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Top 8 Things to Do in Chinatown, Washington, DC

Priya Johnson Jun 6, 2019
Chinatown, a vibrant urban neighborhood in Washington, DC is a cultural destination that revolves around celebrating the Chinese culture and cuisine. It’s a melting pot of commercial, residential, and cultural attractions in the city.

Friendship Archway

Built in 1986, this traditional Chinese gate is a symbol of Chinese identity in Washington DC.
The main architect, Alfred Liu is responsible for the designing of this impressive gate. 272 dragons are painted on the arch, while another 12 are carved onto it. The thousands of tiny tiles on the roof are also a unique feature of the gate.

Self-Guided Walking Tour

Just strolling through the streets of Chinatown with traditional Chinese lampposts, Chinese inscriptions on the walls, crowded street, etc. simply transports you to a busy street in China.

The best way to explore this historic neighborhood is by walking around the place, allowing the cultural setting to sink in.

Chinese Community Church

Yes, you read right! There’s a beautiful church in Chinatown. Built in 1935, this Chinese church had 200 people attending its first service. It’s a multicultural church fellowship that congregates in a beautiful, historic building.

Annual Chinese New Year Festival

Every year, in February, the Chinese New Year is celebrated with an annual parade in Chinatown.
It’s the biggest event in Chinatown; the iconic parade includes traditional Chinese lion and dragon dance, outstanding firecracker finale, folk dances and so much more.

Capital One Arena

This sports and entertainment arena hosts a variety of world-class concerts, live cultural performances, and sports events.

This venue is home to North America’s largest 360 degrees rotating scoreboard that hangs in the center of the arena. The fan experience in this arena is simply outstanding.

Asian Restaurants

Asian restaurants here are the highlight of Chinatown and a wonderful place to enjoy Oriental cuisine.

However, Chinatown is not limited to Asian cuisine and is home to a variety of other cuisines from different regions of the world.

International Spy Museum

This privately-owned museum is a must-visit tourist attraction in the nation’s capital. It’s dedicated to the study of international espionage.

Situated in the Penn Quarter of the capital, this state-of-the-art museum houses interactive stations, rotating special exhibitions, etc. all centered around espionage.

National Museum of Women in the Arts

This museum is the only museum in the world, dedicated to showcasing the artistic work of women and better representation of women artists.

The museum not only celebrates the artistic creativity of women in the past but also inspires and highlights the creative achievements of women today.