Many of the best things to do in Cincinnati include a mix of cultural pursuits, some of which are among the oldest and finest in the USA. The Queen City sits on the border of Kentucky and Ohio – given its proximity to the South, you'd be incorrect to assume it to be a southern city. Cincinnati is firmly Midwest, and one of the first truly Midwestern cities you’ll come across if trekking across the USA from East to West. As such, the city offers a sense of hospitality that’ll have you feeling at home as soon as you cross the border.

    If you’ve yet to discover this up-and-coming destination, you’ll want to add it to your travel bucket list sooner rather than later. Cincinnati provides a mix of attractions for all travel types alongside budget-friendliness and ease of navigation. 

    What are the best things to do in Cincinnati?


    Cincinnati Art Museum

    Visit one of the oldest art museums in the USA

    • Families
    • Budget
    • History

    The Cincinnati Art Museum was founded in 1881, making it one of the oldest in the country, as well as the first, purpose-built art museum west of the Allegheny mountain range. The free-to-visit, expansive gallery houses more than 67,000 works of art, some dating back 6,000 years, in addition to travelling international and national exhibitions.

    The museum sits in scenic Eden Park, making it a nice respite from some of the more crowded and urban areas of Cincinnati. This spot is a good itinerary pick for both serious art aficionados and families alike, thanks to its mix of educational and kid-friendly programming.

    Location: 953 Eden Park Drive, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Wednesday and Friday–Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm, Thursday from 11 am to 8 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 513-721-2787


    photo by Greg Hume (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified


    Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden

    Check out thousands of plant and animal species

    • Families
    • History

    The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden attracts families and animal lovers from all of the surrounding states, thanks to its expansive number of animal and plant species, as well as rides and a 4D theatre. One of the zoo’s most prized residents is Fiona the Hippo, who achieved international fame as an infant and who still has quite a few fans on social media.

    The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden is the 2nd-oldest zoo in the United States and was founded on 65 acres in the middle of the Queen City, where it still remains, making it easy to reach.

    Location: 3400 Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45220, USA

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 513-281-4700


    Breweries in Over-the-Rhine

    Sip on world-class craft beers in this historic neighbourhood

    • History
    • Food

    Cincinnati’s Over-the-Rhine neighbourhood boasts a storied past as home to thousands of German immigrants from the 1800s onwards. The working-class neighbourhood became the home to many, many breweries during its first round of popularity in the 19th century, with huge operations producing and shipping beer all across the region, up until Prohibition in the 1920s.

    Following a decline, the neighbourhood is now hip again, the historic buildings now returning to their roots and filled with craft breweries, gastropubs and other watering holes. Be sure to stop in at least a few of the breweries and considering booking a historic walking tour of the area.

    Location: Over-the-Rhine, Cincinnati, Ohio, USA


    American Sign Museum

    Don your sunglasses for a look at this bright spot in American history

    • History

    The American Sign Museum is small but crammed full of interesting memorabilia and artefacts. You might think that there’s not much to say about the history of signage, but as soon as you join one of the American Sign Museum’s guided tours, you’ll learn just how wrong you’d be.

    The museum starts off with exhibits on wooden signage and what was available before the advent of electricity, before moving on to the first electric signs and then what’s probably the museum’s most famous attraction: its huge collection of bright, beautiful neon signs. Bring your camera – the neon signs make a picture-worthy backdrop that can’t be beaten.

    Location: 1330 Monmouth Avenue, Cincinnati, Ohio 45225, USA

    Open: Wednesday–Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday from 12 pm to 4 pm (closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

    Phone: +1 513-541-6366


    photo by Mobilus In Mobili (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Findlay Market

    Sample the local wares at this historic marketplace

    • Shoppers
    • Food

    Some of Cincinnati’s most famous eateries got their start at Findlay Market. The favourited local market was founded in 1852 and has since been the place to go to find fresh produce, regional meats and cheeses, a variety of cooking ingredients, gifts and ready-to-eat delicacies.

    The market consists of both an indoor shopping area filled with vendors large and small, as well as an outdoor marketplace with street vendors. Whether you’re looking for a quick snack to propel you through the rest of your exploration of the surrounding neighbourhood or a unique gift to take back home, you’ll find it at Findlay Market.

    Location: 1801 Race Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: Tuesday–Friday from 9 am to 6 pm, Saturday from 8 am to 6 pm, Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm (closed on Mondays)

    Phone: +1 513-665-4839


    John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

    Take a walk across this innovative landmark

    • Budget
    • Photo

    From Cincinnati’s riverside Smale Riverfront Park, you can access the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, an architectural innovation in its construction. The landmark that Cincinnati residents lovingly claim as their own (though it links the city to Covington, Kentucky) is typically decked out with flags and lighting and is an easy walk via the bridge’s pedestrian path.

    Parking is easiest on the Kentucky side of the bridge, but the views are the best from the Ohio side. Don’t want to take a walk across the Ohio River? Just check out the bridge from the Smale Riverfront Park, where there’s plenty of seating and always something fun for the kids to enjoy.

    Location: 166 West Mehring Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA


    Great American Ball Park

    Catch a Cincinnati Reds game

    If there’s one thing that can be said about Cincinnati, it’s that the city is a sports destination. Fans of the city’s multiple sports teams come from all around to catch a game, many of whom usually head to the Great American Ball Park, home to the Cincinnati Reds baseball team.

    The opening day of a baseball season is like a citywide holiday here, and you’ll find that many employees take off or are granted the day off to make the trek to the ballpark to cheer on their team. If you visit Cincinnati during the spring or summer, you can easily find a game to attend just about any day of the week.

    Location: 100 Joe Nuxhall Way, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Phone: +1 513-381-7337


    photo by Daniel Betts (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Paul Brown Stadium

    Cheer on the Cincinnati Bengals

    If you happen to visit Cincinnati during the autumn NFL season, it’s worth attempting to get tickets for a Cincinnati Bengals game at Paul Brown Stadium. Cincinnati locals love their sports teams and you’ll certainly see that as soon as you enter the vicinity of the stadium and see all of the pedestrians and fans decked out in their orange and black.

    This is one of the more affordable stadiums to visit within the National Football League, so you’ll be able to snag good tickets at a reasonable price. After the game, stick around the area just to people-watch or to join in the post-game merriment.

    Location: 1 Paul Brown Stadium, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Phone: +1 513-621-3550


    photo by bruce.hart (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Washington Park

    Soak in the sun at this beloved green space

    • Families
    • Budget
    • Photo
    • Adventure

    Washington Park, right in the heart of the city, is one of Cincinnati’s most beloved green spaces. Though not huge, the park still manages to pack in tons of activities for kids, families and singles alike. A dog park, playground, bar and water park all await, as do seasonal and regular pop-up activities and events, from live music to light shows.

    Washington Park’s central location makes it an easy place to unwind when exploring some of the city’s best restaurants, bars, shops and cultural attractions. An on-site parking garage makes it even more convenient for those who are driving into town for a day visit.

    Location: 1230 Elm Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Open: Daily from 6 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +1 513-621-4400


    photo by David Brossard (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Cincinnati Music Hall

    Marvel at the beauty of this historic structure’s architecture

    • History

    Cincinnati Music Hall, located adjacent to Washington Park, is beautiful inside and out. The 19th-century structure is home to the city’s fine arts groups, including the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (USA's 6th-oldest symphony orchestra), Cincinnati Opera (USA's 2nd-oldest opera company), Cincinnati Ballet and Cincinnati Pops Orchestra. It also hosts a variety of notable events throughout the year, such as May Fest, the longest-running choral festival in the Western Hemisphere.

    Of course, you can also check out popular artists performing at the hall, with previous artists ranging from Bruce Springsteen to Elton John. Check out the hall’s calendar before your Cincinnati visit and enjoy a show.

    Location: 1241 Elm Street, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202, USA

    Phone: +1 513-744-3344

    Holly Riddle | Contributing Writer

    Start planning your trip

    Keep exploring


    United States of America

    COVID-19 Travel Alert

    Attractions and experiences recommended in our guides may be affected. Please check local guidance before you travel.

    Back to top