Maryland, United States
Though it puts on a tough act for gimmicky tours inspired by crime-drama TV series The Wire, Baltimore is upbeat and laid-back: families are drawn to the revitalized Inner Harbor by the National Aquarium and Baltimore Orioles games. Arty types find inspiration in Fells Point galleries, and hungry hordes join Johns Hopkins University students for Indian eats and beer by the gallon in Charles Village.
Getting Around Baltimore
The best way to get around Baltimore is by car. The city's grid layout lends itself to easy navigation. Avoid downtown on days when the Ravens or Orioles are playing. Traffic can be brutal and parking impossible. On days when the Ravens or Orioles are playing at home, the light rail system is a better option. It runs from BWI to downtown Baltimore and Camden Yards, where Oriole Park and M&T Bank Stadium are located. The system ends at Hunt Valley in Baltimore County. Before boarding, purchase a ticket from vending machines at each station. Tickets are not available onboard. The one-way fare is $1.60 or $3.50 for a day pass. Trains generally run Monday to Saturday: 5 a.m.-12 a.m.; Sunday and Holidays: 11 a.m.-7 p.m. ( Free public transportation is available in downtown Baltimore on the Charm City Circulator. Service is every 10 minutes. Winter operating hours (November 1-March 31): Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Friday 6:30 a.m.-midnight; Saturday 9 a.m.-midnight; Sunday 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Harbor Connector hours: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Summer operating hours (April 1-October 31): Monday-Thursday 6:30 a.m.-9 p.m.; Friday 6:30 a.m.-midnight; Saturday 9 a.m.-midnight; Sunday 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Harbor Connector: Monday-Friday 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Street parking in Baltimore is regulated by meters and EZ Park systems. Rates vary by location. Use to pre-purchase parking and get special deals in advance.
Nearby Airports
  • Baltimore/Washington International Airport-BWI
  • Washington Dulles International Airport-IAD
  • Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport-DCA
Airport Taxis
  • $35 (BWI to Downtown)
  • $90 (DCA to Downtown)
  • $140 (IAD to Downtown)
Things to Do and See in Baltimore
Inner HarborFells PointFederal HillHampden-Woodberry-RemingtonCharles VillageCanton
The Inner Harbor is a model of successful revitalization in Baltimore, to the point where it's almost too touristy. Key attractions include the National Aquarium and Camden Yard, home field of the Baltimore Orioles. Baltimore thinks big with shopping at the enormous Harborplace Mall and entertainment at Powerplant Live, a complex with bars, clubs and restaurants. At night the area is aglow with hotels and chain restaurants such as Cheesecake Factory and Ruth's Chris Steak House. But local restaurants like Miss Shirleys afford home-style relief, and there's no denying the appeal of waterfront strolls along the harbor.
Few neighborhoods capture the spirit of "Charm City" like Fells Point. Once a bustling port, the waterfront area is now home to a plethora of bars, restaurants, art galleries, indie stores and novelty shops. Bertha's is known for its seafood, particularly the mussels. At Obryckis, you sit down to a table filled with crabs and a mallet to make a delicious mess. Plan your visit to hit annual local highlights: Halloween, Christmas and Fells Point Festival (in early October).
Named for the lush green hill that can be seen from the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill is the official home of the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Stadium. But there's life even after football season in Federal Hill, thanks to the American Visionary Art Museum and the American Science Center. Cross Street Market offers gourmet food shopping and a farm-fresh food court with just-caught-crab-cakes. Stalking Horse Vodka Bar features spiked slushies and three floors of music and an outdoor patio. Chill out at the Zeeba Lounge with Mediterranean tapas, honey tobacco hookahs and belly dancers.
Hampden-Woodberry-Remingtonmore on Hampden-Woodberry-Remington »
Once home to industrial cotton production workers, this trendy district is now packed with shops, art galleries and boutiques. CafŽ Hon is a local kitsch landmark worthy of Baltimore's own John Waters, with a giant flamingo adorning the facade and a trademark issue over the word "hon". Stop by for coffee with a side of sass. If you're in town during Christmas, stroll by 34th Street, where residents go nuts with Christmas lights and decorations.
Charles Village is primarily a middle-class residential neighborhood, but it attracts a lot of visitors as the home of Johns Hopkins University. The student population brings cultural diversity to the neighborhood, as well as a frat-house bar scene. Ambassador Dining Room's Indian all-you-can-drink brunch is a feast fit for visiting dignitaries, though you're liable to pass out soon after you leave.
Escape the Inner Harbor's tourists and hang out with locals at Canton. Check out Mama's On The Half Shell for quality seafood in a warm and welcoming atmosphere, plus great park views. For dessert, take the cannoli at Vaccaro's Italian Pastry or Greek frozen yogurt at Cup Love. Weekend Canton pub crawl highlights include pool upstairs at Looney's and crabby tots and beer surrounded by crucifixes at Ale Mary's.