The Downtown district of Richmond includes the business district, Shockoe (split into Shockoe Bottom and Shockoe Slip), Jackson Ward and Tobacco Row.
GRTC operates route 52 and 53 loop in the central business district with stops at the Virginia Commonwealth University Hospital, the bus transit hub at 9th street and Leigh Street, the State Capitol, Amtrak Station, the Edgar Allen Poe Museum and Holocaust Museum. Their phone number is: +1 804 358-4782. Buses run every 25 minutes and the fare is $1.50.
- Byrd Park. There's some fishing lakes, seasonal paddle boats, a fitness trail and the Dogwood Dell Amphitheater, home to the Summer Festival of Arts. The park abuts Maymount at the end of the Boulevard.
- 1 Virginia Holocaust Museum, 2000 E Cary St, ☏ . M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 11AM-5PM. A museum dedicated to depicting the Holocaust as experienced by its victims. Exhibits include a recreation of the Dachau concentration camp, a cattle car, used for transporting Jews, a shower/gas chamber, a crematory, an exhibition of the ship Exodus 1947, the ship that helped launch the nation of Israel, and a rebuilt Nuremberg Courtroom. Free.
- 2 Virginia State Capitol. The neo-classical seat of local government, home of the oldest elected legislature in North America, dating back to 1619. The current incarnation was designed by Thomas Jefferson in 1785, after the Maison Carrée, a Roman temple in Nîmes, France.
- The Historic Downtown. The cobblestoned Shockoe Bottom area is rich in history, and well-worth the trip, if only to see one of the many Edgar Allan Poe houses in the Northeast. Though much of the area was washed out during Hurricane Isabel and Tropical Storm Gaston, the rebuilding continues.
- 3 Maymont Park, 1700 Hampton St, ☏ . A wealthy landowner donated his estate to the city, and Richmond turned it into one of the most beautiful urban parks in the nation. Fountains, Italianate gardens, and a Japanese tea garden are a pleasure to walk through. The nature center here is all-encompassing and free, and its exhibits on Virginia Wildlife include two otters who are glad to show off for visitors. Gray foxes, red-tailed hawks, and other exhibits are located outside. Kids like the farm area, where sheep, lambs, chickens, and other sundry animals are exhibited.
- 4 Museum of the Confederacy, 1201 E. Clay Street, ☏ . Three floors of galleries containing the world's most comprehensive collection of artifacts, manuscripts, and photographs from the Confederate States of America. The Museum also maintains and gives tours of the White House of the Confederacy.
- Egyptian Building. This was the first building and home of the Medical College of Virginia, which now surrounds the structure.
- Gallery 5, 200 W. Marshall St. This art gallery used to be an old fire station. In addition to art, they have an antique steam engine, a library, and a craft shop,
- The American Civil War Center (Richmond National Battlefield Headquarters at Tredegar), 490 Tredegar Street, ☏ . Daily 9AM-5PM. The site of a Civil War-era iron foundery which supplied ordinance to the Confederate Army. The American Civil War Center aims to be the definitive museum on interpretation of the conflaguration from all perspectives. Also on the grounds are a statue of Abraham Lincoln and his son Todd. Adult $16; senior, retired military, teacher, student $14; youth (6-17) $8; active duty military $10; kids under 5 free.
- Black History Museum, 122 W Leigh St, ☏ .
- Edgar Allan Poe Museum, 11 North 18th Street.
- 5 The White House of the Confederacy (American Civil War Museum), E.Clay and 12th Street, ☏ . The White House of the Confederacy has been restored reflect its use as the executive mansion of Confederate President Jefferson Davis during the Civil War. Open to the public with regularly scheduled guided tours that are arranged and given by the Museum of the Confederacy.
- 6 Hollywood Cemetery, 412 S. Cherry Street. Located between the neighborhoods of Oregon Hill and Randolph on a bluff overlooking the James, Presidents Tyler and Monroe have their final resting places here. So does the locally renowned Jefferson Davis, and it's worth the trip through winding roads to see reverent Southerns laying flags on his grave. Also in the cemetery are Confederate Generals George Pickett and J.E.B. Stuart and local authors James Branch Cabell and Ellen Glasgow. The lines of small headstones marking the mass graves of Confederate dead is truly an eerie and powerful sight.
- Lucky Strike Factory, Tobacco Row (in Shockoe Bottom). The Lucky Strike Factory has been renovated into stylish loft apartments and condos. A good view of the painted smoke stack can be seen from nearby Libby Hill park, where the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument is located.
- Richmond City Hall Observation Deck, 901 E Byrd St. M-F 7:30AM-5:30PM. Free observation deck on the 18th floor of Richmond City Hall provides nice views of the city. Free.
- 7 Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, 600 N 2nd St, ☏ . Tu-Sa 9AM-5PM. Ranger-led tours of home start every hour, on the hour. Free.
At night, aside from bars and nightclubs, Richmond's downtown is relatively subdued as most locals live and remain in the extended suburbs. But on the first Friday of every month, you can get a pleasant experience of art, culture and people-watching at the First Fridays Art walk along Historic Broad Street, east of Belvidere Street and west of 9th Street as well as in Historic Jackson Ward and Monroe Ward. The hours are 5pm-9pm, rain or shine.
- The Canal Club, 1545 East Cary Street. Shockoe Bottom 500 capacity club, featuring large stage upstairs and smaller stage downstairs. Hosts internationally known mainstream acts as well as local acts, mostly rock.
- Carpenter Theater at Richmond Center Stage, 600 East Grace Street. The Fan Theater venue, hosting larger mainstream acts.
- Gallery 5, 200 West Marshall Street. Downtown Art gallery and performing arts center that hosts touring and local indie rock.
- The National 708 East Broad Street, Downtown. One of the newest venues on the scene, The National filled the much-needed absence of a large club venue in Richmond, and hasn't slowed down since. With a general admission capacity of 1,500, it hosts larger touring and local acts. Features seven full bars, 300 padded stadium seats with cup holders in the balcony, and a state of the art sound system. Attached is Gibson's Grill, which generally allows patrons to enter shows 15 minutes early with the purchase of an entree beforehand.
- 821 Cafe, 821 W. Cary St, ☏ . This little restaurant offers great food at bargin prices. Serving breakfast till 5PM, it offers wonderful meat, vegetarian, and vegan options including biscuits with pork or veggie gravy, tofu scramble and breakfast burritos. If not in the mood for breakfast they have sandwiches, subs, nachos and pasta. The restaurant is full of young professionals, college kids, professors, and neighborhood regulars. The tattooed waitstaff is friendly and always ready to poke fun at the customer. The restaurant fills up fast on the weekends, so get there early and make sure you order their famous $3 mimosas; Champagne in a pint glass with just a hint of orange juice.
- Bistro Twenty-Seven, 27 West Broad St. Fantastic Mediterranean cuisine prepared by local favorite, Chef Carlos Silva. Dinner entrees range from Italian-sausage-stuffed quail to black-truffle marsala filet mignon to breaded flounded with shaved almonds.
- Capital Ale House, 623 East Main St. Over 40 beers on tap and over 200 beers available bottled. On Tuesdays, Capital Ale House does a special promotion called "Steal the Beer Glass Night" where they feature a different beer each week, and you get to keep the glass it comes in.
- Mojos, 733 W Cary St (The Fan, near VCU). A self-described "Philadeli," the items to try are the cheesesteaks, the wings, and whatever the special happens to be. Also have good breakfast and reasonably-priced drinks. They deliver.
- Peking Restaurant, 1302 E Cary St. Fresh, delicious Chinese food in a pleasant atmosphere.
- Penny Lane Pub, 421 E. Franklin St. Authentic British Pub. Come for "Football" and Rugby matches. Enjoy a pint.
- 1 The Tobacco Company Restaurant, 1201 E Cary St, ☏ . Lunch: M-F 11:30AM-2:30PM; dinner: M-Th 5:30PM-10PM, F-Sa 5:30PM-10:30PM, Su 5:30PM-9:30PM. Highly acclaimed, considered one of the best restaurants in the area, full service happy hour.
- 2 Bottoms Up Pizza, 1700 Dock St, Richmond, VA 23223, ☏ . Amazing place for thick crust specialty pizzas including the Chesapeake, a white sauce pizza with crab meat. Friendly no rush atmosphere and free wi-fi makes it a great location to recharge from back packing in the Virginia heat.
- Barcode, 6 East Grace Street (near Foushee St.), ☏ . Popular gay bar and restaurant. Karaoke on Sunday.
- Capital Ale House, 623 East Main St. Over 40 beers on tap, over 200 different beers bottled. Has a game room that is available to patrons 21 and over. Great atmosphere.
- Sin e' Irish Pub, 1327 E Cary St (Shockhoe Slip), ☏ . Even Irish regulars call this pub "authentic!" Located in a restored tobacco warehouse with architecture imported directly from the Emerald Isle. Delicious fish n' chips, shepard's pie. Live rock music on Fri & Sat.
- 1 Hostelling International Richmond, 7 N 2nd St (between Main and Franklin Sts), ☏ . Hostel offering dorms and private rooms. Lockers and internet access available. Dorms $30+, privates $79+.
- The Berkeley Hotel, 1200 E Cary St, ☏ , toll-free: .
- The Downtown Richmond Marriott Hotel, 500 E Broad St, ☏ , fax: . A blend of luxury, functionality, and Southern charm.
- 2 The Jefferson Hotel, 101 W Franklin St (at Jefferson St), ☏ . Five star (Mobil), five diamond (AAA), this luxurious hotel is expensive but, if you have the money to spare, may well be worth it. There is considerable history in the place, from its founding in the 1890s by tobacco baron Lewis Ginter. Its expansive atrium once housed alligators, but no longer. Much of the space is decorated in red and green marble and the enormous main staircase inspired the famous scene in "Gone with the Wind." Lemaire, a five diamond restaurant, is attached.
- The Omni Richmond Hotel, 100 S 12th St, ☏ , toll-free: .