Getting to the Festival

With many attendees coming to WCF and various road closures in effect, using public transportation is your best option. Read on to learn more and see you soon!

(If you are coming from out of town and wondering about airports, trains, shuttles, and rideshare, see the FAQ below).

Step 1: Plan your trip

The World Culture Festival’s main stage will be near 4th Street, with open grounds seating from 7th to 14th Street. 

To get to WCF, you can use the WMATA Metro’s official Trip Planner. Operating hours are Friday, 5 AM to 1 AM, Saturday, 7 AM to 1 AM, and Sunday, 7 AM to 12 AM.

In WMATA’s Trip Planner, under More Options, you can either choose rail only or rail + bus. If you choose to use rail and then walk, The National Mall is within walking distance from:

  1. Smithsonian Station (Blue/Orange/Silver Line). Note, this may get very crowded during WCF!
  2. Federal Triangle Station (Blue/Orange/Silver Line)
  3. L’Enfant Plaza (Blue/Orange/Silver/Green/Yellow Line)
  4. The Archives-Navy Memorial station (Yellow/Green Line): closer to the Capitol and the stage

From there, you can walk towards Madison Dr & 7th St NW. For any questions, we have an info booth at Madison Dr & 7th St NW and one at Jefferson Dr. & 12th St SW.

Metros around WCF. The red lines above around World Culture Festival are road closures!

If you’d like to also use the bus system, choose “rail + bus” on the Trip Planner. While the planner should be aware of road closures, double check that it isn’t taking you to one of the red lines above (example: Madison Dr. or Jefferson Dr.). Otherwise, manually set your “to” location to be on parallel roads such as Constitution Ave or Independence Avenue. 

Parking is free on weekends at Metro operated lots in case you park further away and then metro into WCF!

Trip Planner:

Remember to figure out ahead of time, how you are getting to WCF and back. You can also use other planning tools such as Google Maps or City Mapper.

Note that Saturday morning’s historic yoga session will be in a different location – the Lincoln Memorial! You can use the planner above to determine a rail+bus route or also take a ride-share. Enter at 23rd & Constitution Ave, NW.

Step 2: Ride the Metrorail and Metrobus

To pay for the metro, you can use a SmarTrip card (can be purchased at station vending machines) or download the SmarTrip app and pay with phone. Each passenger 5 years of age and older must have their own SmarTrip card. The trip planner above will tell you the funds you need to add prior to using it! You can also purchase a day pass.

Once you are at the station, just tap your card or hover your phone over the rail fare gate/bus fare box.

Here is a great video going over do’s and dont’s for riding the metro system! Some DC metro etiquette: 

– If you are standing on the escalator, stand on the right side 🙂 and walk up on the left! 

– When the doors open for your metro, wait for others to leave before you walk in. If it’s too full, just wait. If doors can’t close properly, it can hold up the entire metro!

– Refrain from eating or drink on the metro

Step 3: Arrive at WCF!

To enter the festival grounds, you can find open entry points between 7th to 14th Street. The stage is towards the Capitol building (near 4th street). Set up your picnic blanket and enjoy this spectacular event! There will be a few limited chairs for general public by 7th street as well.

Travel FAQs

DC is well-connected by plane, train, and car.

FareRyder/Uber/Lyft: Rideshares will drop off and pick up along Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue between 12th St and 10th St. To receive a 10% discount on FareRyder, enter the promotional code WCF23 while booking the ride.

While we do not recommend driving due to road closures and limited availability, if you choose to drive to the mall, we recommend pre-booking your parking spot. See SpotHero pre-booking link at discounted pricing:

Note that Jefferson Dr. and Madison Dr. (roads between the Smithsonian museums and the National Mall lawn) will be closed to traffic. For road closures, you can refer to this

Bus routes may be affected by the World Culture Festival, but Metro stations will remain open. You can find a comprehensive list of planned closures and changes on the WMATA website

Judiciary Square Station (Red Line) is the closest station to the Talent Hold Area, located at 101 Constitution Avenue NW and 300 New Jersey Avenue NW. Note, that the stations above are also options. 

Fares are between $2-$6 on weekdays and $2 on weekends. Note for Metrobuses, fares are $2 for regular route service and free when transferring to/from Metrorail. Along along with SmarTrip, “cash payments are accepted on most routes but must be made with exact change – bus operators do not carry cash” (WMATA). A One-Day Pass ($13) allows unlimited trips on Metrorail and Metrobus throughout the day. These can be purchased through your SmarTrip app or at the station.

The DC area is home to three international airports. In order of proximity to the National Mall and the city center, they are:

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA): The closest airport to DC, easily reached via metro (Yellow/Blue) or rideshare.

Dulles International Airport (IAD): Located 24 miles west, it provides metro (Silver) and rideshare connections to the city.

Baltimore/Washington International Airport (BWI): Approximately 30-40 minutes north, accessible by rideshare or bus.

Airport Transfer Deal: Use our special GOSHUTTLE rate.

Tip: When booking flights into DC, most travel sites allow you to choose either a preferred single airport or all three to compare prices. Also check for special rates from our partners, like Southwest Airlines, which is offering 5% off all flights to the festival. 

For Northeast residents, Amtrak is a convenient, fun, and eco-conscious way to travel. DC’s Union Station is a major Amtrak hub and Amtrak Acela and Northeast Regional lines service the East Coast corridor from DC up to Boston. The station is about a mile away from the 7th Street entrance for the World Culture Festival.  From that station, attendees can walk or take the circulator bus. The Metro Red Line also a stop here for transport to other areas of the city upon arrival. 

For a live listing of all trains to Washington, click here.