Across the Bridge: Moving from Virginia to Washington, DC

Picking up and moving your life to a different city can be a daunting task; let’s face it — no one likes to say goodbye. It means leaving your memories, friends, and practically every inch of your life molded over the past several years behind. Moving from VA to D.C. is a significant lifestyle change; it’s giving up a laid back suburban lifestyle for a more vibrant, fast-paced urban setup.



Washington, D.C., isn’t like any other city in the U. S; for starters, it’s our nation’s capital, “the District,” “D.C.,” or in more formal terms “District of Columbia.” It’s hard not to kick out the thought of politics if you are considering crossing over. In the state’s capital, politics dominates everything! But, that’s not necessarily the case, there’s a lot more to D.C. than politics, tax policy, and legislation. You’ll be surprised that most of the residents have been living their lives away from politics for decades. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, a rise in D.C’s population began in 2006, and in 13 years, added a total of 135,319 people to the total, a 23 percent upsurge.

Re-adjusting to a 650 sq. Ft apartment in downtown D.C. from the typical platform luxury apartments for rent in Alexandria, VA might not be your ideal motivation to relocate. Nor is listening to people whining over politics all day. However, D.C. offers quite an exciting, vibrant culture full of history that’s appealing for visitors and new residents alike. If you are looking to relocate from Virginia to D.C., here are a few things you need to know before settling in the nation’s capital.

Where to Live in Washington DC

Depending on where you are looking to live in the city, there are 21 neighbourhoods to pick in eight wards. From Penn Quarter and Chinatown to Shaw neighbourhood, famous for the 9:30 Club. The city is divided into thirds by the Anacostia River and Rock Creek Park; you’ll often hear residents refer to “East of the Park” or “West of the Park.” There’s no denying that typical luxury apartments in Washington DC are quite expensive compared to Virginia; but, you’ll still be able to find an assortment of affordable housing, even downtown. If you are looking to enjoy the vibrant city life and culture, you don’t have to move to the suburbs.

Traffic is Miserable


You’ll take approximately 40 to 50 minutes getting anywhere in D.C. using the Metro, driving, is chaotic, and especially during rush hour, let’s not get started on parking – It’ll cost you an arm and a leg. Fortunately for you, D.C. has one of the busiest and cleanest public transport systems in the U.S., it’s the state’s capital after all. Though sometimes, it can be unreliable, and you might have to hail one of more than 6,000 taxis available in the city, including Uber and Lyft. You could also jump straight into the vibrant city cycling culture and get acquainted with D.C.’s popular Capital Bikeshare Program.

Booming Bar and Food Scene

D.C has always had an amazing bar and food culture. In the past, it was centered around French cuisine, potatoes, and meat. Recently, the city has witnessed a revitalization, from the upsurge of young chefs moving into the local bar and restaurant scene. The restaurant business has exploded, and it’s because D.C ranks high as an outdoor-friendly city. A great place to sample a lot of what the city has to offer is the Union Market, not forgetting D.C’s revitalizing coffee outside the walls of Starbucks.

Authentic American History, and Local Arts

D.C is popular for its monuments and museums; the Smithsonian, the Washington Memorial, and the Lincoln Memorial. While all the Smithsonian museums are free, there may be special paid exhibits. Unlike the cliquish music scene in most big cities, D.C offers a solid music scene, with dozens of theaters offering a mix of art and mainstream. Authors and speakers around the globe tend to host events in D.C.

The Cost of Living


Like all big cities and capitals across the globe, D.C is quite expensive and is the sixth, most expensive city to live in the U.S. D.C residents pay both state and federal income taxes, even though they don’t have any elected representatives in congress. The average rent of a two-bedroom apartment in the city is $2,000.00, while the average price of a home is $780,000. The average D.C resident salary is $61,800.

Bottom Line

If you are feeling a little bit overwhelmed about moving to D.C., don’t panic, it’s part of the process. For most people, moving is a bittersweet experience. We hope part of the information we have offered will be beneficial to your transition from VA to DC.