Where to stay in Nashville without a car: 4 Best areas

In this article, we will look at Where to stay in Nashville without a car?, best areas to stay in Nashville without a car, how to get around without a car, and the best hotels in Nashville without a car for all budget visitors.

It is possible to get around Nashville without a car. Nashville has a few transportation options for those who prefer not to drive including public transit, ridesharing, biking, and walking. 

Nashville is the capital and largest city of the state of Tennessee in the United States. It is located in the north-central part of the state along the Cumberland River. Nashville is known for its rich history, vibrant music scene, and cultural attractions.

Nashville is often referred to as “Music City” because of its significant influence on the music industry. It is the epicenter of country music and home to the Grand Ole Opry, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and countless live music venues. 

Nashville’s country music scene has produced legendary artists like Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, and many others. It remains a hub for aspiring musicians, songwriters, and music producers.

Nashville is a popular tourist destination, drawing visitors not only for its music but also for its historical sites, museums, and vibrant nightlife. Broadway, a street in downtown Nashville, is famous for its honky-tonk bars and live music performances.

The city is home to several prestigious universities, including Vanderbilt University and Belmont University and the Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Nashville has a rich history dating back to the late 18th century. The city played a significant role in the American Civil War and is home to historical sites like the Hermitage (Andrew Jackson’s home) and the Belle Meade Plantation. The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the original in Athens, Greece, is a prominent cultural attraction.

Nashville is famous for its hot chicken, a spicy fried chicken dish that has gained popularity nationwide. The city also offers a wide range of dining options, including Southern cuisine and international flavors.

Downtown Nashville tends to be more pedestrian-friendly, while getting to more distant suburbs may require a bit more planning.

Where to stay in Nashville without a car?

The best areas to stay in Nashville without a car for tourists are Downtown Nashville, The Gulch, Midtown/West End, and Music Valley. Regardless of your choice, Nashville has public transport and rideshare that can help you get around the city easily if you don’t have a car.

In general, Downtown Nashville is the best area to stay in Nashville for first-timers and car-free travelers who want to be in the heart of the city. It has the highest concentration of hotels, restaurants, bars, live music venues, shops, and attractions, making it easy to explore on foot.

If you want to experience the vibrant music scene and nightlife of Nashville, downtown or The Gulch might be your best options. If you prefer a quieter and more relaxed stay, Midtown/West End/Vanderbilt or Music Valley could be better choices. 

Overviews of best areas to stay in Nashville without a car

Here is an overview of recommended areas in Nashville for visitors without a car and why you should stay in each area:  

Best areas in Nashville without a carWhy should you stay in this area?
Downtown NashvilleThis is the heart of the city and a popular choice for visitors. You’ll find many hotels, restaurants, bars, live music venues, and attractions such as Broadway and Country Music Hall of Fame within walking distance. Downtown is also served by The free Music City Circuit. 
The GulchThis trendy neighborhood is adjacent to downtown and offers a variety of accommodation options. It’s known for its upscale dining and shopping, and you can easily walk or use rideshare services to get around.
Midtown/ West End/ VanderbiltLocated near Vanderbilt University, this area is a bit quieter and cheaper than downtown but still has a good selection of hotels, restaurants, and bars. You can walk or use rideshare services to reach nearby attractions.
Music ValleyMusic Valley is near the Grand Ole Opry and Opry Mills Mall, making it a great choice if you plan to spend a lot of time in that area. It’s quieter than downtown and offers a more relaxed atmosphere. 

Map of the best areas to stay in Nashville without a car:

Map of best areas to stay in Nashville without a car
Map of best areas to stay in Nashville without a car

How to get around Nashville without a car as a tourist?

Getting around Nashville without a car is certainly possible, thanks to numerous transportation options available. Here are some ways to explore the city without relying on a personal vehicle:

Public Transit: 

Nashville has a public bus system called WeGo (formerly MTA) and a commuter rail service called the Music City Star that connects Nashville to nearby suburbs like Lebanon, Mount Juliet, and Donelson.

You can use buses and trains to navigate the city. Check the MTA’s website or use a transit app for schedules and routes.

Downtown has the free Music City Circuit running from Monday to Saturday, the Green Circuit links downtown and The Gulch, and Blue Circuit links Arcade and Tennessee State Museum.


Nashville is becoming more bike-friendly, with bike lanes and bike-sharing programs like Nashville B-cycle. You can rent a bike and explore the city’s neighborhoods and greenways. Some areas, like downtown, have dedicated bike lanes.


Nashville’s downtown area is compact and walkable. Many of the city’s attractions, restaurants, and live music venues are within walking distance apart. 

Joining a guided walking tour can be a great way to explore specific neighborhoods or themes of interest while learning about the city from knowledgeable guides.

Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and explore the city on foot.

Ride-Sharing Services: 

Services like Lyft and Uber are widely available in Nashville. This is convenient for getting around the city quickly, especially if you’re traveling with a group.

Traditional taxi services are also available in Nashville, though they tend to be more expensive than ride-sharing services. You can hail a taxi on the street or call for one.

Electric Scooters: 

Nashville has electric scooter rental services such as Bird and Lime. You can use smartphone apps to locate and rent electric scooters for short trips within the city.

Hop-On-Hop-Off Tours: 

Consider taking a hop-on-hop-off tour bus. These tours provide an excellent way to see many of Nashville’s top attractions in a single day, and you can get on and off at various stops.

Trolley Tours: 

Nashville offers trolley tours that take you around the city with narrated guides providing historical and cultural insights. It’s an informative and leisurely way to explore.

Group Tours and Shuttle Services: 

Some attractions and venues offer shuttle services for visitors. Check with your accommodations or the places you plan to visit to see if they provide transportation options.

Car Rentals: 

If you need a car for a specific day trip or excursion outside the city, you can rent one for the day. Many car rental agencies have locations in Nashville.

Nashville Airport Transportation:

Nashville International Airport is located around 20 minutes from Downtown Nashville. Getting from the airport to downtown is relatively straightforward, you can use Uber, Lyft, Taxis as well as WeGo Public Transit bus, shuttle services.

Nashville is a vibrant city with plenty to see and do, and with these transportation options, you can enjoy your visit without the need for a car.

4 Best areas to stay in Nashville without a car are:

1. Downtown Nashville

Downtown Nashville is often considered one of the best areas to stay in if you don’t have a car because it offers a wide range of attractions, restaurants, and entertainment options within walking distance. 

Here are some reasons why it is a good choice:

Walkability: Downtown Nashville is highly walkable, with many of the city’s top attractions clustered together. You can easily explore popular destinations like the Country Music Hall of Fame, Bridgestone Arena, Ryman Auditorium, and Broadway’s honky-tonk bars on foot.

Entertainment: Downtown is the heart of Nashville’s live music scene, with numerous bars and clubs featuring live performances. You can enjoy music throughout the day and night without worrying about transportation.

Dining: The area boasts a diverse selection of restaurants, from upscale dining to casual eateries, making it easy to find something to suit your taste preferences.

Public Transportation: The Music City Circuit, a free bus service, operates in this area, making it easy to explore downtown without a car.

Attractions: In addition to music venues, downtown also offers attractions like the Tennessee State Capitol, Riverfront Park, and the historic Printers Alley.

Consideration: Downtown can be noisy and crowded, especially on weekends. Accommodation options might be more expensive compared to other neighborhoods.

In summary, Downtown Nashville is one of the best areas to stay in Nashville without a car, especially for first-timers. It is the heart of the city and offers easy access to many popular attractions such as Broadway, the Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Ryman Auditorium.

Best places to stay in Downtown Nashville without a car:


2. The Gulch

The Gulch is one of the best places to stay in without a car due to its central location and accessibility to various amenities, attractions, and public transportation options.

The Gulch is an upscale and trendy neighborhood with excellent dining, shopping, and nightlife options. It’s also close to downtown and within walking distance to many attractions.

Here are some reasons why The Gulch was a popular choice for travelers without a car:

Walkability: The Gulch is known for its pedestrian-friendly environment. Many restaurants, bars, shops, and entertainment venues are within walking distance, making it easy to explore the area on foot.

Proximity to Downtown: The Gulch is adjacent to Nashville’s downtown area, so you can easily access downtown attractions like the Frist Art Museum, Music City Center, Country Music Hall of Fame, Broadway’s honky-tonks, and Nissan Stadium without needing a car.

Public Transportation: Nashville’s public transportation system includes buses, the Music City Star commuter train, and free Green Circuit connecting to Downtown Nashville.

Entertainment and Dining: The Gulch is known for its vibrant nightlife, dining options, and cultural attractions. You can enjoy live music, art galleries, and a variety of culinary experiences within the neighborhood.

Best places to stay in The Gulch without a car:


3. Midtown/ West End/ Vanderbilt

The Midtown/West End/Vanderbilt area is considered one of the more convenient and walkable areas to stay in Nashville without a car. This neighborhood encompasses a portion of the West End Avenue, Broadway, and Elliston Place areas.

This area is known for its proximity to Vanderbilt University, Belmont University, and has a more relaxed atmosphere and more affordable compared to downtown. You’ll find a mix of restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s also relatively close to some attractions.

Some key landmarks and points of interest within or near this neighborhood include Vanderbilt University, Music Row district, Centennial Park (home to the Parthenon replica), the vibrant nightlife along Broadway Street, and a variety of restaurants, bars, and shops.

This area also has easy access to 12 South and Hillsboro Village, which is a trendy district with a variety of shops, boutiques, restaurants, and cafes. It’s a popular spot for both students and residents.

Consideration: While you can walk to some places, it may not be as central as downtown or The Gulch. You might need to rely on rideshares or public transportation for longer trips.

Best places to stay in Nashville’s Midtown without a car:


4. Music Valley

Music Valley is known for attractions like the Grand Ole Opry and Opryland Resort. If you’re primarily interested in these attractions, it can be a convenient location for car-free holiday in Nashville.

Music Valley has several attractions and venues that cater to music enthusiasts and tourists, including:

Grand Ole Opry: one of the most iconic country music venues in the world. It has a rich history dating back to 1925 and has hosted countless legendary country music artists. The venue has moved several times, but its current location in Music Valley is a significant draw for visitors.

Opryland Hotel and Resort: Now known as the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center, this massive hotel and resort complex is a key feature of Music Valley. It features lush gardens, indoor waterfalls, multiple restaurants, and entertainment options. 

Opry Mills: This shopping mall in Music Valley offers a wide range of retail stores, dining options, and entertainment. It’s a popular shopping destination and is adjacent to the Grand Ole Opry and the Gaylord Opryland Resort.

Music Valley Car Museum: This museum showcases classic cars and is a favorite among automobile enthusiasts.

General Jackson Showboat: The General Jackson is a large paddlewheel riverboat that offers dinner cruises with live entertainment, including country music performances.

Texas Troubadour Theatre: This intimate theater hosts various country music shows and events.

Nashville Palace: A classic honky-tonk venue that offers live music and a dance floor, reminiscent of Nashville’s country music heritage.

Willie Nelson and Friends Museum and Nashville Souvenirs: This museum celebrates the life and career of country music legend Willie Nelson.

Consideration: Music Valley is further from downtown, so you may need to use rideshares or public transportation to get to other parts of the city. It’s a quieter area compared to downtown and The Gulch.

Best places to stay in Music Valley without a car:


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In conclusion, Downtown Nashville, The Gulch, Midtown/West End, and Music Valley are the best places to stay in Nashville without a car for tourists. In any case, Nashville has a growing public transit system as well as Uber and Lyft, which can help you get around without a car, no matter where you stay.

If you want a lively, central experience, downtown or The Gulch might be best. If you prefer a quieter, more residential feel, consider Midtown/West End/Vanderbilt. If you’re focused on Opryland, Music Valley could work. 

About Author: Linda Smith

I'm Linda Smith, the Hotel Expert, an experienced travel blogger who passionate about traveling. I'm here to share with you all my travel experiences and tips. I cover a wide range of travel topics, specializing in sharing information about the best areas, neighborhoods, and hotels in each city. I hope all these things will make your travel easier.

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