Indianapolis, or ‘Indy’ to its friends, is the state capital and most populous city in the state of Indiana. Not to mention one that it’s of the coolest cities in the Midwest!

But deciding where to stay in this colossal city can be a challenge. That’s why our expert travel writers have put this guide together, to help you find the right neighborhood and the right hotel for you.

Whatever your interests, you will find plenty of entertainment, attractions and places to unwind in Indianapolis. Simply follow our guide to find the best neighborhood to stay in Indianapolis to suit your vacation style and your budget!

Let’s get started with the best areas to stay in Indianapolis.

Where to Stay in Indianapolis

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are the best places to stay in Indianapolis.

Peaceful scenery at the Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis.

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Holiday Inn Indianapolis Downtown | Best Affordable Hotel in Indianapolis

This simple, comfortable 3-star hotel has 130 rooms and has been recently refurbished. The front desk operates around the clock and the location is perfectly poised to explore Downtown Indianapolis.

An indoor pool and gym are on-site for guests to enjoy. The rates are very budget-friendly, standards are high.

The Westin Indianapolis | Best Mid-Range Hotel in Indianapolis

The Westin is a convenient 5-minute walk from the major tourist attractions of Mile Square. The accommodation is of a 4-star standard, yet prices are not too steep for such a central hotel.

Guests can enjoy using the hotel’s indoor pool and fitness centre. There are rooms suitable for families.

Modern, Mid Century Vibes – 1br with city views! | Best Airbnb in Indianapolis

This sleek apartment in the coveted south Mile Square neighborhood comes with some extremely boutique decor. It has an inviting private balcony with awesome views overlooking the skyline and the canal.

There’s a state of the art gym and even a rooftop infinity pool! The whole space is for rent.

Indianapolis Neighborhood Guide – Places to Stay in Indianapolis

indianapolis - mile square

Mile Square

Historic Mile Square is Indianapolis’s small, compact Downtown area. It earned its nickname for the original square mile that formed the foundations of the city. Since 1820, the city has expanded but Mile Square remains the bustling centre.

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Lockerbie Square

To the east of Mile Square sits the lively quarters of Lockerbie Square, which is, in fact, the oldest surviving neighborhood in Indianapolis!

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Fletcher Place

Fletcher Place is a hip little ‘hood to the south-east of Mile Square. It is another district noted for its historical architecture, comprising Gothic Revival and Italianate styles so it is well worth an amble.

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Broad Ripple

Broad Ripple is a serene settlement 8.5 miles north of Mile Square. It offers a rural setting for your vacation surrounded by lush greenery and the gushing White River.

The city of Indianapolis is divided into a whopping 99 community areas in total! These are further broken down into smaller neighborhoods.

On the whole, these regions are extremely walkable – which is part of the city’s appeal. Indianapolis boasts six unique Cultural Districts, four of which can be found within Downtown Indianapolis.

These are all distinguished by their own individual characteristics.

To the west of the city, the White River runs its course from north to south. A series of canals spurt from this, providing ample walking and cycling opportunities along the waterways.

The city is home to two major sports clubs – the Indiana Pacers (NBA) and the Indianapolis Colts (NFL). There is also the University of Indianapolis along with a number of other educational institutions.

The Downtown district of Indianapolis is known as Mile Square. Here is where you’ll find the top landmarks, stellar eateries and also some lively nightlife options.

If you’re looking for where to stay in Indianapolis for one night, book your stay in Mile Square.

Lockerbie Square is where you can get your claws on some cheaper accommodation and still find some cool ways to spend your time.

Fletcher Place is the best area in Indianapolis to stay in for nightlife. However, if you’re looking for nightclubs you will find plenty of options in the south end of Mile Square, too!

Fountain Square is the trendiest neighborhood. Stay here if you want to hang with locals and soak up some pure Indy culture. Broad Ripple, a suburb north of Mile Square, has similar laid-back vibes to Fountain Square.

There’s lots of greenery and outdoorsy things to do so the ‘village’ is where to stay in Indianapolis with kids.

5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in Indianapolis

Let’s take a look at the 5 best neighborhoods to stay in Indianapolis. They’re each a little different, depending on the type of experience you’re after.

#1 Mile Square – Where to Stay in Indianapolis First Time

Historic Mile Square is Indianapolis’s small, compact Downtown area. It earned its nickname for the original square mile that formed the foundations of the city. Since 1820, the city has expanded but Mile Square remains the bustling centre.

Mile Square is where you’ll find most of the key attractions and notable buildings, making it a great place to stay in Indianapolis for your first time. The neighborhood is pretty walkable too, bonus!

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You’ll find plenty of places to eat and unwind with a drink in the evening. To get to other neighborhoods within Indianapolis, you can use the city’s excellent public bus system.

Things to See and Do in Mile Square:

  1. Take a tour of the Indiana State House, home to the state government
  2. Delve into the culture and art of the American West at the Eiteljorg Museum
  3. Visit the epicenter of Mile Square by paying your respects at the iconic Soldiers and Sailors War Monument within Monument Circle
  4. Take a walk along Canal Walk
  5. Catch a basketball game at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse, home turf of the NBA league Indiana Pacers
  6. Soak up speakeasy vibes at the 1933 cocktail lounge
  7. Browse world-class sculpture at Gallery Forty-Two
  8. Check out a free performance or art exhibition at the Artsgarden
  9. Visit the Indiana World War Memorial which commemorates the soldiers who fell in WWI and also features a war museum
  10. Enjoy hearty all-American fare at the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery
  11. Beat the drums at the highly interactive percussion museum, the Rhythm! Discovery Centre

Unbeatable Location! 2br apt in heart of the city | Best Airbnb in Mile Square

The location doesn’t get much better than this! The apartment can fit 6 people across two bedrooms and the additional use of the sofa bed and air mattress.

You can check-in easily using the front desk and book with assurance of a ‘superhost’ rated host. Ideal for central sightseeing.

Sheraton Indianapolis City Centre Hotel | Best Affordable Hotel in Mile Square

Right in the very core of the city, you won’t need to walk far to find places to eat and things to do! This hotel comes with an outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a rooftop terrace – all for a very respectable rate.

Rooms are equipped with hot drink making facilities.

Embassy Suites Indianapolis | Best Hotel in Mile Square

This star hotel provides a spa, wellness centre, sauna and an indoor pool. All rooms and suites are impeccable and there is an on-site bar and restaurant if you don’t fancy eating out.

The hotel offers an express check-in and check-out feature, a car rental service and a tour desk.

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#2 Lockerbie Square – Where to Stay in Indianapolis on a Budget

To the east of Mile Square sits the lively quarters of Lockerbie Square, which is, in fact, the oldest surviving neighborhood in Indianapolis!

Cobblestone streets and grand 19th-century residences shape the elegant look of this picturesque district. The architecture is an alluring mix of Italianate, Federal and Queen Anne builds – taking a saunter around these parts takes you back to Indianapolis’s historic past!

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Photo: Vintagejhan (WikiCommons)

Massachusetts Avenue injects modern-day energy into the district and is a great place to take yourself on a self-guided foodie tour – you will find some of the best restaurants, cafes and bars along the strip.

Lockerbie Square is well-connected to the rest of the city center, but is also where you can find some budget accommodation options.

Things to See and Do in Lockerbie Square:

  1. Drink German beer and eat Bavarian specialities at The Rathskellar
  2. Visit the residence of James Whitcom Riley, a distinguished poet and writer who was known as the ‘Hoosier Poet’ and also the ‘Children’s Poet’
  3. Get lost among the pretty streets and historic buildings
  4. Buy quirky, locally sourced merchandise at Silver in the City
  5. Sip wine at the Easley Winery. Check out their wine tasting deals and happy hour prices to keep the price low! Or, have a locally crafted brew at the Lockerbie Pub!
  6. Go restaurant hopping on Massachusetts Avenue; cool down with something sweet at Sub Zero Nitrogen Ice Cream!
  7. Admire the beautifully Gothic, German-style St Mary’s Catholic Church
  8. Find out what’s on at the Old National Centre, a hub for live music and touring theatrical shows

Nestle Inn | Best Hotel in Lockerbie Square

This small inn has five bedrooms available, each furnished with antique pieces and with immaculate private bathrooms attached. Guests may unwind with a book from the on-site library or make use of the Jacuzzi.

There is a tour desk and concierge available. The rate includes breakfast and Wi-Fi is complimentary.

Upscale 1br apt in hip and trendy Mass Ave area | Best Airbnb in Lockerbie Square

This one bed, one bathroom apartment can fit four guests by making use of the sofa bed and air mattress provided. Guests have the entire apartment to themselves. Although it’s considered a budget accommodation, it’s one of the overall best Airbnbs in Indianapolis.

A spacious, fully equipped kitchen means guests can prepare meals. The location is awesome – you can walk to all the local attractions!

The Harney House Inn | Best Affordable Hotel in Lockerbie Square

This small, cozy bed and breakfast in Indiana boasts three bedrooms decorated in a quaint, very welcoming style. The accommodation has a shared area which includes a piano which guests are welcome to use.

The property provides a nourishing breakfast to start your day and complimentary Wi-Fi comes as part of the package.

#3 Fletcher Place – Best Area to Stay in Indianapolis for Nightlife

Fletcher Place is a hip little ‘hood to the south-east of Mile Square. It is another district noted for its historical architecture, comprising Gothic Revival and Italianate styles so it is well worth an amble.

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Photo: Nyttend (WikiCommons)

If you’re looking for the best area to stay in Indianapolis for nightlife, Fletcher Place is for you! The neighborhood has an innovative dining scene, which glides seamlessly into some of the best pubs and bars in town where you can enjoy a laid-back night on the town.

Things to See and Do in Fletcher Place:

  1. Relax in the green Edna Balz Lacy Park which is popular with families and local dog walkers!
  2. Choose between a no-frills cup of drip or an artisan coffee at Calvin Fletcher’s Coffee Co.
  3. Pick up fresh bread and pastries at the neighborhood’s favourite bakery, Amelia’s
  4. Sit in the eclectic viewpoint at Idle Park where you can watch the split of the interstate highways. If you don’t fancy the alternative to trainspotting, stargaze at night instead
  5. Hang out at the crowdfunded bar Tappers where you can play arcade games and chug a craft beer
  6. Visit the 1205 Distillery – a small batch distillery and cocktail lounge which offer a unique drinking experience
  7. Give your lungs a karaoke work-out at Dugout Bar which is open late Thurs – Sat
  8. Hop aboard the Pickled Peddlar where you can drink beer and pedal the streets on the electric assisted bike
  9. Eat contemporary, street food inspired Asian cuisine at Rook – their steamed buns are out of this world!

Fletcher BnB great walkability safe stylish | Best Airbnb in Fletcher Place

This one-bedroom apartment comes with some unique interior touches including a fireplace and elegant columns. In addition to the memory foam mattress and comfy sofa bed, there’s even a hammock to kick back in after a day pursuing the nearby sites.

Netflix and a daily continental breakfast is included!

The Alexander: A Dolce Hotel | Best Hotel in Fletcher Place

The rooms at this 4-star hotel are designed with an artistic flair, featuring chic decor and funky wall art. Choose between an en suite bedroom or book a unit which comes with its own kitchen, if you wish to prepare your own meals.

Valet parking is available, Wi-Fi is complimentary.

Oakwood at The Waverley | Best Affordable Hotel in Fletcher Place

These furnished holiday apartments are furnished with all the amenities you will need during your stay. They have kitchen facilities, a lounge area with television and cable, Wi-Fi and private bathrooms.

The complex has a shared outdoor swimming pool so you can take a refreshing dip during the summer months.

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#4 Fountain Square – Coolest Place to Stay in Indianapolis

Fountain Square is a quirky neighborhood found a mile and a half to the south east of Mile Square. The neighborhood is infinitely cool, with galleries, laid-back eateries and cafes and offbeat nightlife.

It’s easily one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Indianapolis!

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Photo: Nyttend (WikiCommons)

A wander around the streets will expose you to some vibrant street art, the sounds of street musicians and the aromas of freshly brewed coffee.

You’ll find that most of the activity in Fountain Square is concentrated within the two parallel streets of Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street.

Things to See and Do in Fountain Square:

  1. Ogle the kitchy antiques and funky memorabilia at the Museum of Psychphonics
  2. Tumble down the rabbit hole at the White Rabbit Cabaret club with a comedy or burlesque show
  3. Strike some pins at the Action Duckpin Bowl, a vintage bowling alley from the 1930’s
  4. Try swing dancing with Naptown Stomp at the Fountain Square Theatre
  5. Wander the streets to check out the eye-catching street art
  6. Shop for vinyls, books and vintage clothing at the boutiques on Virginia Avenue and Shelby Street
  7. Sample local artisan meads and honey wines at the New Day Meadery
  8. Mingle with the kitties at the Nine Lives Cat Cafe
  9. Choose between an array of Mexican eateries – La Margarita, El Arado Grill and Revolucion
  10. Spruce up your lounge new decor from the FLUX warehouse
  11. Sip a cocktail with a view at the Rooftop Garden Cocktail Club
  12. Drink wines from around the world at the casual Wine Market

Comfy & Modern Guest Suite Next to Downtown Indy | Best Airbnb in Fountain Square

Guests can have the privilege of having this sparkling clean, contemporary self-contained unit in the heart of the CUltural District all to themselves. Your ‘superhost’ is in the house next door and will stock the fridge with snacks pre-arrival.

Wi-Fi is fast and the area is safe and well-connected.

Sunrise on Shelby Street | Best Affordable Hotel in Fountain Square

This detached, whole home is available for rent in the gorgeous Fountain Square neighborhood. Complimentary Wi-Fi and free parking are available at the guests’ convenience. The house is decorated with love and care, and is suitable for a family stay.

The area is quiet and convenient for accessing local attractions.

Retro 1br in Fountain Square | Best Hotel in Fountain Square

This compact, tastefully designed apartment is beautifully prepared for guests with homely furnishings, a fully equipped kitchen and a spacious bathroom. Strong Wi-Fi is provided for free.

Its location on the cusp of Fountain Square and Fletcher Street means you can reap the best of both of these fabulous districts.

#5 Broad Ripple – Best Neighborhood in Indianapolis for Families

Broad Ripple is a serene settlement 8.5 miles north of Mile Square. It offers a rural setting for your vacation surrounded by lush greenery and the gushing White River.

Both the Red Line and Route 18 connect Broad Ripple to Downtown Indianapolis, so you can still easily access the attractions of the city center.

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The neighborhood is laid-back with a bohemian vibe. It’s known for its global dining scene, hip brewpubs and artisan coffee shops. It’s popular with local families and has plenty of appeal for children.

Those looking for where to stay in Indianapolis with kids – look no further than Broad Ripple!

Things to See and Do in Broad Ripple:

  1. Catch a gig at famed music venue The Vogue
  2. Take a picnic to Broad Ripple Park – pack your swimming costume and you can jump in the park’s swimming pool!
  3. Tuck into healthy food at Public Greens which dishes up vegan delights and chicken plates
  4. Cruise along the White River on a stunning paddle wheel boat – usually 4 hours
  5. Eat ice cream and fairtrade coffee at the former train depot, BRICS
  6. Browse the Indianapolis Arts Centre. This riverside gallery has exhibits, expansive outdoor grounds and even offers a range of classes
  7. Hike or bike the Monon Rail Trail which runs through Broad Ripple. The total length is 26 miles – decide how far you want to go!
  8. Spend a day exploring the monuments, sculptures and hilly trails of the nearby Holiday Park
  9. Gorge on croissants and cakes at Rene’s Bakery

Broad Ripple Burrow | Best Airbnb in Broad Ripple

This homely, super cozy cabin in Indiana comes with two bedrooms so families can enjoy some space. There is a fenced in rear garden, perfect for children to play safely in.

The kitchen is fully equipped with everything you could need – including a coffee grinder. The warm hosts provide a welcome basket.

The Indy Hostel | Best Hostel in Broad Ripple

Indianapolis’s one and only hostel is located close to Broad Ripple. Solo travelers can book a dorm bed whilst families can enjoy the three-bed private room. With comfortable, shared living quarters you’ll feel right at home in this quiet hostel.

They even host live music events and run yoga classes.

Hotel Broad Ripple | Best Hotel in Broad Ripple

Hotel Broad Ripple offers spacious, immaculately presented bedrooms and private bathrooms. Kitchens are available in most units and the hotel comes with ample outdoor spaces to relax.

There is even a Jacuzzi. Larger families can opt to book a Family Cottage or Family Apartment. A short walk to the river.

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FAQ about Finding a Place to Stay in Indianapolis

Here’s what people usually ask us about the areas of Indianapolis and where to stay.

What To Pack For Indianapolis

Pants, socks, underwear, soap?! Take it from me, packing for a hostel stay is not always quite as straightforward as it seems. Working out what to bring and what to leave at home is an art I have perfected over many years.

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Ear Plugs

Snoring dorm-mates can ruin your nights rest and seriously damage the hostel experience. This is why I always travel with a pack of decent ear plugs.

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Hanging Laundry Bag

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Final thoughts on where to stay in Indianapolis

Charming, cool and with heaps to reel its visitors in, it’s no surprise that Indianapolis has flourished as a burgeoning tourist destination over recent years.

With its stunning historic architecture, ample green spaces, a booming culinary and craft beverage scene and not to mention lively nightlife to boot, there’s really something for everyone in Indianapolis.

Also, the Hoosiers are extremely friendly!

To recap our guide, we recommend Lockerbie Square as the best neighborhood to stay in Indianapolis. There is heaps to do, it’s a stone’s throw from Mile Square, it’s visually stunning, and the hotel prices won’t hit your vacation budget too hard.

Check out our top pick, the Nestle Inn, for the best Indianapolis accommodation.

Looking for more info on travelling to Indianapolis and USA?