First Timers Guide to Baltimore


Visiting a new city for the first time always feels a bit scary. You’re not quite sure what to expect, and everything looks a little bit different from what you’re used to. 


Fortunately, this post is here to help. In this guide for first-time visitors to Baltimore, we explain everything you need to know about exploring the city for the first time and how to have a good experience without getting horribly lost


Choose The Right Accommodation


You’ll want to start by choosing the right accommodation. Most tourists stay in the Inner Harbor, Fells Point, Mount Vernon, Hampden, or Federal Hill but you can go anywhere. Popular options include the ROOST Baltimore Apartment Hotel and other accommodations near Johns Hopkins University and the surrounding parks. Baltimore has a pretty extensive road network and transport links, making it easier to get into central areas than you might expect. 


Get A Transit Map


Like other cities on the East Coast, Baltimore has a pretty good public transit system to rival many European capitals, including buses, light rail, subway, water taxis, and the free Charm City Circulator. You can use these various options to explore different parts of the city that would be challenging to get to otherwise. 


Of course, you’ll need a map to figure out where to go. While Baltimore’s layout is pretty intuitive, newcomers can still get lost if they take a wrong turn.


You can get a free map from the Visitor Center at the Inner Harbor or download one from the official website of the Baltimore Office of Promotion & The Arts. If you take the train, you’ll need to get a transit pass and pay for each ride. These are easily accessible from any ticket vending machine or from the Maryland Transit Administration’s website. 


Ask For Help When You Need It


If you get stuck at any time in Baltimore, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Known as Charm City, Baltimore is famous for its friendly local residents and their willingness to provide assistance to strangers when they need it. 


If you ever get lost or need assistance, don’t hesitate to ask someone for help. You can approach a police officer, a transit worker, a shopkeeper, or a fellow traveler. People will often gladly talk to you and enjoy the interaction. Don’t forget to say thank you after you finish talking to them!


Don’t Rely On Your Smartphone


When you’re in Baltimore, your smartphone can be your best friend, but also your worst enemy. While it is great for booking tickets and finding directions, it can distract you from your surroundings, detracting from the experience. 


Therefore, we’d suggest turning off notifications and having a bit of a digital detox day as you travel around the city. Don’t worry: everything will be there, ready and waiting for you when you get back to your hotel. 


If you’re not sure where you are going, local people will be happy to show you the right direction. 

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