For the best areas to stay in Nashville, look no further than the neighborhoods around Downtown, East Nashville, The Gulch, The West End, Midtown, Hillsboro Village and Germantown. These are the best parts of Nashville to book your accommodations! In this article I will help you decide where to stay in Nashville for tourist without a car, nightlife and safe places to stay in Nashville.
Nashville, Tennessee, nicknamed “Music City USA,” is the capital and most populous city in the state. An incredibly popular destination, it offers so much variety that everyone will be sure to find something entertaining.
Nashville is generally a safe city for tourists. But watch out for muggers and pickpockets in dark alleys downtown, around the Parthenon in Centennial Park and near recording studios in the Gulch. The safest neighborhoods are Downtown, Midtown, the Gulch, Music Valley and West End—all areas that are always filled with tourists.
Downtown is one of the best place to stay in Nashville for first-time visitors, as it is close to most of the city’s famous attractions and has many options in terms of accommodations. If you book hotels in this area, you will be right in the heart of action with many bars, restaurants, and shops right at your doorsteps.
Downtown is a haven for nightlife. With great music venues, restaurants, bars and hotels—and even more places to visit—it’s a great place to go out with friends and make some memories. If you’re planning a bachelor or bachelorette party, you can bet there will be plenty of places to party.
Downtown Nashville Highlights
- Fill your days with live music and history. At the Ryman Auditorium, you can see performances by the likes of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton.
- Visit the Tennessee State Museum to learn about the state’s rich past and diverse culture.
- Grab a drink at Robert’s Western World, where live country music is always playing.
- If you love African American music or want to learn more about it, visit the National Museum of African American Music or take in a show at Bourbon Street Blues and Boogie Bar.
- Learn about Tennessee’s history at the state capitol—and explore its beautiful grounds—on a guided tour.
- If you enjoy art, head over to the Musician’s Hall of Fame and Museum or wander through Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park.
For Nightlife in Nashville, Check out the SoBro District
The SoBro district, or South of Broadway, is one of the hippest areas in downtown Nashville. There are lots of honky-tonks and neon lights, as well as hip bars, nightclubs, pubs, restaurants, and a trendy music scene.
SoBro is a great place to stay for music lovers, party-goers and bachelor & bachelorette parties. Etch, The FarmHouse, Husk and Merchants are great restaurants, while Robert’s Western World, AJ’s Good Time Bar and Barlines are some of the bars you will find at Omni Nashville Hotel.
The SoBro neighborhood is home to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Founded in 1967, the museum is one of the world’s largest music museums and research centers, containing one of the most extensive music collections.
Just to the west of SoBro is the Music City Center, the largest convention center in the city. It hosts all manner of conventions throughout the year, making it a convenient place to stay for anyone attending one.
In the south of SoBro is the CMA Theater. It is operated by the Country Music Hall Of Fame & Museum and linked to it, giving you an incredible opportunity to catch a performance in one of the world’s most iconic locations for country music while visiting SoBro.
One of the city’s most celebrated attractions, the Nashville Symphony is home to the Nashville Symphony Orchestra. While downtown and the rest of the city is primarily known for its country music scene, this gives you a chance to see musicians of another genre perform while you’re in Music City.
Walk Of Fame Park is one of the best places in SoBro to take a leisurely stroll. With beautiful gardens and star-studded pavements—think Hollywood—it’s a great place to enjoy both nature and memorials to some of Nashville’s favorite musical legends.
SoBro Highlights – Perfect for First Timers in Nashville
- If you’re in the mood for Southern comfort food, head to Merchants Restaurant.
- For a crash course on the history of American music, visit The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.
- At The Listening Room Café, you can enjoy great food along with great music.
- Learn more about Johnny Cash at the Johnny Cash Museum; then grab a drink at Rippy’s Bar & Grill and enjoy incredible views from their rooftop patio.
- Cheer on the Nashville Predators hockey team at Bridgestone Arena.
- If you’re looking for nonstop live music and dancing, stop by Honky Tonk Central bar.
The Gulch Nashville: Trendy and up and coming, with luxury hotels and plenty to do!
The Gulch, one of Downtown’s LEED-certified neighborhoods, is bordered to the east by SoBro, to the south and west by the I-40, and to the north by Broadway and the rest of Downtown. The Gulch is an up-and-coming neighborhood that has been undergoing revitalization since 2006.
The Gulch is home to some of Nashville’s most historic and popular music venues. The Station Inn, Mercy Lounge, and High Watt give music fans a chance to watch performances in iconic surroundings with the world’s best bluegrass, classic country, Americana, and roots music.
The Gulch also boasts one of the city’s most historic hotels, the Union Station Hotel. This former railroad terminal opened in 1900 and has been converted into a luxury hotel. You can stay right in the heart of Nashville surrounded by both quality and history.
Highlights of The Gulch
- If you like beer, try the Flying Saucer.
- For great views of Nashville, go to The Centennial Park and Up Rooftop Lounge.
- If you like antiques, visit the Downtown Antique Mall.
- If you want good bluegrass music, go to The Station Inn.
- If you want local brews, visit Yazoo Brewing Company or Jackalope Brewing Company.
- If you like BBQ, try Peg Leg Porker.
- If you want to see exhibits and artwork, go to the Frist Center for the Visual Arts.
For a Young Vibe, try the The West End and Midtown
The Midtown and West End neighborhoods are located southwest of Downtown, with Broadway concluding in the eastern side of Midtown. The neighborhoods are home to Vanderbilt University and Belmont University.
The main attraction in Midtown & West End is Centennial Park, which is also home to the Nashville Farmers Market. Covering 132 acres, the park has been transformed from farmlands to wide open green spaces for the public, full of beauty spots and historical monuments.
Where to Stay in Nashville with Kids
When visiting Nashville as a family, it’s best to stay in a nice, calm neighborhood that’s close to all the major attractions. The West End neighborhood is perfect for this purpose. It has several advantages over other popular areas of town: it’s quieter than Midtown and Downtown, more affordable than those areas, and hosts activities for kids at The Parthenon.
What to Do in Nashville with Kids
- The Country Music Hall of Fame
- Nashville’s Adventure Science Center
- The Nashville Zoo
- Explore the Outdoors in Nashville!
Nashville on a Budget: Best Places / Neighborhoods to Stay
If you want to enjoy all Nashville has to offer at a budget price, consider staying in East Nashville (which is across the Cumberland River from downtown). It’s not the best part of town in terms of accommodations and attractions, but it makes up for this deficit by being one of the most affordable places to stay in or around the city. You won’t find many tourist amenities here, but that’s okay because you can go restaurant hopping with their numerous low-budget eateries where you can have some real fun! This restaurant is a local hot spot famous for its amazing Mexican food with a wide selection of tacos.
West End is another area of Nashville that offers affordable lodging. The area has numerous options for you to choose from, making it easy to plan a budget-friendly trip. It’s relatively easy to get to Midtown from West End by taking a taxi, which allows you to enjoy the entertainment district attractions without having to stretch your wallet thin by staying there. West End also has amazing affordable restaurants like McDougal’s Chicken Fingers & Wings. This comfort food spot offers you great deals on southern specials whether it is breakfast or your main meal. The best part is that they also throw in some free ice cream with every meal.
For Live Music
Friday and Saturday nights, Lower Broadway has a party atmosphere with patrons spilling out of its bars.
Celebrities own some of the newer bars on Broadway but there are also traditional honky tonks such as Tootsies Orchid Lounge and Robert’s Western World.
Just north of Broadway is the acoustically acclaimed Ryman Auditorium which hosts up-and-coming bands and big-name acts across musical genres. Printer’s Alley is a fun downtown nook to explore with its twinkling lights.
For History Buffs
The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum celebrates Nashville’s rich musical heritage. After checking out the informative exhibits, you’ll see why the city is nicknamed Music City. The museum building is also home to Hatch Show Print, a long-running print shop known for its iconic woodblock concert posters.
Across the street, Walk of Fame Park honors top performers. Johnny Cash takes the spotlight at his namesake museum a block and a half from Walk of Fame Park.
Stretch your legs on the John Siegenthaler Pedestrian Bridge, which crosses the Cumberland River. This pretty span honors a former editor of the Tennessean, who was a champion of civil rights during his career in journalism.
For Couples Looking to Get Away
Centennial Park, named for the state’s centennial anniversary and host to the World’s Fair in 1897, is a beautiful spot for a romantic stroll. The Parthenon replica, built during the fair, still stands. Dolly Parton recorded one of the world’s greatest love songs, “I Will Always Love You,” in 1973 inside RCA Studio B, a historic recording studio open for tours on Music Row. Wander Hillsboro Village’s shops and explore nearby Belmont University’s campus home to a small museum spotlighting rare guitars. The cool confines of the Patterson House are an intimate setting for a craft cocktail. Settle in at Catbird Seat for an innovative multicourse dinner.
For Bachelors and Bachelorettes
On weekends, many revelers head to Lower Broadway, a neighborhood known for its music. Live music and booze can be found at honky-tonks around the neighborhood. Musicians Kid Rock, Blake Shelton, Jason Aldean, and Luke Bryan recently opened bars in Lower Broad which has amplified the party vibe. Another hotspot is Acme Feed & Seed, a riverside bar and restaurant known for its open-air decks and city views. City Winery and several craft breweries offer tastings in the industrial fringes of the neighborhood. A Top Golf driving range is a short drive north of the neighborhood. Bloody Mary brunches at restaurants in and around SoBro are perfect for nursing hangovers or continuing the party.