Exploring Baltimore can be a bit overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time visiting and you don’t have a game plan that includes a list of your must-see landmarks and points of interest.
Although wandering around and seeing where the city takes you can make for a fun, spontaneous experience, it’s nice to have a tentative itinerary on the backburner to make your trip a little easier to manage.
And a tentative itinerary that includes free activities is even better. Here are five free things to do in Baltimore.
1. Baltimore Museum of Art
The Baltimore Museum of Art is a great place to visit while in the Charm City. The museum is world-renowned for its Cone Collection, a permanent installation many consider to be its crown jewel. The impressive collection of Matisse, Cézanne, Gauguin, Picasso, Degas, and van Gogh works was amassed by Baltimore sister Claribel and Etta Cone during the early to mid 20th century. The BMA is home to the world’s largest collection of works by Henri Matisse, one of the 19th century’s most prolific artists.
With more than a dozen permanent installations housing 95,000 works of art, the BMA is a must-see while visiting Baltimore. Although access to special exhibitions and events may incur a charge, general admission to the museum is free, making it one of the best — if not the best — free things to do in Baltimore.
2. Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum
In the City of Baltimore, home to acclaimed writer and poet Edgar Allan Poe, there are a handful of locations that pay tribute to the literary icon, including his former home on Amity Street and his burial site at Westminster Hall.
Visit the Edgar Allan Poe House & Museum, a National Historic Landmark. The home Poe once shared with his aunt, Maria Clemm, is now a museum dedicated to his legacy. Literary nerds will love traipsing through the home where Poe once lived and penned some of his first literary efforts. Admission is free.
3. Urban Pirates Story Time
For families with younger children, join the crew of Baltimore’s very own pirate ship in historic Fell’s Point. Climb aboard the ship and enjoy free swashbuckling songs, games, and stories courtesy of Baltimore’s very own league of urban pirates! The pirate ship is open for storytime every Wednesday and Friday at 9 a.m. aboard the pirate ship on the Ann Street Pier. Storytime guests can also take advantage of discounted admission for their 9:30 a.m. pirate cruise.
4. Visit the Ships
Each year, Sail Baltimore welcomes, on average, 24 tall ships, military vessels, and other vessels from around the country and the world to the Inner Harbor. It’s one of the most popular free things to do in Baltimore, as it perfectly encapsulates life in a waterfront city. The organization’s unique visiting ships program allows visitors to climb aboard and learn about world cultures and maritime history — all without leaving Baltimore.
5. Outdoor Concert Series
You can catch free, outdoor concerts all summer long in Baltimore. Power Plant Live! hosts Friday Night Live!, a free, weekly concert series held every Friday from Memorial Day through the end of September. In summers past, the stage at Power Plant Live! has been helmed by local, regional, and national acts. You can also see free concerts at the Hard Rock Cafe pretty much every night of the week.
When visiting a new city, locating the attractions you want to see can become a bit expensive and overwhelming. But there are plenty of free things to do in Baltimore that’ll keep you busy. Plus, counting on a Baltimore car service will give your family peace of mind knowing that you’re on the right route.
We all know the headache of becoming lost along the way or not being able to find parking, but when you’re sitting in the comfortable backseat of a chauffeured vehicle, all you have to do is sit back and relax. Request a free, no-strings-attached quote or contact us to learn more about our services.
*Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2014 and has since been updated to reflect the most accurate information.