With its distinctive swagger, Nashville has become one of the trendiest destinations in the United States. And with that growing popularity, deciding where to stay in Nashville has become ever more difficult.
The largest city in Tennessee, Nashville is packed with interesting areas & neighborhoods. From the rowdy music bars of SoBro to the decadent restaurants of Downtown and The Gulch, this city has it all.
Choosing the best area to stay in Nashville depends on what you plan to see & do. There’s no shortage of top-end accommodations located across the city’s central districts. With the vast selection, though, narrowing down the best hotels in Nashville can get confusing.
Looking for the perfect Nashville hotel? Start your Nashville accommodations search without a fuss with this complete guide to the best places to stay in Nashville.
Best places to stay in Nashville
For tourists, choosing where to stay in Nashville hinges on what you plan to do and our travel budget. Downtown Nashville, SoBro, and the Gulch are the city’s centermost areas. All these central neighborhoods are close to all the action. Unsurprisingly, they’re also the most expensive districts to stay for travelers.
Midtown and East Nashville, on the other hand, are mixed residential & commercial areas. In each, you’ll enjoy a more local feel for your Nashville visit and cheaper accommodation prices.
Fondly referred to as the Honky Tonk Highway, Broadway Avenue in Downtown Nashville is the heart of the city’s entertainment scene. The neighborhood south of Broadway (SoBro) is home to many of the top points of interest in Nashville. In the area, you’ll spot highlights like the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and Johnny Cash Museum.
Just west of SoBro, The Gulch is compact and commercial. The area is packed with high-rise hotels, fancy restaurants, and busy bars. Midtown and West End offer quieter living with some local pubs and restaurants and the famed Music Row.
Across the Cumberland River, East Nashville offers lodgings at more reasonable prices than in the city center. It’s a great option to get away from the noise & traffic of downtown and enjoy a quieter stay.
The best areas to stay in Nashville are:
✔ Best area to stay in Nashville for first-time visitors
Known as the hub of Nashville’s music scene, Downtown Nashville is the place to be if you’re keen to see all the best venues without stepping into a vehicle.
Also called Lower Broad, Lower Broadway is the big attraction in Downtown Nashville. Lit by neon lights, Lower Broad invites visitors to party to vibrant tunes delivered at its live music venues every day of the week.
Fans of country music will be in heaven in Downtown Nashville. Besides the country music attractions of SoBro, Downtown is home to the Ryman Auditorium. The legendary venue was the former home of the world-famous Grand Ole Opry. Although the show has moved to Music Valley, visiting the auditorium is a must for music lovers.
Downtown shops—selling boots, music, and western clothing—jostle for space with more than 150 bars and restaurants.
The historic Printer’s Alley invites visitors with its sparkling lights and the most welcoming bars in Downtown. Descended from the saloons and speakeasies of yesteryear, the area remains the heart of Nashville’s nightlife.
Be sure to add the farmer’s market to your Nashville itinerary. Located north of the State Capitol, the market boasts more than 150 stalls selling local fresh foods. It also hosts classes, workshops, and tastings of local and international cuisine.
On the east side of Downtown, the Cumberland River adds a touch of beauty and tranquility to the area. Hang out on its banks to unwind from the urban buzz.
Recommended hotels in Downtown Nashville
Right in the center of Nashville, the Fairlane Hotel is minutes away from iconic Broadway Avenue. The beautifully appointed rooms offer great views of the city through floor-to-ceiling windows. Enjoy genuine southern cuisine from the indoor or outdoor dining areas of the on-site restaurant and pub.
If you prefer a more traditional option, the Dream Nashville may be for you. Housed in two striking historic buildings, each Art Deco room offers visitors all the comforts of home. Suites come complete with air hockey and table tennis. The hotel has six separate dining & entertainment options, including fine dining.
Once a bank building, the Hotel Indigo charms with its enormous rooms. From its perfect downtown location, you’ll enjoy magnificent views through the floor-to-ceiling windows. A ten-minute walk from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the hotel offers local cuisine throughout the day.
Located six minutes from the Ryman Auditorium, this 4-star hotel is the perfect urban escape. The ample rooms are affixed with colorful modern furnishings and extras like flat-screen TVs. On-site facilities include a fitness center and an in-house restaurant.
Of all our hotel recommendations, none is more elegant than The Hermitage. This luxurious hotel shuns guests with its regal European undertones. You’ll love basking in the lavish wellness facilities, including a spa and fitness center.
SoBro (South of Broadway)
✔ Best neighborhood to stay in Nashville for nightlife
South of Broadway, better known as SoBro, is one of the hippest districts in Nashville. SoBro is a magnet for country music fans. The neighborhood is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Walk of Fame Park, and the Johnny Cash Museum. Even if you’re not a huge country music fan, you’ll love checking them out.
In summer, head to the Cumberland River. Riverfront Park often hosts outdoor concerts. Bigger shows and professional ice hockey games take place at the famous Bridgestone arena on Lower Broad to the north. Like Downtown, the SoBro area is walkable, just a little more offbeat.
Restaurants, pubs, cocktail lounges, cafes, and nightclubs line the streets of the neighborhood. In South of Broadway, you’ll find something different to do every night of the week.
SoBro’s accommodation scene has recently seen some massive hotel construction. These days, you’re spoiled for choice. National chains now share the space with cool local boutique hotels. Many of the top lodgings in SoBro number among the most popular hotels in Nashville.
Recommended hotels in SoBro
The Holiday Inn and Suites Downtown offers sleek modern accommodation at great value for SoBro. Boasting all the mod-cons, the hotel features a fully-equipped gym and outdoor pool. The inn sits in a great central location. It’s less than a mile from the Johnny Cash Museum and a ten-minute walk to the Ryman Auditorium.
Just 800 meters from Bridgestone Arena, Drury Plaza Hotel offers double and family rooms. Modern and airy, each room has floor-to-ceiling windows with splendid views of the city. The hotel boasts a terrace, hot tub, and indoor & outdoor swimming pools. A buffet breakfast is provided.
For a pampered visit, snag a room at the luxurious Westin Nashville. Located between the heart of SoBro and The Gulch, this 4-star hotel occupies one of the city’s finest locations. You’ll love the hotel’s wellness facilities, including its full-service Rhapsody Spa.
With three on-site restaurants, you can enjoy 24-hour room service at the JW Marriott Nashville. The hotel is within walking distance of Lower Broadway, the Music City Center, and the Bridgestone Arena. You can also enjoy a splash in the outdoor pool or book a pampering at the on-site spa.
Country fans with an eye for luxury should set their sights on Hilton Nashville Downtown. Located next to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, this 4-star hotel is one of the best luxury hotels in Nashville. Aside from its spacious suites, amenities include several on-site dining options and a fitness center.
✔ Best place to stay in Nashville for shopping & luxury hotels
Once home to the city’s railway, The Gulch is now one of Nashville’s most sophisticated and trendy areas. Glossy high-rises and sleek apartment blocks share the space with fine-dining restaurants and cozy bars. The Gulch is a few minutes’ drive from SoBro and Downtown Nashville.
While in The Gulch, don’t miss the chance to listen to some of the best bluegrass music in the land at The Station Inn. The old cinderblock building, squatting among the modern high-rises, is one of the city’s most legendary music venues. For art lovers, the Frist Center for Visual Arts is also worth jamming into your Nashville trip.
The Gulch boasts some of the most indulgent spas & salons in the Nashville area. It’s also home to some of the finest restaurants in Nashville. Rooftop bars offer delicious cocktails alongside lofty views of the city.
On its streets, you’ll find top-end designer boutiques and corner shops selling modestly-priced fashions. You’ll also uncover quirkier goods like vintage guitars.
Most hotels in The Gulch are near the top end of the Nashville price scale. The best of the bunch offer all the amenities & facilities you could hope for in a top-end hotel.
Recommended hotels in The Gulch
Located in the heart of the Nashville City Center, the Fairfield Inn and Suites offers comfortable doubles and family suites. Duck into its elegant rooftop terrace to indulge in its tapas or full dinner menus. The modern hotel also features an on-site fitness center.
The standout feature of the Thompson is its stunning rooftop bar, L.A. Jackson. Even if you decide not to stay here, head up to marvel at splendid views of the city. The hotel also boasts two on-site restaurants. They’re famous for serving seafood specialties crafted by the hotel’s award-winning chef. The elegant accommodation options include a walk-in rainfall shower and a minibar.
Opening in August 2021, the W will become the newest & most modern Nashville hotel. The 5-star will delight guests with its luxurious 9,700-foot pool and fitness center. The rooftop patio & bar will offer stunning views of the surrounding neighborhood. More breathtaking vistas also await through the rooms’ floor-to-ceiling windows. In its remarkable design, the hotel will showcase local musical & artistic talent.
Midtown & West End
✔ Recommended area for food lovers
Centrally located and minutes from downtown, Midtown & West End makes a good base for your stay in Nashville. Whether you’re a foodie or a music lover, Midtown ticks all the right boxes.
The Midtown area boasts several dozen restaurants & bars. The district, however, sadly lacks in retail. This popular neighborhood is not as touristy as downtown and is largely residential. It’s one of the best areas in the central city to get a more local experience.
Midtown & West End centers around both Vanderbilt University and Belmont University. Thanks to its large student population, the neighborhood emanates a youthful vibe.
History & architecture buffs should set aside time to explore the Belmont Mansion. Built in 1853, the Italian villa-style home is Nashville’s most stately antebellum building.
Visit the Belmont Mansion museum to see its meticulously restored rooms and period furniture. The Belmont Mansion sits on the northern edge of the Belmont University campus.
In the West End, you’ll find Nashville’s biggest urban park, Centennial Park. The 132-acre Centennial Park boasts manicured lawns and a charming lake. The park’s most famed possession is the Parthenon, a full-scale copy of its Greek cousin.
For country and western fans, Music Row boasts famous recording studios, record label offices, and radio stations. The music studios of Music Row once laid down tracks for American greats like Willie Nelson and Elvis Presley. At Belmont University, it’s also worth visiting the small but unusual museum of rare guitars.
The area also has plenty of superb restaurants and cozy bars. Favorite restaurants & bars in Midtown include Hattie B’s Hot Chicken and the Tavern gastropub.
Recommended hotels in Midtown & West End
A short walk from the Vanderbilt University, the Hayes Street Hotel offers pet-friendly modern comforts. All rooms contain refrigerators and coffee makers. A complimentary breakfast is included. You’ll also find a well-equipped on-site gym.
Homewood Suites Nashville Vanderbilt is located between Centennial Park and the university. There’s an outdoor pool with a sun terrace and an on-site restaurant that serves breakfast and dinner. The hotel also runs a convenient shuttle service. It’ll take you to any destination within 2.5 miles, including Downtown Nashville and Music Row.
Located just 400 meters from the university, Hyatt House Nashville at Vanderbilt has an outdoor pool and an on-site fitness center. The hotel boasts spacious suites with a full kitchen. It’s an ideal place for a family holiday. Enjoy a craft cocktail at the hotel’s fully stocked bar and restaurant.
For luxury in Midtown & West End, look no further than this fantastic 4-star hotel. The lodgings are both spacious & comfortable with complimentary extras like free WiFi. You’ll relish in gourmet local cuisine at the on-site restaurant & bar, Mason’s.
✔ Recommended district in Nashville for hipsters & football fans
East of the Cumberland River, East Nashville is a mixed-use district. In the neighborhood, older working-class homes sit alongside new developments and industrial zones.
Although not as exciting as Downtown Nashville, East Nashville has grown popular with younger crowds. It’s fast becoming known as the hippest place in the city.
Wandering around, you’ll uncover coffee shops, trendy restaurants, vintage shops, and art galleries. As the area’s developed, its staple establishments have been joined by new craft breweries and live music halls.
Local artists have made East Nashville popular for innovation and creativity. Artists and art lovers meet regularly to trade ideas and goods. You’ll find all manner of arts and crafts in the area.
The Tennessee Titans call East Nashville’s Nissan Stadium home. If you’re visiting in football season, take the time to watch a game in this sports-crazed city.
Outdoor fun more to your liking? Shelby Bottoms Park, on the banks of the Cumberland River, is worth a visit. The park offers visitors five miles of tranquil inland trails. The trails meander through the cool green vegetation of an airpark that’s fallen into disuse.
Recommended hotels in East Nashville
Ten minutes walk from the Nissan stadium, the Clarion Hotel Stadium is comfortable and modern. It features an indoor pool and a fully-equipped fitness center. A hot buffet breakfast is served free of charge. The hourly shuttle service to Nashville Music City Center is also free to use.
Once a church, this modern hotel boasts stained glass windows and well-appointed rooms. This is also a business with a heart, donating a fair part of the profit to homeless shelters. The hotel is close to parks and within walking distance of the Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline Museums.
Light & modern with cool, quirky rooms, the FieldHouse Jones Hotel has a terrace and on-site restaurant. The shared areas like the lounge and lobby are packed with curiosities, including a Fiat 500 parked inside the hotel. You’ll also uncover various antique cabinets chock full of novelties.
Other areas to stay in Nashville
- Music Valley: If you’re fitting in an evening at the Grand Ole Opry, spend the night in Music Valley. About 15 minutes from the urban core, Music Valley is a great choice for families. It’s also a good option for anyone looking to swap centrality for cheaper accommodation options.