Ohio may have travel restrictions in place due to COVID-19.

Find out moreOpens in new tab or window

ColumbusUnited States of America

The capital of Ohio is known for its street food, cultural festivals and art scene. It’s also home to one of the largest state universities in the U.S.

Columbus is a large, culturally diverse city in the U.S. Midwest. Visit Ohio’s capital to experience Irish festivals, Mexican food, unique neighborhoods, such as the historic German Village, and a range of museums and attractions, from small art galleries to big zoos. Columbus is also home to Ohio State University and comes with all of the trappings of a college town. Enjoy a fun nightlife, one-of-a-kind shops and plenty of cultural events held throughout the year.

Plan your visit to coincide with the Jazz and Rib Fest, an annual summer tradition that features musicians and award-winning food. The Dublin Irish Festival is held the first weekend in August and attracts about 100,000 visitors, who come for three days of Celtic song and dance.

Spend an afternoon walking through the Short North Arts District, where dozens of boutique galleries and shops line the sidewalks. Escape typically hot and muggy summer days indoors at the Center of Science and Industry. It has interactive exhibits that will appeal to children and parents. Families will also love the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium north of the city center. Watch as polar bears swim overhead, and touch tropical sea creatures.

Columbus is known for its food trucks that sell anything from hot dogs and Mexican food to roast turkey. The trucks change location almost every day, but you’re always likely to find something in the center of town. Find more food, and other shopping, at the North Market, which hosts more than 30 merchants selling a range of fresh produce as well as arts and crafts.

There are also plenty of restaurants, bars and breweries in Columbus. After catching an Ohio State Buckeyes football game, go to the Arena District for happy hour prices. Take a tour at Brothers Drake Meadery & Bar.

While largely flat, Columbus is a sprawling city. Rent a car to get around with ease. Port Columbus International Airport is less than 10 miles (16 kilometers) from downtown, making it easy to access the city from any part of the world. Two interstate highways connect Columbus with nearby cities.

Where to stay in Columbus

Santa Maria showing a bay or harbor and heritage elements

Downtown Columbus

4.5/5Wonderful!(1,219 area reviews)

The abundant dining options and live music are top of the list for many visitors to Downtown Columbus. A stop by Nationwide Arena or COSI might round out your trip.

Downtown Columbus
Bibibop Asian Grill is the Asian equivalent of the Chipotle style of dining.

A bowl filled with wild purple rice, bean sprouts, sauteed potatoes, chicken, cucumber, lettuce, carrot, daikon, cheese, corn and egg topped with yum yum sauce.

Polaris

4.5/5Wonderful!(633 area reviews)

Polaris is known for its ample dining options, and you can make a stop by Polaris Fashion Place and Magic Mountain Fun Center while in the area.

Polaris
Schiller Park showing a pond, a fountain and a park

German Village

4/5Very Good!(1 area review)

You'll enjoy the restaurants and churches in German Village. You might want to make time for a stop at Schiller Park or Muse Gallery.

German Village
Alternating layers of chewy brownie and rich peanut butter, covered with dark chocolate ganache!

I usually stuff myself on savory pizza pies and have no room for dessert pies. On this trip, I boxed up some pizza for a cold pizza breakfast the next morning so I could further indulge in this delight!

Easton

4.5/5Wonderful!(453 area reviews)

Easton is popular for its ample dining options, and you might make a stop by Easton Town Center, a top place to visit in the area.

Easton
The Potato Bacon Bomb! Thick sliced golden fried potato planks, cheesy roasted garlic mashed potatoes, crisp hickory bacon, creamy sour cream and scallion sauce and sharp cheddar busting the seams of two slices of homemade bread.

Short North

Short North is known for its ample dining options, and you can make a stop by North Market and Columbus Children's Theatre while in the area.

Short North
Wexner Center for the Arts which includes signage and theater scenes

University District

4.5/5Wonderful!(126 area reviews)

Travelers come to University District for its abundant dining options, and you can see top attractions like Newport Music Hall and Ohio Stadium while you're in town.

University District

Top Hotels in Columbus

Estimated price for 1 night / 2 adults
DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus - Worthington
DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus - Worthington
3.5 out of 5
175 Hutchinson Ave, Columbus, OH
Free CancellationReserve now, pay when you stay
The price is $72 per night

Located in Crosswoods, this hotel is 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Anheuser-Busch Brewery and within 6 mi (10 km) of Polaris Fashion Place and Magic Mountain Fun Center. ...

4/5Very Good! (938 reviews)

"I liked everything from convenient parking spaces to an excellent king suite. Everything was perfect. I enjoyed my stay there."…"

Reviewed on Aug 3, 2020

DoubleTree by Hilton Columbus - Worthington
Comfort Suites Columbus Airport
Comfort Suites Columbus Airport
2.5 out of 5
1521 N Cassady Ave, Columbus, OH
The price is $89 per night

Located in Northeast Columbus, this hotel is within 6 mi (10 km) of Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, Greater Columbus Convention Center, and ...

4.5/5Wonderful! (829 reviews)

"Clean Lobby and room plus friendly courteous staff."…"

Reviewed on Aug 8, 2020

Comfort Suites Columbus Airport
Cloverleaf Suites Columbus - Dublin
Cloverleaf Suites Columbus - Dublin
3 out of 5
4130 Tuller Road, Dublin, OH
The price is $89 per night

Situated in Dublin, this hotel is within 3 mi (5 km) of Scioto Park, Indian Run Falls Park, and Sam and Eulalia Frantz Park. Columbus Zoo and Aquarium and Zoombezi ...

4.1/5Very Good! (969 reviews)

"Nice little suite. Rooms were clean and everything looked very nice. Has a full little kitchen and they also provided utensils, pots and pans, bowls, plates, etc. Was a good experience. Would definitely stay here again."…"

Reviewed on Jul 31, 2020

Cloverleaf Suites Columbus - Dublin

Getting around Columbus

You will most likely want to rent a car in Columbus, as the local transportation networks aren’t totally comprehensive. If you can’t rent a car, don’t worry, you will still be able to get around, but with less flexibility. Travel around the city on the local COTA buses, and visit the headline attractions downtown on the free CBUS circulator. There are plenty of options for taxis and ride-sharing, too. Visit the Ohio Department of Transportation website.Browse Columbus rental cars.

Best time to visit

Columbus has a clear peak tourist season that runs from June to August. As well as being the busiest time of year, this is by far the hottest, with daytime temperatures in August often exceeding 85 F (29 C). Visit in April or May, or September or October and you are still likely to have good, though slightly cooler, weather. Avoiding the summer will also mean less expensive accommodations.

Popular places to visit in Columbus

Ohio State University
Image for Ohio State University

Ohio State University

4.5/5(1,159 reviews)

Take a campus tour or just explore the area around Ohio State University, a top college in Columbus. Experience the area's entertainment choices or attend a sporting event.

Greater Columbus Convention Center
Image for Greater Columbus Convention Center

Greater Columbus Convention Center

4.5/5(614 reviews)

Find out what's happening at Greater Columbus Convention Center during your trip—a top convention center in Columbus. Visit the area's shops or amble around its college campus.

Nationwide Arena
Image for Nationwide Arena

Nationwide Arena

4.5/5(595 reviews)

Catch an event at Nationwide Arena during your trip to Columbus. Attend a sporting event or simply enjoy the top-notch restaurants while you're in the area.

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium
Image for Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

Columbus Zoo and Aquarium

4.5/5(688 reviews)

Have the African jungle, the Australian outback and the wildlife of the world at your fingertips at this acclaimed city zoo.

COSI
Image for COSI

COSI

4/5(479 reviews)

There’s always more to discover in this innovative science adventure center, complete with giant 3-D digital screen and hundreds of fun-filled activities.

Mapfre Stadium
Image for Mapfre Stadium

Mapfre Stadium

4/5(285 reviews)

Catch an event at Mapfre Stadium during your trip to Columbus. Experience the area's acclaimed theater scene or attend a sporting event.

Top things to do in Columbus

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Ohio
Image for City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Ohio

City Scavenger hunts by Operation City Quest of Ohio

$10
Per adult
80% of travellers recommend
Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Ohio
Image for Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Ohio

Survival Challenge by Zombie Scavengers of Ohio

$20
Per adult
Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of Ohio
Image for Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of Ohio

Wacky Walks Adventure walking tours of Ohio

$10
Per adult
3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Ohio
Image for 3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Ohio

3Quest Challenge Scavenger hunts of Ohio

$10
Per adult
Crazy Dash Walking Adventure of Ohio
Image for Crazy Dash Walking Adventure of Ohio

Crazy Dash Walking Adventure of Ohio

$10
Per adult
Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer
Image for Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer

Columbus John Glen Airport (CMH) to Columbus - Round-Trip Private Transfer

$42
Per adult

Reviews of Columbus

4.2

Top Destination

5 - Excellent
2074
5 - Excellent 39.64067278287462%
4 - Good
2385
4 - Good 45.5848623853211%
3 - Okay
670
3 - Okay 12.805810397553516%
2 - Disappointing
57
2 - Disappointing 1.0894495412844036%
1 - Terrible
46
1 - Terrible 0.8792048929663608%

5/5 - Excellent

Verified traveler

Jun 6, 2020

Great

3/5 - Okay

MaLa

Jun 3, 2020

The locals were not friendly. The nail shop on High street near Hyatt Regency Columbus was dope. The culture is healthy eating and exercise city. Bob Thornton and Donato’s was not my favorite. A health conscience city. I really enjoyed the diversity.

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

May 23, 2020

Columbus like many cities in Ohio seems to always be under construction and I usually get spun around on I 71 and I 70 and have to backtrack on detours due to heavy traffic. Very frustrating!

3/5 - Okay

Verified traveler

May 21, 2020

Tornado warning while we were there

4/5 - Good

Verified traveler

May 21, 2020

columbus was fine, i wish our trip could have been pushed later since the state had not completely opened up yet

5/5 - Excellent

Humble

May 18, 2020

I love Columbus and I’m a frequent visitor

Read travel guides and advice on visiting Columbus

Image for Feeling the love in these inclusive destinations

Feeling the love in these inclusive destinations

Feeling the love in these inclusive destinations

Other places like Columbus