Baltimore/East Baltimore

The abandoned Old Town Mall

East Baltimore is a sparsely populated, mostly residential district covering about a third of the entire city in the very rough east of downtown and the more suburban-feeling northeast.


East Baltimore is notable principally for helping to keep Baltimore's homicides per capita among the highest in the nation, and unsurprisingly has been used as a filming location for both the Wire and more extensively for Homicide: Life on the Street. It is also home to the Johns Hopkins Medical Campus, which is somewhat controversially demolishing the blighted neighborhoods that surround it in order to accommodate its ever rapid expansion. Displaced residents are not pleased, but Johns Hopkins is the single most powerful institution in the city, and the hospital is likely to get its way! Sensing neighborhood change in the wake of the expansion, real estate developers have been buying up properties by the block, looking to turn them into condos, leaving swathes with the appearance of a shiny new ghost town. The city government is quite interested in renovating areas so close to downtown (for the new tax base that would bring), particularly in the borderline ghost town of Old Town. A yuppified East Baltimore is at least a possibility in the future, but what a contrast that would be to the present reality!

Northeast Baltimore is an entirely different animal, with some really interesting neighborhoods, especially Hamilton and Lauraville along Harford Road. Expect quaint strips with nice restaurants, cafes, and local shops. Harford Road might ring a bell for film lovers of the eccentric variety—it was brought into the popular consciousness by John Waters' 2004 film, A Dirty Shame.

Get in

By public transport

East Baltimore is a pretty huge area, when you account for the whole northeast of the city, so how to get in will depend on what part you mean to visit. The only part of East Baltimore that can make sense to visit via public transport is the Johns Hopkins Hospital area, which is served by the little-known Baltimore Metro, which runs to the JH Hospital station from the Inner Harbor, Lexington Market, and Midtown, as well as by Bus #35, coming to the hospital from Pratt St in the Inner Harbor. Bus #13 is also of potential use, as it runs south from Hopkins along Wolfe to either Fell's Point or Canton (depending on the routing of the specific bus) and north along Washington before turning west on North Ave, going past Great Blacks in Wax, Greenmount Cemetery, and on to North Charles St in Midtown.

For the more interesting neighborhoods of Lauraville and Hamilton, Bus #19 runs up along their main commercial corridor, Harford Rd, from Pratt St in the Inner Harbor all the way out of the city to the northeast (note that #35 service is suspended 1:30AM-4AM daily).

For Chaps Pit Beef, if you are feeling too stubbornly adventurous to go there properly via car, you can take Bus #35 past Johns Hopkins Hospital and all the way out the Pulaski Highway. If you miss it, though, you'll wind up lost all the way out in boring old White Marsh.

By car

A car is the only truly sensible way for a visitor to get around East Baltimore. It is safer and more convenient, and you will find parking basically everywhere. Monument St and Orleans St/Pulaski Hwy (US-40) are the main east west roads, with Harford Rd and Belair Rd serving as the main northeast radials from the city center.

I-95 and I-895 clip the eastern edge of the city. Coming from the north, use Exit 13 off I-895 for US-40/Pulaski Hwy. From the south, use Exit 14 for Moravia Rd. Both northbound and southbound I-95 traffic can use Exit 61 for US-40/Pulaski Hwy. For Lauraville and Hamilton, Harford Rd intersects with the Baltimore Beltway (I-695) at Exit 31.



Billings Building, Johns Hopkins Hospital









Some restaurants and all public libraries provide WiFi. There are other areas where you can get it by subscription.

Go next

Routes through East Baltimore

Downtown Fells Point  NW  SE  END

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Monday, January 18, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.