When most people think of Baltimore, they think of the Inner Harbor, which makes sense when you consider that it’s home to big Baltimore attractions like the National Aquarium, Top of the World Observation Level, and Power Plant Live!.
However, it’s when people fail to explore beyond the Inner Harbor neighborhood that they don’t fully experience Baltimore to its fullest.
This guide to Baltimore’s best neighborhoods will highlight the best things to see and do and what makes each neighborhood special. While we couldn’t list every neighborhood in Baltimore, especially other favorites like Pigtown/Washington Village and Charles Village, we hope this guide inspires you to go beyond Baltimore’s Inner Harbor and see all that the Charm City has to offer.
Mount Vernon is everything you might want in a neighborhood. It’s super hip, picturesque with historic and architecturally-inspiring buildings, and inclusive of different communities, especially the LGBT community.
You’ll want to book a stay at the trendy Hotel Revival Baltimore, home to a great rooftop bar with sweeping views of the city, and a perfect location right near the Washington Monument, the Peabody Library, which has an Insta-worthy library, and the Walters Art Museum.
As far as food goes, grab a coffee at Ceremony Coffee, eat your fill of brunch at Dooby’s which has a Korean-inspired menu, and lunch at the Mount Vernon Marketplace. For dinner, stroll along N. Charles Street and choose from an array of delicious restaurants serving international cuisine. Then end the night with a drink at The Owl bar, a Prohibition speak-easy in the historic Belvedere Hotel.
Make sure your phone is charged because you’re going to want to take a ton of pictures in Fells Point.
As one of the oldest neighborhoods in Baltimore, Fells Point is a colorful array of rowhouses on cobblestone streets, many of which have been turned into fashion boutique stores, art galleries, bookstores, pubs and taverns, and record stores. Fells Point even has its own food hall, Broadway Market!
Walk through Fells Point and you’ll find great gems like the oldest house in Baltimore, the Robert Long House, the Frederick Douglass-Isaac Myers Maritime Park Museum, and the Horse You Came In On Saloon, which is Baltimore’s oldest bar and the last place anyone saw Edgar Allan Poe alive. If you’re interested in the neighborhood’s history, some of which is pretty spooky, take a tour with Baltimore Ghost Tours or Baltimore Wicked History Tours.
Spend the whole trip in Fells Point by booking a stay at the Sagamore Pendry Baltimore, an upscale hotel that was once the Recreation Pier. It offers beautiful views, classy interiors, a lavish garden, and a pool on the harbor.
If you love places with quirky personalities and shopping at local spots, Hampden is the neighborhood for you! The Baltimore Hons, known for their beehive hairdos and cat eye-glasses of the 60s, were prominent in Hampden and a little bit of that character is kept alive at Cafe Hon and a Hampden event in June called Honfest.
Hampden primarily focuses on W 36th street known as “The Avenue.” The street is lined with locally-owned shops in colorful historic buildings. Be sure to stop in Ma Petite Shoes + Chocolate, which sells both chocolate and shoes (what could be better?), Atomic Books, where John Waters sends his fan mail, Trohv for home goods, and Changed My Mind Vintage for vintage clothes. Tattoo shops, holistic wellness stores, bookstores, salons, and yoga centers can all be found on the street.
Make sure you have a drink in the literary-themed cocktail bar, The Bluebird Cocktail Room, and dinner at the Food Market. And if you’re visiting during Christmas, the Christmas lights on Hampden’s 34th street are over-the-top and out-of-this-world.
Within walking distance from the Inner Harbor, Federal Hill is a great neighborhood with gorgeous brick buildings and rowhomes. Make sure to stop at Cross Street Market, opened in 1846, as it recently underwent a major renovation and is stocked full of amazing food and beverage options.
Travelers will find tons of restaurants, boutiques, galleries, and shops along Light Street and Charles Street, like Diablos Doughnuts and The Book Escape. As the name implies, there is a hill in Federal Hill, and today it’s a park with replicas of canons that defended Baltimore from the British in the War of 1812. Here you’ll find great views of the Inner Harbor and a nice spot to relax.
By far the best thing you can do in Federal Hill is visit the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM). The museum highlights nontraditional artists and is home to fantastical exhibits that make you think and consider the world around you. With large sculptures outdoors and colorful, interactive, and jaw-dropping exhibits inside, you could spend half a day exploring the AVAM.
Baltimore’s Station North neighborhood is everything you could want in the first arts and entertainment district in Baltimmore. It’s edgy and full of breathtaking graffiti and murals, including the famous Graffiti Alley.
While in Station North, take a self-guided mural tour, stop in former warehouses-turned-art galleries to see work by local artists, catch indie films at the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Parkway Theatre, or check out a quirky museum, the Baltimore Streetcar Museum. In addition to art, Station North has a strong music scene which is best experienced at The Motor House, Windup Space, and the Parkway Theater.
For an upscale Baltimore experience, book a stay in Harbor East at the Four Season Hotel Baltimore. This will put you in the center of all that the neighborhood has to offer like dinner at the upscale Cinghiale Italian restaurant, Civil War Museum, and the Landmark Theaters Harbor East, which shows new and independent films.
Harbor East has a wealth of restaurants and bars for foodie travelers, and with a bridge that connects it to the Inner Harbor, it’s easy to walk to and from big attractions like the National Aquarium.
There is so much to love about the Remington neighborhood. Here you’ll find Baltimore’s newest food hall, R. House, built in an old auto garage shop. It’s an incubator for chefs to try new concepts among the 10 food stalls and cocktail bar.
If you prefer something off-beat, check out The PaperMoon Diner which is set in an outrageously colorful house surrounded by outdoor sculptures. Inside, it’s full of funky knick-knacks and serves great diner food. For a more upscale dining experience, Cosima is a chic Sicilian restaurant with a great outdoor patio.
While not technically located in Remington, you can’t miss a chance to visit the Baltimore Art Museum (BAM) which is right next to the neighborhood and home to free modern and contemporary art exhibits and a sculpture garden. Before or after your visit to BAM, enjoy some outdoor nature within the city limits at the nearby parks of Stony Run and Wyman Park Dell.
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