Things to Do

You Can Tour European Union Embassies This Saturday. Here Are 5 We’re Excited About.

Get amped for the 2024 Paris Olympics, attend a Czech dog show, and sip Viennese coffee. Plus, a map to all the open embassies.

Photograph by Italy in US/Flickr.

Get ready to globetrot the District again: More embassies are opening the doors to their stately buildings this Saturday, from 10 AM to 4 PM. Like last weekend, the free day of diplomacy is part of Events DC’s monthlong celebration of international culture. What’s different this Saturday, however, is that all of the 20+ participating embassies are part of the European Union (save for Ukraine, which is partnering with the EU).

As usual, expect crowds and long lines that can last 30 minutes or longer—this is a free event in DC, after all. Our advice: pack water, wear comfy shoes, and bring friends or a book, along with your sense of patience. It’s always wise to pick two or three “must visit” embassies ahead of time and get there early. While each country has something unique to offer, here are a five we’re excited to tour this weekend:


Czech Republic

3900 Spring of Freedom St., NW

Why we’re intrigued: We love dogs! And the Czech Republic—known for its national dog, the Cesky terrier—will be hosting three dog shows—at 11 AM, 1 PM, and 3 PM. (For more embassy pups, you can also head to Hungary’s embassy at 3910 Shoemaker St., NW, where there’ll be a Vizsla and Puli Hungarian breed dog show.) After the first and second dog shows, a Czech children’s choir will perform, followed by a fashion show featuring national costumes of the central European country, once known as “Bohemia.” Meanwhile, a live band and wine demos will take place throughout the day’s events, which in part will be celebrating 20 years since Czechia joined the EU in May 2004.


France and Germany

4101 Reservoir Rd., NW

Why we’re intrigued: We’re just a few months away from the 2024 summer Olympics, which will be hosted in Paris starting in July. In anticipation of the games, France’s open house will have sports demos and aerobic activities such as a giant Just Dance game featuring “A Night at the Château de Versailles,” a new dance from the 2024 edition of the game. What’s more: The French open house is being held in conjunction with the German embassy, which will also be on site with cultural activities and a biergarten where you can indulge in sausage and beer while listening to the German band Edelweiss play on an outdoor stage. Complementing the biergarten will be the French embassy’s cafe, filled with pastries, coffee, and sandwiches for purchase.


Austria and Slovakia

3524 International Ct., NW 

Why we’re intrigued: It’s only fitting that these neighboring countries, both of which share the blue Danube, are neighbors in DC too. Given their proximity, the two embassies will host a joint open house. On Austria’s side will be traditional song from local musicians, Liab’ und Schneid, along with an assortment of food, including strudel from the Sterling bakery Little Austria and samples of the country’s signature hazelnut wafers from the Vienna-born company Manner. While there, get a boost of energy with some Viennese coffee or Red Bull (which, fun fact, is an Austrian company). On the Slovakian side of the event, sample more food while listening to performances from a kids folk ensemble Limboráčik and the Czech-Slovak band Colorful People, which added the open house to its US tour.



2131 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Why we’re intrigued: For the past couple of years, Estonia hasn’t been able to invite people inside its building on Embassy Row due to renovations (instead, it would set up a booth at the House of Sweden). But this year, the northern European country, known for its saunas and more than 2,000 islands, will finally open its newly refurbished embassy to the public. Tour the 120-year-old building, designed by Marsh & Peter Architects, which features “light-filled Nordic interiors and Estonian contemporary art” specifically commissioned for the building, says the embassy.


Belgium and Netherlands

4200 Linnean Ave., NW

Why we’re intrigued: There’ll be free waffles. Need we say more? They’re a bit different than the ones typically dished out at an American diner. Called Liège waffles, they’re made with brioche dough and pearl sugar. Give one a try at the Belgium and Netherlands open house, where you can also sample stroopwafels, poffertjes (think extra fluffy, mini pancakes), fries (which originated in Belgium, not France), along with Belgian and Dutch beers. Fitting for the bicycle-obsessed Netherlands, there will also be a smoothie bike with pedals that power a blender, in which you can make your own drink.

Jessica Ruf
Assistant Editor