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How to Plan Your Move to Washington DC for New Residents

Moving to Washington DC for New Residents

This guide covers everything you need to know before, during, and after your move to Washington DC, from finding a place to live.

Cathie 8 months ago 0 289

Are you thinking of moving to Washington DC, the capital of the United States and one of the most influential cities in the world? If so, you might be wondering how to prepare for your relocation, what to expect from living in DC, and how to make the most of your new home. In this guide, we will cover everything you need to know before, during, and after your move to Washington DC, from finding a place to live, to getting around the city, to enjoying its rich culture and history. Whether you are moving for work, education, or personal reasons, this guide will help you plan your move to Washington DC and settle in smoothly.

Finding a Place to Live in Washington DC

One of the first and most important steps of moving to Washington DC is finding a place to live. The city offers a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own character, amenities, and price range. Some of the most popular areas for newcomers include:

  • Capitol Hill: This historic neighborhood is home to the US Capitol, the Supreme Court, and many other government buildings. It is also a vibrant residential area, with charming row houses, cafes, restaurants, and markets. Capitol Hill is ideal for those who want to be close to the political action and enjoy a walkable and lively community.
  • Dupont Circle: This trendy neighborhood is known for its nightlife, art galleries, museums, and shops. It is also a hub for the LGBTQ+ community, hosting the annual Pride parade and festival. Dupont Circle is perfect for those who love culture, diversity, and entertainment.
  • Georgetown: This upscale neighborhood is one of the oldest and most prestigious in DC. It features elegant brick houses, cobblestone streets, and historic landmarks. It is also a shopping and dining destination, with upscale boutiques, cafes, and restaurants. Georgetown is ideal for those who appreciate luxury, history, and charm.
  • Columbia Heights: This diverse and vibrant neighborhood is a melting pot of cultures, cuisines, and languages. It offers affordable housing, a variety of restaurants, and a lively nightlife. It is also close to the National Zoo, Rock Creek Park, and Adams Morgan. Columbia Heights is perfect for those who want to experience the multicultural side of DC and enjoy a dynamic and friendly community.
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The cost of living in Washington DC is higher than the national average, especially when it comes to housing. According to the cost of living index source BestPlaces, the average cost of living in DC is 152.1 compared to the U.S. national average of 1001The cost of living source Numbeo has Washington, D.C., at 83.88 out of 100, where 100 represents the cost of living in New York City2The average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in DC is $2,234, according to Zumper3. However, the prices vary depending on the location, size, and condition of the property. You can use online tools such as Zumper, Trulia, or Apartment List to search for available rentals in your preferred area and budget.

Getting Around Washington DC

Another important aspect of moving to Washington DC is figuring out how to get around the city. The good news is that DC has a well-developed and efficient public transportation system, consisting of buses, trains, and bikes. The bad news is that DC also has some of the worst traffic congestion and parking problems in the country. Therefore, it is advisable to avoid driving in the city as much as possible, unless you have a reliable parking spot and a lot of patience.

The main public transportation options in DC are:

  • Metro: The Metro is the subway system that connects DC with the surrounding suburbs in Maryland and Virginia. It has six lines (Red, Orange, Silver, Blue, Yellow, and Green) that cover most of the major attractions and destinations in the city. The Metro operates from 5 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekends. The fares vary depending on the distance and time of travel, but you can use a SmarTrip card to pay for your trips and get discounts. You can also use the Metrobus, which is the bus service that complements the Metro and covers more areas and routes. You can find more information about the Metro and Metrobus on the official website.
  • DC Circulator: The DC Circulator is a bus service that runs on six routes that connect some of the most popular neighborhoods and attractions in DC, such as Georgetown, Dupont Circle, Capitol Hill, National Mall, and Union Station. The DC Circulator operates from 6 a.m. to midnight on weekdays, and from 7 a.m. to midnight on weekends. The fare is only $1 per ride, and you can pay with cash or SmarTrip card. You can find more information about the DC Circulator on the official website.
  • Capital Bikeshare: Capital Bikeshare is a bike-sharing service that allows you to rent a bike from one of the hundreds of stations across DC and the surrounding areas. You can use the bike for short trips or longer rides, as long as you return it to any station within 30 minutes. The cost is $2 per ride, or $8 for a day pass, or $28 for a monthly membership. You can pay with a credit card or a Capital Bikeshare key. You can find more information about Capital Bikeshare on the official website.
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In addition to these public transportation options, you can also use taxis, ridesharing services, or car-sharing services to get around DC. However, these options can be more expensive and less reliable than the ones mentioned above. You can also walk or bike to your destination, as DC is a relatively compact and pedestrian-friendly city, with many bike lanes and trails.

Enjoying Washington DC

Moving to Washington DC is not only about finding a place to live and getting around the city. It is also about enjoying the many attractions, activities, and opportunities that the city has to offer. Whether you are interested in politics, history, culture, or entertainment, you will find something to suit your taste and curiosity in DC. Some of the things you can do and see in DC include:

  • Visiting the monuments and memorials: DC is home to some of the most iconic and impressive monuments and memorials in the country, such as the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the Jefferson Memorial, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. These monuments and memorials are located along the National Mall, a 2-mile-long park that stretches from the Capitol to the Potomac River. You can walk, bike, or take a guided tour to explore these landmarks and learn about their history and significance.
  • Exploring the museums and galleries: DC is also home to some of the best and most diverse museums and galleries in the world, many of which are free and open to the public. You can visit the Smithsonian Institution, which consists of 19 museums and galleries, such as the National Museum of American History, the National Museum of Natural History, the National Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National Portrait Gallery. You can also visit the National Gallery of Art, which houses a vast collection of paintings, sculptures, and prints from various periods and styles. You can also visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, the Library of Congress, the National Archives, and many other museums and galleries that cater to different interests and topics.
  • Experiencing the nightlife and entertainment: DC is not only a city of politics and history, but also a city of nightlife and entertainment. You can find a variety of bars, clubs, restaurants, and theaters that cater to different tastes and moods. You can enjoy live music, comedy, theater, or dance at venues such as the 9:30 Club, the Kennedy Center, the Warner Theatre, or the Howard Theatre. You can also enjoy a drink, a meal, or a conversation at places such as the Adams Morgan, the U Street Corridor, the H Street Corridor, or the Georgetown Waterfront. You can also catch a sports game, a concert, or a show at venues such as the Capital One Arena, the Nationals Park, or the RFK Stadium.
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Moving to Washington DC can be an exciting and rewarding experience, but it can also be challenging and stressful. That is why it is important to plan ahead, do your research, and prepare yourself for the transition. By following this guide, you will be able to make your move to Washington DC easier, smoother, and more enjoyable. You will also be able to discover and appreciate the many facets and wonders of this amazing city.

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