The transformed former seaport is packed with museums, shops and family attractions and is one of the city’s most photographed areas.
At the scenic Inner Harbor, you’ll find some of the most popular tourist attractions that Baltimore has to offer. The former major national port is now a community gathering place with panoramic views, a huge aquarium, waterfront restaurants, boat rides and museums.
Since the 1700s the port of Baltimore had been an important trading dock for American and international ships. The economic decline of the 1950s brought a halt to this activity and the area became an industrial wasteland. A turning point came during the ’60s and ’70s when the long-ignored warehouses and piers of the harbor were revitalized. Hotels, offices, malls and museums gave the area new life.
It only takes about 15 minutes to walk past all the attractions at Inner Harbor, but you may find that you want to spend a whole weekend exploring. Don’t miss the Baltimore World Trade Center. The observation deck on the 27th floor provides 360-degree views over downtown Baltimore and the harbor. The prominent wall of glass that marks the entrance of the National Aquarium draws you in to see dolphins and thousands of other animals.
For shopping and dining, head to Harborplace and The Gallery. A large, open-air amphitheater sits between the two major buildings at Harborplace. See concerts and performances here during the warmer months. The Gallery is a four-story mall.
Popular museums include the Maryland Science Center, Port Discovery Children’s Museum and the Maritime Museum with the submarine USS Torsk. Cruise the Inner Harbor on one of the touring boats, which operate during warmer months. Water taxis take you to the main port-side attractions such as the historically significant Fort McHenry. All stops are signposted.
Situated in the heart of downtown Baltimore, Inner Harbor is easy to reach by public transport and the Charm City Circulator shuttle bus, which is free and departs every 15 minutes from stops along four routes. Expect to pay for parking. Buy a three-day pass at the Baltimore Visitor Center to get discounted access to the science center, aquarium, children's museum, observation tower, water taxis and cruises.