Getty Images/Moment RF


Once among the most important port towns in America, Baltimore – or 'Bawlmer' to locals – is a city of contradictions. It remains a defiant, working-class city tied to its nautical past, but in recent years has earned acclaim for impressive, up-to-the-minute entrepreneurial ventures, from new boutique hotels and edgy exhibits at world-class museums to forgotten neighborhoods now bustling with trendy food courts and farm-to-table restaurants. Traditionalists shouldn't worry, though – local culture and hometown sports, from lacrosse to baseball, remain part of the appeal.

For travelers, a visit to B'more (another nickname) should include one trip to the waterfront, whether it's the Disney-fied Inner Harbor, the cobblestoned streets of port-side Fells Point or the shores of Fort McHenry, birthplace of America's national anthem, 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' As you'll discover, there's an intense, sincere friendliness here, which is why Baltimore lives up to its final, most accurate nickname: 'Charm City.'

Explore Baltimore

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Baltimore.


Learn more about Baltimore

Uncover the heart of travel and be inspired to see new sights with one of Lonely Planet’s in-depth, award-winning guidebooks.