Things to do in Baltimore

Things to do in  Baltimore

Blue crabs and blue spaces

Like the blue crabs for which the city is famed, you have to crack Baltimore’s tough exterior to reveal its gems. But it’s not known as “Charm City” for nothing. Baltimore will win you over with its multicultural vibe, colorful murals, music, seafood, and (most of all) good-humored and resilient residents. Some of the best things to do in Baltimore include cruising around the Inner Harbor, strolling through the cobblestoned streets of Fells Point, walking up Federal Hill for the views, and visiting Fort McHenry National Monument where “The Star-Spangled Banner” was born.

Top 15 attractions in Baltimore

Baltimore Inner Harbor

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Baltimore’s revitalized Inner Harbor features a scenic waterfront promenade and pedestrian district replete with shopping, dining, and entertainment options. Heralded by urban developers as a model for post-industrial waterfront land use, the area sits along the Patapsco River at the mouth of Jones Falls.More

Maryland Science Center

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One of the oldest scientific institutions in the United States, the Maryland Science Center (MSC) in Baltimore has been attracting visitors of all ages since it opened in 1976. Across its three floors, you’ll find exhibits, a planetarium, and an observatory. Hands-on activities and demonstrations are designed to be engaging and fun, to get folks excited about science.More

Baltimore National Aquarium

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Baltimore’s National Aquarium is the star of the Inner Harbor and home to close to 20,000 creatures and more than 700 species. See slithering reptiles, a giant octopus, and all kinds of fish, from rays to sharks, in habitats including reef, rainforest, ocean, marsh, and beach. The aquarium also promotes conservation initiatives.More

Fell’s Point

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Cobbled streets and a waterfront setting make Fell’s Point a must-see location in Baltimore. This charming neighborhood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and maintains much of its maritime past. Dine on local crabs at the area’s seafood eateries, and don’t miss the nightlife—Fell’s Point is known for its bar scene.More

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

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Critical events changed the course of history at Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where soldiers successfully saved the city from British attack in 1812. Inspired by the sight of the American flag waving over the fort after the attack, Francis Scott Key was moved to write the United States’ national anthem.More

Canton

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An historic Baltimore neighborhood situated on the Chesapeake Bay, Canton is an ideal stop for travelers that want a dose of outdoor recreation and easy access to the waterfront. The hub of the neighborhood is Canton Square, a patch of green surrounded by sophisticated restaurants, galleries, and shops.More

Baltimore Federal Hill

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Its prime location makes Baltimore’s Federal Hill a popular spot for visitors. Located just south of Inner Harbor, the neighborhood offers a large selection of city attractions within walking distance. Stroll to the National Aquarium, Harborplace, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the Maryland Science Center, along with many other destinations. Plus, catch harbor views from its namesake hill.More
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Patterson Park

Patterson Park

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When Baltimoreans need a breath of fresh air, they make a beeline to Patterson Park. Covering more than 133 acres (54 hectares) of green space in southeast Baltimore, the park offers plenty of recreational activities for locals and visitors, and its centerpiece, the Patterson Park Observatory (formerly “Pagoda”) is a favorite of photographers.More

B&O Railroad Museum

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Baltimore’s B&O Railroad Museum is one of the biggest museums devoted to locomotives in the US. The collection of historic trains and rolling stock, buildings, tracks, and artifacts tells the story of Baltimore & Ohio Railroad’s impact on the industry. An on-site restoration facility repairs equipment.More

Baltimore Little Italy

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Home to multiple generations of Italian-American families, Baltimore’s Little Italy neighborhood draws visitors to its colorful festivals and community events. Most, however, come here to eat, and eat well. The neighborhood is filled with much-loved, longtime restaurants serving up dishes “just like mamma made.”More

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

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Travel back to the early 1800s at Baltimore’s Star-Spangled Banner Flag House. This was the home and workspace of Mary Pickersgill in 1813, when she sewed the flag that flew over Fort McHenry and inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words that would later become the national anthem.More

Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

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A visit to the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum is a journey into the mind of the famous American writer. Built in Baltimore in 1930, the unassuming 5-room row house is a shrine to Poe, who lived here for two years. The museum showcases Poe’s daily life and writings he penned in the home, while his grave is at nearby Westminster Hall.More

Hard Rock Café Baltimore

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For a rocking dining experience in Charm City, head for the Hard Rock Cafe, one of Baltimore’s most popular, entertaining places to dine on the water. Set in the bustling Inner Harbor, the restaurant is housed in the historic Power Plant, which was built in 1900 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.More

Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum

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Baseball fans shouldn’t miss a visit to the birthplace of George Herman “Babe” Ruth in Baltimore. The well-preserved, humble row house includes the upstairs bedroom where the baseball player was born, plus displays of family memorabilia, sports paraphernalia, and Ruthian records. The museum also highlights the history of the Baltimore Orioles, Ravens, and Colts, and other regional sports teams.More
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Medieval Times Baltimore

Medieval Times Baltimore

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Knights, horses, swords, and falcons: these are just some of the thrilling features of the action-packed and family-friendly Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament in Baltimore. Journey back to the 11th century to cheer for jousting knights as you take in the show as a guest of the King in his lavish castle.More

All about Baltimore

When to visit

Baltimore springs into life in summer when the entertainment calendar fills up with festivals and special events. It’s the ideal season for enjoying blue crabs and a cool can of Natty Boh beer on a patio—but it can get uncomfortably hot and humid. Visiting in spring is a great alternative: You’ll enjoy the spectacle of the city’s cherry trees bursting into pinks and whites, as well as the kickoff of baseball season at the legendary Camden Yards.

Getting around

Much that would be of interest to Baltimore visitors can be easily accessed on foot, although it is advisable to take a taxi or use a ride-sharing service after dark. Baltimore has an extensive public transportation network, including the handy Charm City Circulator, a free shuttle service that operates downtown, and the Harbor Connector, a ferry service that travels around the city’s Inner Harbor. The Baltimore Light RailLink connects the BWI Airport and Penn Station with the downtown area.

Traveler tips

If the hustle and heat of the city get overwhelming, cool off at one of Baltimore’s 23 public swimming pools—Patterson Park Pool is a local favorite. Or, venture further afield to one of the outdoor spaces close by. Sandy Point State Park has great swimming beaches, while Gunpowder Falls State Park has more than 100 miles of trails for hiking, running, and biking.

Local Currency
US Dollar ($)
Time Zone
EDT (UTC -5)
Country Code
+1
Language(s)
English
Attractions
16
Tours
94
Reviews
1,848

A local’s pocket guide to Baltimore

Fairuz Maggio

Fairuz is a DC native who has spent a lot of time in the Baltimore area, primarily to get her Chesapeake blue crab fix.

The first thing you should do in Baltimore is...

walk around the Inner Harbor to get a feel of the area and the city’s top attractions including the National Aquarium and Maryland Science Center.

A perfect Saturday in Baltimore...

starts with a visit to the National Aquarium and its 750 species, including dolphins and sharks; includes a scrumptious seafood lunch (the Rusty Scupper is an institution); and ends with a show at one of the city's many venues.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

the National Aquarium. Home to thousands of aquatic and land animals, it's Baltimore’s top attraction and is fun for kids and adults of all ages.

To discover the "real" Baltimore...

you have to eat Chesapeake blue crabs. Whether you’re enjoying a crab boil seasoned with Old Bay or sinking your teeth into a crab cake sandwich, eating crabs is a must-do when visiting the city.

For the best view of the city...

head to Federal Hill Park. Not only do you get one of the best views of the Inner Harbor, but you can also learn a bit about Maryland’s Civil War history at several of the park’s monuments.

One thing people get wrong...

is thinking that the Inner Harbor is the only place to explore in the city. Baltimore has several other areas to explore including Fells Point, Little Italy, and Canton.

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People Also Ask

What is Baltimore famous for?

Baltimore has an outsized cultural legacy. The Wire and Hairspray are two Baltimore touchstones, as is the work of Edgar Allan Poe who is buried here. “Charm City” is also known as the birthplace of the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” And if there’s one food Baltimore is known for, it’s blue crabs.

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How can I spend a day in Baltimore?

Visit a few of Baltimore’s diverse neighborhoods: Go to Fells Point for cobblestoned charm and nautical history, Mount Vernon for historic monuments, and Hampden for quirk and color. Take a stroll around the Inner Harbor and visit the National Aquarium before enjoying a seafood dinner.

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What activities are popular in Baltimore?

Baltimore is a foodie destination, so food tours are popular with visitors. Getting out on the water, whether via a water taxi ride or dinner cruise around the Inner Harbor, is a favorite way to see the city. Baltimoreans also love art—check out the Baltimore Museum of Art, Walker Art Museum, and Visionary Art Museum.

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Where can I cool off in Baltimore?

Beat Baltimore’s sweltering summer heat by getting out onto the water via an Inner Harbor cruise; having a swim at Gunpowder Falls State Park’s Hammerman Area, Sandy Point State Park, or in one of the city’s public swimming pools; or by visiting a museum, such as the free Baltimore Museum of Art.

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Is Baltimore a party town?

Yes, Baltimore loves to party. The city has a vibrant nightlife that suits all ages and musical tastes, from rock and indie at Ottobar to EDM at Mosaic. If you’re more into sitting and sipping than dancing, the city boasts some excellent bars, from speakeasies (WC Harlan and the Elk Room) to gin joints (Dutch Courage).

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Is Baltimore unsafe?

No, not necessarily, but you should be cautious. Baltimore consistently ranks as one of the most dangerous cities in the United States. That being said, the majority of places where tourists are likely to go are generally well-lit and populated enough to be safe, but it’s smart to be on guard after dark.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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