Where to stay in Reno for first time: 3 Safe areas

Finding where to stay in Reno 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 Reno for first-time visitors.

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

Before getting into the main topic, let’s look at some highlights about Reno:

Reno, often referred to as the Biggest Little City in the World, is the fourth most populous city in the state  of Nevada, located near the border with California. It is known for its vibrant entertainment scene, outdoor recreational opportunities, and proximity to Lake Tahoe. 

Like its southern counterpart, Las Vegas, Reno is known for its gaming industry. The city has numerous casinos and resorts, offering a range of entertainment options, including gambling, shows, and nightlife.

Reno is surrounded by a diverse landscape that provides opportunities for outdoor activities. The nearby Lake Tahoe is a popular destination for skiing, snowboarding, hiking, and water sports. The Truckee River runs through downtown Reno, providing opportunities for kayaking and other water activities.

The city hosts various events and festivals throughout the year. The Reno Air Races, Hot August Nights (a classic car event), and the Reno Rodeo are among the notable annual events.

Reno is home to the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), which contributes to the city’s cultural and educational atmosphere.

The Reno-Tahoe International Airport serves the region, providing air connectivity. Interstate 80 and Interstate 580 are major highways that pass through the city, making it accessible by road.

Is Reno safe to visit?

Reno is generally safe to visit. Daytime is usually safe, weekend nights can get a bit rowdy. Just use common sense and be aware of your surroundings, you should be fine. You’ll come across some homeless people, but it happens in any city.

You can stay in one of the 3 big casinos: Silver Legacy, El Dorado, and Circus Circus, which are part of the Tri-Properties Resort Complex – THE ROW and are connected by an indoor skywalk. You might feel more comfortable hanging out there at night.

Where to stay in Reno for the first time?

The best and safe areas to stay in Reno for first-timers and tourists are Downtown Reno, Riverwalk District, and Reno-Tahoe International Airport. These areas provide a variety of accommodations and tourist amenities for all budgets.

Downtown Reno is the best area for visitors who want  to be in the midst of the action, with easy access to gaming, dining, and events. This area is the heart of the city and offers a lively atmosphere with many iconic casinos and vibrant nightlife.

The Riverwalk District is located along the Truckee River and is known for its scenic views, outdoor activities, and a variety of dining options. It also offers easy access to the strip with many casinos and entertainment options.

Staying near Reno-Tahoe International Airport is a convenient base for those looking to explore both the city of Reno and the surrounding outdoor destinations, including Lake Tahoe. It is best suited for travelers with early or late flights.

During my trip to Reno, I stayed at the Whitney Peak Hotel. It was a non casino hotel, centrally located next to the Arch, easy access to the strip with popular casinos, and restaurants. Also close to numerous museums, and Amtrak Station. My room was spacious, clean, and had beautiful mountain views.

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

Map of the safe areas to stay in Reno first time
Map of the safe areas to stay in Reno first time

Let’s get into the details of the recommended areas to stay in Reno, 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 Reno have been carefully selected by me from well-known and secure booking sites such as booking.com, with good guest review scores 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.

3 Safe areas to stay in Reno for first-timers and tourists:

1. Downtown Reno

Downtown Reno is the most popular area to stay in Reno. It is a vibrant and bustling area that serves as the central business district and entertainment hub of the city. 

Downtown  is home to several iconic casinos, including the Eldorado Resort Casino, Silver Legacy Resort Casino, and Circus Circus Reno. These establishments offer a wide range of gaming options, shows, and entertainment.

The area boasts a diverse culinary scene with numerous restaurants offering various cuisines. You can find fine dining options, casual eateries, and unique local spots. Downtown comes alive at night with a vibrant nightlife. Many casinos feature bars, nightclubs, and live entertainment.

Downtown Reno is home to art galleries, theaters, and cultural venues. The Nevada Museum of Art, for example, is located nearby and showcases a diverse collection of visual arts.

Best places to stay in Downtown Reno for first-timers:

Mid-range ($$): Whitney Peak Hotel Reno, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, 4-star hotel in central Reno next to the Arch,  10 min uber ride to Midtown. Easy access to The Reno Amtrak Station, Pioneer Center for the Performing Arts and the National Automobile Museum. The hotel has a 24-hour reception, a fitness center, and great views of the mountain. This is non-smoking and not a casino hotel.

Mid-range ($$): Silver Legacy Reno Resort Casino at THE ROW, 4-star casino hotel located in the heart of downtown Reno,  offering free airport transfer and 24-hour casino. Rooms have views of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The hotel is connected to the Circus Circus and Eldorado Resort Casino via a large indoor walkway, so you can easily explore 3 casinos. It has free parking, a pool, and 3 restaurants.

Mid-range ($$): Eldorado Resort Casino at THE ROW, 4-star casino hotel in Downtown Reno, featuring free airport shuttles, a casino, free parking, and an outdoor pool. 10 mins walk from various museums and the river walk where you can find shops, bars, restaurants and a kayak park.

Budget ($): Circus Circus Reno Hotel Casino at THE ROW, popular 3-star hotel in North Sierra Street, downtown Reno, only 5-10 mins walk from Reno Events Center, Reno Ballroom, and Truckee River Walk. The hotel has free airport shuttle service, free parking, a casino, non-smoking rooms, daily shows, and free circus acts and family-friendly activities at the Carnival Midway. 


2. Riverwalk District

Riverwalk District has numerous accommodations, and offers easy access to the downtown. You can find opportunities for kayaking, paddleboarding, and tubing on the Truckee River during the warmer months.

The Truckee River Walk is a picturesque pathway along the Truckee River, offering a scenic environment for walking, jogging, or simply enjoying the views. The riverwalk provides access to parks, art installations, and outdoor activities.

Best places to stay in Reno in Riverwalk District:

Mid-range ($$): WorldMark Reno, 4-star good value for money hotel in a great location, within walking distance to casinos, the Truckee River, restaurants, and the great nightlife of downtown Reno. Close to the National Bowling Stadium and Wingfield Park Amphitheater. The hotel has an outdoor pool, free private parking, a business center, and 24-hour front desk. 

Mid-range ($$): Renaissance Reno Downtown Hotel & Spa, 4-star hotel located on Lake Street, along the Truckee River, close to MidTown, 10 mins ride from the airport. It has air-conditioning rooms with views of the river and the mountains. Lots of restaurants nearby.

Budget ($): Plaza Resort Club Reno, 3-star non smoking hotel has rooms with the views of the Truckee River in Reno. It is only a few mins walk from The ROW and popular casinos like the Silver Legacy, El Dorado and Harrah’s Casino. It features an indoor pool, family rooms, private parking, and a sundeck. 5 mins walk from the National Automobile Museum.


3. Reno-Tahoe International Airport

Reno-Tahoe International Airport serves as the primary airport for the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area and is the gateway to the Lake Tahoe region. Visitors traveling to Lake Tahoe for skiing, outdoor activities, or relaxation often use Reno-Tahoe International Airport as their entry point.

The Reno-Sparks Convention Center is located in this area, making it convenient for those attending conferences and events in the area.

Best places to stay in Reno near airport:

Budget ($): Aloft by Marriott Reno Tahoe International Airport, 3-star hotel, great base for easy access to the airport, free shuttle! Great place  to stay if arriving late and getting a rental car early the next morning! It also has free bikes, private parking, a pool, a fitness center, and ski storage space. 

Budget ($): Hyatt Place Reno/Tahoe Airport, 3-star modern hotel located right outside the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which is only 10 mins ride away with their free shuttle transfer. It is a 30 mins drive from Mt. Rose Ski Resort. It has free parking, Indoor swimming pool, family rooms, and good breakfast.

Budget ($): Holiday Inn Express Reno Airport, an IHG Hotel,  3-star non-smoking hotel located close to the Reno-Tahoe International Airport, offering free airport shuttle service. Short drive from popular casinos, ski resorts, and the beautiful Lake Tahoe. It has a pool, free parking, and good breakfast.

Budget ($): Comfort Inn & Suites Airport Convention Center, 3-star hotel close to Reno airport and 30 miles from Diamond Peak Ski Resort. It has a free airport shuttle, parking, and good breakfast.  It is a great stayover coming from Tahoe and having to catch a flight the next morning.


In conclusion, Downtown Reno, Riverwalk District, and Reno-Tahoe International Airport are the best places to stay in Reno for first-timers and tourists.  

You can continue reading about other cities near Reno in these articles:

There you have it, my recommendations for the most popular and safest neighborhoods that you can stay during your first trip to Reno. 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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