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Massachusetts Ave., NW (Dupont Circle)
HOURS/TIMESVaries by embassy
POPULAR TIMESWeekends; school holidays
RESERVE IN ADVANCEVaries by embassy
WAIT TIME WITHOUT RESERVATIONVaries by embassy
What started as a ritzy neighborhood of mansions in the 1900s, and then lost its elite status during the Great Depression, later evolved into the glamorous district of foreign ministries in the years after World War II. Today it remains one of DC’s most elegant attractions and provides the ideal setting for a stroll with a date or day of exploring with kids. The embassies offer a full calendar of swanky events, so if you get in with the right crowd, be sure to get your name on the guest list at one of the hot-ticket parties.
GO HERE WITH
Friends; family; international visitors
WHY WE LIKE IT
The regal feel. Each residence really gussies up for tours and events, and the architecture and landscaping are always pristine. No shabby gray office buildings here.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
There is no cohesive visitor’s center to help you navigate the streets and different buildings. Most of the embassies are not consistently open to the public, so without advance planning you may be limited to a nice stroll down the Row while observing from the outside (still worth it for its international “wow” factor).
GOOD TO KNOW
This is a fun spot on Halloween. Locals and university students dress up and jump from building to building snagging ethnic treats from each embassy. One Purple staffer once received a chocolate Mayan ruin from the Guatemalan Embassy. During an annual springtime Passport DC event, many embassies open their doors to highlight their food, art, dance, fashion and music on a specified day– see passportdc.org for more information.
Kramerbooks & Afterwords Café, Obelisk, Ping Pong, Nora
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