Passport DC, an annual celebration of international culture presented by Cultural Tourism DC showcases Washington DC’s embassies and cultural organizations with tours of more than 70 embassies and hundreds of events including street festivals, performances, and exhibitions. The month-long celebration features a variety of special programming to appeal to all ages. This is a great opportunity to explore the city and engage with people of different nationalities. Mark your calendar and enjoy the events throughout the month of May.
The month-long event has been postponed in 2020 due to the public health crisis. No new dates have been announced as of early May, but they will be decided once the crisis has ended. All the information below is for the 2019 event, and it will be updated later once new dates have been decided. Until then, check the official website for more details.
Passport DC Highlights
- May 3-4, 2019. National Cathedral Flower Mart - Washington's National Cathedral hosts a family-friendly event featuring an International Floral Exhibit as well as festival food, children's activities, rides on the historic carousel, climbs to the top of the Cathedral and a wide variety of plants and gifts for sale.
- May 4, 2019, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Around the World Embassy Tour will showcase 50 embassies from Africa, Asia, Oceania, the Middle East, and the Americas, with artists and artisans, performers, lecturers, teachers, and others provide a range of educational and cultural programming. Participants can experience the food, art, dance, fashion, and music of different countries. Visitors are treated to karate demonstrations, dance performances, sari wrapping lessons, and henna demonstrations. Admission is free and reservations are not required.
- May 11, 2019, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. Shortcut to Europe: European Union Embassies' Open House. The Embassies of the European Union and the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States will open their doors to the public, offering a rare look at the diverse EU cultures. The event kicks off Europe Month.
- May 18, 2019, 11 a.m-7 p.m. Asian Heritage Festival - Fiesta Asia - The street fair offers a variety of activities including musical performances, a multicultural marketplace, martial arts demonstrations, friendly interactive activities, a talent competition, cultural parade, cooking demos, and exhibits of traditional and contemporary Asian crafts. Admission is free.
Getting to the Embassies
All participating Passport DC embassies are located in the NW quadrant of Washington, DC, and most are along three major corridors - Massachusetts Avenue, Connecticut Avenue, and 16th Street. See a map of the embassies. Parking is limited in most of the areas. Free shuttle transportation will be available for open houses. See a guide to all of the embassies in Washington, DC.
Tips for Attending Passport DC Events
- Note that you probably won't be able to visit every embassy, so make a list of the ones that you most want to check out and prioritize those when planning your schedule.
- Take public transportation to avoid the stress of parking and plan to walk a lot or use the free shuttle to get between embassies.
- Dress appropriately for the weather, wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water. Bringing photo ID is recommended.
- In the past, souvenir passports were sold Dupont Circle and Van Ness Information Booths for $5 each, and each embassy gave out commemorative stamps.
- Enjoy the cultural experience and be sure to bring a camera.
Past Participating Embassies
Afghanistan, African Union, Albania, Argentina, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belize, Belgium, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Hungary, Gabon, Germany, Ghana, Guatemala, Greece, Haiti, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Korea, Kosovo, Latvia, Libya, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Mozambique, Nepal, the Netherlands, Oman, Pakistan, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Uganda, United Kingdom, Uruguay, and Venezuela.
The complete schedule will be available at www.culturaltourismdc.org
As the nation's capital, Washington DC offers some of the best cultural events and festivals in the United States. To learn more and plan some family fun, see a guide to the Best 15 Cultural Events in Washington DC.