Nightclubs dance music club lounge nightlife US > District of Columbia > Washington

Nightlife In Washington, DC: 5 Best Places To Groove

Updated Mar 20, 2019

What does music do for you? When you hear your favorite song, does your head bob? Do you have a hard time keeping your feet still when the beat creates colorful motion in your mind? If so, you might just be a dancer.

What better city to explore the movement junkie in you waiting to be born than Washington, DC? DC is bursting with dancers and music that will take your ears to new heights of pleasure. Even if you’ve never taken a class or have described yourself as having no rhythm, I am certain you can find your own in one of these inspiring venues.

1. Feel the beat at Eighteenth Street Lounge

A post shared by Deeda (@deedahull) on

The Latin Jazz Ensemble on at 10:30

Posted by Eighteenth Street Lounge on Thursday, 27 February 2014

Eighteenth Street Lounge is more than just a club! It is an important piece of DC dance culture helping to shape music and culture in the capital city since its opening in 1995. For the last 23 years, the wooden floors of this music haven have pulsed with the vibrations of the underground, cutting edge beats.

This infectious energy helped to birth DC local electronic musicians Thievery Corporation. House legends, breakers, and elegant swayers coalesce on the basement level called the Gold Room. This doesn’t mean you won’t find dancers all across the five areas of ESL. From the deck bar to the main room, each area wraps you in a unique sensory experience.

The indulgently decorated bars accent the intimate feel of the romantic decor with corners perfect for close contact conversations, group laughter and of course, the not so occasional throwdown. On any given day Tuesday through Saturday, there is a list of inspired events featuring must-hear DJs, live bands, vocalists, and musicians. As the history of ESL rolls on, you’ll want to be able to say you were a witness to the magic.

Eighteenth Street Lounge

Address: 1212 18th St NW, 20036 Washington, DC

Website: Eighteenth Street Lounge

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Washington and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Washington

2. A musical melting pot

A post shared by Robel Kassa (@rawbubble) on

Posted by Tropicalia on Friday, 23 June 2017

Tropicalia is a self-described cultural crossroads, hosting some of the most bass-beating, heart-pumping, dance-crazy parties on U street. Walking down the 14th, you could easily miss the entrance, as it requires you to follow the music down stairs to gain access. However, you’ll know you’re in the right place when you see the colorful mosaic logo.

One of the best features of this small yet power packed space is the diversity of the events that occur here: reggae, EDM, house, funk, hip-hop and much more. Be sure to check their Facebook page to keep up with the parade of local to international acts. The vibe of Tropicalia is perfect for even the most inexperienced dancer.

When the music starts, no one is watching you because they are too busy getting into their own step. If you’re going to see your favorite artist, you are in luck. The small space is perfect to get an amazing view, so don’t wait too late before heading over if you want to be front and center.


Address: 2001 14th St NW, 20009 Washington, DC

Website: Tropicalia

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Washington and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Washington

3. Bachata Brunch

Posted by Bachata Larry DMV on Monday, 29 May 2017

Bachata Brunch is an experience, not just a place. It’s currently held at Stanton & Greene, a restaurant and bar with a presidential reputation, serving up recipes by Benjamin Franklin and a Bill of Rights inspired cocktail menu. Come early for brunch and then dance off the delicious meal with a day of dancing.

Hosted by Tipsy Entertainment, Sabroso Ent, and DC Zouk, this all-day party is so much fun you might forget that you have to work the next day. Every Sunday at 11 a.m., the Bachata Brunch will not only teach you to dance the bachata, you can put your skills to the test, moving with some of the cities best, while sipping bottomless mimosas and meeting some new friends to dance with. This one of a kind experience is perfect for everyone, whether you are a dancing pro or just want to enjoy the atmosphere. You’ll be glad you chose to roll out of bed early.

Bachata Brunch

Address: 319 Pennsylvania Ave SE, 20003 Washington, DC

Website: Bachata Brunch

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Washington and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Washington

4. An underground oasis

Cloak and Dagger is a venture into the elegance of the Victorian era with the modern sophistication of amazing mixologists and rave reviews from DC locals and visitors alike. The hip-hop focus of this speakeasy-style venue has won numerous awards for its crowd-pleasing talent, offering some of the best parties all week long. One of the reasons so many people can’t get enough of Cloak and Dagger is that there is plenty room to dance. Not only can you vibe to some of the best and latest hip-hop and Afro beats, the happy hour specials are sure to help you start off your night on a good note.

Have you ever wondered how your friend is always up on the latest and greatest new artist? Most likely they are keeping their finger on the pulse of local shows like the ones you will find at Cloak and Dagger. During the week you can stumble upon your next favorite artist, network with local music lovers and of course, dance away the stress of a long day at work.

Cloak and Dagger

Address: 1359 U St NW, 20009 Washington, DC

Website: Cloak and Dagger

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Washington and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Washington

5. Just dance

Posted by Decades on Saturday, 24 June 2017

Posted by Decades on Saturday, 24 June 2017

Come to a place that blends the best of every decade into the seductive tunes and a mature atmosphere everyone can enjoy. If there is one place you can go, to not only dance the night away but learn some new steps from old school to the latest moves, it’s Decades. To avoid the crazy long lines, call and reserve a table or get there early. You won’t regret the forethought because this unique space has so much to offer in style and energy. A vast space is a tribute to the push and pulls of the old and new, an appreciation of what makes a blending of the historical and contemporary that is endemic of DC culture and enchantment.


Address: 1219 Connecticut Ave NW, 20036 Washington, DC

Website: Decades

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Washington and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Washington

Find your groove

When we move, we light a fire inside that can help ignite our passion for living. Dance helps connect us to our bodies in a unique way that not many other outlets can. Not only can we get more in touch with ourselves, we can create new bonds with others by simply being open enough to let the music move us.

This article was originally published on Jul 20, 2017

Get Trip101 in your inbox

Unsubscribe in one click. See our privacy policy for more information on how we use your data

4967858116 4116e5b92c b
Still Need Travel Insurance?

You can buy and claim online, even after you've left home. Travel insurance from is available to people from 140 countries. It’s designed for adventurous travellers with cover for overseas medical, evacuation, baggage and a range of adventure sports and activities.

*5% off when you book with our promo code: TRIP101

*For our Canadian and US travellers, unfortunately due to financial services laws, we cannot provide a discount. This promotional code cannot be used with any other discount offer, including World Nomads Members’ discount for travel insurance policy holders.

Top 3 activities to book in Washington

Have a question? Ask fellow travellers and travel experts here.
Good things are meant to be shared!