Planning a road trip to Maryland? Don’t miss out on exploring Downtown Baltimore, the beating heart of Maryland’s biggest city. Stretching from Inner Harbor to Midtown, this lively business and entertainment hub is known for its historic theater district. Add to that bustling markets, intriguing museums, and charming restaurants, you’ll see why Baltimore’s central core is one of the city’s hottest neighborhoods for locals and tourists alike.
Downtown Baltimore boasts a vibrant cultural scene with numerous theaters, galleries, and museums. Catch a Broadway show at the Hippodrome Theatre or appreciate the extraordinary exhibits at the Walters Art Museum, showcasing works from around the world.
Drag your tastebuds to Lexington Market, one of America’s oldest public markets, for a taste of local flavors, and catch the Baltimore Orioles baseball team in action at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Downtown Baltimore comes alive with a vibrant nightlife as day turns to night. Dance the night away, catch a live band, or unwind over drinks while enjoying the city’s energy.
Ready to plan the ultimate visit to Baltimore’s Downtown district? Hit the ground running with this complete guide for what to see & do, where to eat & drink, and where to stay!
What to see & do in Baltimore’s Downtown
The Walters Art Museum
Immerse yourself in the captivating world of art, culture, and history at the Walters Art Museum. Founded in 1934, the museum boasts an extensive collection spanning thousands of years, from 5,000 BCE to the 21st century.
Located in the Mount Vernon Cultural District, the Walters Art Museum’s remarkable permanent collection features various works, from ancient Egyptian artifacts to Renaissance masterpieces. Wander through the spacious exhibit halls and journey through ancient Greece and Rome, where exquisite marble sculptures and intricate mosaics tell tales of mythology and history.
Admire the beauty of intricately decorated sarcophagi in the Egyptian Hall. Continue exploring the Medieval and Renaissance galleries, where illuminated manuscripts, delicate tapestries, and ornate metalwork will transport you to a bygone era.
After exploring one of the coolest Baltimore museums, Recharge at the museum’s delightful café and relax over coffee in the tranquil courtyard, surrounded by the museum’s elegant architecture.
Dive into the mouthwatering heart of Baltimore’s culinary scene with a visit to the Lexington Market. This historic market has been serving delectable treats for over two centuries, and it’s one of the most popular places to visit in Baltimore to experience the local food culture.
Start your gastronomic journey by wandering around the diverse food stalls lining Lexington Market. From freshly shucked oysters to succulent Maryland crab cakes, Baltimore’s famous seafood offerings are a must-try.
If you prefer global flavors, transport your taste buds around the world with an array of international cuisines, from savory Mexican tacos to fragrant Indian curries. Be sure to save room for dessert from the variety of tempting treats – try a slice of Baltimore’s famous Berger cookie for a taste of local charm!
Chat with the vendors, who are often eager to share their family recipes and local anecdotes. Listen to the lively melodies of street musicians as they add a touch of rhythm to the market’s energetic ambiance.
Baltimore Farmers’ Market
Another fantastic place to immerse yourself in a celebration of fresh produce, delectable treats, and a lively community atmosphere is the Baltimore Farmers’ Market. The open-air market runs every Sunday and is a vibrant gathering of local farmers, artisans, and food enthusiasts.
Stroll through the Baltimore Farmers’ Market and peruse the stalls, where local farmers proudly display their bountiful harvests. From crisp, organic vegetables to juicy, ripe fruits, the market offers an abundance of seasonal produce and artisanal products such as freshly baked bread, homemade jams, aromatic spices, and locally sourced honey.
You’ll also find a variety of local crafts and handmade goods. Discover beautifully crafted jewelry, unique pottery, and stylish accessories from talented artisans. You’ll surely find that one-of-a-kind piece that captures the essence of Baltimore’s artistic spirit to take home.
After you’ve explored the Baltimore Farmers’ Market, find a cozy spot to relax and indulge in the delicious treats you’ve gathered. Sit back, people-watch, and soak up the lively atmosphere.
Catch a show and be captivated by the magic of the stage at the Hippodrome Theatre. Whether you’re a theater aficionado or just seeking an enchanting night out, the Hippodrome Theatre promises an experience like no other!
Built in 1914, the 2,248-seat Hippodrome Theatre is Baltimore’s premier destination for world-class live performances. Located in the heart of the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District, the theater is an architectural gem and a beloved landmark in Baltimore’s cultural scene.
The Hippodrome Theatre hosts an incredible lineup of Broadway shows and touring productions, from Tony Award-winning musicals to thought-provoking dramas. To enhance your theater experience, arrive early and enjoy drinks at the theater’s bar or a pre-show meal at one of the nearby restaurants.
For an even more immersive experience, attend one of the theater’s special events and behind-the-scenes tours. Get a glimpse into the world of theater production, learn about the history of the Hippodrome, and discover the intricacies of bringing a show to life.
Port Discovery Children’s Museum
Enjoy a day of adventure, discovery, and fun with the kids at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum. Designed to spark curiosity and creativity, the museum boasts a range of interactive exhibits, hands-on activities, and immersive experiences that encourage learning through play.
Head to the Tot Trails exhibit if you have little ones under the age of three, where they can crawl, climb, and explore a variety of sensory-rich environments that stimulate their developing minds and bodies. Exhibits like Adventure Expeditions and Wonders of Water allow kids to climb aboard a ship, dig for fossils, or explore the wonders of a pretend city.
Check the museum’s schedule for special events and programs throughout the year. From interactive theater performances to art workshops, something new and exciting is always happening at the Port Discovery Children’s Museum.
Power Plant Live!
Ready for a big night out? Look no further than Power Plant Live! This vibrant central entertainment district promises an evening packed with excitement, delicious food, and non-stop fun.
Challenge yourself and your friends in an exhilarating escape room, where you can put your problem-solving skills to the test and unravel thrilling mysteries. If you’re in the mood for some laid-back fun, head over to the beer garden, kick back, and relax as you savor a craft cocktail or a cold brew.
Get ready to rock out to an epic live music and entertainment lineup: Power Plant Live! is famous for its incredible concerts showcasing local talents and top-notch performers. Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to groove the night away!
Where to eat & drink
Downtown Baltimore has diverse culinary delights and hip watering holes, from local favorites to trendy hotspots. Whether you’re craving seafood, international fare, or craft cocktails, the city’s culinary scene has something to satisfy every palate.
Start your day with a delicious breakfast or brunch at Miss Shirley’s Café in the Inner Harbor neighborhood. Grab a table in the cozy café and tuck into mouthwatering house specialties like the Hot Honey Goat Cheese Fried Deviled Eggs or the Crab and Artichoke Dip Stuffed French Toast. Pair with a virgin cocktail!
Housed in the historic B&O Building and named after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad, B&O American Brasserie is a chic dining spot with classic brasserie fare and top-notch service. Enjoy a drink in the intimate lounge before heading into the beautiful dining room to savor innovative, seasonal dishes with a modern twist, like the delectable Crab Mac & Cheese or the signature B&O Short Rib Tacos. Save space for the luscious Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake.
Is a special occasion on the cards? Head to the elegant Capital Grille for a one-of-a-kind dining experience. Expect stylish decor, soft lighting, and impeccable service. Indulge in expertly prepared, dry-aged steaks and a selection of fresh seafood dishes, including mouthwatering lobster, salmon, and sea bass. Enhance your meal with a fine wine from their extensive collection, featuring exquisite offerings from around the world.
Peter’s Pour House hits the mark for a cozy and inviting neighborhood bar. This beloved spot attracts locals looking to catch the game while enjoying a drink. Grab a table on their outdoor patio and relish the beauty of the harbor views. Keep an eye out for their regular specials, which add an extra dose of fun!
Escape to the tropical oasis of the Water Street Tavern & Key West Patio Bar for good vibes and fantastic waterfront views. Sip on your favorite cocktails, sample local craft beers, or indulge in a selection of fine wines in the laid-back Key West Patio. Grab some classic pub grub in the Water Street Tavern when you get hungry.
Vintage charm and modern sophistication are the order of the day at the Clock Restoration Bar & Kitchen. Indulge in delectable dishes from locally sourced ingredients in a vintage clock restoration shop/dining room. Head to the trendy bar for expertly crafted cocktails with a creative twist.
Where to stay
As it’s the heart of the city, Downtown is one of the most popular places to stay in Baltimore. The accommodation selection here includes many of the city’s top hotels, making it a great choice for any Maryland vacation. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, extend your lodgings search to neighboring areas like the Inner Harbor or Fell’s Point.
Located a short walk from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Baltimore Downtown/Inner Harbor is an elegant retreat set in converted bank dating from the early 1900s. Comfortable suites have kitchenettes, sofa beds, and sitting areas. Stay connected with free Wi-Fi and enjoy a complimentary hot breakfast every morning.
Casual studios with kitchens, dining tables, and modern amenities make for a comfortable stay at the Staybridge Suites Baltimore – Inner Harbor, an IHG Hotel. Stay connected with complimentary Wi-Fi and enjoy free perks like hot breakfast, evening receptions, and a shuttle service to Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Overlooking Baltimore Harbor, the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel offers a luxurious retreat. Elegant suites have marble en-suite bathrooms with designer toiletries, and modern amenities include flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, and coffeemakers. Book a club-level room to enjoy complimentary weekday breakfast and evening snacks in a private lounge.