Posted: 7/15/23 | July 15th, 2023
Nashville is more than just a weekend getaway spot. While a lot of people come to party on honky tonk lined Broadway Street, Nashville has way more than a bachlor/bachlorette spot. The Tennessee capital has a decadent dining scene, worthwhile museums, stunning parks, and chill neighborhoods with cozy cafés.
I always love visiting (it’s one of my favorite cities in the US).
Since Nashville doesn’t have a great public transportation system, when you visit, it’s important to plan ahead and research what neighborhood you want to stay in. Otherwise, you’ll be taking a lot of expensive Ubers.
To help you narrow it down, here is my breakdown of the best neighborhoods (plus accommodation options for each) so you know exactly where to stay in Nashville.
Where to Stay in Nashville for Sightseeing: SoBro
SoBro (South of Broadway) is smack in the center of things but not exactly on the raucous bar-flanked part of Broadway. It’s also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame, one of the most popular (and must-see) sights. The one rub is that there are not a lot of affordable accommodation options here. You’re paying a premium for location, so keep that in mind when booking. If you want a nice, central area to stay in but away from the craziness of the famed Broadway, this are is it!
Best places to stay in SoBro
- BUDGET: Bode — This is perfect for budget travelers who want a central location. Thus hotel has really comfortable rooms and a retro in-house café where you can relax with a coffee. The staff is friendly. It’s the best value in the area.
- MIDRANGE: Placemakr SoBro — This beautiful hotel is right next many of the city’s main attraction, including the Johnny Cash Museum and the Ryman Auditorium. The parquet floors and chic furniture are great, the beds comfortable, and the staff super friendly.
- LUXURY: 1 Hotel Nashville — If you want a hotel with ambience, this sustainably-minded luxe property has 56,000 plants scattered about the hotel, with spacious rooms bedecked with wood-paneled walls. I’m a big fan of this brand as their rooms are really nice, the beds super comfortable, and the rain shower is great. If you have a bigger budget, definitely stay here.
Where to Stay in Nashville for Families: Midtown
Midtown also has many of the city’s chief attractions, such as the Frist Art Museum, the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, and the Belmont Mansion. Additionally, you’ll find the city’s best green space: Centennial Park, where you can find a full-scale model of the Parthenon in Athens. This is a great area for families because it’s quiet, has lots of walkable streets, and is still very central.
Best places to stay in Midtown
- BUDGET: Hampton Inn & Suites — This hotel is perfect for budget-conscious families. Located near Vanderbilt University, it’s pet-friendly, there’s a large pool, and breakfast is included.
- MIDRANGE: Hyatt House Nashville at Vanderbilt — A clean and comfortable three-star hotel right next to the university, the rooms here are spacious and have blackout curtains to ensure you get a good sleep. I love the seasonal outdoor pool perfect and free breakfast. It’s standard, good value Hyatt property.
- LUXURY: The Graduate — This boutique hotel features lots of bright colors, music vibes, and a retro theme. They have a Dolly Parton–themed rooftop bar that’s very cool. I love how their rooms are a mix of modern art vibes and old Southern B&B charm. It’s really unique place to stay.
Where to Stay in Nashville for Local Vibes: Five Points
Five Points, located across the river in East Nashville, is crammed with hip dive bars, unpretentious (and great) restaurants, cutting-edge art galleries, indie boutique shops and record stores, vintage clothing shops, craft cocktail bars, and third-wave coffee spots. There aren’t really any “sights” here. It’s more the vibe that attracts people. The neighborhood makes for a fun base to explore the rest of the city during the day and then come “home” to at night to enjoy the evening atmosphere.
Best places to stay in Five Points
- BUDGET: Waymore’s Guest House & Casual Club — A hip and fresh retro-looking hotel, this is a good choice for travelers who want a quieter place to stay. The rooms are standard hotel rooms and there’s nothing fancy about this place but it’s super affordable!
- MIDRANGE: The Gallatin — This artsy boutique hotel has colorful Insta-worthy walls are adorned with local art and complimentary snacks. I love the decor here, the comfy beds, and friendly staff.
- LUXURY: The Russell — This boutique property is housed in an all-brick church from the early 20th century. Each room has a different decor, the beds are nice, and it’s a colorful place. I love the attention to detail as well as the on site bar. They donate a portion of their proceeds to homeless shelters too.
Where to Stay in Nashville for Partying: Downtown
In the center of Nashville, Downtown, SoBro, and Midtown intersect or overlap. For the sake of this article, I’m using “Downtown” as Lower Broadway’s swath of town: the part that goes right up to the river and includes all the country-and-western bars. If you want to stay in the heart of all the action and be close to the nightlife of Nashville, this is where you want to be.
Best places to stay in Downtown
- BUDGET: The Score — If you want to party on a budget, this property is the most affordable option in Downtown. Studio and one-bedroom apartments are available and each unit has a kitchen and laundry machines.
- MIDRANGE: 21c — This stylish, artsy hotel is housed in a building from 1900 and offers excellent value. The rooms have wood floors and high ceilings, in-room coffee makers, Malin + Goetz bath products, and original artwork on the walls. Its in-house restaurant serves contemporary Southern fare with worldly flair. It’s a very comfortable place to stay.
- LUXURY: The Moxy Downtown — This hip hotel has spacious rooms with plus-sized TVs, ample USB ports, upscale bath products, and the rooftop bar offers stunning views. A Marriott property (so everything here is pretty standardized), it’s the nicest hotel in the downtown core.
Nashville is a bit spread out, so if you base yourself where you want to play and explore, you won’t need a car. All of these neighborhoods are walkable and everything is a short Uber ride away (East Nashville). Midtown and SoBro are my favorite areas for quiet, value, and convenience.
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner. It’s my favorite search engine because it searches websites and airlines around the globe so you always know no stone is being left unturned.
Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, use Booking.com as it consistently returns the cheapest rates for guesthouses and hotels.
Don’t Forget Travel Insurance
Travel insurance will protect you against illness, injury, theft, and cancellations. It’s comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to use it many times in the past. My favorite companies that offer the best service and value are:
Want to Travel for Free?
Travel credit cards allow you to earn points that can be redeemed for free flights and accommodation — all without any extra spending. Check out my guide to picking the right card to get started. For US residents, here’s how you can get points on rent too.
Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.