Detroit wasn’t in the best shape ten or fifteen years ago, but things are slowly changing, and the city is beginning to glow again.
Full of historical buildings and interesting museums, with a lot of restaurants and a beautiful Riverfront, the city is increasing its number of visitors on a daily basis. We’ll show you why you should visit in our comprehensive guide below.
The 3 Best Places to Stay in Detroit
Most of the fun in Detroit happens around Downtown. Almost nothing of interest happens outside of it, and frankly speaking, the neighborhoods that are further away from the center are still not completely safe.
We presented three relevant options in this guide, but the best advice we can give is to entrench yourself Downtown and use the great public transport to check out the other districts.
- Downtown: Located near the Riverfront, it’s the busiest part of the city with the most accommodation options, a lot of parks, and great restaurants.
- Midtown: The historic district of Detroit with the largest number of historical buildings and museums but scant accommodation options.
- Corktown: A family-friendly, relaxing, and calm area located to the west of Downtown with a lot of pubs due to its rich Irish heritage.
The Best Areas & Hotels in Detroit
Thanks to the renovations and the revitalizations it has undergone, Detroit is receiving more and more tourists every year. According to 2022 statistics, we are talking about no less than 16 million visitors a year.
That being said, the city has a long way to go since the accommodation options are far from great. The only area where you can find a budget, mid-range, or luxurious hotel is in Downtown.
Only here we are talking about Detroit, the tourist hub. As soon as you leave the utmost center of the city, accommodation becomes scarce.
Midtown is next on the list, but as we said, the situation is far from satisfactory, and in Corktown, even less so. That’s why the only real advice we can give you is to stick to Downtown and use the great public transport of Detroit and visit the other areas.
The city of Detroit has had its fair share of troubles in the last 20 years, but the renovating process is nearly finished, and the city is good to go.
That especially holds for the downtown area: in the past — much like Baltimore’s downtown — it wasn’t the safest and nicest place in the world, but today it’s enjoying a lively renaissance.
Here you can feel the true atmosphere of the city, experience its vibe, and get to see the historical buildings that give Detroit its specific flair.
The first thing you should do is to get yourself a pair of very comfortable sneakers since most of your time in Detroit’s Downtown will be spent walking around. Go near the Detroit River and see the monument to the legendary boxer Joe Louis, aptly named “The Fist.”
While you’re there, visit the wide Hart Plaza: it’s the place where the magic happens, like the famous jazz fest or any other major happenings and events. But the most beautiful thing is definitely the Guardian Building.
Some of the most interesting museums in Detroit are also scattered around the center. If you’re into animation, there’s Lighthouse ArtSpace Detroit. Then, there’s the Detroit Museum of Natural History, located right next to the Detroit River.
Finally, you’ll need some rest after all that sightseeing. Luckily for you, the center is full of parks where you can relax and enjoy nature.
Grand Circus Park is also a major tourist attraction, full of activities and statues; Campus Martius Park is a combination between a park and a square.
Lastly, if you’re traveling with an animal companion, the Spirit of Detroit Plaza and Beacon Park are dog-friendly. Detroit’s downtown is very tourist-friendly and full of different kinds of accommodation.
Regardless of what you’re looking for — budget, mid-range, or luxury — you’ll find it. The same holds for the restaurants, especially along Greektown.
Downtown Budget Hotels
- Rivertown Inn & Suites Downtown Detroit is a very cheap family-owned two-star hotel located in the heart of Detroit’s center. It offers free Wi-Fi, free parking, a 24-hour front desk, a tasty restaurant on the premises, and a fantastic view of the river.
- Comfort Inn Downtown Detroit is another centrally located but very cheap two-star hotel that offers a lot more than a regular place of its type. It has a restaurant, a bar, and a fitness center on the premises, free parking and Wi-Fi, and facilities for disabled guests.
Downtown Mid-Range Hotels
- Atheneum Suite Hotel is a great and not very expensive three-star hotel located just next to the famous Greektown Casino. It offers airport shuttles, and it has a bar, restaurant, and fitness center on the premises. There’s free Wi-Fi and parking, as well as facilities for disabled people.
- Hotel Indigo Detroit Downtown, an IHG Hotel is another centrally located three-star hotel that provides a lot of things at a real mid-range price. For example, it has a bar and a restaurant on the premises (with a great breakfast), as well as a fitness center. It’s a great choice for couples.
Downtown Luxury Hotels
- The Detroit Club is a luxurious and pricy five-star hotel located in close proximity to the TCF Convention Centre, presenting a genuine old-Detroit vibe. It offers a lot: a spa and wellness center, a fitness center, a bar, and a French-oriented restaurant on the premises. It’s particularly suitable for couples.
- The Westin Book Cadillac Detroit is a very luxurious and expensive four-star hotel that has an indoor swimming pool. It also has several restaurants on its premises, a bar, a fitness center, free Wi-Fi, and private parking. Every room in the hotel is equipped with a plasma TV.
Just to the north of the center of the city lies the beautiful neighborhood called Midtown. Usually described as the most walkable part of Detroit, we can also add that it’s the most elegant, safest, and charming part of the city.
There’s a grungy vibe to Midtown too, and don’t be surprised if you hear of it as Michigan’s Berlin. Most of the neighborhood is populated by cultural institutions, commercial business, and religious buildings.
There are more than ten historic districts in Midtown. Without exerting, we can conclude that the most important buildings in Detroit are located here.
We can’t give a full list because it’s going to be far too long, but here’s a rough sketch:
- Cathedral Church of St. Paul
- The Cass Community United Methodist Church
- Detroit Masonic Temple (largest Masonic temple in the world)
- Fisher Building (an Art Deco skyscraper)
- Eddystone Apartments
- The Hamilton Midtown Detroit
As we said earlier, this is just a sketch. The list of important buildings both in Downtown and Midtown exceeds one hundred entries. That’s why we turn our eyes to the second most important thing in the district, the museums.
- Detroit Historical Museum
- Michigan Science Center
- Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History
- N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
- Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit
Depending on your preference, concentrate on one or at most two visits a day to fully experience what these institutions have to offer. All of the museums are quite large and have rich collections.
Most importantly, they cover the full picture of what Detroit is: you can learn about the city’s history, science, African-American history, and contemporary art. Midtown is not great when it comes to accommodations.
There are few accommodations scattered all over, the budget or mid-range options are practically non-existent, and the prices are high. That’s why it’s probably more practical to stay in the center and reach Midtown by public transport.
Midtown Budget Hotels
- Viking Motel-Detroit is a very cheap two-star hotel located in the southern part of Midtown, bordering the city’s center. It doesn’t offer much aside from the cheap price and the great location, but it has free Wi-Fi, parking, and a 24-hour front desk.
- The Inn at 97 Winder is a two-star hotel located in the far north of the district. It offers free Wi-Fi and parking, and it has a spa and wellness center on the premises, as well as rooms with flat-screen TVs.
Midtown Mid-Range Hotels
- Hip Midtown Detroit Hub, Walk to Woodward Ave is a three-star apartment located to the north of Midtown. It offers a fully equipped kitchen, two private bathrooms, free Wi-Fi throughout the premises, and on-site parking.
- Modern Urban Escape 2 Mi to Downtown Detroit! is another decent three-star accommodation that comes at an average price. It offers three bedrooms, a fully equipped kitchen, plasma TV, free Wi-Fi, and free parking. The accommodation is also completely pet-friendly.
Midtown Luxury Hotels
- The Inn on Ferry Street is a four-star hotel located in a very beautiful building on the north side of Midtown, very close to the Detroit Institute of Art. The Victorian building of the hotel is very elegant and offers — aside from the free Wi-Fi and parking — a very nice breakfast every morning.
- Mint House Detroit – Brush Park is another four-star accommodation located very near two important institutions — the Detroit Symphony Orchestra Hall and Masonic Temple Theatre. It offers rooms with fully equipped kitchens, wide space, free Wi-Fi, and free parking.
We are going to end this guide with the oldest neighborhood in Detroit. After the 1840 famine in Ireland, a lot of immigrants came to Michigan and settled in this area.
That cultural input is responsible for the specific architecture and feel of Corktown, full of Federal-style houses and some eclectic Victorian-town mansions with gothic and Italian elements.
In the past, Corktown was mainly industrial and the place in Detroit where the working class made its base. But as the years went past, and the once dangerous and rough neighborhood became revitalized, it slowly transformed itself into a hipster haven.
The proximity to the center (only five minutes by car) is another reason for that too. Today, Corktown is a relaxed, cool, and even family-friendly district.
To be honest, there’s nothing special to do in this part of Detroit — most of the attractions and the important landmarks are located either Downtown or in Midtown.
There are two buildings that you definitely have to see, though: the former train station called Michigan Central (which is today full of offices) and Roosevelt Park right next to it. The park is a perfect place for a relaxing morning jog or even a picnic with your family or a date.
Considering that the place is both Irish in its tradition and hipster in its present, that can only mean two things: a lot of pubs and numerous places for brunch.
Pub-hopping is one of the activities that you have to try at Corktown since the British and Irish way of doing that is proven as best. Finally, the accommodation options — much like in Midtown — are far from great.
There are practically no good accommodation options in this part of town and literally none of the budget variety. That’s why we’ll give you the same advice as for Midtown: stay in the center and use the public transport for a day’s fun in Corktown.
Corktown Mid-Range Hotels
- Atheneum Suite Hotel is a more than decent three-star hotel that comes at a considerably lower price than the other hotels of its type in the area. It has a bar and a restaurant on its premises (and a nice breakfast), a gym, and a spa and wellness center.
- Charming Detroit Abode with Meditation Space! Is another great three-star accommodation located on the utmost northern side of Corktown. It offers free Wi-Fi and free parking, as well as a fully furnished kitchen and decently decorated and comfortable interior.
Corktown Luxury Hotels
- MGM Grand Detroit is a very luxurious and upscale five-star hotel that, among other things, features a casino on its premises. It also has a large indoor pool, a fitness center, a spa and wellness center, a bar, and a restaurant. The hotel is also prepared for receiving and servicing disabled people.
- The Detroit Club is a great and very luxurious five-star hotel that’s located on the outskirts of Detroit’s downtown, very close to Corktown. It offers a spa and wellness center and a fitness center, as well as a bar and a restaurant on the premises. The hotel is particularly suitable for couples.
Over to You — Book Your Trip Today!
Detroit doesn’t offer a large and long trip, but with a good plan and a clear goal in front of you, you can get the most out of it. That can be an advantage too because thanks to the relatively small size, you can see and visit everything.
Now, before we finish this guide, let’s do a quick recap and summarize our findings:
|👫🏽 Most Tourist-Friendly||Downtown|
|🏛️ Home to the Most Museums||Midtown|
|🎉 Best Area for Nightlife||Corktown|
However, regardless of the area in which you choose to stay, there’s something to love for everyone. So what are you waiting for — book your trip to Detroit today!