The Top 10 Things to Do and See in Cincinnati

Downtown Cincinnati © |
Downtown Cincinnati © |
Photo of Camille Carr-Harris
17 March 2017

As the third largest city in Ohio, Cincinnati is a vibrant city full of rich culture. It is home to the Ohio River and the second-oldest zoo in the United States, among other attractions. Due to its historic location – slaves crossed the Ohio River to reach freedom in Cincinnati – and unique culture, there is always something to do in Cincy.

Cincinnati Zoo l Courtesy of Camille Carr-Harris

Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden

Cincinnati’s 74-acre zoo and botanical garden is a very popular place to take visitors, and for good reason. Peacocks roam free around the grounds, the Festival of Lights brightens the entire property with scores of colorful Christmas lights in winter, and families can feed some of the animals, from giraffes to camels, or take a tour on the small express train that snakes its way around the site.

Watch Out for: The reptile house, the oldest zoo building in the US

Opening hours: Mon-Sun 10am-5pm

Address and Telephone Number: 3400 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 281 4700

Newport Southbank Bridge

The Newport Southbank bridge, colloquially known as the ‘Purple People Bridge,’ provides Ohioans with a shortcut to Kentucky. People can begin the 2,670-foot journey in Cincinnati and get off the other side of the bridge in Newport, Kentucky. To add historical significance to the walk, the bridge crosses over the Ohio River, which many slaves crossed in order to escape the slave state of Kentucky and enter the free state of Ohio.

Watch Out for: the September Rozzi Fireworks

Address and Telephone Number: 425 York St, Newport, KY, USA +859 655 7700

Segway Tour l Courtesy of Camille Carr-Harris
Segway Tour l Courtesy of Camille Carr-Harris

Segway Tour

Segway tours are becoming an increasingly popular way to navigate around Cincinnati without having to deal with the hassle of urban traffic or the tiring option of walking throughout the entire city. People taking part in the tours receive a short lesson in how to safely operate a Segway, before going on a guided tour of the city.

Watch Out for: the knowledgable guides

Opening hours: Tues-Fri 11am-6pm Sat 11am-7pm Sun 11am-4pm

Address and Telephone Number: 1150 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 225 1583


All Cincinnati residents know that Graeter’s is a go-to destination for out-of-towners. Its custom, handmade ice cream is truly one-of-a-kind perfection and its creamy black raspberry chocolate chip and rich mint chip are testament to this. In addition to serving delicious ice cream, Graeter’s provides its customers with various flavors of gelato, milkshakes, and assorted desserts.

Watch Out for: their famous Black Raspberry Chocolate Chip

Opening hours: Mon-Fri 6:30am-11pm, Sat 7am-11pm, Sun 9am-11pm

Address and Telephone Number: 511 Walnut Street, Cincinnati, OH45202 (513) 381-4191

Cincinnati Art Museum l Courtesy of Cincinnati Art Museum

Cincinnati Art Museum

The Cincinnati Art Museum is home to an amazingly extensive art and sculpture collection from many different cultures and time periods. The museum is a feast for the eyes from the moment you walk in – look up and you’ll see the beautiful blue Chihuly glass sculpture hanging from the ceiling. Visitors can also stop at the lovely terrace cafe for refreshments, so you can really make a day of it.

Watch Out for: the temporary exhibitions

Opening hours: Tues-Sun 11am-5pm

Address and Telephone Number: 953 Eden Park Dr, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 721 2787

Salsa on the Square

Taking place every Thursday night from 7pm-10pm during the summer, salsa lessons in Fountain Square are a great way to let off some steam, learn something new, and have a good time on a summer night. Professional salsa dancers take up to 10 volunteers on stage to demonstrate the steps in front of an audience, with a large screen projecting their images so the public can follow along.

Watch Out for: the beautiful costumes!

Address and Telephone Number: 520 Vine St, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 621 440

Krohn Conservatory

Built in 1933, this stunning Art Deco conservatory is home to over 3,000 plant species from around the world. Make sure you make time to see the Rainforest Waterfall and the Orchid house for breathtaking beauty and a show for all the senses.

Watch Out for: the hugely popular Butterfly Show, where you can wander through a showroom filled with dozens of butterflies flying free.

Opening hours: Tues-Sun 10am-5pm

Address and Telephone Number: 1501 Eden Park Dr.,Cincinnati, OH +513 421 5707

Stanbery Park

The preserved park is a hidden gem within Cincinnati. The peaceful woods are perfect for hiking through or walking the dog. Ramblers can enjoy the sound of waterfalls and birds, as well as the sights of the naturally blue clay in the streams, and the ever-present leaves that coat the ground. The park provides much-needed respite from the city life.

Watch Out for: Heads Up Pumpkin Chuck! A Halloween event where, for $3, visitors can catapult their old Jack-o-Lantern into the air. With tonnes of stalls and workshops too, this event is ridiculous fun.

Address and Telephone Number: 2221 Oxford St, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 352 4080

Paul Brown Stadium

The stadium is the home venue of the Cincinnati Bengals, a team in the National Football League. It can squeeze in 65,535 people and the seats are remarkably comfortable. Food vendors are generally very friendly, and the bathrooms are kept very clean. Bengals supporters can attest to the fact that the home crowd always have a good time at the Bengals games.

Watch Out for: Tours of the stadium

Address and Telephone Number: 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 621 3570

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center provides Cincinnati residents with an incredible opportunity to explore their state’s history. Cincinnati was an important city to the slaves, with many of them crossing the Ohio River from the slave state of Kentucky to find freedom in Cincinnati. The center is an interactive museum that gives a fuller representation of slavery and the Underground Railroad through its film and multimedia exhibits, as well as artefacts.

Watch Out for: The Slave Pen

Opening hours: Tues-Sun 11am-5pm

Address and Telephone Number: 50 East Freedom Way, Cincinnati, OH, USA +513 333 7739

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