Where to Stay in Salt Lake City (2020 • COOLEST Areas!)

 
In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Salt Lake City based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Salt Lake City!

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Salt Lake City is an interesting city. It has a rich history, diverse culture, an eclectic culinary scene, and is surrounded by stunning natural scenery and opportunities for outdoor adventures. In short, Salt Lake City is a must see when exploring the western USA.

But with so many different neighbourhoods and areas to choose from, it can be overwhelming to know which is right for you. Which is why we wrote this guide for where to stay in Salt Lake City.

The Broke Backpacker’s Guide for Where to Stay in Salt Lake City is designed to help you find the best neighbourhood for your needs. So whether you’re looking for the best food, nightlife, or shopping adventures, our guide will help you find the neighbourhood of your dreams.

Let’s jump right into where to stay in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Salt Lake City

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top neighborhood for first timers:

 
Central City
Central City is a large neighbourhood that is located close to downtown but manages to maintain a more residential feel. Because it boasts everything from historical landmarks to haute couture, Central City is our pick for where to stay in Salt Lake City if you’re visiting for the first time.
 
Places to Visit:
  • Explore the sculptures at Gilgal Gardens.
  • Go for a stroll in lush and lovely Liberty Park.
  • Indulge at Tulie Bakery.

 

Where to Stay in Salt Lake City

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Salt Lake City.

 

Best Hostel in Salt Lake City: Avenues Hostel

The Avenues Hostel is our choice for the best hostel in Salt Lake City because they offer a variety of rooms at an affordable price. Guests can enjoy free wifi, a large living room and a big screen TV. A delicious and satisfying breakfast is also available.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Salt Lake City: Cosy apartment with everything you need!

What it might lack in space, this property more than makes up for in convenience. With all the amenities you’ll need to keep yourself refuelled and reinvigorated, as well as excellent public transport links, you’ll be able to focus on exploring, not wasting time on chores

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Best Hotel in Salt Lake City: Home2 Suites by Hilton Salt Lake City-East

This excellent three-star hotel wins our vote for the best hotel in Salt Lake City because it offers large rooms with comfortable beds. It also provides a variety of services including a luggage storage and concierge services, and guests can enjoy an indoor swimming pool and a terrace. Conveniently located Sugar House, this hotel is close to bars, restaurants and shops.

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Salt Lake City Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Salt Lake City

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Central City

  • Central City is a large neighbourhood that is located close to downtown but manages to maintain a more residential feel. Because it boasts everything from historical landmarks to haute couture, Central City is our pick for where to stay in Salt Lake City if you’re visiting for the first time.
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Avenues/Capitol Hill

  • The Avenues and Capitol Hill neighbourhoods overlook the city. These charming and historic districts are home to state landmarks, creative restaurants and a liberal population of students and professionals.
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Downtown

  • Downtown is the epicentre for entertainment because it boasts hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as cultural offerings and professional sports venues.
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Sugar House

  • Sugar House is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Salt Lake. It is located south of the city centre and boasts a diverse and progressive group of residents.
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University/Foothill

  • The University and Foothill neighbourhoods are located on the eastern edge of Salt Lake City. They sit nestled between the city and the mountains and offer some of the most stunning scenery in the area.
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Salt Lake City is a massive and sprawling city. It is the capital and largest city in the state of Utah and boasts a population of more than 200,000 people. It is a lively and vibrant centre with plenty to see, do, eat and experience.

Salt Lake City covers an area of more than 285 square kilometres and is divided into 19 distinct areas. To get a good feel for the city, we recommend you explore at least three or four neighbourhoods, depending on the nature of your visit.

This guide will highlight the best activities and attractions in the five best neighbourhoods in Salt Lake City.

Downtown is the neighbourhood at the heart of the city. It is a boisterous and buzzing district home to world-class restaurants, thriving bars, excellent performance art, and plenty of places to dance the night away.

Travel north from here and you’ll arrive in Capitol Hill/Avenues. A charming neighbourhood bursting with character, this is where you’ll find historic homes and political landmarks, as well as fantastic sights and budget accommodations.

Head southeast and you’ll arrive in Central City. Located close to downtown, this neighbourhood boasts a more residential feel. It has great shopping, plenty of sightseeing, and a great selection of places to eat and drink.

Continue travelling south to Sugar House. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in the city, Sugar House is also one of the coolest because of its laidback atmosphere, its hip cafes and restaurants, and its exciting arts scene.

And finally, on the eastern edge of the city is the University/Foothill neighbourhood. These neighbourhoods are an excellent choice for families because they are close to nature as well as museums, art galleries and animal attractions.

Still not sure where to stay in Salt Lake City? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

Looking for more details on traveling to Salt Lake City? Check out our EPIC guide to backpacking Utah!

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Read our full review!

 

Salt Lake City’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail at the five best neighbourhoods to stay in Salt Lake City, Utah.

 

#1 Central City – Where to stay in Salt Lake City first time

Central City is a large neighbourhood that is located close to downtown but manages to maintain a more residential feel. Because it boasts everything from historical landmarks to haute couture, Central City is our pick for where to stay in Salt Lake City if you’re visiting for the first time.

This is also a great place to stay if you’re keen to sample a good variety of American food. Tucked throughout this urban district is a good selection of new-American restaurants that serve delicious and innovative dishes that will have your mouth watering will leave you wanting more!

Central City, Salt Lake City

 

Things to See and Do in Central City

– Eat American fare at Park Café.

– Enjoy a few pints at Desert Edge Brewery at the Pub.

– Explore the sculptures at Gilgal Gardens.

– Go for a stroll in lush and lovely Liberty Park.

– Indulge at Tulie Bakery.

– Kickstart your day at Even Stevens Sandwiches.

– Sample locally sourced foods at the East Liberty Tap House.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Mrs Backer’s Pastry Shop.

– See more than 100 colourful local and exotic birds at the Tracy Aviary.

– Try the chicken and waffles at Pig and a Jelly Jar.

– Wander through the historic Trolley Square.

 

Best Hostel in Central City: Camelot Inn & Hostel

This charming hostel is ideally located in Salt Lake’s Central City. It is close to popular tourist attractions, restaurants, shops and cafes, and is less than a one-minute walk to public transit. Built in a modern and well-maintained building, this hostel has new features and free wifi throughout.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Airbnb in Central City: Cosy apartment with everything you need!

What it might lack in space, this property more than makes up for in convenience. With all the amenities you’ll need to keep yourself refuelled and reinvigorated, as well as excellent public transport links, you’ll be able to focus on exploring, not wasting time on chores

View on Airbnb

 

Best Studio in Central City: Downtown Studio at Library Square

Located in Central City, this excellent studio is in close proximity to Salt Lake’s top attractions and landmarks. It is just moments away from cafes, shops and eateries. This studio provides a comfortable room with a variety of great amenities.

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Best Hotel in Central City: The Anniversary Inn – Fifth South

The Anniversary Inn is our pick for where to stay in Central City. It is within walking distance of public transit and is a convenient base for those wanting to explore the city. Comprised of 36 themed rooms, this hotel offers a variety of great amenities to ensure visitors have a comfortable stay.

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#2 Avenues/Capitol Hill – Where to stay in Salt Lake City on a budget

The Avenues and Capitol Hill neighbourhoods overlook the city. These charming and historic districts are home to state landmarks, creative restaurants and a liberal population of students and professionals.

A can’t miss for political junkies is a trip to the Utah State Capitol. Home to the chambers and offices of the Utah State Legislature, visitors can tour the capitol building and immerse themselves in political history.

These two neighbourhoods are also great for budget travellers because you’ll find a good selection of affordable accommodations, including a delightful hostel and a variety of B&Bs and rental apartments.

Avenues/Capitol Hill, Salt Lake City

 

Things to See and Do in Avenues/Capitol Hill

– Catch a performance by the Salt Lake Acting Company.

– Dig into savoury Indian fare at Saffron Valley East India Café.

– Dine at Avenues Bistro.

– Drink lattes at Alchemy Coffee.

– Eat tasty American dishes at Avenues Proper.

– Explore City Creek Canyon.

– Marvel at the Cathedral of the Madeleine.

– Sip a coffee at Café on 1st.

– Take a walk through Memory Grove Park.

– Tour the Utah State Capitol Building.

– Visit the Masonic Temple.

– Wander through Governor’s Mansion.

 

Best Hostel in Avenues/Capitol Hill: Avenues Hostel

The Avenues Hostel is our top choice for where to stay in the Avenues/Capitol Hill neighbourhoods because they offer a variety of rooms at an affordable price. Guests can enjoy free wifi, a large living room and a big screen TV. Breakfast is also available.

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Best Airbnb in Avenues/Capitol Hill: Comfy private annex with great views

Keep things cheap with this cosy little private annexe just outside of the city centre. There’s a bus route right on the street to help you get around on the cheap, and the property itself actually offers some pretty awesome views of both the city and the valleys.

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Best Bed & Breakfast in Avenues/Capitol Hill: Ellerbeck Mansion Bed & Breakfast

This bed and breakfast is ideally located for sightseeing. It allows for easy access to Temple Square and the Utah State Capitol Building, and there are lots of restaurants and cafes nearby. This B&B has six comfortable rooms, and satisfying breakfast is available.

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Best Bed & Breakfast in Avenues/Capitol Hill: The Anniversary Inn – South Temple

We absolutely love this property because it’s comfortable, convenient and offers a tasty and satisfying breakfast. Just two minutes from the Masonic Temple, this hotel is set in the heart of the city and is close to shops, restaurants and cafes. It has themed rooms, free wifi, and its very own golf course!

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#3 Downtown – Best area to stay in Salt Lake City for nightlife

Downtown is the epicentre for entertainment because it boasts hundreds of restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as cultural offerings and professional sports venues. One of the most exciting neighbourhoods in the city, Downtown wins our vote for where to stay in Salt Lake City for nightlife because there’s so much to see, do, and experience after dark.

Love to eat? Well, look no further. This vibrant neighbourhood is packed with creative and innovative offerings showcasing tastes and flavours from around the world. So no matter what you’re craving, you’ll find something delicious to snack on in lively Downtown Salt Lake.

Downtown, Salt Lake City

 

Things to See and Do in Downtown

– Choose from a great selection of beers at Squatter’s Pub & Beers.

– Don’t miss the chance to dine at Bruges Waffles and Frites.

– Drink, eat and enjoy a great night out at Whiskey Street.

– Eat tasty American dishes at Copper Onion.

– Enjoy cocktails at Bar X.

– Grab a snack at The Rose Establishment.

– Indulge at the very cool Copper Common bar.

– Marvel at the Utah Opera and Ballet West at the Capitol Theatre.

– Sample local craft beers at Red Rock Brewing Co.

– Sip a glass of wine at BTG Wine Bar.

– Visiting in summer? Check out the Twilight Concert Series in Pioneer Park

 

Best Motel in Downtown: Quality Inn Salt Lake City

This charming and cosy motel is located in downtown Salt Lake City. It is within walking distance of great bars and clubs, and there are plenty of restaurants and cafes nearby. This hotel has 113 recently refurbished rooms each outfitted with excellent amenities. Guests also have access to an on-site gym.

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Best Airbnb in Downtown: Budget room in the hear tof Downtown

If you’re planning on spending a pretty penny enjoy Salt Lake city’s buzzing bar and restaurant scene, you can make savings elsewhere while still staying central. This place is a short walk into the city at large and a very convenient drive from the airport.

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Best Hotel in Downtown: Crystal Inn Hotel & Suites – Salt Lake City

The Crystal Inn is our recommendation for where to stay in downtown Salt Lake City because of its excellent location near restaurants, cafes and bars. This three-star hotel boasts air-conditioned rooms, an indoor swimming pool and a sauna. There’s also a gym and a golf course.

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Best Hotel in Downtown: Little America Hotel Salt Lake City

Located at the heart of Salt Lake City, this is one of our favourite hotels because it is close to shops, eateries and bars. It has comfortable rooms with large bathrooms and modern amenities. There’s also a swimming pool, fitness centre and sauna on-site.

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#4 Sugar House – Coolest place to stay in Salt Lake City

Sugar House is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Salt Lake. It is located south of the city centre and boasts a diverse and progressive group of residents. Known for its walkability and its fun and friendly atmosphere, Sugar House is a fantastic place to while away an afternoon. It has tons to offer, including shops, galleries, restaurants and bars, so you’ll never have to look very far for somewhere hip to hang out.

This neighbourhood is also famous for its local-first mentality. If you’re looking to shop at a big box store or high-street boutique, you’ll have to go elsewhere. Instead, Sugar House is home to mom-and-pop shops and unique boutiques where you can find one-of-a-kind and local items.

Sugar House, Salt Lake City

source: Ladanifer (shutterstock)

 

Things to See and Do in Sugar House

– Dance the night away at Club Karamba.

– Eat fresh and tasty food at The Dodo Restaurant.

– Enjoy drinks at the Sugarhouse Pub.

– Explore the lush landscapes of the Sugar House Park.

– Get off the beaten path and explore the Hidden Hollow Nature Area.

– Hang out at the Campfire Lounge.

– Indulge in savoury and delicious food at the Sugarhouse Barbeque Company.

– Sample the Polygamy Porter and other local brews at Fiddler’s Elbow.

– Sip a coffee at Sugarhouse Coffee.

– Try local craft beers at the Wasatch Brew Pub at Sugarhouse Crossing.

 

Best Hotel in Sugar House: Extended Stay America – Salt Lake City – Sugar House

This two-star hotel is your best bet for budget accommodations in Sugar House. It offers comfortable apartments with air conditioning and private bathrooms. This property also boasts laundry facilities, a BBQ area and a golf course. Guests can enjoy a delicious meal at the on-site restaurant or at one of the eateries nearby.

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Best Airbnb in Sugar House: Wacky condo in a cool area

You’ll have access to the entire of this unique architectural marvel. This place is a dream for fans of upcycling, and the decking area provides a great place for some lazy afternoon socializing. Good for a group.

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Best Hotel in Sugar House: Home2 Suites by Hilton Salt Lake City-East

This excellent three-star hotel wins our vote for where to stay in Sugar House because it offers large rooms with comfortable beds. Guests can also enjoy an indoor swimming pool and a terrace. Conveniently located in Salt Lake’s hippest neighbourhood, this hotel is close to bars, restaurants and shops.

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Best Hotel in Sugar House: Ramada by Wyndham Salt Lake City Hotel

The Ramada by Wyndham Hotel is a great base for your time in Salt Lake. It is centrally located in Sugar House and offers easy access to eateries, cafes and bars. Rooms come complete with air conditioning, tea/coffee facilities and free wifi. There’s also a fitness centre and restaurant on-site.

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#5 University/Foothill – Best neighbourhood in Salt Lake City for families

The University and Foothill neighbourhoods are located on the eastern edge of Salt Lake City. They sit nestled between the city and the mountains and offer some of the most stunning scenery in the area. These neighbourhoods offer quick access to the Wasatch Mountains and its canyons, as well as to the city, which is why they are our pick for where to stay in Salt Lake City for families.

But there’s more to the University and Foothill areas than nature and hiking! Visitors to these neighbourhoods can also enjoy world-class museums and art galleries, as well as animal adventures and picnics in the park.

University/Foothill, Salt Lake City

 

Things to See and Do in University/Foothill

– Be amazed by the displays at the Natural History Museum of Utah.

– Browse the exhibits at the Fort Douglas Military Museum.

– Catch a performance at Kingsbury Hall.

– Explore a pioneer village at This Is The Place Heritage Park.

– Lace up your boots and head into the hills to explore the forests and natural scenery surrounding Salt Lake City.

– Root for the home team at the Jon M. Huntsman Centre.

– See an incredible collection, from ancient artefacts to contemporary pieces, at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.

– See more than 1,100 animals from around the world, including zebras, lions and giraffes at Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

 

Best Condo in University/Foothill: Nice and Clean Salt Lake East

This condo is an excellent place to call home while you visit Salt Lake City. It is ideally located and is close to City Creek Canyon, the Gilgal Sculpture Garden, and the Trolley Railway Station. This condo is comfortable and clean and is outfitted with modern amenities and essentials.

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Best Airbnb in University/Foothill: Family home in a great local

With so much on its doorstep, you’ll be spoilt for choice if you go with this charming home away from home. A host of activities and restaurants can be found just minutes away. If you opt to stay in, the house has generous cooking and dining facilities.

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Best Hotel in University/Foothill: University Guest House & Conference Center

The University Guest House is a modern three-star hotel – and our pick for where to stay in the University/Foothill neighbourhoods. It offers wonderful views and allows for easy access to the downtown, Central City, and all of Salt Lake City’s top attractions. Rooms are outfitted with contemporary amenities and there are laundry facilities and a fitness centre on-site.

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Best Hotel in University/Foothill: Salt Lake City Marriott University Park

This hotel is conveniently located in Salt Lake City. It is close to well-known attractions and landmarks and is within a short distance of plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. This hotel has more than 200 recently refurbished rooms, a Jacuzzi and an indoor swimming pool.

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Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is often thought of as a quiet and slow city, when in fact, it’s the opposite. The capital and largest city in Utah, Salt Lake City is bursting with historic landmarks and cultural attractions, as well as innovative and delicious culinary offerings, a diverse craft beer scene, and lots of independent and high street shopping. No matter what you’re into, there’s something for every traveller in Salt Lake City.

To recap; Avenues Hostel is our pick for the best hostel because it offers comfortable rooms at a great price.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Salt Lake City-East in Sugar House gets our vote for the best hotel because it has large rooms, comfortable beds and amazing on-site amenities.

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In this EPIC GUIDE, we cover where to stay in Salt Lake City based on your travel style & budget. Check out the coolest areas in Salt Lake City!

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