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Arriving

By Plane -- Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI; tel. 800/I-FLY-BWI [435-9294] or 410/859-7111; www.bwiairport.com) is 10 miles south of downtown Baltimore, off I-295 (the Baltimore-Washington Pkwy.). Domestic airlines serving Baltimore include AirTran (tel. 800/247-8726), American (tel. 800/433-7300), Continental (tel. 800/525-0280), Delta (tel. 800/221-1212), Northwest (tel. 800/225-2525), Southwest (tel. 800/435-9792), United (tel. 800/241-6522), and US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322).

To get to Baltimore from the airport, take I-195 west to Route 295 north, which will take you into downtown. SuperShuttle (tel. 800/258-3826; www.supershuttle.com) operates vans between the airport and all major downtown hotels. The cost is $22 per person one-way. The Light Rail also connects the airport and Amtrak station at BWI, with downtown Baltimore stops at Camden Station and Penn Station.

By Car -- I-95 provides the easiest routes to Baltimore from the north and south. From the north, follow I-95 south through the Fort McHenry Tunnel ($2 toll) to exit 53, I-395 north to downtown. Bear left off the exit, and follow signs to the Inner Harbor. From the south, follow I-95 north to exit 53, I-395 north to downtown. Bear left off the exit, and follow signs to the Inner Harbor.

From the west, take I-70 east to exit 91, I-695 south (the Baltimore Beltway) heading toward Glen Burnie. Take exit 11A, I-95, to I-395 north to downtown.

From I-83 (Pennsylvania to the north), follow I-83 south to where it merges with I-695 (the Baltimore Beltway). Continue on I-83 south for 1 mile to exit 23A (I-83 south, downtown). The Jones Falls Expressway ends at President Street downtown.

Once you arrive, you'll find parking garages and metered on-street parking downtown. Garages charge about $20 a day, or $8 to $12 for special events or evening visits. Parking meters must be fed $1.25 an hour (in quarters only), though most streets now have meters that take both credit cards and cash to pay parking fees.

By Train -- Baltimore is served by Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com). Trains on the Northeast Corridor route arrive at and depart from Pennsylvania Station, 1500 N. Charles St. (tel. 410/291-4165), north of the Inner Harbor, and BWI Airport Rail Station (tel. 410/672-6169), off Route 170 about 1 1/2 miles from the airport.

In addition, MARC (Maryland Area Rail Commuter) trains provide rail service on two routes from Washington, D.C., stopping at BWI en route. One route ends at Camden Station, closest to the Inner Harbor, and the other ends at Penn Station, about 20 blocks north. From here, you can take a taxi or the Light Rail, which runs Monday through Saturday from 6am to 11pm and Sunday and holidays from 11am to 7pm. The MARC fare to the airport is $4 one-way. For more information, call tel. 800/325-RAIL (7245) or go to www.mtamaryland.com.

By Bus -- Regular bus service is provided to and from Baltimore via Greyhound (tel. 800/231-2222; www.greyhound.com) and Peter Pan Bus Lines (tel. 800/343-9999; www.peterpanbus.com). Buses serve two stations in the area: in South Baltimore at 2110 Haines St. (tel. 410/752-7682), and in East Baltimore at the Baltimore Travel Plaza, 5625 O'Donnell St. (tel. 410/633-6389).

Visitor Information

Contact Visit Baltimore, 100 Light St., Baltimore, MD 21202 (tel. 877/BALTIMORE [225-8466]; http://baltimore.org). It has all sorts of information to help you plan your trip, including maps, brochures, and water taxi schedules. The visitor center is open daily at the Inner Harbor, adjacent to Harborplace, at 401 Light St. Stop by for brochures or advice from one of the knowledgeable staffers. A short film shown several times an hour will introduce you to Baltimore. You can even get tickets for attractions, tours, and boat trips. The Downtown Partnership Baltimore, 217 N. Charles St. (www.godowntownbaltimore.com), also has directions, maps, and other information. Downtown Baltimore Guides in the yellow shirts can give directions or provide an escort (tel. 410/244-8778 daytime, 802-9631 nighttime).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.