A city synonymous with Edgar Allan Poe and one of the Eastern seaboard’s major ports, with its harbor a dynamic hub that helps generate a real big city buzz.

Baltimore played a pivotal role in the 1812 war of independence with Britain when the city’s Fort McHenry held out against the British, winning itself a place in the American national anthem. This proud port city today is on the up with the renovation of Harborplace in the 1980s kicking off the rebirth of the Inner Harbor, with shops, cafes and restaurants at its heart.

Things to know before you go

  • In recent years tour boats have started crisscrossing Baltimore’s harbor and are an ideal way to both get an idea of its layout and drama.
  • While a good public transport system covers Baltimore’s urban areas you will need a car if you are looking to head out and explore the favorite local escape of Chesapeake Bay.
  • The locals are sports mad in Baltimore. Show an interest in the Baltimore Orioles (baseball) or the Baltimore Ravens (football) to win new friends. Even better take a tour of one of the stadiums or attend a big game.

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About the author

Robin McKelvie

Edinburgh, Scotland

Robin McKelvie is a travel writer, blogger and broadcaster. He has written 100s of articles for publications across the world, plus over 30 guidebooks and makes 20-30 trips a year.