Luxury and boutique hotels in Baltimore

Cult film director – and born and raised Baltimorean – John Waters said of his hometown: ‘you'll never discover a stranger city with such extreme style’. He’s not wrong: Frank Zappa was born here, the ouija board manifested here and this is the birthplace of the six-pack (the beer kind); goth writer Edgar Allan Poe lived and died here, too. The Wire gave it a gritty rep, but there’s much to rubber-stamp its Charm City nickname: hipster ’hood Hampden has rainbow-painted houses and indie stores, parks have panoramic waterfront views or cultural happenings, its food scene is phenomenal (Atlantic-style Southern, farm-to-table and seafood are the watchwords here), and there are galleries and art fests for cultural fodder.

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When to go

B’more is particularly pleasant in the summer, from June to August. In July creatives of all kinds arrive to partake in the annual Artscape estival, but – from barbecues to live jazz – there’s always something going on.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Baltimore Washington Thurgood Marshall Airport is the city’s international hub; you can get direct flights from major cities in America and from the UK too. From further afield, you’ll be required to stopover in the US. The airport is a 20-minute drive from the city centre.
  • Boats

    Baltimore’s water taxis ( are a fun, cheap way to zip from A to B. Hop-on, hop-off passes start from US$9.
  • Automobiles

    Google ‘driving in Baltimore’ and you’ll see some hair-raising headlines, but a car could come in handy for covering the most ground in a short time. You can hire some wheels at the airport; to reach the city, travel along the I-95 route. If you’re road-tripping down the Atlantic coast, New York is a four-hour drive, Philadelphia a two-hour drive, and DC is just an hour away.