Nightlife

Location
Washington, DC
Undergrads
6,970
Tuition
$39,499
Admission Difficulty
Average
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Reviews

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3 College Freshman

Nightlife: There's usually a frat party if you're looking for one, especially in the fall. Frat parties can be a great time but they get boring quickly. Less open parties in the spring, but you can still find one. Bars in DC are annoyingly strict with ID, clubs less so. Lots of 18+ nights at clubs, but they're usually not so great. Metro isn't open that late which is also annoying.

3 College Sophomore

Nightlife: There are a handful of people who are club goers, and have tight relationships with owners and such. You seem them at the clubs at VIP tables poppin bottles. Then there are the typical frat parties. Fall semester specifically, because freshman are not yet in greek life, is an interesting time for parties.Most frat houses are relatively far from campus, so you have to wait in a crowd of people by the dorms to get rides form frat brothers.

5 College Junior

Nightlife: Nightlife is so much fun in DC, while frat parties are great if you like sweaty people and playing drinking games. Lots of great bars and clubs in DC if you're 21 and over in Adams Morgan, Dupont or Georgetown. Underage nightlife is also great as there are lots of 18+ clubs around DC that frats and clubs often host. Frat parties are fun for awhile, but get old once you realize how sweaty and warm the beer is. Transportation is no problem whether it be frats shuttling you to their parties, or taking a taxi/metro to Adams Morgan to go to Brass Monkey.

5 College Sophomore

Nightlife: You are located in DC. Three miles from the heart of DC for great nightlife and three miles from Georgetown for great food. You really cant do much better than DC in terms of parties and nightlife.

3 College Junior

Nightlife: Welcome Week is the highlight of the college year. Although you have plenty of fraternity parties throughout the year, they are mainly invite only and if you know most of the brothers. Since I am an athlete, I attend athletics parties which are some of the best parties I have been to.

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Rankings View more rankings . . .

  • 192nd
    Biggest Party Schools
  • 1181st
    Tamest Party Scenes
  • 1263rd
    Best Drink Prices

Student Author OverviewWhat's This?

Jesse MacDonald
Hometown
Brooklyn
Major
Law & Society
View all previous student authors

D.C. nightlife is active and exciting enough to wear the most energetic students out. Students will never run out of places to explore when it comes to clubbing and bar hopping. The most interesting places require only a short Metro ride, though there are some spots in Tenleytown for AU students. Clubs will usually admit 18-year-olds, but there are a number of spots that are strictly 21-and-up. 

Welcome Week is probably the most fun for nightlife around campus. There are open fraternity parties every night, so take advantage. These parties are a lot of fun and great places to meet people or go with new friends. Later in the semester, a lot of parties become closed admission. Those who aren’t big on dancing and drinking can keep themselves amused, too. Movie theaters, comedy clubs, shows, and concerts abound, as do restaurants and coffeehouses. It is impossible to be bored in the vibrant city of D.C.

Facts & Statistics

Primary Areas with Nightlife
  • Adams Morgan
  • Dupont Circle
  • U Street
Other Places to Check Out
  • The Barking Dog
  • Black Cat
  • Bravo! Bravo!
  • Café Citron
  • The Dancing Crab
  • Eighteenth Street Lounge
  • ESPN Zone
  • Front Page
  • Grand Central
  • Guapo's Restaurant
  • Lotus
  • Madhatter
  • Malt Shop
  • Midtown
  • Murphy's
  • Nanny O'Briens
  • Old Glory
  • Prince Café
  • The Reserve
  • Shadow Room
  • Teaism
  • The Zoo Bar Café
Favorite Drinking Games
  • Beer pong
  • Card games (A$$hole)
  • Century club
  • Power hour
  • Quarters
Useful Resources for Nightlife
www.washingtonpost.com/gog
Closing Time
2 a.m.
Cheapest Place to Get a Drink
Recessions Lounge
Organization Parties
Fraternity and sorority parties make up much of the scene for underclassmen, but they are not the iconic frat parties you'll see in the movies. AU organizations don't have houses and may only have a floor in a residence hall. Parties are held off campus in private houses.

Club ListingsWhat's This?

Love

Music at Love includes international, hip-hop, and dance; dress is upscale, and the club features several levels, a diverse crowd, and often has theme nights throughout the week.

1350 Okie St. NE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 636-9030

www.lovetheclub.com

Fur

FUR has three rooms-the main room or "the arena," a martini lounge, a mafia room, and the mink lounge. Dress sophisticated and chic-there is a dress code.

33 Patterson St. NE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 842-3401

www.furnightclub.com

Bar ListingsWhat's This?

Madam's Organ

One of Adams Morgan's most popular bars, Madam's has cheap drinks, food, pool tables, live music, and a hip, laid-back attitude.

2461 18 St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 667-5370

www.madamsorgan.com

The Improv

The Improv has stand-up comedy acts that attract big-name stars to perform-popular with college students and young people, with lots of good appetizers and a two-drink minimum.

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-7008

www.dcimprov.com

Marx Café

This spot attracts young hipsters with its Communist décor, reggae and Spanish rock music, and great tapas.

3203 Mount Pleasant St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 518-7600

www.marxcafemtp.com

Recessions Lounge

Recessions is a very cheap downtown bar in the basement of the Commerce Building-a great after-work spot. Features nightly drink specials and cheap food.

1823 L St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-6686

www.recessionsdc.com

Pure Lounge

1326 U St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 290-7058

www.pureloungedc.com

Apex

Located in Dupont Circle, Apex is a popular destination among AU students. Apex is the longest-running gay dance club in the district.

1415 22nd St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-0505

www.apex-dc.com

9:30 Club

The 9:30 Club is one of the best venues around to see some of the biggest up-and-coming artists perform.

815 V St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 265-0930

www.930.com

Asylum

Asylum features industrial/metal music, cheap beer, and great burgers and fries.

2471 18 St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 319-9353

Heaven and Hell

A popular college dance spot, Heaven has an `80s night and techno music, and Hell has a more low-key bar scene with theme drinks like the red-hot 666 shot.

2327 18 St. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 667-4355

www.clubheavenandhelldc.com

Hawk and Dove

Attracts Capitol Hill staffers and military types; H&D has six rooms, a dance floor, and late-night breakfast and food specials.

329 Pennsylvania Ave. SE

Washington, D.C.

(202) 543-3300

www.hawkanddoveonline.com

What to Do if You're Not 21What's This?

DC Improv

Many bars and clubs, especially in Dupont Circle, are 18-and-up, so even younger students can have a good time out in the city. DC Improv shows are open to those 18-and-up.

1140 Connecticut Ave. NW

Washington, D.C.

(202) 296-7008

www.dcimprov.com

Student Polls

Where can you find the best parties?    Based on 9 responses

  • 19% Phi Sigma Kappa or Pike Fraternities
  • 14% Rugby House
  • 14% Frisbee House
  • 10% Clubs
  • 10% The Berks
  • 10% Georgetown
  • 10% EI (not technically a frat)
  • 10% Local clubs hosted by frats
  • 5% Zeta Psi

What's the best way to get to the popular nightlife spots?    Based on 82 responses

  • 0% There are no good options.
  • 4% Use a designated driver.
  • 11% School-provided shuttles/buses.
  • 65% Public transportation.
  • 15% Taxis.
  • 6% Walk.

Rate the off-campus bar and club scene on the following topics    Based on 75 responses

Very poor
Excellent
  • Convenience to get to
  • Cover charges
  • Distance from campus
  • Drink prices
  • Fun
  • Variety/number of options

What is the party scene like on campus?    Based on 82 responses

  • 6% Parties? What parties?
  • 6% Good parties are few and far between.
  • 55% Some decent frat/house parties, weekends only.
  • 30% Lots of options Wednesday-Saturday.
  • 2% Tons of raging parties almost any night of the week.

What is the biggest party event of the year?    Based on 7 responses

  • 71% Welcome Week!
  • 14% Sig Ep Bid Party
  • 14% Homecoming
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