Baltimore is one of the cities that doesn’t get the kind of love that it deserves. For any fans of ‘The Wire’, Baltimore is a must-visit. It’s a vibrant city on the East Coast that is having a major revival. This city has everything to offer from the Edgar Allan Poe House to harbor tours. I’m going to tell you everything that you need to know about this beautiful city and why it should be on the top of your travel bucket list.
- About Baltimore
- When Is The Best Time To Visit Baltimore?
- How To Get To Baltimore
- Where To Stay
- Where To Eat
- The Must-Visit Places
- When Are You Going to Visit Baltimore?
Baltimore is the largest independent city in the United States. It is known as the “city of neighbourhoods” with each area boosting a rich history. If you’re a history fan, almost one-third of the city’s buildings are listed as a historic building by the National Register. As one of America’s oldest cities, it’s full of places to explore.
The city is built around its beautiful harbour which sits at its heart. Baltimore is known as the ‘Charm City’, and you’ll fall in love with it the moment you step foot in the city.
When Is The Best Time To Visit Baltimore?
The weather in Baltimore is fairly temperamental and seasonal. The best time of year to visit Baltimore is between May and the middle of September. You’ll be able to enjoy the warmer weather, as well as the summer events. If you don’t mind peak tourist crowds, visit during July and August. During the summer months, you can expect the temperatures to be in the region of the late 80s and low 90s.
If you want to save a little money and enjoy an off-peak rate, try September or October. As well as being an off-peak time, you can also experience the Baltimore Running Festival and Beer Week if you visit during October. You’ll always get a better deal for peak times when you book further out, while the opposite is true for the off season.
How To Get To Baltimore
Baltimore is an easy city to get to from anywhere in the world. You can fly into the Baltimore-Washington International Airport.
If you’re travelling by train, then you have several options. The main travel hub is Pennsylvania station, which is on the Amtrak system, as well as MARC. On the Amtrak route, you can get to Baltimore from Chicago, New York, Washington, and Georgia. You can get to Baltimore from virtually any city on the East Coast by train.
For those planning a road trip, you can grab a bus from anywhere on the East Coast. Look out for buses with the operator Greyhound, as well as intercity options with Bolt Bus. If you’re travelling from New York, you can use Apex, Megabus and MVP Bus.
Where To Stay
If you want to get around Baltimore by foot – or water taxi – then look out for special offers for hotels around the harbour.
For anyone who wants to take a luxury trip to Baltimore, the Four Seasons is the perfect spot. The hotel sits on the waterfront of the harbour and is a modern building. Even if you’re not staying here, it’s worth taking a trip to the spa. The spa offers everything from full body wraps to facial treatments. If you want to unwind from the city lifestyle, lock yourself away in the spa for a few hours of treatments.
As a hotel guest, you have access to the rooftop pool with its stunning views. If you’re taking a special trip, go all out for a harbour-view balcony room.
Another landmark hotel on the harbour is the Marriott hotel. You’ll be within walking distance of the restaurants and shops around the harbour. When you stay at the Marriott, you can see the best of Baltimore’s sites on foot or with a quick uber. As a special touch, this hotel is one of Marriott’s green hotels.
Sagamore is the kind of hotel that you can only find in a city with a rich history like Baltimore. The hotel is located on the Recreation Pier right on the harbour. This hotel seamlessly brings together the tradition of Baltimore with the glamour of modern-day sensibility.
You can experience the bygone era of glitz and glamour in this historic building. This four-star hotel is the home of modern luxury in Baltimore. The hotel is pet-friendly if you want to bring along your four-legged friend. In terms of amenities, Sagamore offers an outdoor pool and an onsite restaurant. They sell themselves as ‘polished comfort’ with a ‘modern edge’.
If you want to make Baltimore your home away from home, why not try an Airbnb? As well as getting the chance to rent out an entire apartment, it’s typically the most affordable accommodation option. You’ll find a mixture of historic buildings along with modern downtown studio apartments.
For anyone taking a trip with friends or small children, an Airbnb is usually your best choice. You can enjoy the sites of Baltimore with the privacy of an apartment or house. The most affordable options on Airbnb will be private room rentals, which works best for solo travellers and couples.
The most important decision you’ll have to make with an Airbnb is deciding which neighbourhood you want to stay in. Consider your transportation links and factor this into your budgeting. Although an apartment near the harbour will be more expensive, you’ll likely save on transportation by being able to get around on foot.
Where To Eat
In Baltimore, you can find every type of cuisine in the city.
There is no better place to visit if you’re a foodie who loves seafood. You’ll find lots of seafood restaurants that serve the freshest food that you’ll find on the East Coast. Faidley’s Seafood should be your first stop for dinner. Their seafood raw bar is an experience in itself. They offer both indoor and outdoor seating. If you take a fancy to any of the offerings, you can pick them up from the fish market and take them home with you.
Don’t miss out on visiting Little Havana in the east of the harbour region if you want to experience Cuban food. It’s a landmark in the city, serving authentic Cuban cocktails and offers brunch at the weekends.
If you want to grab a drink, visit the Ministry of Brewing. Their bar operates in an old church which gives it a historic feel. You can enjoy some beer, food and a unique atmosphere. They even offer their own branded beer that you can order for carryout to take back to your hotel.
For Italian food, visit Tagliata with its home-made charcuterie, seafood, and hand-rolled pasta. This restaurant has the largest wine selection in Baltimore and is a must-visit for any wine connoisseur.
If you’re palette is more Asian cuisine, and you enjoy live music, check out The Crown. This is an intimate restaurant that is tucked away in Charles Street and offers karaoke. You can try out some new Japanese cuisine while taking advantage of their full bar.
The Must-Visit Places
You can easily get around Baltimore with a taxis or Uber, which come in fairly inexpensive compared to cities like New York. Depending on where you’re heading, you can jump on a water taxi. If you’re planning a road trip by car, you’ll find it easy to grab a parking space. Depending on how much you plan to travel, it might be worthwhile to look into renting a car. You can pick one up from several centres around the city, as well as the airport with companies like Enterprise and Budget.
One of the top tourist sites is the Baltimore Museum of Art. The museum was open in 1914 and houses a collection of 19th century, modern and contemporary art. If you’re making a return visit to Baltimore, check out the current exhibitions on offer. This museum offers something for every art fan, with a screening room that showcases the art of Baltimore-based artists.
If you want a museum with a mixture of both Renaissance art and Egyptian artifacts, then visit the Walters Art Museum. This museum has a collection of 36,000 artifacts from around the world. You can explore all three buildings of the museum for a tour around the world.
TV and Literary Sites
If you’ve ever seen The Wire, then you have probably wanted to tour the real-life sets. There are several guided tours that you can take, which show you where some of the main scenes were filmed. When you book your Baltimore trip, I recommend binge-watching the show beforehand.
Literary fans won’t want to miss the chance to visit the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum. You can visit 203 Amity Street, the home of Poe and his family in the 1830s. This house is now a National Historic Landmark and has been turned into a museum. It’s believed that this is where Poe penned some of his most iconic poems. The house is open from Thursday till Sunday from 11am to 4pm. You can purchase your tickets in person, and kids under 12 can go for free. The museum is easy to reach by either bus or metro line.
Sports and Theatres
Baltimore has several stadiums, for both Major League Baseball and the NFL. If you’re in town during a game, why not try to grab some last-minute tickets? The Ravens are Baltimore’s home team for the NFL, while Orioles are their Major League Baseball team. Oriole Park at Camden Yards is in the Inner Harbour region of the city and is easy to get by public transport.
The city is built around its harbour, so why not jump on a water taxi? It’ll give you some of the most picturesque views of the city. If you want the perfect Instagram photo, take a water taxi and get a photo with the city skyline in the background.
If you’re in the mood to catch a musical, visit the Hippodrome Theatre. You’ll often find Broadway shows stopping there on tour. Grab yourself a pair of tickets and make a night out of it.
None of my travel guides are complete without a shopping section. After all, it’s only right that you pick up a few souvenirs from a new city.
Baltimore is full of amazing vintage and antique stores. Whether you’re into 1950s fashion or want to channel your inner 1960s Elizabeth Taylor, you’re certain to find a store with something to offer you. If you’re shopping for antiques, look around in the historic areas of Baltimore. Mount Vernon is your best place to find early 20th century antiques. For serious antique hunters, there is the Antique Row Stalls which offers a 10,000 sq foot multi-dealer antique and art gallery.
Hampden is a neighbourhood area of Baltimore that is full of little independent stores. You never know what you’ll find and there’s plenty of hidden gems. Vintage stores are a common feature here, along with independent bookstores and little eateries.
Harbour East is one of the main shopping areas in the city. It has the flagship store for Under Armour, one of the world’s most popular athleisure brands. If fitness isn’t your thing, then never fear! This shopping district includes a blend of classic American brands like Brooks Brothers and Anthropologie. Harbour East is a popular area for independent restaurants, so it’s the perfect spot to spend an afternoon. You can visit everywhere from Whole Foods to a sushi bar.
When Are You Going to Visit Baltimore?
For anyone planning a multi-city trip, Baltimore is the perfect place to visit alongside Washington and Philadelphia. Baltimore is a family-friend city with something to offer everyone. I would recommend spending at least a long weekend in the city. It’s the perfect spot for a spa-weekend with your girlfriends or for a romantic getaway. The harbor is an amazing backdrop for any date night and it’s worth splurging on a hotel in the harbor area so that you can enjoy the stunning skyline.
I hope this ultimate guide for Baltimore helps you put together an amazing itinerary to explore the city.