Chinatown Chinatown

The Friendship Archway serves as a welcoming greeting to Chinatown.

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The cultural and culinary jewel of the Penn Quarter neighborhood is Chinatown, which along with Gallery Place and the Verizon Center create a vibrant hub of entertainment activity in the heart of DC.

Featured in the Chinatown “Neighborhoods” ticket is the iconic Friendship Archway. The archway got its name after former Mayor Marion Barry visited Beijing in 1984 and participated in a ceremony that established Washington and Beijing as sister cities. It was at that ceremony that plans were made for the two cities to build a traditional archway in Washington’s Chinatown.

The 128 ton archway (paifang) stands 47 feet tall and was constructed in 1986. In ancient China these archways were painted to protect the wood from the elements. Over time the paintings began to take on more symbolic meaning. For the Friendship Archway 16 artists journeyed from China to apply the red, green, blue paint, and gold leaf, by hand.

Where to Play Where to Play

  • 2970
    Tickets entered for this neighborhood
  • 3
    Retailers in this neighborhood as of December 06, 2017


Dim sum scoundrels

Explore the exotic tastes of Chinatown’s restaurants including the roster of delectable dim sum offerings. Then, give chase to the ghosts of conspirators past and rediscover the location of the Surratt Boarding House (604 H Street, NW), where unsavory scoundrels schemed to kidnap President Lincoln.