Located along Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay, Baltimore is one of America’s most stunning and unique cities. Nicknamed “Charm City,” it‘s renowned for its friendly people, delicious seafood, and vibrant culture.
Whether you’re planning a vacation or just passing through, Baltimore has no shortage of amazing things to explore. Below, we’ll cover everything you should know to get the most out of your visit.
Where Is Baltimore Located On the Map?
Baltimore is in central Maryland, nestled on the western side of the Chesapeake Bay. It is directly northeast of Washington D.C. and flanked by the Patapsco River to the south.
Relative to the rest of the US, Baltimore is at the southern tip of the Mid-Atlantic region. Meaning it’s one of the rare places where the culture of the South and North converge.
Baltimore Quick Facts: What to Know
Baltimore is the biggest city in Maryland and the 29th most populous city in the U.S. So, while bustling, it also feels surprisingly cozy and easy to navigate.
Here are some facts to give you the rundown on Charm City:
Baltimore enjoys all four seasons. It has hot and humid summers balanced by cold and windy winters.
English is by far the dominant language. However, Spanish continues to become increasingly common.
Baltimore has a unique blend of Southern and Northern traditions known as Hon culture (short for “Honey”). There’s even an annual festival dedicated to this way of life known as “HonFest.”
The Sports Teams
Baltimore has three major sports teams:
- The Baltimore Ravens – NFL Football
- The Baltimore Orioles – MLB Baseball
- The Baltimore Blast – MASL Indoor Soccer
Things To Do In Baltimore
Delicious seafood, fascinating museums, dazzling art exhibits—Baltimore has it all! When you visit, you’ll find there’s no shortage of things to do. Below is just a sample of what Charm City has to offer:
Baltimore’s National Aquarium isn’t just one of America’s best; many consider it among the greatest aquariums worldwide.
The building itself is in the Inner Harbor and features eye-catching architecture. Inside, visitors will find breathtaking exhibits such as Shark Alley and the Amazon River Forest.
B&O Railroad Museum
The B&O Railroad Museum is a must-see for history lovers and train fanatics. Spread over 40 acres, it possesses the world’s most comprehensive collection of American railroad artifacts.
This museum is also the perfect place to take kids if you have any. They’ll love seeing the giant engines and being able to walk inside some of the authentic train cars.
The Rusty Scupper
The Rusty Scupper is one of Baltimore’s most famous landmarks and among its best restaurants. In addition to offering stellar seafood, it provides amazing views of the surrounding Inner Harbor.
If you go, make sure to try the crab cakes! They’re a staple of Maryland and Baltimore. Not to mention one of the things visitors miss most when they leave.
American Visionary Art Museum
Found at the base of Federal Hill, the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) looks like something out of this world.
The AVAM is all about “outsider art,” which defies convention and challenges the mainstream. They also regularly hold fun-filled events around the city, such as the Kinetic Sculpture Race.
Areas of Baltimore to Explore
One of Baltimore’s best qualities is its diversity. Few places vary so much from street to street. And while different, no neighborhood is less worth visiting than the others.
Here are some of the most well-known parts of town:
When most people hear “Baltimore,” they think of the Inner Harbor. Famous for its gorgeous waterfront views and wide array of attractions, this area has something for everyone.
It’s also only a stone’s throw from Oriole Park at Camden Yards. So after exploring, you can cap off your day by watching a thrilling baseball game. Just make sure you wear orange and black!
Once a bustling shipyard, Fell’s Point is now the heart of Baltimore’s nightlife. Located east of the Inner Harbor, the streets of this neighborhood are lined with excellent bars.
Fell’s Point also holds America’s longest continuously operated saloon: The Horse You Came In On. It’s the perfect place to absorb the history (and alcohol) of this vibrant city.
Little Italy is one of the oldest regions of the city, featuring architecture that looks from another time. The authentic gelato shops are endlessly charming. And the restaurants serve some of the best Italian food on the East Coast.
Located on the harbor’s south side, Federal Hill is the perfect place for a scenic stroll. Featuring cobblestone alleys and an elevated view of the city, it’s also a prime spot for photos.
When it’s warm, pack a picnic basket and spend a day enjoying the sunshine on the hillside.
Getting Around Baltimore
One of the convenient things about Baltimore is that it’s easy to navigate. Whether you stay in the heart of the city or the outskirts, there are multiple ways to get around.
Here’s what you should know about transportation:
- Driving or Renting a Car – Despite being a bustling city, Baltimore traffic is surprisingly tame. You can also find plenty of parking in the city center not far from attractions.
- Biking – In recent years, Baltimore developed numerous bike lanes and paths. The League of American Bicyclists even awarded Charm City with their Bicycle Friendly Community award in 2019.
- Riding the Metro – A metro subway runs throughout the city, providing quick transportation for a modest fee. However, keep in mind that it stops running at midnight on most days.
- Ridesharing – Baltimore has plenty of drivers that serve Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing apps. They’re perfect for getting home after bar-hopping or when biking and metro are less practical.
Where to Stay in Baltimore
Baltimore has everything from five-star accommodations to affordable hostels.
Since the Inner Harbor is the city’s tourist center, that’s where you’ll find the best hotels. Pier 5 Hotel and the Four Seasons offer luxurious rooms and stunning views of the skyline from the waterfront.
For something less pricey, you can try Bmore Bunks. This is the city’s most well-known hostel and offers excellent accommodations. Since it’s located right by Penn Station, it’s also the perfect launching point for exploring the city.