The best places to go shopping in Washington DC range from high-end shops and name-brand stores to trendy boutiques and thrift stores. The US capital is known for its incredible history, impressive monuments, notable memorials, world-class museums, and beautiful cherry blossoms.

    The city is also one of the top shopping destinations along the USA's east coast. Each of the eclectic and distinctive neighbourhoods has its own unique retail and dining scene that locals and tourists have come to love. Whether you’re looking for a quirky souvenir or want to buy a designer handbag, Washington DC’s best places to go shopping have it all.

    Where to shop and what to buy in Washington DC?


    National Harbour

    Popular outdoor mall with a view of the monuments

    National Harbour is a massive, resort-like destination just across the Potomac River from Downtown Washington DC. After perusing the mall’s 75 boutique stores, you can aboard the Capital Wheel – this 180-ft-tall observation wheel boasts some impressive sunset views.

    For the best shopping at National Harbour, you’ll want to walk along the waterfront district or head to Tanger Outlets. After dinner, you can make your way to MGM National Harbor’s casino for some gambling and late-night entertainment or Topgolf for cocktails and casual golfing.


    photo by Ron Cogswell (CC BY 2.0) modified



    A posh shopping area near the Potomac River

    Georgetown is a quaint neighbourhood in the western part of Washington DC, just a few miles from the city centre. Known for its beautiful waterfront park that features views of the Potomac River, quaint historic homes, and an extensive mix of boutiques and high-end stores, Georgetown is a favourite for everyone who is looking to spend a few hours in Washington DC.

    If you want to be in the centre of it all, head to M Street where most of Georgetown’s top shops and restaurants are located, or head to lesser-known Cady’s Alley for a more unique range of options.



    An open-air mall with designer stores

    CityCenterDC is an urban development with 10 acres of high-end shops, trendy cafes, and a popular pedestrian street. This shopping hub is known as the go-to place for designer brands like Gucci, Dior, Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and more. Most shops are centred around a pedestrian street that’s often decorated with hanging lights or lanterns.

    Dining options include high-end restaurants like Momofuku, Del Frisco's Double Eagle Steakhouse, and Fig & Olive. CityCenterDC is just a few blocks east of the White House, making it easy to get to from anywhere Downtown. Parking can be scarce, so the best way to get there is by taking the metro.

    Location: 825 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 202-289-9000


    photo by Payton Chung (CC BY 2.0) modified


    U Street

    For independent stores, restaurants and live music venues

    The intersection of U Street and 14th Street is a place to go shopping in Washington DC. Also known as the 14th Street corridor, this section of the city has an old school vibe and plenty of independent shops, attracting a good mix of locals and out-of-towners.

    Along with unique clothing boutiques, U Street has a wide variety of vintage stores, old-fashioned furniture and home goods stores, as well as antique shops. If you’re looking for a bite to eat, make sure to grab a world-famous half-smoked sausage from Ben’s Chili Bowl, a local favourite that still has its trademark storefront – great for an Instagram-worthy picture.


    photo by Keizers (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    DuPont Circle

    An eclectic mix of high-end shops and flea markets

    DuPont Circle is one of the most well-known traffic circles and historic districts in Washington DC. This posh neighbourhood has a beautiful park in its centre, along with a variety of shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

    If you’re visiting on a Sunday, make sure to head to the Metro station entrance on Q and 20th Street to find the DuPont Circle Farmers’ Market. Dining options include Michelin-starred restaurants like Sushi Taro and down-to-earth restaurants like Floriana, which is known as a favourite dining spot among many US politicians.


    Union Market

    A trendy food market

    Union Market hosts over 40 local vendors, live music, and a huge variety of food, making it a great place to spend an afternoon in Washington DC. After you’re done perusing the shops, head to the open-air rooftop for a bite to eat at picnic tables or enjoy a cocktail in the laidback green space.

    The roof also has lawn games, amazing views of the city, and even some free events throughout the year. Make sure to walk around the outside of the market before you leave – you’ll see many beautiful murals by local artists. If you’re looking for a place in Washington DC to try new cuisines and check out trendy shops, Union Market should be on your list.

    Location: 1309 5th St NE, Washington, DC 20002, USA

    Open: Daily from 8 am to 9 pm

    Phone: +1 301-347-3998


    photo by Farragutful (CC BY-SA 4.0) modified


    Mazza Gallerie

    Popular neighbourhood shopping mall

    Mazza Gallerie is one of the largest shopping malls in Washington DC. It has 3 levels of shops, including jewellers, high-end chocolatiers, a department store, and a full-size movie theatre.

    Mazza Gallerie is in Northwest DC, close to the Maryland border. The best way to get there is by taking the red line to the Friendship Heights metro station. For even more shopping and dining, head across Western Avenue just across the border into Maryland for the Shops at Wisconsin Place or across Wisconsin Avenue NW to Friendship Centre.

    Location: 5300 Wisconsin Ave NW, Washington, DC 20015, USA

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 6 pm

    Phone: +1 202-966-6114


    photo by Mx. Granger (CC0 1.0) modified


    Eastern Market

    Public market with great food and local arts

    Eastern Market is a historic market in the heart of Capitol Hill. You can find both an indoor space that opens 6 days a week and an outdoor space that features different markets throughout the week.

    On Tuesdays, you can find a farmer's market selling local produce, meats, and cheeses from 3 pm to 7 pm. On weekends, the open-air space is packed with local farmers selling fresh fruits and vegetables, artisan bread, and handpicked flowers. An outdoor art market also takes on weekends – it’s adjacent to the farmer’s market and hosts local artists specialising in handmade jewellery, arts, and antiques.

    Location: 225 7th St SE, Washington, DC 20003, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 8 am to 5 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 202-698-5253


    photo by AgnosticPreachersKid (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Gallery Place

    A large shopping mall in the city centre with dining and entertainment

    Gallery Place is an urban retail hub known for its premier shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. It offers 16 different shops, including major retailers like Loft, Bed Bath & Beyond and Urban Outfitters. You can also find popular local restaurants like Clyde’s, Arosto Pizza, and Circa.

    If you’re looking for a way to spend a few fun-filled hours with the whole family, head to Lucky Strike for a night of bowling or Regal to catch the latest movies. Gallery Place is in the heart of Washington DC's Chinatown, just 1 block north of Capital One Arena.

    Location: 616 H St NW, Washington, DC 20001, USA

    Phone: +1 202-778-3150


    photo by Tim Evanson (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    H Street Corridor

    Shopping street with boutiques and trendy shops

    The H Street Corridor is a vibrant street between North Capitol Street and Maryland Avenue NE. It hosts impressive art exhibitions, boutiques, chic cafes, and the Atlas Performing Arts Centre.

    During summer, the Saturday-only H Street Farmer's Market offers a wide variety of goods by local farmers, bakers, butchers, and florists. Head to H Street after dinner if you're in the mood for lively bars, clubs, and music venues – this corridor has some of the best nightlife scenes in Washington DC.


    photo by AgnosticPreachersKid (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    Victoria Zelefsky | Contributing Writer

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