Whether you’re a local, passing through or on your city break, here’s our recommended list of popular Washington DC events we think you should visit:
Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival
Witnessing Washington DC in full bloom is a picture-perfect way to explore this city. Thousands of cherry trees blossom, decorating the city in all shades of pink. A spectacular backdrop to DC’s famous sights. The Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival celebrates the gift of 3000 cherry trees from Tokyo in 1912. Every spring, the city comes alive to honor the friendship between the two countries. For more background, check out our guide to the 9 Facts About Washington DC’s Cherry Blossom Festival. While peak bloom is a magical moment, the festivities continue for 4 weeks of culture, arts and activities between March and April. And a great way to see it (if we do say so ourselves) is on the top-deck of a Big Bus tour. We’ll take you right to the heart of this floral fiesta. You can hop off at the Tidal Basin for that famous photo opportunity or simply stay on board for a scenic spin. A perspective you won’t see on foot at one of the most popular Washington DC events.
DC Jazz Festival
The DC Jazz Festival invites people from all walks of life to enjoy a few days of this vibrant genre in June each year. Presenting a line-up of international heavyweights as well as budding artists. The mission of the DC Jazz Festival is to unify diverse communities, educate through an electric programme, provide a stage for those trying to break onto the scene and to put DC on the map as a cultural destination. And they seem to be winning. Attracting thousands of revellers from across the country, visitors can expect over 150 performances in more than 40 music venues across DC. You’ll experience the way that jazz blends beautifully with swing music, soul singers and Latin performers in unexpected locations like galleries, hotels and restaurants. Most of the shows are absolutely free, so all you need to bring with you to this popular Washington DC event is an open mind.
In case the name didn’t give it away, Passport DC is a 4-week long festival in the month of May celebrating Washington DC’s thriving international and diverse community. An experience you’ll only find in this city, which is why it makes the list of one of the most popular Washington DC events. It’s a journey around the world (without going too far!) with street festivals, performances, exhibitions, workshops and more. The first two Saturdays of the month, embassies throw open their doors to the public for a curious ‘Around the World’ tour. From trying something new to eat to petting alpacas and even learning indigenous dances, it’s a way of making the world feel like a smaller more friendlier place. Events are free and participation at Passport DC is fully encouraged.
So there you have our top three popular Washington DC events we recommend. A city with a packed events calendar all year round, there really is no bad time to visit. And when you’ve witnessed Mother Nature’s grand welcome to spring at the Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival, have swayed to the blues at the DC Jazz Festival and been around the globe at Passport DC, you can sit back and relax on a Big Bus tour for a day or two of sightseeing. For more ideas on how to fill the rest of your time in the nation’s capital, check out our 3 Days in Washington DC itinerary.