Where to Stay in Indianapolis in 2021 – Best Areas and Hotels

Ready for another fun trip? This time we’re visiting Indianapolis, Indiana! Home to the largest sports facility in the world, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, but it’s not just that, this city is a super fun place to visit for many different reasons!

Surrounded by tons of natural spots and the lovely White River, there’s not a chance you’ll get bored during your stay here. Whether you visit all the big attractions like the Indianapolis Zoo or the Monument Circle or just bar hop and enjoy the city’s nightlife, by the time your trip ends, you’ll want to spend a few more days here!

But let’s see where to stay in Indianapolis, Indiana! The city is super big so you’ll find a wide range of accommodations and the list that I made will help you find the best ones! Just remember that it’s always better to book in advance than to do it super late or when you arrive at the hotel. Trust me, it will save you lots of money and time!

Let’s go, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is waiting!

If you are in a hurry

If you want to book your hotel in Indianapolis now, then there’s no reason to wait, quickly browse this list with the top accommodations all located in Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square):

luxury hotel

Conrad Indianapolis

Best luxury hotel

airbnb

Trendy Condo

An Airbnb with amazing reviews

mid-range hotel

Hyatt Regency Indianapolis

Best value for money

budget hotel

Frontdesk 333

Best affordable accommodation in the center

Here’s a map of all the areas for where to stay in Indianapolis that I will be talking about in this post:

Downtown (Mile Square)
for first-timers
Washington Township (Broad Ripple)
for families
Lockerbie Square
for history lovers
Castleton
for shopping

1. Downtown (Mile Square) – where to stay in Indianapolis for the first time

It’s not often that you get to stay in a place where the foundations of that very town were laid many years ago! Downtown Indianapolis is also known as the Mile Square, a name earned when the city first came into being.

Over the years, Indianapolis has grown into this modern town. Still, Mile Square remains its epicenter and the place where you’ll find most attractions which are usually located within walking distance.

You’ll find tons of historic and cultural attractions in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis, plus the area is pedestrian-friendly, so make sure you pack comfy shoes if you like exploring on foot. On the east side of the neighborhood you’ll find the lovely White River, a scenic spot that features some stunning views! And if you’re up for a road trip, Cincinnati is just 2 hours away by car, so why not take a small detour and cross over another city from your list!

That’s what I love about staying in the central area, there’s something to do for everyone, and the atmosphere is like no other! Whether you’re more into visiting museums and attractions like the Indiana State Museum, and the Eiteljorg Museum or checking all the restaurants and cafes, you’ll find all that and more when you explore this neighborhood. And if you want to venture outside of this area, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway is just 5 miles (8 km) away.

There are tons of hotels in Indianapolis suited for each type of traveler, but I would make sure I book them in advance if I were you. That way you can get your hands on a stunning room Downtown (Mile Square) at a fairly good price!

Luxury hotel

How about a good long swim in this hotel’s indoor pool, after a full day of visiting all the attractions in Downtown (Mile Square)? The guest suites are super spacious and the hotel offers spa services on-site and breakfast. Pour yourself a glass of wine and enjoy a bath with a great view of the city!

Other accommodation in Downtown (Mile Square)

Mid-Range

Have dinner with a view of the city in the rooftop restaurant of this lovely hotel with a heated indoor pool

Budget

Enjoy your stay in Indianapolis in this spacious apartment that has a kitchen and free wifi

Airbnb

Welcome to the jungle! Enjoy your coffee on the balcony of this cool apartment that has 2 rooms and a kitchen

Things to do in Downtown (Mile Square)

  • Visit the world-class museums Eiteljorg Museum and Indiana State Museum
  • Take a photo of the Soldiers & Sailors Monument Circle Indianapolis
  • Admire the architecture of the Indiana State House
  • Have fun with the kids at the Rhythm! Discovery Center Museum
  • Enjoy the nightlife in the heart of Downtown Indianapolis at 1933 Lounge Bar
  • Catch a sunset near the White River Downtown (Mile Square)
  • Check the events at the Indiana Convention Center or go shopping at the Circle Centre Mall

2. Washington Township (incl. Broad Ripple) – best place to stay for families

Located 9 miles from Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square), this friendly neighborhood is surrounded by the White River in the north part of the city. It has a super laid-back atmosphere, making it the perfect place to stay in Indianapolis if you’re traveling with the kids.

Finding a good neighborhood and accommodation when you’re traveling with the whole family can prove to be difficult. I know many of you will be looking for a peaceful spot that has a few activities for the children and some attractions for you. Luckily the Broad Ripple Park is big enough for all your family members and has a playground as well.

Given that it’s a bit further away from Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square), you’ll probably need to use public transportation or rent a car if you want to explore the central area and visit all the attractions. 

However, before you do that, make sure you explore all the little cafes and restaurants in the area. There are tons of cute places waiting to be discovered here and if you’re up for finding more interesting places with the family, head to St Louis, which is just 3 hours away by car!

Luxury hotel

I love the rustic and contemporary decorations of this luxury accommodation! Enjoy a cozy night on the rooftop terrace and get some tea and hot cocoa for the little ones. The rooms are spacious, they have a private bathroom and can fit families. There’s a restaurant on-site and the hotel offers its guests free parking spots.

Other accommodation in Washington Township

Mid-Range

Go for a dip in the heated indoor pool of this hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast and family rooms

Budget

Warm-up by the firepit at night at this accommodation that has a swimming pool and offers a continental breakfast

Airbnb

Feel at home in this fully equipped accommodation that has 3 rooms, a great location, and a balcony

Things to do in Washington Township

  • See the cool ruins in the Holliday Park
  • Have some family fun at The Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Pool Amusement Park
  • Take the kids to the Holcomb Observatory
  • Visit the Indianapolis Art Center
  • Spend a whole day with the kids in Broad Ripple Park or Marott Park
  • Listen to some live music at The Vogue at night
  • Eat some good sweets at Rene’s Bakery

3. Lockerbie Square – where to stay in Indianapolis for history

Located less than a mile (1 km) east of Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square), this lovely neighborhood is one of the oldest areas in the city, so it’s only natural to recommend this place to stay in Indianapolis for travelers who want to see historic points of interest.

Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square) is located within walking distance, so you can always go there to visit the attractions. But filled with historic 19th-century houses and attractions, Lockerbie Square is the perfect place in the city just to walk around and explore all day long.

The stunning architecture and quirky cafes and restaurants will probably keep you occupied all day long, and if you want to enjoy the city after the sun sets and its nightlife, you can always go bar hopping in Mile Square.

One of the biggest attractions here is the beautiful Saint Mary’s Catholic Church, which has a German Gothic style. This building stands out and offers all history lovers a unique chance to investigate it. And if old architecture is your thing, the James Whitcomb Riley Museum offers a great insight into the city’s past and the chance to learn more about Indianapolis, Indiana.

Luxury hotel

Start your day in the best way on the balcony of your room in this luxurious accommodation that’s located 2 miles (3 km) away from the Lucas Oil Stadium. Guests will love the contemporary design of the bright rooms in the hotel. There’s a fitness center on-site and also a bar.

Other accommodation options in Lockerbie Square

Mid-Range

I love the historic setting of this accommodation that has a great location and offers breakfast and rooms

Budget

This affordable place to stay in Indianapolis offers guests access to a kitchen, a balcony, and free wifi

Airbnb

I love the design of this accommodation in the city that has 2 rooms, a kitchen, and a bathtub

Things to do in Lockerbie Square

  • Taste some of Indianapolis’ finest wines at Easley Winery
  • Learn new things about this historic city at the James Whitcomb Riley Museum
  • See what’s on at the Old National Centre Theatre in Lockerbie Square
  • Admire the architecture of the Saint Mary’s Catholic Church
  • Walk around the neighborhood and take a photo of all the historic 19th-century houses
  • Drink some German beer at the Rathskeller Indianapolis restaurant
  • Go Shopping for some cool souvenirs at Silver in the City in Lockerbie Square

4. Carmel – where to stay in Indianapolis for nature lovers

Located 20 miles (30 km) away from Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square), this suburb in Indiana was named the best place to live in America by Niche.com, and it’s my top choice to stay in Indianapolis if you love spending time in nature and doing all sorts of different activities!

Although the location allows you to only visit Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square) by public transportation or by car, I’m sure you won’t care that much when you’ll see all that you have around you!

It’s not only the parks that make Carmel a great place to stay in Indianapolis. The Midtown Plaza Carmel is also a great spot where you can mingle with the locals, eat good food and just spend some quality time.

As if all the parks weren’t enough, Carmel also has some beautiful gardens and I think my favorite one is the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden, a super tranquil spot with a small pond and some flowers. Don’t let yourself be fooled by nature, there are many other cool things to try in Carmel. Although you won’t get a busy nightlife here, the Peace Water Winery is a great place where you can get tipsy on some Indiana wine!

Luxury hotel

I love the elegant decor of this accommodation, and I’m sure all the guests will also like it! This 4-star hotel has super spacious suites, which are equipped with a private bathroom and free wifi. Dress up nicely and head downstairs in the elegant dining room to eat a delicious meal!

Other accommodation options in Carmel

Mid-Range

Relax with a swim in the pool of this hotel that has family rooms and a fitness center on-site

Budget

Guests will love this affordable hotel. Home2 Suites is a great stay with a restaurant and swimming pool

Airbnb

Located near the central area, this spacious apartment offers guests a kitchen, a bright room, and free parking

Things to do in Carmel

  • Eat some delicious food and socialize at Midtown Plaza Carmel
  • Take a relaxing walk in the Kawachinagano Japanese Garden
  • Spend a fun day at the Laser Flash Tag Center in the city
  • Have some family fun at The Waterpark
  • Enjoy a breath of fresh air in Central Park
  • Get tipsy at Peace Water Winery in the city
  • Explore the beautiful Coxhall Garden

5. Castleton – best place to stay in Indianapolis for shopping

This neighborhood is located 18 miles (29 km) north of Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square) and it’s one of Indiana’s commercial suburbs, which makes it a great place to stay for anyone who wants to find a hotel in Indianapolis that is a bit further away from the central area but located in a place where they can shop all day long.

Castleton Square Shopping Center is the star of the show in this part of the city, here you’ll find all the stores you need and many restaurants. Although shopping might be the one thing that you’ll want to do here, Castleton has other surprises in store for its visitors.

Indiana is surrounded by beautiful nature and the lovely White River, so you are bound to find some parks and recreational spots in Castleton. The Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve is perfect for some relaxing strolls or for anyone who’s into hiking, plus you might even spot a deer!

There aren’t any amazing luxury options for hotels in Castleton so if you are specifically looking for luxurious accommodation I recommend heading to Carmel and staying at Hotel Carmichael. If you’re not looking for 5 stars, here are your best options for the other price ranges:

Other accommodation options in Castleton

Mid-Range

Feel at home in this cozy inn where you can chill on the terrace all day long and make a BBQ with your friends

Budget

I love the colorful guest rooms of this affordable hotel that offers breakfast and free parking spots

Airbnb

A super spacious Indiana house that has 4 rooms, a kitchen, and a small patio where you can rest

Things to do in Castleton

  • Buy souvenirs at the Castleton Square Shopping Center
  • Take a stroll around the Ritchey Woods Nature Preserve
  • Go to the Defy Indianapolis Trampoline Park and jump all day long
  • Have dinner in one of the restaurants at Castleton Square Shopping Center
  • Spend a fun day with the kids in Indy at Sahm Park
👑 Luxury price:$250
💵 Mid-range hotel:$180
🛏️ Budget:$120
🏠 Airbnb:$140
💰Accommodation prices:Medium
📍Best area:Downtown Indianapolis
👪 Best area for families:Washington Township
🛎️ Best luxury hotel:Conrad Indianapolis
🧳 Best mid-range hotel:Hyatt Regency Indianapolis
👛 Best budget hotel:Frontdesk 333

BONUS 1: Best hotels near the Airport

Looking for some great hotels to stay near the airport during your visit to Indianapolis, Indiana? Here’s a list of some amazing accommodations for all types of travelers.

Luxury ($220 and up)
Chill in the swimming pool at the Embassy Suites By Hilton Plainfield hotel after a long flight! This 4-star hotel in Indiana offers a free airport shuttle and is located 3 miles (5 km) away from the airport. The rooms are modern and the accommodation offers breakfast for its guests.

Mid-Range ($160 – $200)
Indulge in all the good food at Holiday Inn Indianapolis, located 2 miles (3 km) away from the airport, it also offers a free airport shuttle by the way! Relax with a swim in the pool and spend a cozy night in your spacious room.

Budget ($90 – $100)
White House Suites is a great budget option for anyone coming to Indiana and staying near the airport. The rooms are comfortable and they are equipped with a small kitchenette.

Airbnb ($170 and up) 
Enjoy being closer to nature in this Cozy Cottage that offers its guests 2 rooms, a small patio, and a kitchen. The accommodation is located 7 miles (11 km) away from the airport.

BONUS 2: Best places to stay near the Indianapolis Motor Speedway

The Indianapolis Motor Speedway is the largest sports facility in the world and is where the famous Indy 500 car race takes place!

The race is the world’s largest single-day sporting event! Therefore I know that many of you will want to find hotels near this place, so here are the top ones that have prices between mid-range and budget, listed in descending order. Note that there aren’t any luxury hotels near the Motor Speedway so if you are looking for 5 star quality you will have to choose an area closer to town.

1. Courtyard by Marriott
Go for a dip and relax by the indoor pool of this hotel that’s situated 3 miles (5 km) away from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The accommodation offers breakfast and a fitness center for its guests.

2. Candlewood Suites
Chill on the little terrace and make use of the BBQ facilities. Buy some food and make a whole day out of it! This accommodation offers free parking spots, and you’ll find the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, just 3 miles (5 km) away from the hotel.

3. Microtel Inn & Suites
This cozy inn has an elegant design and family rooms! Start your day with a free breakfast at the inn’s restaurant before you head down to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, that’s located 3 miles (5 km) away from the accommodation.

Frequently asked questions about Indianapolis

🤔 Is it safe to stay in downtown Indianapolis?

Yes, Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square) it’s a safe area to stay in the city, plus it has all the main attractions and amazing hotels like Conrad Indianapolis.

🌆 What are the nice areas of Indianapolis?

Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square) and Washington Township (including Broad Ripple) are the best areas to stay in Indianapolis, Indiana. Here you can see all the cultural attractions, enjoy the nightlife and stay at the best hotels like Conrad Indianapolis and Ironworks Hotel Indy.

⚠️ What are the bad areas of Indianapolis?

Haughville (West Indianapolis) and Tuxedo Park (East Indianapolis) are two areas that you should avoid in Indianopolis.

💯 What are some cool places to stay in Indianapolis?

Conrad Indianapolis and Ironworks Hotel Indy are two of the best places to stay in the city, both hotels have amazing designs, good reviews, and a great service.

👪 Where to stay in Indianapolis for families?

Washington Township (including Broad Ripple) is the best area to stay in Indianapolis for families, and you can book your rooms at the Ironworks Hotel Indy, a top-notch hotel.

Conclusion

What a cool trip! I hope this post helped you decide where to stay in Indianapolis, which neighborhood to pick, and which cultural attraction to visit!

You’ll find plenty of choices here but I know how hard it is to decide, so here are my top 2 favorite hotels both located in Downtown Indianapolis (Mile Square)

All there is to do now is to book your hotels in advance (and pack your bags of course), that way you can get your hands on the best rooms and some good prices!

Have fun in the amazing Indiana State and enjoy its nightlife! Visit the Indianapolis Zoo, take a pic with all the animals, and don’t forget to check Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the largest sports facility in the world! I want to hear all about it, so don’t forget to leave me a comment below, or if you have any questions about Indianapolis, I’m here to answer them all!

Safe Travels,

Victoria

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