From our DC Tourism Guide, with budget advice, travel guides, and information about local Washington DC attractions.
Very few movies or TV series set in Washington, DC are actually filmed in the city. The cost of shooting in such an expensive area, combined with the prospect of facing loads of red tape and security protocol, usually drives film makers to opt for nearby Maryland or Virginia instead. Furthermore, most states offer an enticing tax break for production companies who choose to film there. For example, the movie Lincoln (which was shot entirely in Virginia) earned $4.5 million in givebacks from the state after production. Washington DC has not doled out any money in movie incentives since 2010.
House of Cards attempted to shoot a motorcade for season two, however the Metropolitan Police Department decided to yank the scene at the last minute as it did not fit within protocol. The show was able to film a motorcade driving through Washington, DC in October of 2014 for season 3, but it is one of the few times that the film crew entered the district.
In the first season, there was a scene shot at the Archives Metro Station in DC. However, the Cathedral Heights Metro Station that sets the stage for Frank and Zoe’s last meeting in season two is a fictional station and was filmed in Baltimore. In fact, DC by Foot tour guide Canden, and her percussionist husband, Manny, are featured during that memorable metro scene! Manny is the bucket drummer that Zoe watches and you can see Canden on the platform and again in Episode Two’s security footage!
A vast majority of House of Cards is filmed in Joppa, Maryland — a suburb of Baltimore. There, film crews have constructed a soundstage that replicates the White House, as well as many other iconic DC buildings. Freddy’s BBQ Joint — a staple throughout season one and two — is also a fictional restaurant in Baltimore.
The Washington Herald, which was an actual newspaper in DC from 1906-1939, is shot at the Baltimore Sun.
Though most of the show is filmed in Baltimore, the opening credits feature shots of various significant sites in DC. The following is a list of the locations in the opening credits in order of their appearance: