Baltimore Travel Guide

USA  

Best Things To Do in Baltimore

You'll want to pack a good set of walking shoes to stroll along the Inner Harbor and make your way through the Baltimore Museum of Art, where you'll find impressionist paintings from the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne. If admiring art isn't your thing, take to Federal Hill Park or catch a baseball game at Oriole Park at Camden Yards before indulging your taste buds with blue crabs, a city favorite. For off-the-beaten-path exploration, head to Druid Hill Park to see the Maryland Zoo and stop by Mount Vernon to see Baltimore's Washington Monument. History buffs, art enthusiasts and foodies alike will revel in the colorful neighborhoods of this city, which are home to everything from modern museums to historical monuments to a burgeoning dining scene.

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Baltimore Museum of Art
    View all Photos
    #1 in Baltimore
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Situated in Charles Village, just north of the downtown area, the Baltimore Museum of Art claims the title of largest art museum in Maryland. Filled with 90,000 art pieces, including an impressive Matisse collection, donated by Baltimore natives Claribel and Etta Cone, the museum draws art enthusiasts from across the globe. An entire "Cone Wing" of the museum is devoted to the sisters' spectacular repertoire of paintings from distinguished artists like Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne. Recent visitors praise the extensive collection, citing free admission to the world-class museum as a major perk.

  • #2
    The Walters Art Museum
    View all Photos
    #2 in Baltimore
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Although not as famous as the Baltimore Museum of Art, this free Mount Vernon museum covers art across a 5,000-year time span. Since it opened in 1909, the museum has expanded into a total of three distinctive buildings. Featuring Renaissance paintings, Asian art, Byzantine and Ethiopian art, and an extensive Egyptian collection, among other works, the exhibitions offer a diverse selection of art styles. The Walters is also known for its medieval galleries, which include artifacts like suits of armor from the Middle Ages. The Walters Art Museum also offers a variety of family-focused programs, as well as free drop-in art activities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends, which allows little ones to participate in arts and crafts projects. Recent visitors praise the museum's comprehensive collection and stunning interior design. "The range of the collection is utterly amazing — pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th century Europe to Greek and Roman treasures to Old Masters paintings," raves one TripAdvisor reviewer.

  • #3
    Oriole Park at Camden Yards
    View all Photos
    #3 in Baltimore
    Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sports
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're downtown during a game day, you're bound to see droves of fans flashing orange as they head to Camden Yards. Located just a few blocks from the Inner Harbor, the stadium is one of the most famous in the league. Built in a retro style in the early 1990s, Oriole Park offers an authentic baseball game experience. The park features a well-kept field, abundant restaurants, beer, pretzel and hot dog stands, and beautiful views overlooking the city from the stands.

  • #4
    Patterson Park
    View all Photos
    #4 in Baltimore
    Parks and Gardens, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    A marble fountain, swimming pool, lake, pagoda and dog park can be found in this 300-year-old park, where locals and visitors congregate for seasonal events and concerts. The Pagoda atop Hampstead Hill — formerly called the Observatory — was built in 1890 and crowns the park, affording unobstructed city views. "From each level […] there is an amazing panoramic view of Baltimore. You can see all the way to the harbor in one direction and into downtown Baltimore in another," remarked one TripAdvisor user. 

  • #5
    Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine
    View all Photos
    #5 in Baltimore
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    While detained on a ship in the Chesapeake Bay during a battle in the War of 1812, lawyer, poet and writer Francis Scott Key saw a flag of 15 stars and stripes soaring above the fray, signaling the Americans success in holding of a British naval attack. As the story goes, this sight inspired him to write the country's national anthem. Today, the site of the battle — and Key's moment of inspiration — is one of the most popular tourist haunts in Baltimore.

  • #6
    American Visionary Art Museum
    View all Photos
    #6 in Baltimore
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This Federal Hill art museum, which was once a whiskey warehouse, beckons to those with eclectic tastes. Upon entry, visitors are greeted by a 55-foot-tall "Whirligig," wind-powered configuration, which sets the tone for the quirky art displayed inside. The American Visionary Art Museum exhibits explore a wide range of topics, including the impact of technology on everyday life, the power of story-telling, race and gender. One TripAdvisor reviewer highlights the colorful, multi-dimension collection as appealing to adults and kids alike, adding: "If you like non-traditional, hands-on, or funky art exhibits, then this is the museum for you."

  • #7
    Federal Hill Park
    View all Photos
    #7 in Baltimore
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Parks and Gardens, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    For some of the best views of the Inner Harbor and Baltimore skyline, head to Federal Hill just south of downtown. According to one TripAdvisor reviewer, "The climb to the top of Federal Hill is well worth the effort. The Inner Harbor and the cityscape both are so wonderful to behold from an elevated view." The massive hill was once used during the Civil War and the War of 1812 as a major lookout spot. Until recently, it was also known as Signal Hill, where flags of local companies were raised as their ships arrived into the harbor.

  • #8
    Inner Harbor
    View all Photos
    #8 in Baltimore
    Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Many of the attractions in Baltimore — including the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center, the USS Constellation and the major sports stadiums — are centered in the Inner Harbor. Since the 18th century, the Harbor has been one of the most important seaports in the country, with a prime position alongside the Chesapeake Bay. Apart from the surrounding sites, you can also spend the day walking around the area, taking in a street performance or exploring the shops and restaurants.

  • #9
    USS Constellation
    View all Photos
    #9 in Baltimore
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    The USS Constellation, which is currently docked at pier 1, along the Inner Harbor, was first launched in 1854 and has had a tenuous history throughout its active life. The last all-sail ship in the U.S. Navy, the Constellation once played a role in disrupting the slave trade and has seen duty in both world wars. Today, visitors can climb aboard and tour the decks and play the part of a 19th-century sailor. Cannon firing demonstrations take place daily at noon, and on Saturdays and Sundays at noon and 4 p.m. According to one TripAdvisor user, visiting the USS Constellation as well as the three other dry-docked historic ships floating in Baltimore Harbor offers "… a unique experience for young and old alike. Touring the ships provides a historical perspective of the role that these ships played in our country's history."

  • #10
    Maryland Science Center
    View all Photos
    #10 in Baltimore
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This 200-plus-year-old Maryland Science Center is one of the oldest scientific institutions in the country. Originally a meeting place for amateur local scientists to discuss papers, the museum has transformed into one of the most visited attractions of the Inner Harbor. Boasting interactive exhibits for children, a planetarium for astronomy gurus, and giant dinosaur replicas for budding paleontologists, the museum offers plenty of activity for its visitors.

  • #11
    National Aquarium in Baltimore
    View all Photos
    #11 in Baltimore
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Zoos and Aquariums
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    One of the most well-known attractions in Baltimore, the National Aquarium is made up of more than 16,000 animals representing more than 660 species. The aquarium revolves around a bottom-level, open pool, which is filled with stingrays and fish. Continue upstairs and you'll discover a wide variety of marine animals, before you encounter the humidity of the rainforest replica at the top of the building. Visitors can return to the first floor down a spiraling path, which is enclosed by a giant shark tank.

  • #12
    Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum
    View all Photos
    #12 in Baltimore
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Historic Homes/Mansions, Museums
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Step inside the this brick house-turned-museum on 203 Amity Street, and you'll stumble upon a cornucopia of Poe pieces — from a telescope to a portable traveling desk — preserved from when Poe and his family resided in Baltimore from 1833 to 1835. The writer's former residence is also the location where historians believe Poe composed many of his famous poems and stories, including "MS. Found in a Bottle" and "To Elizabeth." There are also permanent and rotating exhibits that catalogue Poe's life, work and ties to Baltimore.

Explore More of Baltimore

Recommended

10 Excellent Educational Vacations for Families

Make sure your next getaway is both enjoyable and informative.

Holly JohnsonMarch 14, 2019

15 Epic Outdoor Adventures to Enjoy Across America

Plan an unforgettable trip in your own backyard or on the opposite coast.

Will WalkeyMarch 12, 2019

The 30 Most Famous Landmarks in the World

Explore the globe in search of these intriguing historic sights.

Gwen PratesiMarch 11, 2019

The 50 Best Hotels in the USA 2019

U.S. News ranked 3,877 top properties for 2019. Check out the 50 best.

Zach WatsonFebruary 5, 2019

30 Hot New Hotels to Check Out in 2019

See which new properties offer surprising and fun features.

Lyn MettlerFebruary 5, 2019

10 Top All-Inclusive Resorts in the USA

Go all-in for these luxe resorts flush with amenities.

Will WalkeyFebruary 5, 2019

The Caribbean Comeback: 12 New and Renovated Caribbean Hotels to Visit

These island properties are sure to impress travelers.

Erin ShieldsFebruary 5, 2019

17 Amazing Kid-Friendly Hotels

Discover which properties offer ample amenities for children.

Christine SmithFebruary 5, 2019

AAA Announces 2019 Diamond Award Winners

Of the more than 27,000 properties evaluated, 1,843 hotels earned Four and Five Diamond awards.

Zach WatsonJanuary 31, 2019

30 Cheap Beach Vacations for Travelers on a Budget

See which waterfront escapes won't burn a hole in your wallet.

Kyle McCarthyJanuary 24, 2019