Embassy Row | Washington DC

Embassy RowEmbassy Row is where you can find many of the embassies in Washington DC. These beautiful mansions now house diplomatic missions and with proper planning can be visited by the public. We’ll help you find Embassy Row and take you on a tour of the history and sites you can see along the way.


Embassy vs. Consulate vs. Chancery vs…

Some key terms to know about Embassy Row:

  • Embassy: this catch-all term refers to a permanent diplomatic mission. Countries with which we have diplomatic relations have permanent representation (and buildings) in DC. The head of the embassy is the ambassador.Embassy Row
  • Consulate: Some countries have representatives in other cities than the capital, such as NYC or LA.
  • Chancery: The office building where the diplomatic staff has their offices.
  • Residence: The building where the ambassador lives.
    • Sometimes a country only has one building, where the ambassador both lives and works.

Where is Embassy Row?

Embassy Row is a section of Massachusetts Ave NW north of Dupont Circle. The area was originally called Millionaires Row after the nouveau riche began to build 60 room mansions on the outskirts of Washington, DC. After the millionaires left, the embassies moved in.

Embassy Row usually refers to Massachusetts Ave NW between Dupont Circle and Observatory Circle, around the 20th St NW to 37th St NW.

Not every embassy is on Embassy Row and not every building here is an embassy! But a majority of the 170+ embassies in DC are located in this neighborhood.

Embassy Row

How to get to Embassy Row:

The closest Metro Station to Embassy Row is Dupont Circle (red line). There are two entrances:

  • South: on the circle and 19th St NW
  • North: 20th and Q St NW

From either station exit you can see Dupont Circle and we recommend starting from there and taking Massachusetts Ave NW to the north.

You can also reach Dupont Circle on the Circulator. The Dupont-Georgetown-Rosslyn route starts/ends at 19th St & N St NW just south of the circle.

Use this map to see what embassies are on Embassy Row!


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Tours of Embassy Row

Join our DC by Foot guided tour of Historic Embassy Row & Dupont Circle. Book here.

Embassy RowJust outside of the original city plan drawn up by Pierre L’Enfant. As the city expanded, DC’s well-heeled sought to create a fashionable neighborhood and populated it with magnificent mansions and townhouses.  In time, these beautiful structures would attract foreign embassies who helped revive and retain the cultural and social fabric of the area.

Join DC by Foot on this entertaining and enlightening Embassy Row Tour and learn all about the people and forces that have turned this district into one of the most exclusive neighborhoods in the city and the center of the foreign diplomatic community. Wealth, power, intrigue, scandals, curses and political assassination fill the stories on this tour.  Take a walk around the world and see the international side of the nation’s capital city.

Sights we may cover on the Historic Embassy Row & Dupont Circle Tour:

  • Millionaire’s Row and historic mansions
  • Embassies of: India, Indonesia, Ireland, Chile, Greece, Croatia and more
  • Ambassador’s Residence of Turkey, Egypt, Ireland
  • Dupont Circle
  • Cosmos Club | Anderson House
  • Woodrow Wilson House
  • Spanish Steps
  • and more….

We also offer an Adults Only version that delves into the Darker Side with stories of scandals, assassinations and secrets of the gilded age. We do not recommend taking the both the day time AND the adults only tours.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve.

Where: Meet your guide at the fountain in the center of Dupont Circle. Look for your tour guide in orange.

The tour ends at Dupont Circle North Metro (map) at 19th and Q St NW. Purchase a guaranteed parking spot in advance near the tour’s starting point with Parking Panda.

Duration: Approximately 2 hours. Total walking is about 1.5 mile (2,4km).

When: View our Calendar  This tour will not run as a public option until March 2018. Contact us to book as a private tour!

Cost: Name Your Own Price! You let us know what you think. Don’t like the tour? Don’t waste your money! Love it? Then we appreciate whatever you feel is fair. We are that confident in the quality of our tours. How can you beat that? 

Sights we cover on the All of Embassy Row Tour (private only)

If your group wants to take a guided walking tour of just Embassy Row and explore the history of diplomatic relations, embassies, and architecture of the area, this is the tour for you. This tour runs as a private tour only and is great for school groups, but we’re happy to run this tour for families or individuals as well.

  • Origins of Embassy Row
  • Embassy vs Chancery vs Residence
  • Sheridan Circle and the site of the Letelier Assassination
  • Turkish Ambassador’s Residence
  • Embassies of: Ireland, Croatia, South Korea, Japan, South Africa, UK and more!
  • Former Iranian Embassy
  • Memorials/Statues of: Tomas Masaryk, Robert Emmett, Nelson Mandela, Winston Churchill, Khalil Gibran
  • and much more!

We cannot guarantee entrance onto the grounds of any embassies. With advance notice for private tours, we will make every effort to arrange a visit but it is solely at the discretion of the embassies.

Tour information

Reservations: REQUIRED. Click here to reserve.

When: Please contact us to book a private tour.

Where: Tour begins at the fountain in Dupont Circle. The tour will end outside US Naval Observatory. If you’re travelling by coach, you can arrange for pick up here. For those travelling by public transportation, it is a 5 minute bus ride back to the circle on city buses.

Duration: Tour lasts approx. 2 hours. Total walking is about 1 mile.

Cost: For more about private tours, visit our private tour page.


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How to visit an Embassy?

No matter what time of year you’re visiting you may be able to schedule a visit of an embassy in DC. However, if you’re here in early May, you may wish to check out Passport DC for Embassy Open Houses.

An embassy’s website will have information for visitors such as hours and whether you need to schedule an appointment to visit. The most assured way is to reach out and request a tour, often led by embassy staff. Be certain to follow their rules for what you can bring with you and what kind of identification you will need.

Embassy Open House | Passport DC 2018

Embassy RowDuring Embassy Week 2018 you can taste treats from one country and watch dancers from another all without ever leaving the city. Throughout the month of May every year, the diplomatic scene of Washington DC opens to the public. This gives you an opportunity to go inside many of the embassies along Embassy Row that we talk about on our Embassy Row Tours!

Read below about the different events taking place during and the dates for Passport DC and Embassy Week.

Dates for 2018 Passport DC will be announced at a later date!

 

Embassy Row DC

 

Around the World Embassy Tour

Time: 10am-4pm
How much are tickets to Embassy Week DC? Free! There is no cost to visit the embassies!
Reservations: Not Required. Photo ID required to enter many of the embassies

Here you can explore the world. More then 40 embassies open their doors to the public to learn more about their country and their culture with food tasting, dance demonstrations and more. This is one of the most popular events so expect some waiting in lines. Try to visit embassies off Embassy Row for shorter lines.

Embassies with Open House for 2018: TBD

Use this map to see where the open Embassies are for Passport DC 2016:

 

Short Cut to Europe: European Union Embassies’ Open House,

Time: 10am-4pm
Cost: Free
Reservations: Not Required, Photo ID required to enter many of the embassies.

Similar to the week prior, this day is all about EU Member Nations. Expect some of the 28 member nation’s embassies to open their doors from 10am to 4pm.

National Asian Heritage Festival: Fiesta Asia

Time: 10am to 7pm
Location: Pennsylvania Ave NW between 3rd & 6th St NW
www.asiaheritagefoundation.org

Cost: Free

Reservations: Not Required

Fiesta Asia! is often voted the Best Street Fair in Washington and we agree! You’ll find crafts, a talent show, demonstrations of different dances and martial arts, and of course, food! If you’ve wanted to learn to belly dance, Hulu, or Bollywood dancing, there will be lessons as well as 5 stages to watch the professionals.

The closest Metro to Fiesta Asia Street Festival is Archives/Navy Memorial on the Green & Yellow Line or Judiciary Square on the Red Line.

Embassy Chef Challenge Gala

Time: 6 – 9pm
Location: TBD
How much are tickets to Embassy Chef Challenge Gala?: $250 ticket

For a chance to taste around the world, the Embassy Chef Challenge Gala brings more than a dozen chefs from the embassies around the city to try to win your taste buds. There are two winners, one chosen from a panel of celebrity judges and another chosen by the people. This is a chance to try some of the best international dishes all in one room. The Gala is attended by some of the local diplomatic community and is a place to be seen.


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