Columbus, OH

Travel Guide
Columbus featuring a garden, skyline and a pond
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

Red Roof Inn PLUS+ Columbus - Worthington
Red Roof Inn PLUS+ Columbus - Worthington
2 out of 5
7480 North High Street, Columbus, OH, 43235
The price is $65 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 4
Stay at this business-friendly motel in Columbus. Enjoy free WiFi, free parking, and a 24-hour front desk. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
3.9/5 Very Good! (575 reviews)
"Good place to stay for a night or two."

Reviewed on Sep 21, 2022

Hyatt Place Columbus/Worthington
Hyatt Place Columbus/Worthington
3 out of 5
7490 Vantage Drive, Columbus, OH, 43235
The price is $87 per night from Oct 23 to Oct 24
Stay at this 3-star business-friendly hotel in Columbus. Enjoy free breakfast, free WiFi, and free parking. Our guests praise the breakfast and the helpful staff ...
4.4/5 Excellent! (1,002 reviews)
"Nice hotel. Nice variety at the breakfast bar."

Reviewed on Sep 16, 2022

Sonesta Columbus Downtown
Sonesta Columbus Downtown
4 out of 5
33 E Nationwide Blvd, Columbus, OH, 43215
The price is $161 per night from Oct 3 to Oct 4
Stay at this 4-star business-friendly hotel in Columbus. Enjoy free WiFi, breakfast, and a fitness center. Our guests praise the helpful staff and the clean ...
4.1/5 Very Good! (1,002 reviews)
"The staff was so kind and helpful, room was nice and clean. Restaurant in the lobby was delicious! We were in town for a concert at the arena and it was perfect walking distance!"

Reviewed on Sep 22, 2022

Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.
FRONTDESK 548 W State St Apts Arts Dist Columbus
FRONTDESK 548 W State St Apts Arts Dist Columbus
3.5 out of 5
548 West State Street, Columbus, OH, 43215
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Columbus. Enjoy free WiFi, a Smart TV, and digital TV. Popular attractions Veterans Memorial and COSI are located nearby. ...
3.7/5 Good! (3 reviews)
"Too many codes and didn’t always work. Support team was helpful when I called to have the codes fixed"

Reviewed on Sep 10, 2022

Mint House Columbus - Capitol Square
Mint House Columbus - Capitol Square
4 out of 5
255 S High St, Columbus, OH, 43215
Stay at this 4-star apartment in Columbus. Enjoy free WiFi, a kitchen, and an in-room washer/dryer. Popular attractions Southern Theater and Columbus Commons ...
4.5/5 Wonderful! (33 reviews)
"Really enjoyed the stay check out and in was easy and the place was very well appointed."

Reviewed on Sep 18, 2022

FRONTDESK LC Riversouth 205 Apts Downtown Columbus
FRONTDESK LC Riversouth 205 Apts Downtown Columbus
3.5 out of 5
205 S High St, Columbus, OH, 43215
Stay at this 3.5-star apartment in Columbus. Enjoy free WiFi, a fitness center, and onsite parking. Popular attractions Columbus Commons and World's Largest ...
4.6/5 Exceptional! (16 reviews)
"Location was great, property looks new at first glance but could definitely use some fixes. The entire second day all lights in the third floor hallway were flickering like strobes."

Reviewed on Sep 24, 2022

Lowest nightly price found within the past 24 hours based on a 1 night stay for 2 adults. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.

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

Things to do

Reviews of Columbus

4.2
Top Destination
5 - Excellent
2074
5 - Excellent 39.63309764953182%
4 - Good
2386
4 - Good 45.59526084463979%
3 - Okay
670
3 - Okay 12.803363271545958%
2 - Disappointing
57
2 - Disappointing 1.0892413529524174%
1 - Terrible
46
1 - Terrible 0.879036881330021%

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

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