Baltimore is a city with many great bars, restaurants, and attractions, but it takes time and effort to find these spots. The city isn’t huge, so learning how to get around doesn’t take rocket science, but you do need to know where the good spots are. It is great if you have a friend with a car, but public transportation can also be used. You can hop in a cab and get anywhere in the city for less than $20. Baltimore is a city of neighborhoods, and each of these has a very distinctive feel. Johns Hopkins straddles several neighborhoods: Roland Park, a residential neighborhood with parks and mansions; Charles Village, a collegiate-urban environment; and Hamden, a working-class neighborhood. A little farther from campus, Mount Vernon houses Peabody Conservatory, Maryland Institute College of Art, and several theaters, and it is known for being a trendy artists’ area. From early spring through fall, neighborhoods host festivals that celebrate the particular feel of their neighborhoods with food, vendors, and games. However, students who don’t regularly read city newspapers miss out on these neighborhood events. Freshmen mainly go to the mall in Towson and the Inner Harbor, both of which can get old quickly. Make sure you visit the National Aquarium at least once.
Baltimore is a fun medium-sized city. Those who come from big cities are disappointed by the lack of activities, but there are a number of activities for a city of its size. Once you are 21, there is a plethora of great bars. Keep in mind that Baltimore is within four hours of Washington D.C., Ocean City, Richmond, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Newark, and New York City. Washington D.C. and Philadelphia are an easy train ride away.