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Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 05/10/2012

Passport DC opens doors to Europe


Dancers at the Spanish embassy perform during the Shortcut to Europe open house in 2011. (Delegation of the European Union to the United States )
Travel documents? You won’t need them for Passport DC’s Shortcut to Europe. All 27 European Union embassies (plus acceding country Croatia, for all you international diplomacy nerds) will open their doors to visitors Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Like all Americans visiting sovereign European territory, you should remember a few important things. Wear comfortable shoes, as you’ll have to stand in long lines (or “queues” as our friends in the United Kingdom call them. Cheerio, mates!) at some embassies. And like all good American tourists, the more U.S. flags and sports logos you can adorn yourself with, the better. And fanny packs — don’t leave home without them.

Four shuttle bus routes will service embassy clusters in loops, departing from the Metro stations at Dupont Circle, Foggy Bottom and Van Ness; visit www.euopenhouse.com to plan your travels. And now, here are some highlights you can expect on your big sightseeing trip, and they’re all free:

Embassy of Belgium

What comes to mind when you hear the word Belgium? No, not bureaucracy. Chocolate, beer and frites are all better answers. That’s what makes the Embassy of Belgium one of the most popular stops on any Passport DC itinerary, but when you’ve completed the tour and are sitting on the embassy lawn sipping samples of witbier and Belgian waffles from Locolat, you’ll see why.

3330 Garfield St. NW. 202-333-6900. www.diplobel.us.

Embassy of the Czech Republic

It doesn’t get much more Czech than mugs of pilsner, servings of goulash, Renaissance sword­ fighters and the films of Milos Forman.

3330 Garfield St. NW. 202-333-6900. www.diplobel.us.

Embassy of Denmark

Bikes are everywhere in the District these days (in fact, the odds are pretty high you’ll be riding one to-and-from many of these embassies), which makes the embassy’s interactive presentation on Danish bicycle culture particularly relevant. There’s also a soccer penalty-kick competition, hands-on LEGO workshops, Danish cheeses and a bake sale.

3200 Whitehaven St. NW. 202-234-4300. usa.um.dk.

Embassy of France and Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany

Construction at the German Embassy means that the French are hosting the Germans (try to muffle your laughter, World War II buffs) this year. This means you get to experience two cultures simultaneously: German beer and French cafe fare under one roof, with live music, interactive workshops and language lessons.

4101 Reservoir Rd. NW. 202-944-6000. www.germany.info/
openhouse
.

Residence of the Ambassador of the Kingdom of The Netherlands

Art-focused visitors can see paintings by 16th- and 17th-century Dutch masters Jan van Goyen, Isaac Isreals and Abraham Storck while enjoying Dutch stroopwafels, chewy caramel-filled waffles.

2437 S St. NW . 877-388 2443. dc.the-netherlands.org.

Embassy of Sweden

Leave it to the country that gave us IKEA to have one of the most streamlined, design-minded embassies in all of Washington. The House of Sweden shares samples of Swedish treats and beverages on its rooftop lounge on the Georgetown Waterfront.

2900 K St. NW. 202-467-2600. www.swedenabroad.com/en-GB/Embassies/Washington.

By  |  01:03 PM ET, 05/10/2012

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