Where to stay in Birmingham, AL for first time: Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Birmingham, AL as a first-timer can be a headache. That’s why, in today’s article, I will help you to find safe places to stay in Birmingham for first-time visitors.

I will share with you what I believe are the best and safest areas to stay in Birmingham for first-timers and tourists, along with a helpful map and areas to avoid. I’ll also share where I stayed in Birmingham, AL and recommend some of the best hotels for various budgets.

Birmingham is the largest city in Alabama, United States. It is located in the central part of the state, in the Jones Valley, surrounded by the Appalachian foothills.  

Birmingham played a significant role in the industrial development of the Southern United States, particularly in the iron and steel industry. It earned the nickname The Magic City due to its rapid growth.

Birmingham was a focal point for civil rights activities in the 1960s. It gained national attention for events like the Birmingham Campaign in 1963, which included nonviolent protests and demonstrations against racial segregation.

The city has numerous museums, theaters, parks, and a vibrant arts scene. It is also known for its diverse culinary scene and hosts various events throughout the year.

Birmingham is home to several institutions of higher education, including the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), Samford University, and Birmingham-Southern College.

Some notable landmarks in Birmingham include Vulcan Park and Museum (home to the world’s largest cast iron statue), the Birmingham Museum of Art, and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

Is Birmingham, AL safe to visit?

Yes, Birmingham is overall a safe city to visit. Popular crimes are usually domestic violence, petty property crimes, and drug related crimes. The crime is concentrated in certain neighborhoods. Downtown and Five Points South are where the most hotels are located, so it is generally safe to stay.

Remember that personal safety practices, such as staying in well-traveled areas, being aware of your surroundings, and taking common-sense precautions, can contribute to a safer experience in any city.

Where to stay in Birmingham, AL first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Birmingham for tourists are Downtown Birmingham and Five Points South. These are the most popular locations in the city to book your accommodations.

Downtown is home to popular attractions like the Birmingham Museum of Art, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, and the Birmingham Barons baseball stadium.

Five Points South is known for its historic architecture and vibrant atmosphere. It is best suited for visitors who enjoy a bohemian, eclectic atmosphere, and want to experience local cuisine and nightlife.

During my trip to Birmingham, I stayed in the downtown area at the 3-star Home2 Suites By Hilton. It was a great hotel in a central location on 18th Street South, close to everything. My room and bathroom were spacious and clean. They also had a sun terrace, a pool, and a buffet breakfast .  

Below is a map of the popular areas in Birmingham, AL for first-time travelers. You can scroll down to view the live map.

Map of the safe areas to stay in Birmingham, AL first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Birmingham, AL first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Birmingham, AL, especially for first-time visitors. I’ll provide you with some suggestions for the best places to stay in each area, catering to every budget. 

All hotels in Birmingham, AL have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with guest review scores of at least 8.0 or higher at the time I chose them. 

If you don’t like my suggestions (perhaps they don’t suit your budget or preferences), you can click the “MORE HOTEL DEALS” button where you can choose your own hotel.

2 Safe areas to stay in Birmingham, AL for tourists:

1. Downtown Birmingham 

Downtown Birmingham is the central business district of the city and is known for its vibrant atmosphere, cultural attractions, and historic sites. 

The downtown area is rich in history, with several historical sites such as the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, which chronicles the city’s role in the civil rights movement.

Downtown is home to 19-acre green space Railroad Park, offering walking paths, playgrounds, and a lake. It’s a popular spot for outdoor activities and events. Linn Park is another green oasis in the midst of downtown and is home to several monuments and sculptures.

History buffs can visit the Birmingham Museum of Art, located on Rev. Abraham Woods Jr. Boulevard, features an impressive collection of art, including American, European, African, Asian, and contemporary works. 

Another interesting museum to visit is the McWane Science Center, situated on 19th Street North, a hands-on science museum with interactive exhibits, an IMAX theater, and a planetarium.

Downtown is home to historic Alabama Theatre, located on 3rd Avenue North, which hosts various performances, including concerts, Broadway shows, and classic film screenings. 

You can find Regions Field, the home of the Birmingham Barons, the city’s Minor League Baseball team. The stadium is known for its modern design and family-friendly atmosphere.

Downtown Birmingham offers a diverse range of dining options, from upscale restaurants to casual eateries. You’ll also find bars, clubs, and music venues, providing a lively nightlife scene.

Foodies can check out The Pizitz Food Hall. Located in the historic Pizitz building, this food hall offers a variety of culinary experiences with multiple vendors serving diverse cuisines.

Sidewalk Film Festival takes place in downtown Birmingham, showcasing independent films and attracting filmmakers and enthusiasts from around the region.

Best places to stay in Downtown Birmingham, AL for tourists:

Budget ($): Home2 Suites By Hilton Birmingham Downtown, 3-star good value for money accommodation in central location of Birmingham, minute away from everything, close to McWane Center and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. It has a 24-hour front desk, an ATM, parking, Outdoor swimming pool, and a fitness center.

Budget ($): Hampton Inn & Suites Birmingham-Downtown-Tutwiler, popular 3-star hotel, in downtown area, near the city hall, easy access to the library, park, museums, and the airport.

Mid-range ($$): Elyton Hotel, Autograph Collection, 4-star hotel, conveniently located on 1st Avenue North in Downtown Birmingham, close to McWane Center, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Birmingham Amtrak Station. It has a 24-hour front desk, a fitness center, onsite parking, and restaurant.

Mid-range ($$): The Kelly Birmingham, Tapestry Collection By Hilton, 4-star hotel in central Birmingham, in the historical downtown area. It has comfortable air-conditioning rooms, and some come with a kitchen. There is also superb breakfast and a fitness center.


2. Five Points South

Five Points South is a historic and eclectic neighborhood located south of downtown Birmingham. It is known for its vibrant atmosphere, diverse dining options, and unique shops. 

Five Points Plaza is the central hub of the area, surrounded by restaurants, bars, and shops. It’s a popular spot for events, outdoor dining, and people-watching.

You can find a wide range of restaurants serving anything from Southern comfort food to international cuisines. The area also has a vibrant nightlife with numerous bars and entertainment venues.

The neighborhood is adjacent to Highland Park, a historic residential area with tree-lined streets and charming homes. Highland Park provides a peaceful contrast to the bustling Five Points South.

Five Points South is located near Birmingham’s Medical District, making it a convenient area for medical professionals, students, and patients seeking healthcare serv

The neighborhood is in close proximity to University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB), a major research university and medical center. This adds a youthful and dynamic energy to the area.

The Birmingham Zoo is a short drive away, a great place to spend a fun day out with your kids. The zoo is situated within Birmingham’s larger Lane Park, which also includes beautiful botanical gardens. You can enjoy the natural surroundings and landscaping in addition to the animal exhibits.

Best places to stay in Birmingham in Five Points South:

Budget ($): Homewood Suites by Hilton Birmingham Downtown Near UAB, good value for money 3-star hotel located on 20th Street,  n Little Five Points with lots of restaurants, within easy walking distance of the UAB Medical Center. It has a 24-hour front desk, an outdoor pool, a business center, good breakfast, and comfortable family rooms.

Budget ($): Hilton Birmingham Downtown at UAB,  3-star hotel located next to the University of Alabama at Birmingham, offering free airport shuttle services, Outdoor swimming pool, and good breakfast.

Budget ($):  Courtyard by Marriott Birmingham Downtown at UAB, 3-star hotel located close to University of Alabama-Birmingham and the UAB Hospital. It has a Starbucks and a Bistro, serving American cuisine for breakfast and dinner.

Budget ($): SpringHill Suites by Marriott Birmingham Downtown at UAB, 3-star hotel in a great location on 4th Avenue South, next to the University of Alabama Birmingham, 10 mins walk from  Birmingham Amtrak Station. It has an indoor pool, Family rooms, and free airport transfer.


In conclusion, Downtown Birmingham and Five Points South are the safe and best places to stay in Birmingham for first-timers and tourists. These areas offer a variety of accommodations and amenities for all preferences.

You can continue readings about other nearby destinations in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safe neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Birmingham. I hope you enjoyed my article and find it both informative and helpful.

If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below. Your feedback is invaluable and helps me continue to create more quality content.

About Author: Ocean Cameron

I'm Ocean, founder and main editor of travelhotelexpert.com. I’m a passionate traveler who specializes in uncovering the best hotels and locations in every city, especially for first-timers, all without the need for a car.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links. This means that, at absolutely no additional cost to you, I'll earn a small commission if you click through and purchase something I've recommended. I only recommend products that I use myself or firmly believe in. Thank you!

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