Columbus, Ohio, is known for everything from college football to beautiful parks to foodie hotspots. And with so many great places scattered around Ohio’s largest city, finding accommodations might seem like a breeze. But choosing where to stay in Columbus, OH, might just be the most important decision you’ll make while planning a vacation to the Buckeye State.
From historic districts teeming with art galleries and indie boutiques to young and hip neighborhoods buzzing with wild nightlife and bucket-list attractions, each area in Columbus offers unique experiences.
Many of the best hotels in Columbus, OH, lie in & around Downtown. But other neighborhoods like Short North, the University District, and the German Village offer interesting alternatives with lodgings to suit all travel styles, including owner vacation rentals.
Having a hard time narrowing down your accommodations search? Plan the perfect vacation to Ohio’s capital city with this simple guide to the best places to stay in Columbus, including the top-rated areas, neighborhoods, and hotels.
Best places to stay in Columbus, OH
The capital and largest city in Ohio, Columbus is jam-packed with interesting areas, delivering everything from glossy city center charms to more local experiences.
If you’re willing to splurge to get close to all the top tourist attractions in Columbus, OH, then delving into the high-towers of Downtown Columbus or the luxurious boutique hotels of Short North might be a perfect choice.
Working with a stricter travel budget? Explore the mid-range hotels and vacation rentals of Upper Arlington and German Village, or embrace your youthful spirit in University District.
The best areas to stay in Columbus, OH, are:
✓ The ideal neighborhood in Columbus for first-time visitors and night owls
Downtown Columbus is the heartbeat of the city and where you should focus your energy if you want to stay in the center of all the action.
From world-class shopping and dining to entertainment venues and must-see Columbus museums, Downtown Columbus is a hotspot for urban tourism. Between the nightlife and live performances, there’s never a dull moment while staying in the city center.
Downtown Columbus is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to accommodations. Hotels typically start at a mid-range price point and then continue to climb all the way up at some of the city’s most luxurious hotels.
It’s not impossible to find more affordable options, but they’re definitely in shorter supply here than in other areas around Cap City.
Finding a budget-friendly stay in the downtown core can be a bit of a challenge, but the Drury Inn & Suites Columbus Convention Center has you covered. Consistent with the Drury brand, this hotel takes affordability to the next level by taking a big “budget-gobbler” off your plate: food.
Though the hotel is not “all-inclusive,” you can get away with dining for free for the majority of your trip. A full hot breakfast buffet is included each morning, unlimited soda and popcorn are available 24/7, and a simple, rotating menu is offered at the kickback from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm each evening. (Not to mention wine and beer!)
Marriott is at it again with this hygge-inspired hotel with mega urban curb appeal. Thanks to its neutral, minimalist design, the AC Hotel by Marriott Columbus Downtown is filled to the brim with relaxing spaces.
A fan-favorite at this top-notch Columbus hotel? The rooftop lounge, beset with glass fireplaces, doubles as a Spanish tapas bar and offers striking downtown views. If you’re looking for a place to toast to the beginning of a great vacation or to unwind after a night out on the town, this is it!
The Hilton Columbus Downtown is the pinnacle of contemporary design, with an architecturally intriguing indoor courtyard and an extensive art collection featuring the works of several local geniuses.
If you choose to spend your nights at this downtown gem, be sure to request a corner room for double the views. With a skyline like this right outside your window, you’re going to want it!
Need a quick snack or breakfast to go? Stop at the Provisions on High shop as you dash out the door.
The Hyatt Regency Columbus is a top choice for traveling professionals thanks to its convention center and an array of business perks. But the hotel is also well-loved by couples on an urban getaway.
Guest rooms feature a private ice machine that’s perfect for keeping champagne buckets at the ready, a bathtub built for two, and incomparable city skyline views, especially after dark when the city lights up. Talk about romance! There’s also an in-house cafe for impromptu coffee dates.
Hotel LeVeque, Autograph Collection is Downtown’s finest boutique hotel. With rich gold accents and statement velvet armchairs, this place has a definite “Hollywood feel.” Even the entrance to the lobby looks like a historic movie theatre with its scalloped awning!
Even though the hotel is just steps from some of the tastiest restaurants in the city, they added a magnificent dining outlet to their repertoire. After making your way through the grand atrium, you’ll find The Keep Kitchen & Liquor Bar, which is a hit even with tourists staying at other hotels.
There’s also a Starbucks on the premises for travelers who can’t get going in the morning without showing their loyalty to their favorite brand.
✓ The most popular area to stay in Columbus for hipsters
For all things hip in Ohio’s capital city, take a look at Short North. Encompassing both the Italian Village and Victorian Village, this cool district is full of historic charm as well as more high-design, contemporary architecture. Where the old world meets the new, you’ll never run out of things to do.
If you want to explore Short North like a local, spend your time bouncing between microbreweries, perusing art galleries, and thrifting like a pro. Don’t forget to start your day at a local coffee roaster because this neighborhood’s got plenty; there’s no excuse for bad hotel coffee!
Short North is a neighborhood that’s dense with boutique hotels; if you’d like to stay somewhere upscale with a totally unique vibe, looking in this area is a great start to narrowing down your Columbus accommodations search.
Is Ohio State University your Alma Mater? Relive the glory days at the Graduate Columbus. Of course, you don’t have to be an OSU alumnus to visit this stunning boutique hotel.
You might find a college pennant or two hanging around, but the vibe is super sophisticated. Imagine rooms filled with vintage plaids, bespoke furniture, and smart leather finishes.
During your stay, be sure to keep your eyes out for Scarlett, the hotel’s unofficial mascot sporting the college team’s jersey. She loves to say hello to every guest—whether you’ve got two legs or four. If anyone can instill a sense of OSU pride in you, it’s her!
Are you in your Bridgerton era? Indulge your inner duke or dutchess at the 50 Lincoln Short North Bed & Breakfast. This historic home is a history buff’s dream with Victorian decor, floral wallpapers, and handmade quilts.
Start your day with a decadent breakfast (think: fluffy french toast and seasonal fruits). Then, append a slow morning sipping tea in the back garden or gently rocking on the front porch with a good book.
This boutique gem has just seven rooms, so you’re guaranteed a personalized guest experience that’ll leave you feeling like royalty.
The Moxy Columbus Short North gives off all the cool vibes; if you’re young and hip, this could be the hotel for you.
Fun fact: this hotel has three (yes, three!) happy hours every day. Your room keys come with a complimentary drink token, so your first happy hour is on the house.
Can’t convince your travel crew to join you at the billiards table? The Moxy’s friendly staff is known for always being up for the challenge.
Le Méridien Columbus, The Joseph really takes its Short North Arts District location to heart with a gallery-like feel carrying through the lobby, communal spaces, and guest rooms. In fact, over 500 works from prominent artists are on display.
Everything at this boutique hotel exudes luxury, but if you want to take your pampering to the next level, book a day in a private spa suite. Unlike a traditional hotel spa, you’ll be treated to spa services like massages and body scrubs in a serene oasis just for you.
Each suite has its own heated lounger, makeup vanity, and a “wet room,” complete with an 8-faucet shower and a free-standing soaking tub.
✓ The best place to stay in Columbus for budget travelers and 20-somethings
Sandwiching both Ohio State University and the Old North Columbus historic area, the University District has a lot going for it. As you’d imagine, the neighborhood has young, college-town vibes, and its top attractions reflect that.
You’ll find a bumpin’ nightlife scene in this area of the city, as well as North Market, where you can grab globally inspired cheap eats and play-all-day activities like escape rooms and arcades.
Looking to save a bit of coin? Budget travelers will love the University District when choosing their accommodations because they can get trendy suites at affordable prices without sacrificing proximity to hip attractions and restaurants.
The Urban is a new type of accommodation popping up in college towns, with a mix of long-term rentals for university students and short-stay hotel rooms in one building. Since it’s designed to appeal to the college crowd, this property has a young vibe and tons of amenities.
In your room, you’ll have a private balcony and kitchenette. Communally, you’ll have access to a games room, a hammock and open-air rooftop lounge, a plunge pool, and a full-size kitchen.
The SpringHill Suites by Marriott Columbus OSU offer travelers great value, with a complimentary breakfast buffet and an indoor pool with accessible entry. Guest room options include a single king or two queens, both of which have a separate living space and a trundle bed.
Need a drink? The Lobby bar is the perfect spot for a quick happy hour sip or for a low-key atmosphere to enjoy a nightcap.
For a boutique hotel approach managed by Marriot, consider Aloft Columbus. In addition to gorgeous guest suites, you’ll have access to multiple trendy lounge spaces, including a cocktail bar with a sun terrace and modern gas firepits and a games room with a pool table.
Want to go a little farther afield than public transportation will take you? Aloft makes getting around easier than ever, with car hire available directly through the concierge.
The Hyatt House Columbus OSU Short North has branded itself as a fitness-focused hotel. What does that mean? The 24-hour fitness center is better equipped than some standalone gyms in the area. Whether you’re a weight-lifter or a cardio king/queen, you can work out your way. Some suites even have exercise bikes in the living room, so you can work up a sweat without having to use the communal gym.
What are some of the non-fitness-related perks of staying here? The hotel features a beautiful garden patio with lawn games, and every single room is equipped with Chromecast for all your streaming activities.
The Residence Inn by Marriott Columbus OSU is known for its streamlined room design, with bright, white spaces and bold pops of red. The suites are also extra roomy, but don’t just take our word for it: According to their research, they’re larger than 50% of comparable hotel rooms—even the studios!
And the perks don’t end there. Your booking at the Residence Inn comes with free bike rentals for touring the city and access to the indoor pool room with frosted windows for maximum natural light and extra privacy.
✓ Columbus’s top destination for an immersive local experience
The historic residential German Village area might be one of Columbus’s best-kept secrets. Though this area is often seen as having a slower, quieter pace there’s still plenty to do here.
The hipster millennial crowd will love local points of interest like The Book Loft of German Village and Brewery District, where you’ll find a nice cold point awaiting you every which way you turn.
Love a good urban park? German Village is packed with great green spaces. Be sure to check out one of its most beloved, like Schiller Park (Shakespeare in the park, anyone?) or Scioto Audubon Metro Park.
As a more laid-back residential zone, German Village’s accommodation scene is primarily built up of vacation rentals, with a few budget-friendly hotels sprinkled in. Many of the rentals are stunning historic homes; be sure to keep your eyes peeled for hidden gems if you go this route!
The Holiday Inn Express – Columbus Downtown, an IHG Hotel is located right off the highway, making getting around as easy as can be. (Road trip, anyone?) With great value and a tri-lingual staff, you can’t go wrong with this budget-friendly option. Each guest room even comes with a sofa bed, perfect for sharing rooms or giving families a little extra breathing room.
A classic hotel isn’t quite your style? The Historic Home in German Village sleeps six and is chalked full of character. With exposed brick carried throughout the entire home, a charming, ivy-clad backyard terrace, and an original fireplace, you’ll never want to leave this hipster home base.
Oh, and it has queen-size bunk beds suitable for multiple kiddos or your adult friends who wish they’d never had to grow up.
✓ The perfect place to stay in Columbus for nature lovers
Upper Arlington, sometimes referred to as Old Arlington, feels inspired by small towns everywhere; in this quaint area, you’ll hardly know you’re in the suburbs of a metropolis!
Despite being in the middle of a city, the Upper Arlington neighborhood is a top choice for travelers who’d like to spend a little bit of time in the great outdoors. Among the area’s top attractions are the Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens and Hayden Falls Park, perfect for an afternoon stroll.
Upper Arlington is a great home base for travelers who want a little extra space. It’s also a great choice for those who are planning a longer stay in the city and want to tackle a few of the most popular Columbus day trips. Whether you prefer spacious rental homes or apartment-style hotels, this neighborhood has you covered.
TownePlace Suites by Marriott Columbus North – OSU takes one thing very seriously: comfort. Guest rooms come with a mix of rainfall showers and baths, so be sure to state your preference when booking. The suites also have full-size kitchens for a full self-catering experience.
The Homewood Suites by Hilton OSU offers guests great value, with complimentary hot breakfast and parking. Extra amenities include a 24-hour grab-and-go snack station, a large indoor pool, and a fitness center.
Consistent with the Homewood Suites umbrella, each unit has separate areas for living/dining and working, making it the perfect choice for those with a longer stay or who want a little upgrade for that home-away-from-home feel. This hotel is also a popular choice with golfers as it’s close to some popular local golf courses.
Would you feel more comfortable in a private vacation rental than in a big hotel? You have to check out this beautiful townhouse. This newly renovated beauty promises you that “live like a local” feel, with two spacious bedrooms and lots of natural light.
Its best feature, however, is its incredible outdoor lounge area. This backyard paradise has twinkling lights, a 10-person island table for alfresco dining, and a curving couch large enough for all your friends and family. It’s also pet-friendly, with a fenced-in yard so your furry friends can get all the exercise they need.