SAIS Guide to DC
Comprehensive guide to living in D.C. including information on temporary housing, neighborhoods, average rental prices, and other helpful resources.
The SAIS campus is located in the Dupont Circle area of Northwest Washington, D.C. SAIS is found to the east of Dupont Circle on Massachusetts Avenue. If you are reaching SAIS by Metro, Washington, D.C.’s subway system, use the Dupont Circle South exit. Once you face the circle, SAIS will be to the right. Cross Connecticut Avenue and turn right onto Massachusetts Avenue. The SAIS Nitze Building is less than two blocks away at #1740, on the right side of Massachusetts Avenue between 18th and 17th Streets. The Bernstein-Offit Building is across the street at #1717, and the Rome Building is down the street at #1619.
The Metro is Washington, D.C.’s subway rail and bus system. The Metrorail consists of five color-coded lines that provide transport throughout the District of Columbia and into Virginia and Maryland. The lines are connected to each other, and some destinations require a line change. Metro’s Trip Planner feature allows you to map and price your subway and bus options for travel between any two destinations in the D.C. metro area. A SmarTrip Card is a convenient way of using Metro rail and bus, that cuts down on travel time, allows you to store money on a more sturdy plastic card, and provides a discount on fares. Visit www.wmata.com for maps, fares and hours of operation.
- The District of Columbia
The weather in Washington, D.C. varies considerably by season and can be unpredictable on any given day. The summer months (June, July, August) tend to be very hot and humid, with average temperatures ranging from 65 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 31 Celsius). During the fall/autumn (September, October, November), average temperatures range from 40 to 79 Fahrenheit (4 to 26 Celsius). It can get quite cold in the winter (December, January, February), with average temperatures of 27 to 47 Fahrenheit (-2 to 8 Celsius). Snowfall will be heavy or light, depending on the year, but count on it snowing at some point. We recommend a sturdy pair of waterproof boots and a heavy jacket, which can be purchased in D.C. In the spring (March, April, May), average temperatures range from 37 to 75 Fahrenheit (3 to 7 Celsius). The spring is lovely in D.C. with blooming flowers and the famous Cherry Blossom Festival. But allergies in the area can be severe year-round.
Bike Registry and Safety Info
Many students have bicycles, which are convenient modes of transportation anywhere in the city. There are bike racks outside the Nitze and Rome buildings. It is suggested that cyclists wear protective helmets and use a U-Lock mechanism to secure their bikes. No matter how sophisticated your lock, your bike will not be immune to theft. Students are encouraged to register their bicycles with the National Bicycle Registry (NBR). Visit www.nationalbikeregistry.com or call 1.800.848.BIKE for details. Bike-sharing programs allow you to rent a bike from one of many stations around town and return it to that or any other station. Although Washington is a bike-friendly city, traffic accidents involving bicycles happen frequently and can result in serious injuries.
D.C. Department of Public Works
D.C. Water and Sewer Authority
- Golden Triangle business district
SAIS Guide to Washington, D.C.
Comprehensive guide to living in D.C. including information on temporary housing, neighborhoods, gyms, banking, taxes, phones, and other helpful resources.
Important Questions to Ask Your Landlord or Realtor Before Signing a Lease:
- Is the apartment furnished, and if so, is there an extra deposit? If not, is there a furniture rental option through the agency? Note: Most housing in D.C. is unfurnished.
- Which utilities are included in the rent?
- On average, how much are the utilities per month?
- Are there laundry facilities available?
- How much is the security deposit?
- Is air conditioning available, and if so, how much does it cost on average?
- Is it permissible to sublet the apartment to another renter?
- Is residential or visitor parking available, and if so, what is the extra cost?
- Is public transportation nearby?
- Is grocery shopping available nearby?
- Is the neighborhood safe?
- Housing Search Checklist
- Preparing a Budget
- Roommate Consideration