Culture and Activities

Washington, D.C., one of the liveliest cities in the world, is exceptionally student-friendly. The city is home to eleven traditional universities with graduate programs and recent graduates from all over the world. Many of the museums, speakers, and events are free, benefitting the academic and personal development of our students.

Arts & History

National Gallery

The National Gallery, pictured here, houses a portion of the United States’ art collection. Like many museums in Washington, it is free to all visitors.

The Smithsonian Institute, the largest museum system in the world, is headquartered just three miles from Georgetown’s main gates. All 18 of the Smithsonian’s Washington museums and facilities offer free admission and countless opportunities to explore, learn, and reflect. The National Gallery of Art, the art collection of the United States Government, is also free for visitors, and houses art from early antiquity to today. Other acclaimed museums include the Holocaust Museum, the Newseum, and the Corcoran Gallery.

On a smaller scale, there are numerous art galleries, pop-up displays, video and photography shows, films, documentaries, and dance performances. Walks through the diverse D.C. neighborhoods highlight the distinct artistic and cultural flavors of the area.

Music & Theater

Washington, DC has music venues for a variety of musical tastes. The Kennedy Center is home to the National Symphony Orchestra and plays host to major performaces across genres. The 9:30 Club, often considered one of the best small music venues in the country, serves fans of all types with a full calendar. The smaller U Street Music Hall caters to an eclectic crowd, while venues such as the Lincoln Theater, the Howard Theater, the Rock and Roll Hotel, Gypsy Sally’s (a few minutes’ walk from campus), attract fans of specific genres and styles. For a more intimate setting, you can visit area coffee shops and bookstores across the District for live music performances.

Several theaters cater to different audiences in Washington. The Kennedy Center hosts big-name shows and Broadway acts, such as The Book of Mormon, Phantom of the Opera, and Evita. The Folger Theater, part of the Folger Shakespeare Institute, is a national leader in Shakespearean theater while the Wooley Mammoth Theater Company presents original, poignant, and fun shows throughout the year. Other area theaters include the National Theatre and Ford’s Theater, the site of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Many venues offer discounted or free tickets to students and people under 30, making the theater a good option for a night out.  Of course, you can also stay on campus and enjoy a show – the Davis Performing Arts Center puts on student productions throughout the year.


This is a city that loves its sports. Aside from Georgetown’s own teams, Washington is home to professional basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, American football, and tennis teams. There are semi-professional and amateur teams representing seemingly every sport, from Ultimate Frisbee to flat track roller derby and rugby.

There are many recreational sports leagues for students who want to play instead of watch. Leagues play some of their games around the national monuments – it is not unusual to see a game of soccer in the shadow of the Washington Monument! Just about every sport imaginable is available. Organizations sponsor leagues ranging from the less traditional kickball and bocce to the more standard softball and beach volleyball.

The District is also runner- and bicyclist-friendly. The monuments are connected by parks and trails that cut through the city, providing beautiful, tree-lined routes for runners. Cyclists use the ever-expanding bike lane network. Organized 5k, 10k, and longer runs are common in the spring, summer, and fall and popular among students and professionals.


You will eat well in Washington. Well-traveled Washingtonians have a taste for the international bringing variety and quality to the restaurant scene. You can try everything from Peruvian to Laotian, and West African to Italian in neighborhoods across the District. For quick meals, there are a variety of fast casual restaurants, some of which are local to the area. One such restaurants, Sweetgreen, was founded by Georgetown alumni! Restaurants are more concentrated in some neighborhoods, particularly ones with nightlife. Adams Morgan, Dupont, and the U Street corridor are popular areas to enjoy both cuisine and nightlife. You can start the night with a concert or show, enjoy dinner, get dessert and drinks, and finish with conversations, events, or dancing.

Speakers and Learning

No matter your interests, there is always a speaker sharing expertise or a panel discussion to enjoy. Think tanks and policy experts regularly plan public events to discuss salient topics and current events. If your interests are in art or literature, the Smithsonian Institute hosts special events, often featuring authors, artists, and original works. Access to these events helps Georgetown students gain exposure and boosts scholarship in addition to personal enrichment. Some hosts popular with Georgetown students include the Brookings Institution, Smithsonian Institute, US State Department, US Institute of Peace, Pew Charitable Trusts, Council on Foreign Relations, Urban Institute, and Freedom House.

World leaders at Georgetown

The presidents of Malawi, Liberia and Kosovo join former presidents of Ireland and New Zealand to discuss development, democracy and global security at Georgetown.