Things to Do

DC’s Embassy Tours Return on Saturday, May 4

Sample the cultures of more than 55 countries—no passport required.

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

Get ready to be a jet-setter in your own backyard: Event DC’s massively popular (and free!) Around the World Embassy Tour returns on Saturday, May 4. From 10 AM to 4:30 PM, embassies throughout the District will open the doors of their stately residences to the public for tours, providing a glimpse into our city’s world of diplomacy.

This year, more than 55 countries—from Peru to Thailand, Cameroon to Australia—are participating, with the the full list of countries found here. Though offerings vary at each embassy, you’re typically treated to some assortment of food, drink, art, and cultural activities. With this year’s theme being “musical diplomacy,” you can expect plenty of performances too, such as traditional dance and drums at the Sri Lankan embassy as well as a K-pop dance and singing contest at the South Korean embassy.

Photograph courtesy of Events DC.

Other offerings this year include face painting at the Kenyan embassy; a fashion show at the Saudi Arabian embassy; art classes at the Ukrainian embassy; and a special stamp commemorating the 75th anniversary of Indonesia and the United States’s bilateral relationship at the Indonesian embassy.

But be prepared: While you get to skip the hassle of customs, there’ll still be lines to wait in. The queues outside each embassy can get notoriously long, so wear comfy shoes (and maybe bring a book to pass the time, if you’re touring solo). For shorter waits, you might also try the larger embassies on International Drive and International Court rather than those on Embassy Row.

And if you miss out on the May 4 embassy tours? Don’t worry: The following weekend, on May 11, is the European Union’s Open House, during which more than 20 other countries will also open the doors of their embassies for similar activities and samplings. Get hyped for the Paris 2024 Olympics at the French embassy, view a dog show at the embassy of Czechia, or sample waffles with the Netherlands and Belgium. Other offerings are listed here.

Both the European Union Open House and the Around the World Embassy Tour are just two parts of the 17th annual Passport DC, a monthlong celebration of May’s International Cultural Awareness Month. Other highlights include the free International City Food Festival on May 3 and May 4 at The Square (1850 K St., NW) and Fiesta Asia Street Fair on Saturday, May 18.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor