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Baltimore's Top 10 Cultural Things To Do and See

Picture of Chrissy Pak
Chrissy Pak
Updated: 9 February 2017
The 20th largest city in the USA, Baltimore is dubbed ‘the city of the neighborhoods’, thanks to its hundreds of identified districts, each with their own distinct flavor. With so much history to take in and many attractions to visit, Baltimore can seem a bit daunting. So with that in mind, here is a list of our top ten attractions of Baltimore, in Maryland.

Baltimore Museum of Art

With an internationally renowned collection of 19th century, modern, and contemporary art, the Baltimore Museum of Art boasts 95,000 works of art in total. Its highlights include the largest Henri Matisse collection in the world as well as two 20th century sculpture gardens. Founded with just one painting in 1914, the BMA now includes American, European, African, and Asian masterpieces by both established and emerging contemporary artists. Admission to the 210,000 square-foot museum is free.

10 Art Museum Drive, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 443 573 1700

African Art Installation | Courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art
African Art Installation | Courtesy of Baltimore Museum of Art

National Aquarium

A non-profit public aquarium in Inner Harbor, the National Aquarium boasts over 17,000 specimens of over 750 different species of aquatic life. Exhibits include the Upland Tropical Rain Forest, the multi-level Atlantic Coral Reef, an open ocean shark tank, and a marine mammal pavilion with eight Atlantic bottlenose dolphins. Explore the wild side of Australia in the walk-in aviary-style Wild Extremes exhibit, featuring fascinating predators such as freshwater crocodiles and aquatic snakes, or take a look at the nine different species of jellyfish in the Jellies Invasion exhibit.

501 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 576 3800

Fells Point

A historic waterfront neighborhood established around 1763 in the southeastern part of Baltimore, Fells Point was named for the Englishmen who had founded a ship-building company. Even today, Fells Point is vigorously nautical in spirit and visage; many of the buildings lining the harbor retain their original structure from the 18th or 19th century. Pop in for Chesapeake Bay cuisine at its best, from locally sourced oysters on the half shell at a friendly gastropub to a fresh seafood buffet at an elegant restaurant.

 

Fells Point, Baltimore, MD, USA

Harborplace

A festival marketplace located on Baltimore’s Inner Habor, Harborplace opened in 1980 during the revival of downtown Baltimore and has thrived ever since. With 12 restaurants, 45 eateries, and over 100 shops, Harborplace is the go-to eating, shopping, and entertainment destination for many Baltimore locals as well as tourists, as it also offers live seasonal entertainment.

 

201 East Pratt Street, Baltimore, MD, USA

Maryland Science Center

Located in the Inner Harbor, the Maryland Science Center, which opened in 1976 and is thus one of the oldest scientific institutions in the United States, includes three floors of exhibits, a planetarium, and an observatory. Originally the gathering place for an amateur scientific society, the MSC is now a learning center for all ages that features hands-on exhibits on everything from combustible reactions to optical illusions, as well as audience-participation laboratories such as The Shed and SciLab.

 

601 Light Street, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 685 2370

Courtesy of Maryland Science Center
Courtesy of Maryland Science Center

Washington Monument

The first major monument begun to honor George Washington, Washington Monument lends an elegant gravitas to the urban square of Mount Vernon Place. The white marble was obtained locally by Baltimore denizens intent upon honoring America’s first president in 1815. Today, you can climb all 227 steps of a winding stone staircase to the top of the monument, or simply enjoy the view from the surrounding gardens and park.

 

699 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD, USA

Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum

The former home of the renowned horror and mystery novelist Edgar Allan Poe, this Poe House & Museum is a must-see for any literarily-inclined tourists. A typical row home, the two-storey brick structure is small and humble for a designated National Historic Landmark; the metal gabled roof and original 1830s woodwork, however, lends it an old-world charm. Though this is impossible to prove, the Poe Society alleges that 11 of Poe’s short stories and eight of his poems were penned here.

 

203 N Amity St, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 462 1763

Oriole Park at Camden Yards

On April 6, 1992, Oriole Park at Camden Yards opened and soon became the ballpark that forever changed baseball. Nestled in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the 1,016-foot B&O Warehouse of Oriole Park can’t be missed. Running between the Warehouse and the field is Eutaw Street – a festive area where fans can gather before or during games and grab something to eat or drink. Additionally, fans can visit the bullpen picnic grove area beyond center field, where there are larger-than-life bronze sculptures of the six Orioles who have their numbers retired and are National Baseball Hall of Fame members: Frank Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, Cal Ripken Jr., and Brooks Robinson. Also featured past center field is the Roof Deck where fans can overlook the batter’s eye wall in center and enjoy various concessions.

 

333 West Camden Street, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 685 9800

Oriole Park | Courtesy of Oriole Park at Camden Yards
Oriole Park | Courtesy of Oriole Park at Camden Yards

Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

The first Roman Catholic cathedral built in the US, the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary is a national shrine and considered the masterpiece of Benjamin Henry Latrobe, known as the father of American architecture. It is one of the seats of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore and was one of the first major religious buildings constructed after the Constitution. The architectural artistry and historic grandeur instils a sense of serenity for the casual visitor; there are also 90 minute tours provided for those interested in historical details.

 

409 Cathedral Street, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 727 3565

Courtesy of Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
Courtesy of Basilica of the National Shrine of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Walters Art Museum

An internationally renowned venue containing art from all over the world, Walters Art Museum was founded in 1934 and today features an overview of art from pre-dynastic Egypt to 20th century Europe. As a public art museum, Walters offers free admission year-round. Drop in to gaze at Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories and armor, or ancient American stone sculptures. The Walters Art Museum is open from Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm, with extended hours until 9pm on Thursdays.

 

600 N Charles St, Baltimore, MD, USA, +1 410 547 9000