Globetrotters have their sights set on DC each May for Passport DC, a citywide celebration that runs alongside International Cultural Awareness Month. Presented by Cultural Tourism DC, the annual month-long event is a spectacle featuring 100-plus globally inspired experiences, from music, dance and other performances to food festivals and foreign clothing. If that’s not enough, it certainly provides the best way to experience foreign embassies; 70 of the more than 175 embassies in the nation’s capital open their doors to visitors for free as part of the event.
Aside from the two major open house events, the celebration includes the National Asian Heritage Festival, another free signature event, as well as dozens of other internationally themed events. Check out all of the Signature Events and find out more details on the Cultural Tourism DC website.
And what would an event called Passport DC be without a souvenir passport to get stamped at each embassy? Get yours here.
Washington, DC is full of architectural marvels, and its many intricately designed foreign embassies add to that fact. There are two major events to get access to more than 50 different embassies: The Around the World Embassy Tour (May) and the Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open Houses (May). Each event is completely free and features experiences like food, film, art, dance, fashion and music. Plan your embassy trip by checking out Cultural Tourism DC’s site.
One of the signature events of Passport DC is the National Asian Heritage Festival, featuring an Asian continent-worthy street fair. Held every year in May, the event, which is free to attend, takes over three blocks of Pennsylvania Avenue. Frame views of the U.S. Capitol with ornately designed dragons and traditionally dressed attendees. And if you’re a stickler for any kind of Asian food, you’ve come to the right place: dozens of food vendors and open markets add to the lively scene.
Journey to far-off lands within the District proper at any number of exciting cultural events. Study the works of German renaissance man, drawer and painter Albrecht Dürer at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building; or, keep it current with some Afro-Brazilian/Cuban dance lessons at the Joy of Motion Dance. Events range from art gallery strolls, embassy-hosted wig exhibitions (La Mano Italiana Crea: Star Wigs) and foreign films to walking tours, live music and food and wine tastings.
For major events such as Around the World Embassy Tour, Embassy Row along Massachusetts Avenue near Dupont Circle makes trekking to a string of embassies a cinch. But embassies also dot neighborhoods like Foggy Bottom, Georgetown and Van Ness. The best way to get around is to lace up your sneakers and walk to the embassies, but first you’ll need to get in the vicinity. Public transportation is an easy way to get to the embassies; the Metro stops at Dupont Circle (red line), Van Ness (red line) and Foggy Bottom (orange and blue lines).
Trying to find street parking and stopping off at each embassy is quite an adventure. Instead, consider the complimentary shuttle bus service, which is available until 4 p.m. and begins and ends at Dupont Circle.