Do you enjoy destinations with a somewhat dark history? Then historic Salem in the North Shore area of Massachusetts is for you. Surrounded by picturesque orchards and vineyards, this city offers great hiking, as well as museums that will give you a glimpse into the city’s past. Salem is where a number of Witch hunts occurred, and was also one of the most significant seaports in America’s history.

It isn’t a huge city, so figuring out exactly where to stay in Salem can be difficult. To help you out, we’ve created this guide on Salem’s best areas and accommodation. Whatever your travel style or budget, we’ve got you covered.

Where to Stay in Salem

Ready to book? Here are the best hotels and hostels in Salem.

Best Airbnb in Salem: Newly Renovated Downtown Apartment

Newly Renovated Downtown Apartment

This apartment is located in the Downtown area, close to everything. It sleeps three guests and offers free onsite parking and a spacious backyard. It’s contemporary and compact, with all the amenities needed for a comfortable stay.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Salem: The Forsythia Apartment

The Forsythia Apartment

This apartment is located in one of the best areas in Salem, within walking distance of cafes, restaurants, and the sea. It has one bedroom and is ideal for couples, but can sleep three visitors. The apartment is very open and bright, offers free parking, and a full kitchen.

Best Hotel in Salem: The Daniels House Bed & Breakfast

The Daniels House Bed and Breakfast

This B&B is a good choice if you want to explore Salem’s nightlife, but is also family-friendly. It has private rooms with a warm historical vibe, as well as a shared garden and free parking.

Salem Neighborhood Guide

FIRST TIME IN SALEM
Downtown in Salem
FIRST TIME IN SALEM

Downtown

The Downtown area is one of the best places to stay in Salem for your first visit or on a return trip. When you stay in this area, you’ll be surrounded by shops and restaurants, not to mention the city’s best historical attractions.

ON A BUDGET
TTD in Bridge Street Salem
ON A BUDGET

Bridge Street

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Salem on a budget, then try Bridge Street. This street begins around the city’s Downtown and heads up towards the river and across to the historic city of Beverly.

FOR FAMILIES
The Point Salem
FOR FAMILIES

The Point

If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Salem with kids, then try The Point neighborhood. This area is right next to the city’s downtown, so it’s convenient, but it also offers a quieter, more local vibe that’s perfect for quiet nights of sleep.

Salem isn’t a large city, but it packs a punch. From history to great food, shopping, and culture, there’s plenty to discover. There are a variety of neighborhoods to choose from, each suited to a different type of traveler.

Salem’s Downtown is easily the best choice if you’re visiting Salem for the first time. This is where you’ll find great shops, dining, nightclubs, and easy access to all of the city’s spookiest dark history!

If you’re on a tighter budget, then we recommend looking for accommodation around Bridge Street. This street runs from close to the city center up to the tip and across the water.

And the final area is The Point. It’s a safe, local neighborhood that’s close to Downtown, but far enough away that you can enjoy a peaceful night’s rest.

Is This the Best Travel Backpack EVER???
nomatic backpack black

We’ve tested countless packs over the years, and now we’ve found our absolute favourite: the nomad-approved Nomatic Backpack.

Want more deetz on why we love it so damn much? Then read our comprehensive review for the inside scoop!

Learn More Now!

Salem’s 3 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look at each of these areas in more detail. We’ve included our top accommodation and activity picks in each, so you know exactly what to expect.

1. Downtown – Where to stay in Salem for your First Visit

Downtown in Salem
  • COOLEST Thing to Do in Downtown – Take a walking tour of the city’s best historical and cultural attractions.
  • BEST Place to Visit in Downtown – The Salem Witch Trials Memorial for a somber reminder of the lives ruined and lost.

The Downtown area is one of the best places to stay in Salem for your first visit or on a return trip. When you stay in this area, you’ll be surrounded by shops and restaurants, not to mention the city’s best historical attractions.

Salem’s Downtown is determinedly modern but retains its historic charm. It also offers great bars and clubs, just in case you feel like sampling some of the city’s nightlife during your stay!

Best Airbnb in Downtown: Salem Grey Gardens

Salem Grey Gardens

Located in the heart of the Downtown, this apartment is close to shops, bars, restaurants, and top city attractions. Up to four guests can stay in this ground-floor condo, which is beautifully decorated with traditional furnishings.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Downtown: Authentic 1739 House

Authentic 1739 House

This lovely home is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Salem for families. It’s a historic 17th Century home with modern amenities and sleeps up to five people. It’s really convenient too, as you can walk from the apartment to all the best restaurants in town.

Best Hotel in Downtown: The Merchant

The Merchant

This inn is one of the coolest places to stay in Salem if you enjoy a historic atmosphere. Situated in an old building, it offers beautifully kept rooms with ensuite bathrooms and stunning amenities. Free parking is also available.

Things to See and Do in Downtown Salem:

Things to do in Downtown Salem
source: Kate Haskell (Flickr)
  • Experience a recreation of the witch tours for yourself and explore a replica dungeon at the Witch Dungeon Museum.
  • Try some fresh bread at A & J King Artisan Bakers or live music and Mexican food at the Howling Wolf Taqueria.
  • Take a guided tour at the Witch House at Salem.
  • Take the kids to learn more about pirates at the New England Pirate Museum.
  • See scenes from local history carved out in wax at the Salem Wax Museum.
  • Relax and enjoy some American/Asian art at the Peabody Essex Museum.

2. Bridge Street – Where to Stay in Salem on a Budget

Where to stay in Bridge Street Salem
  • COOLEST Thing to Do in Bridge Street – Walk on the dark side at the Satanic Temple.
  • BEST Place to Visit in Bridge Street – The Salem Witch Museum for exhibits about witchcraft in the past and present.

If you’re traveling the USA on a budget, then check out Bridge Street. This area begins around the city’s Downtown and heads up towards the river and across to the historic city of Beverly. Generally, the further out you go, the cheaper accommodation will be.

This part of the city is obviously pretty well-connected to other districts and boasts its own collection of shops and attractions. Best of all, you’ll be close to the river and able to enjoy the sense of peace that comes only from staying near the water.

Best Airbnb in Bridge Street: Quiet and Cozy Apartment in Downtown Salem

Quiet and Cozy Apartment in Downtown Salem

This one-bedroom apartment near downtown sleeps two guests, making it ideal for solo travelers or couples looking for an Airbnb in Massachusetts. It has its own kitchen, free parking, and a workspace so you can get some work done in peace during your stay.

Best Luxury Airbnb in Bridge Street: The Samuel Symonds House

The Samuel Symonds House

This Salem accommodation sleeps up to five guests across two bedrooms. This historic home is newly renovated, spacious, and beautifully decorated, with high ceilings and pumpkin-pine floors. It’s just a short stroll from the center of town and all its attractions.

Best Hotel in Bridge Street: Northey Street House

Northey Street House

If you enjoy local accommodation rather than big chain hotels, then you’ll love this B&B. It has private units with private bathrooms, as well as a shared lounge, garden, and terrace that you can enjoy during your stay. It’s also conveniently close to some of the city’s best historical sites!

Things to See and Do in Bridge Street:

Things to do in Bridge Street Salem
source: Marc Nozell (Flickr)
  • Tuck into a steak at Bill & Bob’s Roast Beef or classic baked treats at Coffee Time Bake Shop.
  • Head up to enjoy the water off Dead Horse Beach.
  • Go camping or take a boat out from Winter Island.
  • Take the kids to enjoy the carousel, beach, arcade, and food stalls at Salem Willows Park.
  • Put on your walking shoes and climb up to Fort Lee to enjoy the beautiful natural surroundings.

3. The Point – Best Neighborhood in Salem for Families

Where to stay in The Point Salem
Relax with the locals in The Point
  • COOLEST Thing to Do in The Point – Immerse yourself in a 17th-century village at the Salem Pioneer Village.
  • BEST Place to Visit in The Point – The Forest River Park for picnic areas, a playground, and beachfront relaxation.

If you’re planning a family vacation to Salem, we recommend staying in The Point neighborhood. This area is right next to the city’s downtown, so it’s convenient while also offering a quieter, more local vibe.

The Point also offers its own range of attractions, so you’ll have plenty to keep the whole family entertained.

Best Airbnb in The Point: Salem 3rd Floor Apartment

Salem 3rd Floor Apartment

This apartment sleeps up to six guests, making it a great choice for groups traveling on a budget. Located in a 100-year-old house, it offers complete privacy and has been newly renovated with modern amenities – without losing its old-world charm.

Best Luxury Airbnb in The Point: Salem Charm Meets Modern Luxury

Salem Charm Meets Modern Luxury

This apartment sleeps up to eight guests and is ideal for families or large groups. It’s walking distance from Downtown and has four bedrooms and two bathrooms, all filled with newly renovated and modern amenities. It’s contemporarily furnished and very stylish throughout.

Best Hotel in The Point: Hampton In Salem

Hampton In Salem

This hotel in Salem has a lot of charm and immaculate facilities. It offers a shared lounge, indoor pool, and a buffet breakfast every morning. Rooms are spacious and modern, and each comes with an ensuite bathroom.

Things to See and Do in The Point:

TTD in The Point Salem
source: massmatt (Flickr)
  • Stop for a drink at Sidelines Sports Bar & Grill or Major Magleashe’s Pub.
  • Have a meal at Tin Whistle or the casually welcoming Longboards Restaurant & Bar.
  • Check out some of the local historical houses like the Phillips House or the Ropes Mansion and Garden.
  • Relax and hit a few balls at the Olde Salem Greens Golf Course.
  • Go hiking in Salem Woods Highland Park.

Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Salem

While it’s filled with a history that permeates every street, Salem is nonetheless a modern town. While you’re there, you can enjoy the city’s burgeoning food scene, get some great shopping in, and spend time in the beautiful natural areas around the city.

If you’re still not sure where to stay in Salem, we recommend Bridge Street. It’s close to everything and has loads to see and do, while also offering budget-friendly accommodation. You can’t go wrong!

And don’t forget to take out Travel Insurance for your trip! I have been using World Nomads for some time now and made a few claims over the years. They’re easy to use, professional and relatively affordable. They may also let you buy or extend a policy once you’ve started your trip and are already abroad which is super handy.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email [email protected] to find out how.


Find out how YOU can support the site.

We’re a big site with a big team and this job isn’t always easy. But we do it because we love it – we love providing epic and free content. We love the knowledge that our content keeps you adventuring. We don’t ask for money, but if you’d like to find out how you can help the site in more organic ways, click the button below.
Thank you for your support 🙂

And for transparency’s sake, please know that some of the links in our content are affiliate links. That means that if you book your accommodation, buy your gear, or sort your insurance through our link, we earn a small commission (at no extra cost to you). That said, we only link to the gear we trust and never recommend services we don’t believe are up to scratch. Again, thank you!