Penn Quarter is a lively and compact neighborhood in eastern Washington DC; its famed for its diverse selection of restaurants, bars, museums, and sports and entertainment venues. The district is a short distance from the National Mall and US Capitol.
Penn Quarter hosts the Capitol One Arena, home to the Washington Nationals (NHL) and the Washington Wizards (NBA), and Ford’s Theatre, the site of President Lincoln’s assassination. The neighborhood overlaps with Chinatown—look for the Friendship Arch on H Street—and features museums ranging from the National Portrait Gallery to the National Building Museum. Explore Penn Quarter on a walking or bike tour of downtown DC.
Things to Know Before You Go
Located on the edge of the Penn Quarter, CityCenterDC is a popular shopping hub that’s home to a range of high-end and designer boutiques.
The neighborhood is home to several major memorials, including the US Navy Memorial and the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.
One of the area’s most recognizable landmarks is the imposing J. Edgar Hoover Building, home to the FBI Headquarters.
How to Get There
If traveling via public transport, take the red, yellow, or green Metro lines to Gallery Pl-Chinatown; the yellow or green lines to Archives-Navy Mem-Penn Quarter Station; or the blue, orange, silver, or red lines to Metro Center Station. Union Station, DC’s main transit hub, is a short stroll away.
When to Get There
Penn Quarter is lively at all hours of the day and night. During the daytime, enjoy its museums, monuments, movie theaters, and restaurants. After dark, the area’s bars come to life and the Capital One Arena regularly hosts games and concerts.
Dining Destinations in the Penn Quarter
Penn Quarter is home to some of DC’s best eateries. Head to Rasika to enjoy fragrant Indian cooking, or feast on the food of celebrity chef Jose Garces at the Jaleo, Oyamel, and Zaytina restaurants. Don’t forget to visit Chinatown Express, which is renowned for its hand-pulled noodles.
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- National Portrait Gallery
- Ford's Theatre
- Hard Rock Café Washington DC
- Petersen House
- Madame Tussauds Washington DC
- FBI Headquarters
- Capital One Arena
- U.S. Navy Memorial
- Old Post Office Pavilion
- National Archives Museum
- National Museum of Women in the Arts
- Church of the Epiphany
- National Theatre
- National Museum of Natural History
- Freedom Plaza