Baltimore may not immediately spring to mind as a top travel destination. But from historic sites dating to the 1700s, to world-class sports venues, to restaurants with menus spanning the globe, to a thriving arts and culture scene, and one of the most picturesque harbours in the United States - no matter where your interests lie, there's a reason to book flights to B altimore.
As the birthplace of The Star-Spangled Banner and one of the focal points of the Civil Rights Movement, Baltimore is packed with history just waiting to be explored. Baseball fans will know Baltimore as the hometown of Babe Ruth and can buy tickets to watch his former team, the Orioles, play at Camden Yards, while football fans can line up for passes to a Ravens game instead. Bibliophiles can also visit the home and museum of Edgar Allan Poe, whose famous poem inspired the NFL team's name. Foodies should book their Baltimore flights in time for Restaurant Week. Held twice a year, this is when you can get a three-course gourmet meal on the cheap at some of Baltimore's best restaurants. Even if you're simply wandering around the beautiful Inner Harbor and Fells Point area, you'll soon realize how Baltimore earned its Charm City tag as its vibrant energy and enthusiasm draw you in.
Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI), also known as Thurgood Marshall Airport, is the main gateway to the city. Airlines that serve this airport include Air Tran, American, Continental, and JetBlue and travellers from Canada can get non-stop flights to Baltimore from Toronto with Air Canada.
Baltimore winters are cold with temperatures dipping as low as -5°C in January and summers can get hot with temperatures sometimes going up to 30°C. So the most popular time to visit the city is in the spring or fall when the weather is mild and pleasant.
However, if really cheap flights to Baltimore are what you're looking for, then brave the snow and book between November to February (except around Christmas and New Year) to get the best deals on airline tickets and hotels.
Baltimore Washington International Airport (BWI) has a single terminal and the arrival gates are located at the airport's upper level. The airport website has a ground transport brochure with detailed information on all your travel options from the airport.
Bus: Maryland Transit Administration buses on Route Numbers 17 and 99 connect the airport to destinations in and around Baltimore. Buses operated by Howard Transit run between the airport and areas like Columbia and Elliot City. Ticket prices depend on your destination, but the minimum fare on all bus routes is $1.50 USD. Further discounts are available for seniors, students, the disabled, and children.
The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority also runs an Express B30 service to the Greenbelt Metro Station which is a part of the Washington Metro System. A one-way ticket is approximately $4 USD but be sure to have exact change if you're purchasing your ticket on-board. All bus stops are located at the lower level of the terminal building.
Train: The BWI Marshall Light Rail Station is located just outside the airport's lower level, near Concourse E and with a one-way ticket costing a mere $1.60 USD, this is one of the cheapest ways of travelling to the city. Amtrak's BWI Marshall Rail Station (not to be confused with the Light Rail Station) is located close to the airport and a free shuttle service operates daily between the airport's lower level and the station. Regional commuter 'MARC' trains also stop at this station.
Airport Shuttle: You can book with The Airport Shuttle (run by Go Shuttles) or with SuperShuttle, both of which have shared-ride services to destinations in and around Baltimore as well as Washington D.C. A one-way trip to the city's Inner Harbor area costs about $22 USD. The Airport Shuttle is not available between midnight and 3 a.m. while SuperShuttle runs 24 hours. Check for discounts on both for booking tickets for children, seniors, or large groups travelling together.
SuperShuttle also offers scheduled services to and from hotels in Baltimore which depart every half hour between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m., costing approximately $18 USD per person.
Hotel Shuttle: When booking your hotel room, check to see if a courtesy pick-up service from the airport is provided by the hotel. If it is, this is the best way to travel from the airport but be sure to inform the hotel about the arrival time of your flight and confirm the shuttle's pick-up location at the airport.
Taxi: Taxi stands are located at the airport's lower level outside the baggage claim area. Fares are metered and a trip to Baltimore's Inner Harbor area costs about $35 USD.
Car Rental: The airport's car rental facility is located about 10 minutes away from the terminal and passengers can get there by using the free shuttle service from the lower level of the airport. If you'd like to book in advance, you can do so online or via telephone with several companies, including Avis, National, Budget, and Thrifty.
Chauffeured Car Services: To hire luxury cars and limousines, you will have to book in advance with Private Car / RMA Worldwide Chauffeured Transport. Trips can be booked online and prices start at about $60 USD.