Where is Detroit Michigan located on the US map? Is Detroit worth visiting?

Detroit Institute of Arts on Woodward Avenue
Detroit Institute of Arts on Woodward Avenue. Editorial credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

Detroit is the largest city in Michigan. Detroit is one of America’s oldest cities, having gone through much in its 300-year history. Known as the “Motor City”, Detroit is the home of the automobile industry, yet it is also famous for its music, sports, history, and culture. Rebuilding after some tough times, Detroit’s residents have created a vibrant, diverse city that is worth visiting. 

From the shores of the Detroit River and its bustling downtown, to its diverse, unique neighborhoods and outer suburbs, Detroit is chock-full of attractions, museums and fun events. While not on everyone’s radar as a major tourist draw, Detroit deserves to be on the list of American cities to visit. 

Where is Detroit located on the US map?

Where is Detroit located on the US map

Detroit is a city in the state of Michigan. Detroit is in the southeastern corner of the state, about an hour away from the Ohio border. Detroit is located on the Detroit River, which is an international border between Canada and the U.S.. In fact, due to the nature of the winding river, Windsor, Canada is actually to the southeast of Detroit across the Detroit River!

What do I need to know before visiting Detroit?

How do I get to Detroit?

Detroit is served by a large international airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, which is located about 21 miles from the city center. If visiting Detroit from this airport it is best to travel by rental car to the city. 

What is the weather like?

Detroit is in the upper midwest of the U.S.. Summer temperatures (May – September) average above 73 degrees F and winter temperatures (December – March) average below 42 degrees F. The best time of year to travel to Detroit according to Weatherspark.com is mid June to mid September. The coldest month of the year is January, and the hottest month is July.

In what time zone is Detroit?

Detroit observes Eastern Standard Time.

What language is spoken in Detroit?

The main language spoken in Detroit is English, however, due to the diversity of the population many languages in the neighborhoods of Detroit are spoken. These include Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, Burmese and Bangla. 

What is the currency used in Detroit?

The currency used in Detroit is the U.S. dollar.

What is the best way to get around in Detroit?

If you plan on visiting the city’s many neighborhoods and regional attractions, the best way to get around is by car. After all, Detroit is known as the “Motor City”! However, for transportation within the downtown area, the People Mover is a great option, with 13 stations arranged in a loop around the downtown. Even better, a one-way fare on the People Mover is only 75 cents! 

How big is Detroit?

The population of Detroit is 674,841 as of 2019. At 139 square miles, Detroit is the 71st largest American City based on area. It is the 27th largest American City based on population. 

What are some things to do and places to see in Detroit?

Motown Museum

Motown Museum
Motown Museum

A must-visit in Detroit is the Motown Museum. Housed in what once was the recording studio of Berry Gordy Jr., “Hitsville U.S.A.” is the home of the Motown music genre made popular by musicians such as Stevie Wonder, The Temptations and many others during the 50s and 60s. The Motown Museum is currently undergoing renovations, check their website before visiting. 

Eastern Market

Easter Market entrance outdoor public market
Easter Market entrance outdoor public market. Editorial credit: Mike Osinski / Shutterstock.com

Eastern Market is a marketplace that has been ongoing since 1891. While their Saturday Farmer’s Market is perhaps their most famous, Eastern Market holds markets on other days as well, making it a great choice to go and explore any day of the week. Strolling around the historic buildings in this district, you will find locally grown foods, unique boutiques, delicious restaurants, and talented artisans and craftspeople.

Detroit Institute of the Arts (DIA)

Detroit Institute of Arts on Woodward Avenue
Detroit Institute of Arts on Woodward Avenue. Editorial credit: Nagel Photography / Shutterstock.com

The DIA is one of America’s premier art museums. When visiting, be sure to stop by the world-famous “Detroit Industry” murals painted by Diego Rivera during the Depression. However, set aside plenty of time for this historic museum, especially if you are an art lover, as there are more than 65,000 items in their collection!

Belle Isle

The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle, Detroit
The Anna Scripps Whitcomb Conservatory on Belle Isle, Detroit. Editorial credit: Harold Stiver / Shutterstock.com

Belle Isle is a 982-acre island park on the Detroit River. Accessible by road, Belle Isle is home to a beautiful State Park, the Belle Isle Aquarium, a conservancy, the Great Lakes Museum, the Detroit Yacht Club and more. A must-visit for nature lovers and history buffs alike, Belle Isle feels light-years away from the big city, when in fact it is close and easily accessible from downtown Detroit. 

Detroit Zoo

Detroit Zoo
Detroit Zoo. Editorial credit: alisafarov / Shutterstock.com

A short drive away from Downtown Detroit is the historic and fascinating Detroit Zoo. Located about two miles north of the city limits, the Zoo is home to over 3,000 animals on 128 acres of land. Founded in 1928, the Zoo is known for its Penguin Conservation Center which recently reopened to the public.  

What are the neighborhoods of Detroit like?

Detroit is made up of many unique and diverse neighborhoods, some of which are actual cities within a city! A visit to Detroit is not complete without visiting at least a few of these distinctive neighborhoods. 


Historic houses with Corktown sign, in Corktown, Detroit, Michigan
Historic houses with Corktown sign, in Corktown, Detroit, Michigan

Corktown is the city’s oldest neighborhood. Formerly home to a large working-class Irish population, Corktown is now known as a hip and trendy area, with cool boutiques, hotels, restaurants and bars. Luckily, the history of the neighborhood has been well-preserved in its homes and businesses. 


View of Greektown
View of Greektown

Greektown is home to Detroit’s cultural and entertainment district, and home to the Greektown Casino. This neighborhood was traditionally home for Greek immigrants, and has a beautiful historic Victorian street as well as a glitzy casino. Greektown is known for nightlife, gaming and great restaurants. 


 Band Plays at the Annual St. Florian Strawberry Polish Festival in Detroit
Band Plays at the Annual St. Florian Strawberry Polish Festival in Detroit. Editorial credit: Paper and Lens Co / Shutterstock.com

Hamtramck is actually a city in a city, completely surrounded by Detroit. Historically home to Polish immigrants who worked in the auto industry, Hamtramck now has a distinctly multicultural feel, with Middle-Eastern and Asian influences as well as Polish. Hamtramck is the most densely populated city in Michigan, so expect close-knit neighborhood streets!

Why does Detroit get such a bad rep?

Detroit is one of America’s oldest cities. Historically Detroit has seen its fortunes rise and fall with the times. From the boom years of post World War II to the riots in the 60s and bankruptcy of the 2010s, Detroit has seen its fair share of turmoil. However, thanks to its resilient citizens, Detroit is currently undergoing a revitalization. 

Will I feel safe in Detroit?

If you take some time to research before you go and have a plan, Detroit is no more dangerous to visit than any other large city. Its unique history and vast cultural influences make it a great destination city.  

See Also


What is Unique to Detroit?

Best Places to visit in Detroit, Michigan

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!