Baltimore boasts historic neighborhoods, seafood restaurants, art museums, the National Aquarium, Camden Yards and a lively waterfront area. Whether you want to hit the buzzing nightlife at Fells Point, tour the Historic Ships collection overlooking Baltimore Harbor or explore Federal Hill Park, Charm City delivers on all fronts.
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WHEN TO GO
Visit Baltimore in the summer, with June through August as the peak season for fun festivals and crowd-pleasing events, despite the hot, humid weather. Spring and fall bring milder temperatures (and fewer crowds), with the winter months guaranteeing cold weather that requires bundling up, especially if you’ll be outside.
NEED TO KNOW
Visas: Travelers from outside the United States will need a valid passport, as well as ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) eligibility or a full visa.
Money:Currency is U.S. dollars and ATMs are widely available. Many restaurants and bars (particularly in tourist-centric areas) will automatically tack on a 15 to 20 percent tip to your bill. Check carefully before paying and/or double-tipping.
Travel Health: Travelers (including U.S. citizens) should check for vaccination, proof of negative COVID-19 test and face mask requirements, as well as any travel restrictions, before planning their trip. Baltimore City public health recommendations and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are the best resources for up-to-date information and guidance. Before traveling, research and prepare for what to do if you get sick while away.
Getting Here: Fly into Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI), just 10 miles from the downtown area. Or hop on Amtrak, which stops in Baltimore if you’re coming from Washington, D.C., and beyond.
Getting Around: The best way to see the city is by car, but Baltimore does offer a variety of public transit options. Run by Maryland Transit Administration (MTA), public transportation includes commuter and local bus routes, Metro Subway, Light Rail and weekday MARC train services. Also, the free Charm City Circulator takes visitors to some of Baltimore’s popular attractions, such as Inner Harbor, Fort McHenry and Penn Station. You can also hail a taxi — and even a water taxi — to get around Baltimore, as well as rideshare options like Uber and Lyft. Finally, consider a Baltimore Trolley Tour to see the city’s sites.
Local Lingo: Just like some New Orleans residents say “N’awlins” when referring to their city, many Baltimore residents pronounce their hometown as “Bawlmer” And if you’re wondering what a “coddie” is on a local restaurant menu, it’s a fried fish cake made of cod, onions and mashed potatoes.
Must-Have Apps: Uber; Lyft
Insider Tip: Baltimore offers several passes and deals to help visitors see the city for less. Try the BoP Pass (to explore the area’s Black history and culture) or the Whiskey Rebellion Trail Pass (to sip your way through the city’s whiskey history and craft distilleries).