One of Columbus’ greatest assets is its neighborhoods. Transplants from across the U.S. move to Greater Columbus for its friendly, affordable and walkable districts just outside downtown. While you’re here, hop on the city’s free CBUS Circulator that travels to five of the nearest downtown neighborhoods, commonly known as the “Five on High,” before looping back again every 10-15 minutes. The circulator allows locals and visitors alike to easily travel across town, while also discovering some of Columbus’ best areas. At every stop, you’ll find the popular attractions, hidden gems and unforgettable details that create the unique personalities of each neighborhood. Here are a few places we recommend while visiting the “Five on High.”

University District

In case you didn’t know by now, Columbus is home to The Ohio State University, the third largest university in the United States! O-H! Just 2.5 miles north of the convention center, you’ll find the 1,600-acre campus of historic classroom buildings, state-of-the-art facilities, abundant green space and bustling nightlife. Whether you decide to explore the massive campus, or visit some of the favorite college hangouts, you’ll be surprised by the countless opportunities and hidden gems located in the University District. Here are a few attractions we recommend:

Jack Nicklaus Museum
Billy Ireland Cartoon Library and Museum
The Wexner Center for the Arts

Gateway Film Center
Newport Music Hall

Short North Arts District

Directly north of the convention center is the Short North Arts District. As one of Columbus’ most lively neighborhoods, the Short North is packed with shopping, dining, art, culture and nightlife. No matter what type of activity or entertainment you’re looking for, you can find it here any night of the week.  The Short North is home to over 300 businesses, many of which are locally owned. The area has become the city’s crowning jewel, winning multiple accolades for its urban revitalization efforts. There are so many great opportunities waiting for you in the Short North— here are a few we recommend:

Studios on High
Lindsay Gallery
Sherrie Gallerie
Pizzuti Collection

The Candle Lab
Global Gifts
Del Mar SoCal Kitchen
Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams

Arena District

The Arena District is a vibrant neighborhood located in the heart of Columbus. Here you’ll find brick roads, coble stone alleyways, delicious restaurants and sports fans buzzing about. The Arena District is home to the beloved Columbus Clippers, the city’s minor league baseball team and AAA affiliate of the Cleveland Indians, as well as the Columbus Blue Jackets, our professional hockey team that pulled off one of the greatest upsets in NHL history after sweeping the Tampa Bay Lighting during the 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs. From the convention center, you’re only a few steps away from all the action. Come check it out:

North Market
Novak’s Tavern & Patio
Mikey’s Late Night Slice

Nationwide Arena
Huntington Park
Express LIVE!
A&R Bar


Downtown Columbus is filled with things to do, see and eat. As a city that thrives on exploration and innovation, you will feel the energy while walking through the streets. Home to the newly revitalized Scioto Mile riverfront, world-famous Center of Science and Industry (COSI) and the one-of-a-kind National Veterans Memorial and Museum, Downtown Columbus is constantly growing and providing memorable experiences for its guests. Check out one of the many attractions before grabbing a bite to eat at one of these top locations:

Columbus Museum of Art
National Veterans Memorial and Museum
Ohio Statehouse
Scioto Mile
Grange Insurance Audubon Center

Milestone 229
The Keep
Tiger + Lily
Pins Mechanical
Mitchell’s Steak House
Due Amici

German Village

Historic German Village is located on the south end of Columbus. Settled by German immigrants in the 1800s, the quaint neighborhood is truly a must-see destination while you’re in the city. German Village is designated as a Preserve America Neighborhood, the first in Ohio to achieve this national honor. This designation means that most of the architecture dating from the 1840s-1890s has been carefully preserved and maintained. Today, the village is a lively residential neighborhood, sprinkled with local shops, restaurants and gardens. You’ll love the authentic charm and classic character of this favorite Columbus neighborhood. Here a few stops to make during your visit:

The Old Mohawk
Thurman Café
El Arepazo
The Sycamore

The Book Loft
Pistacia Vera
Schiller Park