View of buildings from Downtown Cleveland, one of the best areas for where to stay in Cleveland, Ohio

Where to Stay in Cleveland (Best Places & Areas in 2023)

👉 Jump to: Best Places to Stay in Cleveland | Neighborhoods & Areas | Tips | FAQ

Figuring out where to stay in Cleveland, Ohio can be tricky if you’re a first-time visitor. 

I lived in Cleveland for 10 years. In this article, I’ll break down all the best areas and neighborhoods and what they have to offer. This way, you can plan your trip to one of Ohio’s best cities with ease. 

Whether you want a central location close to attractions like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame or would prefer a quiet suburban area, there is an area of Cleveland for you.

Best Places to Stay in Cleveland

View at the entrance to Drury Plaza Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio
Drury Plaza Hotel in downtown Cleveland (photo: Dee Browning / Shutterstock)

Just looking for a quick answer on the best places to stay in Cleveland? Here are my top picks: 

Okay, let’s do a deep dive of the best areas and neighborhoods in Cleveland: 

6 Best Neighborhoods & Areas to Stay in Cleveland

Cleveland has over 30 official neighborhoods. Each neighborhood has its own distinct atmosphere. I recommend staying downtown if you have never been to Cleveland before, for easy access to the main attractions of the city. The following neighborhoods and areas are my top picks for the best places to stay in Cleveland.

To help you plan your itinerary, you can use this as a companion to my guide to the best things to do in Cleveland.

Downtown Cleveland

Colorful sky over the buildings and Lake Erie at Downtown Cleveland in Ohio during sunset
The downtown Cleveland skyline from across Lake Erie

👉 Best Area For First-Time Visitors | ✨ Best Downtown Cleveland Hotels: Drury Plaza Hotel Cleveland DowntownHilton Cleveland DowntownHotel Indigo Cleveland Downtown, an IHG Hotel

Downtown Cleveland is the ideal place to stay for people who have never been to the city. It’s a 15-minute drive from the airport, and it’s right on the shores of Lake Erie. There are so many attractions here including the renowned Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Great Lakes Science Center.

Downtown Cleveland is very walkable, which makes exploring fun. Many interesting events take place in Public Square, such as performances and art displays. The Terminal Tower Observation Deck overlooks Public Square and gives you a great view of the city. I also recommend checking out downtown Cleveland’s Warehouse District which is full of trendy shops and eateries. 

Overall, the Cleveland downtown area has many great restaurants, public transit connections, and hotel options. My recommendation is the Drury Plaza Hotel. It has a central location, many amenities, and excellent reviews. 

Pros of Staying in Downtown Cleveland:

  • Central location
  • Very walkable area
  • Many attractions (including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)
  • Well-connected to the rest of Cleveland via public transit
  • Plenty of hotel options for every budget
  • Close to the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

Cons of Staying in Downtown Cleveland:

  • Parking can be a challenge here
  • The crime rate is higher than in other Cleveland neighborhoods
  • Can be crowded and noisy during times of peak activity

📚 Downtown Cleveland Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay in Cleveland for First-Time Visitors
Google Map

University Circle

View outside the Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland
The Museum of Contemporary Art in the University Circle neighborhood (photo: Prosper106 / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Arts & Culture | ✨ Best University Circle Hotels: InterContinental Cleveland, an IHG HotelCourtyard Cleveland University CircleThe Glidden House

University Circle is a great area to stay in Cleveland if you want to have a more local arts and culture experience. The University Circle neighborhood is home to the Case Western Reserve University campus. So, many students live in this area and it has a young, energetic atmosphere. University Circle has a lot of greenery and is very walkable. 

The Cleveland Museum of Art and Museum of Contemporary Art are two art attractions located in University Circle. The Cleveland Museum of Natural History is another worthwhile Cleveland museum

You can see the Cleveland Orchestra perform at Severance Hall in University Circle. Little Italy is also nearby and has a variety of Italian eateries and unique street art.

Lastly, you should know that prices tend to be cheaper in University City. It is a college area after all.

Pros of Staying in University Circle:

  • Easy access to downtown Cleveland via public transit
  • Cheaper prices for food and accommodations
  • Near many of the best museums in Cleveland
  • Very walkable area
  • Peaceful location with many parks

Cons of Staying in University Circle:

  • Crime rate is high in some parts of University Circle, especially bordering East Cleveland
  • Finding a parking spot can be difficult

📚 University Circle Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay in Cleveland for Arts & Culture
Google Map

Playhouse Square

The Playhouse Square building from the outside at night
The colorfully lit Playhouse Square at night (photo: Kenneth Sponsler / Shutterstock)

👉 Best Area For Entertainment | ✨ Best Playhouse Square Hotels: Crowne Plaza Cleveland at Playhouse Square, an IHG HotelMetropolitan at the 9, Autograph CollectionKimpton Schofield Hotel, an IHG Hotel

Playhouse Square is very close to downtown Cleveland. A variety of playhouses and performing arts centers are located in this renowned theater district. In fact, Playhouse Square is one of the biggest and most vibrant performing arts centers in the United States!

Playhouse Square hosts over 1,000 events annually. You can enjoy stand-up comedy and children’s shows in addition to typical theater shows. Playhouse Square is also close to many other famous Cleveland attractions.

You can enjoy a variety of restaurants and bars throughout Playhouse Square. Just know that they tend to get crowded right before and after shows. A signature feature of Playhouse Square is the GE chandelier that hangs above East 14th Street. It visibly ties the whole area together and is especially pretty to see at night.

Pros of Staying in Playhouse Square:

  • Close to downtown Cleveland
  • Many playhouses are located here, so there’s always a show to catch
  • Many great restaurants and bars

Cons of Staying in Playhouse Square:

  • Parking can be a challenge
  • Restaurants and bars can be crowded, particularly before and after shows

Ohio City

View of the West Side Market in Ohio City
The West Side Market in Ohio City

👉 Best Area For Nightlife & Friendly Atmosphere | ✨ Best Ohio City Hotels: Stone Gables InnHuge Ohio City District HomeCozy home in the heart of Ohio City

Ohio City is just across the Cuyahoga River from downtown Cleveland. There is an eclectic, yet friendly vibe here that makes Ohio City a great place to stay. There are also tons of restaurants to enjoy and shops to explore.

West Side Market is perhaps the most well-known attraction in the Ohio City area. It’s one of my favorite places to go in Cleveland. You can find all sorts of produce, artisan foods, and cool, handmade merchandise here. 

Nightlife is the other main attraction in this trendy, bohemian Cleveland neighborhood. There are an assortment of bars, clubs, and wonderful craft breweries.

I also recommend checking out places like Edgewater Beach, Franklin Castle, and local art galleries in Ohio City.

Pros of Staying in Ohio City:

  • Best nightlife in Cleveland
  • Very close to downtown Cleveland
  • Home to many galleries, beaches, breweries, and the West Side Market
  • Very walkable area 
  • Charming local architecture
  • More vacation rental options
  • Friendly, bohemian atmosphere

Cons of Staying in Ohio City:

  • Fewer actual hotel options
  • Can be noisy due to nightlife

📚 Ohio City Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay in Cleveland for Nightlife & Friendly Atmosphere
Google Map

✨ Best Hotels Stone Gables InnHuge Ohio City District HomeCozy home in the heart of Ohio City

🏠 ApartmentsBrowse Top Rentals in Ohio City

🍽️ Where to Eat Heart of Gold ($$), TownHall ($$), Soho Chicken + Whiskey ($$)

🍸 Where to DrinkOld Angle Tavern, ABC the Tavern, JUKEBOX

🎟️ Top Attractions West Side Market, Franklin Castle, Edgewater Beach


View of Beachwood in Ohio on the map

👉 Best Area For Peace and Quiet | ✨ Best Beachwood Hotels: Drury Inn & Suites Cleveland BeachwoodHomewood Suites by Hilton Cleveland-BeachwoodHampton Inn & Suites Cleveland-Beachwood

Beachwood is the best area to stay in Cleveland if peace and quiet are your top priority. Beachwood is a suburban area about 20 minutes south of downtown Cleveland. So, it’s further from crowds, popular attractions, and any downtown commotion.

Beachwood has plenty of outdoor space for people who want to get lost in nature. The Acacia Reservation is a great place to do this. Lesser-known attractions like the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage are located in Beachwood as well. The religious artifacts at the Maltz Museum are beautiful and the exhibitions and events are informative about the history of Jewish people and their culture in Cleveland.

Beachwood Place and Legacy Village are great places to go shopping in Beachwood. These are among my favorite shopping areas in Cleveland. There are tons of shops and restaurants to choose from here.

Pros of Staying in Beachwood:

  • Peaceful, quiet suburban area
  • Lots of outdoor space and access to nature
  • Many shops and restaurants
  • Cheaper accommodations than downtown Cleveland

Cons of Staying in Beachwood:

  • Further from downtown Cleveland than other neighborhoods
  • Public transit isn’t always consistent

📚 Beachwood Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay in Cleveland for Peace and Quiet
Google Map


View of a tree on the shoreline of Huntington Beach
Huntington Beach—not far from the Westlake neighborhood

👉 Best Area For Families | ✨ Best Westlake Hotels: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Cleveland/Westlake, an IHG HotelHyatt Place Cleveland/Westlake/Crocker ParkHampton Inn Cleveland-Westlake

Westlake is a nice suburban area that’s great for families thinking about where to stay in Cleveland. Westlake is about 15 minutes from the Cleveland Airport and the city center. There are many hotels to choose from in the Westlake area, including good budget hotel options.

You can enjoy many nice parks and beautiful views of Lake Erie in Westlake. Huntington Beach is a great place to swim and sunbathe in the summer.

Head to the Westlake Historical Society House Museum to learn about the area. There’s also the Westlake Recreation Center, where you can get some exercise. Crocker Park is a great outdoor shopping mall that presents a fun way to spend a summer day.

Pros of Staying in Westlake:

  • Safe area
  • Family-friendly neighborhood
  • Peaceful, quiet location
  • Many parks
  • Budget-friendly hotel options 

Cons of Staying in Westlake:

  • Further from the city center than other Cleveland neighborhoods
  • Not as many Cleveland attractions

📚 Westlake Mini Guide 📚
Best Area to Stay in Cleveland for Families
Google Map

Tips for Staying in Cleveland

Choose the Time of Year for Your Visit Carefully

View of daffodils blooming in Cleveland during springtime
Daffodils blooming in Cleveland in the springtime

The best times to visit Cleveland are between April and May, and September and October. Summers are hot and humid, and winters are bitterly cold. Cleveland tends to have particularly harsh winters because of its location south of Lake Erie.

Be Prepared for Unpredictable Weather

Like many cities in the Midwest, Cleveland’s weather is not always predictable. Even when rain is not in the forecast, it is always possible. Cold nights can come after warm days. It’s always good to pack layers of clothing so that you’re prepared for any weather that may occur.

Learn How to Use Public Transit

View of the rapid transit train in Cleveland, Ohio
Cleveland’s Rapid Transit train

Figure out if public transit will be an efficient option during your trip. If so, consider buying a one, two, or four-day pass. This is often cheaper than paying per ride. However, you’ll likely be better off with a car if you are staying far from the city center.

Expect Heavy Snow if You’re Here in the Winter

Cleveland gets a ton of snow in the winter due to its proximity to Lake Erie. Avoid driving during the winter if you don’t have a lot of experience driving in the snow. Parked cars may also get stuck and unable to be moved due to the snow.

Be Prepared for Rowdiness on Game Days

Players of the Cleveland Cavaliers on the court
The Cleveland Cavaliers (photo: Scott Meivogel / Shutterstock)

Cleveland sports fans are passionate about their teams. This can lead to extreme behavior, especially on game days. People are more likely to drive under the influence on game days and traffic is generally worse. Defensive driving and other smart driving tactics are important to protect yourself. Street harassment may also occur. 

Avoid Unsafe Neighborhoods

Cleveland is safe overall, but it does have a higher-than-average crime rate. I recommend avoiding East Cleveland, just east of the University Circle neighborhood. Downtown Cleveland is also less safe at night, so be vigilant.

Be Vigilant in Potentially Unsafe Areas

I recommend that visitors stay in popular areas, like those mentioned in this article, as a general rule. I also advise you to be vigilant at nighttime and to be aware of your belongings and keep your valuables hidden. Otherwise, you are more likely to be a target.

Learn About Your Accommodations

In addition to researching where to stay in Cleveland, be familiar with your specific building. 

Be sure to do a little research on your Cleveland accommodations if you plan on staying in rental properties. Older homes can occasionally have issues like lead pipes. However, this isn’t much of an issue with hotels.

FAQs About Where to Stay in Cleveland

What part of Cleveland is nice?

Many parts of Cleveland are nice. University Circle is a great area for students. The downtown Cleveland area is ideal for young professionals and first-time visitors. Ohio City and Tremont are known for their friendly cultures. Beachwood and Westlake are known as family-friendly areas.

What is the hippest neighborhood in Cleveland?

The hippest neighborhood in Cleveland is Ohio City. It is home to a variety of bars and clubs, making it the area with the best nightlife in Cleveland. Ohio City also has many great breweries, restaurants, and West Side Market. This is a great neighborhood to consider when deciding where to stay in Cleveland.

Is Cleveland worth visiting?

Cleveland is worth visiting for its variety of things to do. You can enjoy museums such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Cleveland Museum of Art. Sports fans can watch the Guardians and Cavaliers play, and theater buffs will love Playhouse Square.


Cleveland is an overall great city to visit and I hope my guide made deciding where to stay in Cleveland easier! To learn more about this midwestern city, check out my guide on interesting Cleveland facts

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