Things to Do

Lines Too Long on Embassy Day? Check Out These Embassy Events Instead.

Embassies have events open to the public all year.

Passport DC 2023 at the Korean Culture Center. Photograph by Danielle Lee.

The Embassy Open House Tour lines this past Saturday were sometimes no joke. It seems everyone came out on the sunny, 70-degree day—and some people apparently even waited an hour or so for a slice of coronation cake from the British embassy. The Chilean embassy welcomed almost 2,000 guests and the Norwegian embassy ran out of their free waffles. Thankfully, some embassies had entertainment for people who were lined up waiting, such as the lion dance performers at the Chinese embassy. 

If you didn’t make it to every embassy you’d hoped to, don’t panic–there are plenty of opportunities to experience embassies year-round. 

This Saturday, 26 embassies from the European Union and Ukraine will open their doors to commemorate the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, which later became the EU, in the Schuman Declaration of 1950. The Hungarian Embassy will have a dog show with adorable Vizslas pups and a gingerbread love-letter making workshop. The Italian Embassy will offer pizza, ice cream, and coffee. They are also offering free 30-minute barre3 classes at 10:30, 1, and 3:30 inside the embassy. Reserve your spot before, and bring your own mat. The Embassy of Poland will have three travelers tell stories about their polar expeditions and kayaking adventures. (Here are more of our picks on where to head during the EU Open House day.)

Embassies also host individual events open to the public (though some aren’t free). On May 10, the House of Sweden will have a rooftop movie screening of The Emigrants, the story of how one woman left poverty-stricken Sweden for a better life in America in 1850. Popcorn will be provided. They also regularly host concerts and exhibition openings to keep an eye out for. 

The French Embassy has lots of swanky events. On May 25 they will host Voices of Spring, a classical music concert featuring artists from the Washington National Opera’s acclaimed Cafritz Young Artist program. On June 3, the embassy will host An Evening in Paris, with French fare, wine, music and ambiance. They also have free film screenings throughout May, including Jappeloup, about how a French show-jumping horse won a gold medal in the 1988 Olympic games, on May 22.  

The Portuguese Ambassador will open his residence on May 19 for a piano concert from Nuno Marques, followed by a dinner buffet with traditional Portuguese dishes. The Embassy of Sri Lanka will also host an evening with the Ambassador on June 2, with dinner from the embassy chef and traditional Sri Lankan dancing and music. Don’t stop dancing there: Take a swing dancing lesson at the Embassy of the Czech Republic’s soiree on October 11, or sign up for a set of four tango classes at the Embassy of Uruguay taught on Thursdays from May 18 to June 8.

New events are announced all the time, so keep checking websites and social accounts of embassies you’re excited to get into. 

Editorial Fellow

Keely recently graduated with her master’s in journalism from American University and has reported on local DC, national politics, and business. She has previously written for The Capitol Forum.