6.1 out of 10

Downtown

Ranked 12th best neighborhood in Cincinnati
39.1040975179041 -84.5097160488685
Great for
  • Eating Out
  • Nightlife
  • Parks & Recreation
  • Public Transport
  • Shopping Options
Not great for
  • Childcare
  • Lack of Traffic
  • Medical Facilities
  • Cost of Living
  • Parking
Who lives here?
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Trendy & Stylish

Reviews

3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 3/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 1/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 4/5
  • Public Transport 5/5
  • Medical Facilities 2/5
  • Schools 4/5
  • Childcare 2/5
2yrs+

"Downtown: a quick hit of everything Cincinnati."

Downtown always has a celebration going on. Fountain Square is the activity hub, with music and festivities, a vendor's market and quirky activities like the Fish Toss or annual Halloween costume contest. Cincinnati Red's Opening Day is a legal city holiday.

During the Christmas season, Santa rappels down the side of an office building each Saturday night. For quieter contemplation, the huge Downtown library has tons of books and a 100 computer tech center.

City Living
There are lots of great apartments near the river and plenty of old buildings converted into apartments or condos, like the Lofts at Shillito Place on Race St. and the old McAlpins building on 4th St. There's not a whole lot of crime Downtown, but don't let your guard down.


Arts and Entertainment
-This year, Downtown will host the seventh biennial World Choir Games with choral competitors and tourists from all over the globe, for the first in the USA.
-Museum Center, slightly west of Downtown, has the Children's Museum, Museum of Natural History, Historical Society, Omnimax and free cultural events.
-The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center near on the banks of the Ohio River has displays on historic and contemporary slavery and freedom. There's a section of the Berlin Wall at the entrance,
-Contemporary Art Center at 6th and Walnut has a Shepard Fairey mural on the exterior wall.
-Taft Museum of Art at Pike and Fourth is celebrating their 80th anniversary with “Art for All,” a public art project with reproductions placed throughout town from June to September 2012.
-Music Hall, in nearby OTR is home to Cincinnati's Opera, Ballet and Symphony Orchestra.
-Aronoff Center for the Arts on Walnut St. has a Broadway series, plays and events.

Plenty of Bars and Restaurants
-The Banks next to Great American ballpark used to be a big hole in the ground. Now it's filling up with sports bars and restaurants like Crave, Johnny Rockets and Holy Grail.
-At Walnut and 6th you'll find Bartini's and Mynt Martinis, Nada and Cincy's (formerly Cadillac Ranch.)
-McCormick and Schmicks and Boi Na Braza Brazilian steakhouse are on Fifth, across from the Square and Morton's Steak House is on 4th Street.

Limited Shopping
Most of the grand old department stores have been converted to condominiums, but there are still a few small gift and specialty stores, as well as Sax, Tiffany, T. J. Maxx and Macy's.

Recreation on the Riverfront
-Cincinnatians love hanging out along the riverfront. It's got a wavy Serpentine wall, a wave pool, green spaces, bike paths and tennis courts and the Purple People Bridge if you want to walk to Kentucky.
-The Reds play from spring through fall at Great American Ballpark
-The Bengals play from fall through winter at Paul Brown Stadium.
Pros
  • Sports teams
  • Entertainment
  • Bus transportation hub
Cons
  • traffic
  • limited free parking
  • Condos are pricey
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish
4/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 3/5
  • Safe & Sound 3/5
  • Clean & Green 4/5
  • Pest Free 3/5
  • Peace & Quiet 3/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 5/5
  • Shopping Options 4/5
  • Gym & Fitness 4/5
  • Internet Access 4/5
  • Lack of Traffic 3/5
  • Parking 3/5
  • Cost of Living 3/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 3/5
  • Public Transport 4/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 3/5
  • Childcare 3/5
2yrs+

"Downtown Cincinnati continues to grow as a residential neighborhood"

For many years, not many people lived in Downtown Cincinnati. There were some residential buildings, but not a lot. Some of the places catered more to the less affluent denizens of the town. However, that is all changing and Downtown Cincinnati is growing in popularity as a residential neighborhood.

Recent development along the river, The Banks, and some redevelopment of old department store buildings into apartments and condos has made city living more attractive than ever. The density of housing options in Downtown has greatly increased in the last decade. Many people are opting for the ease of city living over the hassle of commuting from the suburbs. When you choose to live Downtown you have easy access to public transportation, as the main bus hub is at Government Square along Fifth Street. Downtown Cincinnati is also pedestrian and bicycle friendly.

As a resident of Downtown, you have some of the best dining options in the City at your doorstep. From Italian at Via Vite on Fountain Square to Mexican at Nada on Walnut Street or steaks at Morton's on Vine Street, the world class dining options are endless. For the best brunch in town, head to Orchids at Palm Court in the Hilton Netherland Plaza hotel. There are so many choices for eating out Downtown that you'll never go hungry...which is a good thing, there aren't too many options for buying groceries. To do some grocery shopping you'll either need to head to Findlay Market in Over-The-Rhine or Kroger on Vine Street (not recommended). The best option is probably to head over to the Newport Pavilion Kroger in Northern Kentucky (most of my friends that live Downtown shop there.)

The nightlife options in Downtown Cincinnati will keep you dancing the night away or tapping your toes to some live music while enjoying cocktails with friends. From Scene Ultra Lounge on Walnut Street or Lunar Lounge on Elm Street to the Blue Wisp Jazz Club on Race Street or Arnold's Bar & Grill on E. 8th Street, there's never a dull moment Downtown.

A lot of the housing in Downtown Cincinnati is modern in style, even the building exteriors may not be. There are both rental options and options to purchase. The housing is mostly apartment style or condominiums, many "flats" or "lofts." There are many options to choose from and some offer great views of the river or even the football or baseball stadiums.

Overall, Downtown tends to be safer than Over-The-Rhine, but as in any big city, you want to use caution and common sense. There are also many park areas that are great for walking dogs and there's even a dog park on Eggleston Avenue, Fido Fields.
Pros
  • Excellent dining and nightlife options
  • Convenient public transportation
  • Pedestrian Friendly
Cons
  • No grocery store
  • Traffic congestion
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Retirees
  • Tourists
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Students
  • Trendy & Stylish
3/5 rating details
  • Neighborly Spirit 4/5
  • Safe & Sound 2/5
  • Clean & Green 3/5
  • Pest Free 2/5
  • Peace & Quiet 1/5
  • Eating Out 5/5
  • Nightlife 5/5
  • Parks & Recreation 3/5
  • Shopping Options 5/5
  • Gym & Fitness 3/5
  • Lack of Traffic 2/5
  • Parking 2/5
  • Resale or Rental Value 2/5
  • Public Transport 3/5
  • Medical Facilities 3/5
  • Schools 2/5
  • Childcare 1/5
2yrs+

"Downtown: A Great Place to Visit...But Not Necessarily to Live"

For most Cincinnatians, downtown is more of a weekend attraction as opposed to a place to call home. There’s almost always a sporting event, festival, or concert happening downtown--and on the rare occasion when the area is quiet, there are plenty of trendy bars and restaurants that attract visitors of all ages.

Cincinnati’s Central Business District welcomes countless visitors every day--and, in my opinion, rightfully so--but is not traditionally seen as a residential neighborhood. If, however, you can manage to find yourself a condo or apartment in one of downtown’s newly renovated buildings, you’ll be living in a prime location. Downtown, like its neighbor Over-the-Rhine, is currently experiencing a rebirth of sorts. Several major businesses are currently headquartered here--these include Chiquita, Procter & Gamble, Fifth Third, Macy’s, Kroger, and E.W. Scripps, among others. Additionally, the area is blossoming into a hub not only for business, but for socializing, entertainment, shopping, and tourism.

Many people consider Fountain Square to be the heart of downtown Cincinnati. It has become a symbol of local pride and seems to be hosting some sort of event at any given moment. Whether it’s a rock concert, salsa dancing, a fresh produce market, happy hour, slam poetry, movie night, or Bengals tailgating, there’s always an event happening at Fountain Square. And yes, this includes the winter months: when the temperature drops below 32 degrees, you’ll find it has turned into a winter wonderland ideal for an afternoon of ice-skating.

If romantic holiday activities aren’t your thing, don’t tune out just yet. Downtown is also home to both the Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds, and the Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. Visit downtown on game day and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the energy and pride flowing through the streets. Even more fun are the games themselves, packed with Cincinnatians who support their teams at any cost...no matter how hopeless it may seem to outsiders.

Crime rates are high in the residential parts of downtown, but a visit to an event is not typically risky, even at night. To be safe, though, stick with a group. You’ll find the School for the Creative & Performing Arts (SCPA) in the area, but most good schools are elsewhere. All in all, downtown is generally considered a great place to visit, but not necessarily a great place to live, unless you’re willing to spend a great deal of money on a small but newly renovated condo.
Pros
  • Busy atmosphere
  • Sporting events
  • Major business hub
Cons
  • Condos are pricey
  • Residential areas are unsafe
  • Traffic
Recommended for
  • Professionals
  • Singles
  • Gay & Lesbian
  • Hipsters
  • Trendy & Stylish

Travelling to Downtown?

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Best Streets in Downtown

"Carew Tower Arcade reflects an elegant past"
39.100809077056 -84.5139351902181
2

Walnut St

2.5/5
"Walnut Street is at the heart of Downtown Cincinnati"
39.1014756513377 -84.5114010535025
"Way to get from here to there"
39.1054011153814 -84.5048169287886

Unranked Streets in Downtown

Broadway St

1.5/5
"Downtown"
39.1019046460547 -84.5064082612331

East 4th St

2.5/5
"East 4th Street runs the gamut"
39.1009367426758 -84.5060883355017

Garfield Pl

2.5/5
"Garfield Place is a green oasis"
39.10431000142 -84.5165260005716
39.1021550027409 -84.5107350013456

Lytle St

2.5/5
"Lytle Street not much of a street"
39.1011048828776 -84.503626800585

Pike St

2.5/5
"Pike Street is home to the Taft Museum of Art"
39.1015987323539 -84.5030087784811

Race St

2.5/5
39.1018100483528 -84.5148411319779

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