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Tour an embassy for free during Passport DC - Free spring activities in Washington, DC

Guide to Free Embassy Tours in Washington, DC During Passport DC

Visit Washington, DC during Passport DC, a springtime celebration of international cultures in the District.

Passport DC presented by Events DC is a month-long festival in May that pays tribute to Washington, DC's thriving international diplomatic community and diverse culture. As part of International Cultural Awareness month, the first two Saturdays in May are devoted to embassy open houses. Consider this your chance to stroll Embassy Row – a stretch of Massachusetts Avenue NW that runs through Dupont Circle and Upper Northwest – and visit some of the more than 170 embassies and cultural institutions based in the nation's capital.


Thanks to this only-in-DC experience, you can take advantage of two chances to step inside a foreign embassy with the Around the World Embassy Tour and the EU Open House. Read on to learn about these events plus all of Passport DC's other ongoing experiences, including International City Food Festival, Flower Mart, and Fiesta Asia!.


You can visit foreign embassies on the Around the World Embassy Tour

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Embassies will span six continents and islands in the Caribbean and the Pacific Ocean. Produced by Events DC, the event will delight guests with a diverse range of food, art, dance, fashion, music, innovations and manufactured goods. Most visitors should expect to visit about five embassies in a full day. Check the Passport DC website for more information. 


Europhiles can have a field day with the EU Embassies’ Open House

People outside

Take your very own shortcut to Europe and enjoy the Old Continent without any jet lag. From Ireland and Italy to Spain and Slovakia, all European Union member states participate in this citywide open house experience.


Enjoy other Passport DC events

Fiesta Asia dancers festival

On May 3-4, the second annual International City Food Festival will include three days of celebrations complementing the first weekend of Passport DC, making culinary diplomacy accessible — with free admission — to all ages through global food and drink. The festival will offer a timely launch point to travel the globe to understand and honor other cultures, all in the heart of DC.


Also during Passport DC’s first weekend, the Washington National Cathedral hosts its annual Flower Mart, a two-day event that allows visitors to shop for plants and gifts, eat fun festival food, enjoy children’s activities, ride a historic carousel and take in the beauty of the International Floral Exhibit.


Later in May, you can embrace Asian Heritage Month with a day jam-packed with culture, from the performing arts to culinary delights. The annual Fiesta Asia! takes over Pennsylvania Avenue between 3rd and 6th streets NW with exciting performances, interactive displays, flea markets and food stalls.


Both of Passport DC’s embassy open house experiences are FREE!

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Like so much of Washington, DC, this unique event is free to the public. If this pumps you up as much as it does us, then express gratitude to your hosts. Surprise them by learning to say "thank you" in their native tongue before you move to the next embassy.


This is the only opportunity of its kind, when embassies are open to the public.

Visitors in Turkish embassy during Passport DC - Free international experiences in Washington, DC

What's even more exciting than a great deal? Answer: The opportunity to celebrate a once-in-a-lifetime experience, which Washington, DC delivers on with each and every visit. There's no city in the U.S. that can offer embassy open houses, let alone give you access to so many different embassies. So celebrate the ends of the globe during Passport DC, and the fact that DC helped make it happen.


If you come hungry, you're in luck.

Chef cooking Turkish food at embassy during Passport DC - Best things to do this spring in DC

We don't encourage you to expect your day of embassy walkthroughs to double as a bona fide food tour, but many embassies offer up international treats for visitors. Savor as much of the global spread as you can, and then make a full meal out of it with DC's exciting dining scene.


You can sip on everything from international coffee to spirits.

passport dc embassies rum punch Trinidad and Tobago

We know all of this embassy hopping will make you feel like you have diplomatic immunity, but remember to bring your ID if you'd like to sip on adult beverages, which may be available in select embassies.


Marvel at dancing demonstrations from a variety of cultures.

Cultural dancing demonstration during Passport DC - International experiences in Washington, DC

Make sure your camera is ready to take action shots of everything from traditional folk dances in colorful clothing to Afro-Brazilian displays. On some occasions, crowd participation is welcome, so don't be surprised if you're asked to show off your best moves.


Even if you don’t dance, you can listen to good music and imported sounds.

A couple in traditional dress

The language of music really is universal and every culture puts their own spin on things. Soak up a symphony of sound as you bop from embassy to embassy.


You never know what you’ll see until you go.

passport dc performer embassies selfie photo

There's no predicting what you'll encounter on your embassy journeys. All you can do is keep an open mind and take it all in, then plan to come back next year to check out even more embassies. 


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