What should someone consider when moving to Baltimore? As Maryland’s largest city and economic hub, Baltimore is a diverse and colorful metropolis known for its rich history, distinct neighborhoods, beautiful harbor, unique museums, and world-renowned hospitals, including Johns Hopkins Medicine to the east and the University of Maryland Medical Center to the west.
Known as “Charm City,” Baltimore is undergoing a renaissance, moving away from its history as a working-class port town centered on steel processing and shipping, to a dynamic urban center fueled by a diverse, innovative economy.
But what is living in Baltimore, Maryland actually like?
What Should I Know Before Moving to Baltimore?
Home to approximately 2.7 million people as of 2021, the Greater Baltimore metro region accounts for roughly 46% of Maryland’s total population. Baltimore on its own—with a population of just under 600k— is the 31st largest city in the nation.
Baltimore is also home to 17 colleges and universities, two of which earned places on U.S. News & World Report’s Best Colleges rankings. So it’s not surprising that millennials are moving to Baltimore, Maryland in droves. Millennials have been making up the majority of the population moving to Baltimore while older generations are opting to move away from the city, tilting demographics in a much younger direction.
But these same millennials and others still ask, “Is Baltimore a good place to live?” to ensure there are job opportunities before they make the big move. Luckily, there’s no need to worry.
Major employers in health care, medicine and biotech, advanced manufacturing, financial services, and professional sports call the city home. In addition, several Fortune 500 companies are based in the area, including Black & Decker, Constellation Energy, Legg Mason, and T. Rowe Price. Especially as the city looks toward innovation in the future, job opportunities will only continue to grow in Baltimore.
Why Live in Baltimore?
Baltimore is a thriving city full of opportunities. In fact, Baltimore County (which completely surrounds the City) is home to more than 21,000 employer establishments. The County’s economic diversity is reflected in the variety of industries it is home to, including manufacturing, research and development, federal government, healthcare, utilities, education and financial services firms.
In addition, Baltimore is 27 miles from Washington, D.C., making it an attractive commuter community for those working in the nation’s capital and further boosting employment opportunities for those moving to Baltimore.
What is Baltimore Like to Live In?
Baltimore’s communities have plenty to offer, from the waterfront communities of Fells Point to the historic neighborhood of Cross Keys to the rural Overlea area, there is a neighborhood for virtually every lifestyle.
Additionally, the close proximity of neighborhoods and great transportation options allows residents to explore them all. For instance, in the morning you can kayak the Inner Harbor and then easily spend the afternoon exploring the diverse shops and boutiques of the hip Hampden neighborhood. Later that evening, you can see a show and grab dinner in one of Baltimore’s Arts & Entertainment districts—Bromo, Highlandtown, Station North and Penn Ave.
How Expensive Is It To Live In Baltimore?
Because of its great location, lively neighborhoods, and employment opportunities, that make Baltimore a good place to live, the city’s cost of living is 17% higher than the national average. A large portion of that cost is housing—which is 47% higher than the national average.
Rental prices in Baltimore for a one-bedroom apartment in the city average $1,283, slightly below the national average of $1,468 and well below the $2,234 renters pay on average in Washington, D.C.
How to Get Around Baltimore, Maryland
Conveniently located within a train or car ride from Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, and New York City, Baltimore is a hub for the Northeast Corridor and Mid-Atlantic region.
The area is accessible by air, port, rail, and highway, making Baltimore a good place to live for commuters. The city is located eight miles from Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport and can be reached by light rail and train connections. Amtrak and MARC rail services connect Baltimore residents to Washington, D.C. and surrounding areas. The Metro SubwayLink joins Baltimore’s northwest suburbs to the Johns Hopkins medical campus.
You can also experience Baltimore’s hip and historic neighborhoods via the free Charm City Circulator hybrid buses or the Baltimore Water Taxi. From Little Italy and Greektown to Federal Hill and Fell’s Point, Baltimore’s colorful and distinct neighborhoods showcase great food, unique shopping, and rich cultural heritage.
Things to Do in Baltimore, Maryland
Even though it’s easy to commute out of Baltimore for a day trip to nearby historic cities like Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, there is so much to see and do when living in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Stroll along the Inner Harbor. As the centerpiece of downtown Baltimore, the renovated Inner Harbor is home to the National Aquarium, Maryland Science Center, Historic Ships in Baltimore’s floating museum, and dozens of hotels, restaurants, bars and music venues.
- Enjoy steamed crabs. Steamed Maryland blue crab is a summertime staple dish in Baltimore, especially in summer and early fall. For a traditional family-style crab feast, go to local favorites like Captain James Landing, L.P. Steamers, or Bo Brooks.
- Visit the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. A 135-plus acre zoo nestled in Druid Hill Park, the Maryland Zoo is the third oldest zoo in the country and should definitely be on your list of things to do in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Browse the Baltimore Museum of Art. Founded in 1914 with a single painting, the BMA today has 95,000 works of art—including the largest holding of works by Henri Matisse in the world.
- Go to an Orioles game. One of the oldest major league baseball teams in the nation, the O’s play at Camden Yards, which is located downtown and surrounded by local pubs and unique attractions. This is one of the best things to do in Baltimore, Maryland for sports enthusiasts.
- Cheer on the Ravens. If baseball isn’t your thing, Baltimore is home to The Ravens, an HFL team with 2 Super Bowl wins. M&T Bank Stadium, the home of the Ravens, also hosts a variety of concerts and events.
The Best Baltimore Apartments
Thinking about moving to Baltimore, Maryland? Southern Management has a variety of Baltimore apartment options, from high-rise luxury at The Apartments at Charles Plaza to the suburban garden-style community of Roland Ridge.
Take in the Baltimore skyline from the rooftop pool at the conveniently located Gallery Tower, and if you need some extra square footage, check out the spacious floorplans at Horizon House where apartment layouts range from studios to 2-bedroom, 2-bath units. For an apartment with some serious character, you’ll love the high ceilings, huge windows, and unique lofts at the historically restored department store which is now the Atrium Apartments & Lofts.
It doesn’t get more historic or ornate than The Standard. Featuring impressive limestone colonnades, bronze trim and a marble lobby, this building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It features incredible views of the Inner Harbor, downtown Baltimore, and the Chesapeake Bay.
Located a stone’s throw from Camden Yards, Marlboro Classic & Redwood Square offers studios, apartments, and duplexes with cathedral ceilings, exposed brick walls, and bay windows, as well as a rooftop lounge.
Live in Baltimore, Maryland with Southern Management
Is Baltimore a good place to live? We think so! We’re the Baltimore experts and our team is here to help you figure out how to get a good deal on an apartment. Southern Management offers special discounts at many of our apartments in Baltimore for graduate students, teachers, police officers, or Baltimore City employees.
With seven apartment communities to choose from and a plethora of floor plans and price points, Southern Management features a wide range of residential options in Charm City to suit your lifestyle and needs.