Things to Do

DC’s Embassy Tours Are Back This Saturday

After a two-year hiatus, get ready to globe trot. The tours are one of DC's greatest perks.

Thirty embassies will open their doors to the public on Saturday as part of the Around the World Embassy Tour. See sights such as these Bolivian dancers outside the Embassy of the Plurinational State of Bolivia. Photo from Cultural Tourism DC.

You can sample the world without leaving the District this Saturday by touring some (or all, if you’re ambitious enough) of the 30 embassies participating in the Around the World Embassy Tour this Saturday.

The annual tradition returns in person after being canceled in 2020 and going virtual in 2021. That means you’ll once again have IRL access to the taste and smells of many of the world’s cultures. What’s more: the global experience—filled with food, art, music, dance, and fashion—is free.

For those who like to document their travels, purchase a souvenir passport at the Dupont Circle and Van Ness information booths and fill it with stamps from each embassy you visit. To plan your globetrotting itinerary, you can check out a map of all the participating embassies here  as well as what each one is offering here. (Tip for the impatient and crowd-weary: the larger embassies on International Drive and International Court often have shorter lines than those on Embassy Row.)

Need some more help deciding where to go? Here are a few embassies we’re eyeing:

Embassy of Peru (1700 Massachusetts Ave., NW)

Sip on pisco sours and hang with Andean-native alpacas at the Embassy of Peru, where vendors will also be selling Peruvian handicrafts, alpaca/cotton garments, and jewels.

Embassy of Barbados (2144 Wyoming Ave., NW)

Get a taste of life on this Caribbean island with tastings from award-winning chefs and mixologists. 

Embassy of Chile (2305 Massachusetts Ave., NW)

Play indigenous games from South America’s western edge and sample traditional Chilean gastronomy.

Embassy of the Republic of Iraq (1801 P St., NW)

Pose for photographs in traditional Iraqi clothing and enjoy both Iraqi pop and folk music along with dabke dance. 

Embassy of the Sultanate of Oman: Sultan Qaboos Cultural Center (1100 16th St., NW)

Take in the spices of Oman and sample Omani coffee and dates. While there, practice spelling your name in Arabic’s beautiful lettering.

Royal Thai Embassy (1024 Wisconsin Ave., NW)

Learn to whip up Thai cuisine at home by attending a cooking demonstration at the Embassy of Thailand, where you’ll also find Thai boxing (Muay Thai) and traditional Thai instruments. 

Embassy of the Dominican Republic (1715 22nd St., NW)

Watch carnival characters and folk dances and get into the dancing spirit yourself with some romantic bachata and merengue dance classes.

Embassy of Mexico: Mexican Cultural Institute (2829 16th St., NW)

Continue your Cinco de Mayo celebrations with agua fresca,* crafts, and a “Cinco de Mayo battle.”

All embassies are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., unless otherwise noted,* and no reservations are required. Note that you’ll want to pack a mask and proof of vaccination, as each embassy sets its own mask and vaccine policies.

Can’t make it this weekend? No worries: the embassy crawl is one part of a month-long Passport DC celebration, hosted by Cultural Tourism DC. Other cultural exchange events throughout the month can be found here.

* This post has been updated since its initial posting.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor