Baltimore is a tourist attraction, especially the part called Inner Harbor. It's the old harbor which fell into decay the second half of the last century, as was the rest of the city. Until the municipality recognized the potential of the area and constructed parks. Now Inner Harbor is a great area with museums, like the Maritime Museum, historical ships, the National Aquarium and other tourist attractions.
The city itself has about 650,000 inhabitants, but including the suburbs about 2 million people live in the Baltimore Metropolitan Area.
Baltimore is located in the northeast of the United States, between the American capital Washington DC (southwest of Baltimore) and Philadelphia (northeast of the city). The city lies on the Patapsco River where it flows into the Chesapeake Bay.
The (new) harbor still plays an important part in the city's economy, but it has been long since Baltimore was a grey port with heavy industry. Nowadays the economy revolves around (financial) services and tourism (around the old harbor). It's also a center of health services and development of high-tech applications, mainly aimed at biotechnology.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport is situated 16 kilometers south of the city center and is easily reachable by rental car. From Baltimore you first take Russell Street which connects with the Baltimore-Washington Parkway, where the exit to the airport is clearly signposted.
Baltimore has good public transport which consists of buses, a light rail system (especially convenient to enter and leave the city) and one subway line. There are also free buses by the name Charm City Circulator. One of the nicest ways to visit Baltimore is by taking a water taxi.
When coming from outside the city, Inner Harbor is easily reachable via the I-95. Via exit 53 you end up on Howard Street in the heart of Inner Harbor. Once you have arrived, it may be difficult to find a free parking place. Street parking is also expensive in Baltimore. It's better to park your rental car in one of the parking garages, which are signposted. Alternatively you go to the parking lot near Fells Point, at about 15-minutes walking from Inner Harbor.
With a tourist district like Inner Harbor it comes as no surprise that most hotels can be found in this district and in the adjacent Fells Points. There are some business hotels in Downtown, but this district is almost deserted at night. Other options which are somewhat less touristic are hotels in Midtown, Federal Hill and Canton.
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