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Things to do in Baltimore

Things to do in  Baltimore

Welcome to Baltimore

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

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

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

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

Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine

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

Fell’s Point

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

Baltimore Federal Hill

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

B&O Railroad Museum

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

Patterson Park

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

Star-Spangled Banner Flag House

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

Baltimore Little Italy

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

Babe Ruth Birthplace & Museum

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

Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

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

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
Medieval Times Baltimore

Medieval Times Baltimore

Serfs, wenches, knights, horses, lances, swords, and falcons - they’re all a part of an action­ packed outing to Medieval Times Baltimore. Leave the modern city behind as you travel to the 11th century, enjoying the show as a guest of the King inside of his lavish castle. Prior to sitting down for the feast, wander the gruesome Torture Museum and learn about hunting with falcons, before settling in for a four course meal that you literally eat with your hands. When it’s time for the evening’s main show to begin, choose a knight you think will win the series of jousts and combat, where swordsmanship and horsemanship are impressively put on display. Join the crowd in raucously cheering - or booing - depending on the knight, and experience the thrill of a night on the town in the spirit of Medieval Spain.More
American Visionary Art Museum

American Visionary Art Museum

Baltimore is known for its offbeat attractions, and the American Visionary Art Museum is one of its most idiosyncratic. The museum specializes in showing the work of outsider artists, those who typically have had no formal art education and work outside the mainstream art world. The museum taps guest curators for all its shows.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Baltimore

Baltimore Inner Harbor Sail on Summer Wind
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Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore
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Fells Point Food Tour in Baltimore

Walking Foodie Tour - Fells Point

Walking Foodie Tour - Fells Point

Signature Spirit of Baltimore Lunch Cruise with Buffet
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Baltimore Indoor Skydiving Experience with 2 Flights & Personalized Certificate
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Baltimore History Sail on the Summer Wind
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Baltimore Inner Harbor Sightseeing Tour
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Baltimore Inner Harbor Sunset Sail on Summer Wind
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Chocolate and Wine Tour

Chocolate and Wine Tour

Historic Mid-Town Foodie Stroll

Historic Mid-Town Foodie Stroll

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All about Baltimore

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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).

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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