes, Clarendon/Courthouse is home to affluent families and young professionals. hoppers will enjoy the mix of major retailers, like Ann Taylor and Pottery Barn, and independent shops, like South Moon Under, a local clothing boutique. Though the area can get a bit rowdy on weekend nights, this neighborhood is safe and welcoming.

The Best Hotels in Clarendon

Hotel Rates
Hyatt Place $$$
Hilton Garden $$$
Residence Inn $$$
Clarion Suites $$

Common Hotel Needs

What Arlington hotels have a shuttle to DCA, Reagan National Airport?

hotels in Arlington, VA with a shuttle to DCA Airport (Reagan National)

airport shuttle iconAll hotels in Pentagon City and Crystal City will offer a free shuttle to the DCA airport. The hotels listed below are also a short walk to the Metro meaning that you can get a free shuttle from the airport to your hotel and then walk to the Metro. Out of the group below don’t overlook the Americana because it often has the best rates and does well across online reviews. It is a 15 minute Metro ride to get from Crystal City to downtown or the National Mall making this area convenient to D.C. If you need to get from Dulles airport to Arlington, VA than we suggest staying in a hotel at Rosslyn and utilizing the express shuttle bus that takes travelers to Dulles from Rosslyn in about 45 minutes.

Hotels in Arlington with a Shuttle to DCA

Hotel Shuttle to DCA
Marriott (Gateway) Yes
Westin Yes
Hampton Yes
Hilton Garden Inn Yes
Residece Inn Yes
DoubleTree Yes
Embassy Suites Yes

What Arlington, VA hotels have free parking?

Arlington, VA hotels with free parking

free parkingFree parking is a rare hotel amenity in Arlington. Because Arlington sits so close to Washington, D.C. and often many hotels are close to a Metro station parking is rarely offered for free. While limited there are options, below are the three remaining hotels that offer free parking and are within walking distance to an Arlington, VA Metro station. Out of the group we suggest looking at Comfort Inn first. The seven block walk to the Metro is a quick walk through suburban town homes. The Red Lion is 15 minutes are from the Rosslyn Metro and you’ll have to walk up the hill. The Americana is a good hotel, but is located in Crystal City which most travelers will prefer less than to Ballston where the Comfort Inn is located.

Arlington, VA Hotels with Free Parking

Hotel Nearby Station
Comfort Inn Ballston
Red Lion

What Arlington, VA hotels have suite rooms?

hotels in Arlington, VA with Suite Rooms, for Families

suite roomsFamilies visiting on the weekends for vacations are in luck as hotel rates in Arlington drop and suite rooms become more affordable as business travelers leave. Below is a list of hotels in Arlington that offer suite rooms and are a short walk to the Metro. Out of the group we suggest looking at the DoubleTree near Pentagon City because it has a rooftop pool, and a revolving restaurant overlooking Washington, D.C. Families who want a modern clean suite room located in good neighborhood will appreciate the Residence Inn at Ballston which serves free breakfast daily and was built in 2015.

Arlington, VA Hotels with Suite Rooms

Hotel Area Rooms
Residence Inn Ballston Standard, Suites, Kitchenettes
Marriott Rosslyn Standard & Suites
Hampton Inn Crystal City Standard & Suites w/Kitchen
Clarion Suites Courthouse Standard & Suites w/Kitchen
Residence Inn Courthouse Standard, Suites, Kitchenettes
DoubleTree Pentagon City Standard & Suites w/Kitchen
Embassy Suites Pentagon City Standard & Suites w/Kitchen

What Arlington, VA hotels offer free breakfast?

hotels in Arlington, VA with free breakfast

breakfastWe found eight hotels in Arlington, VA offer a free breakfast. Those are listed below. The list includes if the breakfast is only grab n go cold items, or includes hot items. Above is a picture of the breakfast buffet at the Residence Inn at Ballston. At Residence Inn, Hampton Inn and Hyatt Place a free hot breakfast is standard with every booking. All of the hotels mentioned below are within a short walk to the Metro.

Arlington, VA Hotels that Offer Free Breakfast

Hotel Area Breakfast
Comfort Inn Ballston Free, Hot & Cold Items
Residence Inn Ballston Free, Hot & Cold Items
Hampton Inn Crystal City Free, Hot & Cold Items
Residence Inn Courthouse Free, Hot & Cold Items
Hyatt Place Courthouse Free, Hot & Cold Items
Clarion Suites Courthouse Free, Hot & Cold Items
Embassy Suites Pentagon City Free, Hot & Cold Items

What Arlington, VA hotels have a pool?

hotels in Arlington, VA with a poo

poolThere are 13 hotels in Arlington, VA that have an indoor or outdoor pool. The best hotel with a pool in Arlington, VA is the DoubleTree at Pentagon City (image above). The pool sits on an upper floor and is indoors. This means you can be taking a swim year round and enjoy nice views of Washington, D.C. Below we have listed all of the hotels with a pool and what type of pool it is.

Arlington, VA Hotels with a Pool

Hotel Area Pool
Holiday Inn Ballston Outdoor Seasonal
Residence Inn Ballston Indoor
Westin Ballston Indoor, Hot Tub
Marriott Rosslyn Indoor, Hot Tub, Seasonal Outdoor
Red Lion Rosslyn Indoor
Marriott Crystal City Indoor, Hot Tub, Seasonal Outdoor
Hampton Inn Crystal City Indoor
Hilton Crystal City Indoor
Residence Inn Courthouse Indoor
DoubleTree Pentagon City Indoor & Rooftop
Residece Inn Pentagon City Indoor
Embassy Suites Pentagon City Indoor

What are the best Arlington, VA hotels for sightseeing?

hotels in Arlington, VA for sightseeing and nightlife

sightseeing-nightlifeStaying at a hotel in Rosslyn would be the best choice if you are seeking an ideal location for sightseeing in Washington, D.C. Often hotels rooms in Rosslyn face downtown D.C. and the monuments at the National Mall. Getting to the National Mall only takes about 15 minutes via the Metro Orange line. In addition Rosslyn is a short walk across the Key Bridge to Georgetown. Rosslyn also happens to sit at the nexus of all of Washington, D.C. bike trails. This means that you can ride a bike to the National Mall from Arlington in addition to many other destinations like Rock Creek Park, Bethesda, Great Falls, and Gravely point adjacent to Reagan National Airport.

What Are Best Arlington, VA Hotels for Nightlife?
nightlifeWithout hesitation Clarendon / Courthouse is the best place to stay for nightlife in Arlington, VA. Therefore finding hotels near the Courthouse Metro will give you the best access to Washington, D.C. and nightlife. Clarendon nightlife spans from upscale dinner and drinks to late night food and rowdy clubs. The vibe is what you would expect when young professionals relive their college days. The nice thing about this area is that the crowds don’t get out of hand and the action is tame relative to other areas in D.C. like Adam’s Morgan.

Are There Hotels Near Potomac River in Arlington, VA?
Hotels near the Potomac River in Arlington are located in Rosslyn or Crystal City. The Potomac River is home to the spectacular Mt. Vernon trail. You can connect to the trail in 5 minutes from most hotels located at Crystal City or Rosslyn, with Rosslyn being the closer of the two to the trail and river.

What is the best hotel near Arlington National Cemetery?

hotels near Arlington national cemetery

hotelsThere are three hotels that are within walking distance to Arlington National Cemetery. Out of the three we suggest looking at the Sheraton ONLY if the many purpose of your visit to Washington, D.C. is to get easy access to the Cemetery. The problem with the Sheraton is that they charge $30 for parking and the location of the hotel is poor. It is not near anything else. Keep in mind that there is a Metro station at the Cemetery entrance. If your visit to Washington, D.C. is more comprehensive than just visiting the Cemetery you will want to look at hotels in Arlington near the Metro. This page extensively discusses that. Below are the hotels we suggest that are closest to the Arlington Cemetery.

The Best Hotels Near Arlington National Cemetery

Hotel Parking Walk to Arlington, Cemetary
Virginia Suites $14 / Day Yes, 15 - 20 Minutes
Red Lion Free Yes, 20 - 25 Minutes
Sheraton $30 / Day Yes, 10 Minutes

What hotels are pet friendly in Arlington, VA?

pet friendly hotels in Arlington VA

pawsThere are four hotels in Arlington, VA with pet friendly policies. We suggest the Westin in Ballston as the best choice for pet owners because of its proximity to a park and square. Unfortunately hotels that allow pets also happen to be more expensive. Often what we found was the most hotels in Arlington that allowed pets had fees of $75 or more for cleaning. This made the hotel very expensive. These are the hotels with the most reasonable pet fees.

Pet Friendly Hotels in Arlington, VA

Hotel Area Pet Rules
Westin Ballston Pets Welcome
Marriott Rosslyn Yes $25 / Stay
Le Meridien Rosslyn Yes $25 / Stay
Westin Crystal City Free. Up to 40lbs.

Staying at an Airbnb in Arlington vs. Hotels

Airbnb’s in Arlington, VA come at a high cost relative to the value of hotels. When we looked at common weekends tourist visit Arlington, VA Airbnbs that compare closet with hotels are more expensive. Below are the average cost of Airbnbs when you have the whole place to yourself, meaning that the host is not staying with you. These averages also don’t include cleaning fees, and other fees that Airbnb charges.

Average Rates for “Entire Home” Airbnb’s In Arlington, VA

Area Avg. Rate Availability
Crystal City $224 Good
Ballston $204 Limited
Rosslyn $247 Good
Clarendon $202 Limited

Getting from Arlington to Washington D.C.

Getting from Arlington, VA to Washington, D.C.

How to Get from Arlington, VA to Washington, D.C.?

metroBy Metro: The most common way to get fro Arlington, VA to Washington D.C. is to use the Metro system. The Metro takes about 15 minutes to get from Arlington to D.C. By taking the Orange line in Arlington you will be able to arrive in downtown D.C. or on the National Mall in about 15 minutes. The Smithsonian station on the Orange line is on the National Mall. If you take the Metro from Crystal City in Arlington the Yellow line will have you in downtown Washington, D.C. in about 10 minutes, or at the L’Enfant Plaza Metro station which is the closest station to the National Mall.

By Bike / Walking: There are three bridges with walkways that connect Arlington and Washington, D.C. The Key Bridge connects Rosslyn with Georgetown. The 14th Street bridge will connect the Mt. Vernon trail and the National Mall near the Jefferson Memorial. You can cross the Arlington Memorial Bridge to get from Arlington National Cemetery and Lincoln Memorial.

By Car: There are four bridges that connect Arlington to Washington, D.C. tourist may find that taking I-66 places them in the best position to access downtown or the National Mall.

How to Get from Arlington, VA to Smithsonian Museums & the National Mall?

musuemsIf you are staying in Arlington at Ballston, Courthouse or Clarendon simply take the Orange line to the Smithsonian station on the National Mall. If you are staying in Crystal City take the yellow line to L’Enfant Plaza which is a few blocks from the National Mall and Smithsonian Museums. Biking is another option from Arlington. Hop along the Mt. Vernon trail heading south and then use the pedestrian bridge at 14th street. This will take you directly to the Jefferson Memorial area of the National Mall.

How to Get from Arlington, VA to DCA or Dulles Airport?

airportGetting to Dulles from Arlington, VA: The 5A express bus route connects Dulles airport with Arlington, VA at Rosslyn. This is the best all around option if you want the most stress free method to get from Dulles to a hotel in Arlington and then have easy access to attractions in Washington, DC. Depending on the traffic anticipate spending between 30 to 45 minutes on the bus to get to Rosslyn.

How to Get from Arlington, VA to DCA, Reagan National Airport?

airportGetting to DCA Airport: The Metro is the best way to get to and from Reagan National Airport from most Arlington destinations. The If you are coming from Ballston or Courthouse you’ll have to switch from the Orange to Blue line at Rosslyn. If you are staying at a hotel in Crystal City nearly all hotels have a shuttle to the airport.

How to Get from Arlington, VA to Downtown D.C.?

Getting from Arlington, VA is to Georgetown is easy, simply cross the Key Bridge at Rosslyn. From Georgetown you can make your way to downtown in about a 20 minutes via walking. If you want to get from Arlington directly to downtown take the Orange line to Metro Center, or if you are staying in Crystal City take the yellow line to the Gallery Plaza station at the center of downtown near the Verizon Center.

Metro Map of Arlington, VA

map of Arlington, VA

Understand the Layout & Map Arlington, VA

faqWhen you look at a Map of Arlington, VA you’ll see that it is directly west of Washington, D.C. and connects with D.C. via the Metro as well as 4 bridges. The Potomac River divides Arlington and Washington, D.C. It is popular to kayak on the river. Arlington has two major urban hubs with suburban sprawl situated between them at various socio-economic levels. The main urban hubs with Metro stations are Crystal City which is home to the Pentagon and Reagan National Airport and the stretch of urban pockets along Wilson BLVD / Clarendon BLVD. There are five Metro stations along Wilson and Clarendon BLVD which in order of closets to D.C are Rosslyn, Courthouse, Clarendon, Virginia Square, and Ballston.

Map of Arlington, VA Tourist Attractions

sightseeing map of things to do in Arlington, VA

What are the 5 Best Things to Do in Arlington, VA?

  1. Go see the planes land at DCA from Gravelly Point. We’re not kidding when it feels like the planes might drop down right on top of you. You are about 100 yards from the runway and it is a rush.
  2. Have dinner at Amuse at Le Meridien. The views are pretty fantastic. Think opening credits to house of cards. Arlington sits up on a hill overlooking D.C. this makes for some excellent views.
  3. Ride a bike from Arlington, VA to Alexandria. My wife doesn’t even ride and she loved the ride from Ballston to Alexandria via the Custis and Mt. Vernon Trail. If you can churn out 15 miles on a bike it is seriously worth the effort.
  4. Have French Toast at Metro 29. This not your average French Toast it is totally unique and you won’t feel like doing much afterwards.
  5. Bar hop from Clarendon to Rosslyn to Georgetown to Washington, D.C. If you want to really see D.C. and don’t mind the trek it is an excellent way to burn off an afternoon and accomplish three things at once. Sightseeing, exercise, and drinking.