Baltimore boasts impressive architecture, visual and performing arts, boating and the National Aquarium. Travelers should stop at the Visit Baltimore Visitor's Center, located in the Inner Harbor area, to get a plethora of local information. This beautiful city is proud of its tourism trade and encourages it by offering an extensive menu of free activities. Here are nine you won’t want to miss:
1. Baltimore Museum of Art
This incredible museum houses the famous Cone Collection of the world's largest and most significant collection of works by Matisse. The museum also features a lush Sculpture Garden, European paintings and sculptures, a contemporary wing, hands-on workshops, and audio and interactive gallery tours. Even better than the museum is the entrance fee, which is free for everyone, every day! The museum is open Wednesday–Sunday; see link for specific hours and exhibits.
2. Walters Art Museum
Another wonderful museum is the Walters Art Museum, with over 25,000 art pieces and free general admission. There are special family tours, activities for all ages, free family programs and drop-in art classes. Visitors will enjoy collections from pre-dynastic Egypt and 20th century Europe, Greek and Roman artifacts, medieval ivories, Old Master paintings and much more. The museum is open Wednesday–Sunday.
3. Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower
Be transformed by the galleries at the Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, which boasts studio spaces for visual and literary artists and theatrical performers. If you are in Baltimore during free Open Studio Day (Saturdays), you may enjoy visiting the artists' studios as a guest. Hours are from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and artists open their studios at noon.
Make Harborplace and The Gallery your first destination for shopping popular retailers and local shops. You will also experience great dining in the many restaurants located here and enjoy year-round entertainment and events. Perfect for those who love to stroll around and find great deals.
5. Ride the Harbor Connector
Cross along Inner Harbor on this free service that runs Monday–Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Routes travel from the pier at Frederick Douglass Myers Maritime Museum in Fell's Point to Locust Point, or Canton Waterfront Park to Locust Point. Click here for more information and regulations.
6. Visit Little Italy
Little Italy is considered an important cultural icon in Baltimore. Savor the delicious flavors of the old country and enjoy Italian hospitality at its best. Located on Stiles Street, Little Italy encourages visitors to participate in a friendly game of Bocce Ball, dine at one of the 30 restaurants, attend ravioli dinners and cultural classes, or stroll the friendly streets. Click here for monthly events taking place in Little Italy.
7. Farmer's Market and Bazaar
Purchase annual produce, herbs, fruit, flowers and more at the Baltimore Farmer's Market. Located just underneath the Jones Falls Expressway at Holiday and Saratoga Streets, the market is open daily from April 7 to December 22 between 7 a.m. and noon, and is the largest producers-only market in Maryland. Vendors feature items such as vegetables, meats, cheese, multicultural cuisine, vegan items, jewelry, handbags, clothing, rugs, stained glass, pottery and more. If you are a fan of markets and bazaars, this one is not to be missed!
8. Literature at Its Best
The Enoch Pratt Library is over 60 years old and an entire block long. Be awed and inspired by free musical performances, classes and children's story time. Upcoming free events include Palahniuk's Adult Bedtime Stories, Introduction to Excel, a free viewing of Monsters University, Body Fit, Spanish for Seniors and more!
9. Cylbum Arboretum
Free and open to the public year round, the 207-acre Cylbum Arboretum is a Baltimore nature preserve and city park. Within city limits, the rolling countryside boasts a grand estate, Japanese maples, hollies, conifers, Maryland oaks, peonies, maples and magnolias. The Victorian Mansion is graced with expansive lawns and abundant gardens. Nature walks explore winding woodlands lush with rare trees, native plants and wildflowers. Perfect for nature lovers, the Arboretum is open Tuesday through Sunday.