Richmond Skyline Panorama

Your Trip to Richmond: The Complete Guide

••• Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson / Getty Images

Richmond has a population of fewer than 250,000 people, and the city has a plethora of things to do. The Virginia capital is just two hours from Washington, D.C., and has some of the same amazing restaurants, but with a fraction of the crowd and the cost. The city has seen a major boom not just in its culinary scene, but also in its craft beer and the arts. You’ll have no problem navigating this city by the river and even falling in love with it. 

Planning Your Trip 

Best Time to Visit: There’s nothing better than the spring months in Richmond, so take a trip between March to May. The temperatures are usually mild, without being hot, and you won’t have to deal with the summer humidity. Fall is also an equally great option for beautiful weather that makes it easy and comfortable to explore.
Language: English
Currency: U.S. Dollars
Getting Around: You could rent a car in Richmond, but it’s easy to explore neighborhoods on foot and ride share apps like Uber or Lyft are readily available and affordable. Also, getting around on the GRTC, Greater Richmond Transit Company, is easy and affordable, with the Pulse line running every 15 minutes and hitting areas in the Arts District, Scott’s Addition, and Shockoe Bottom.
Travel Tip: Richmond has a large student population thanks to Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union University, and University of Richmond, so there’s no shortage of affordable, and even free, options available. 

Things to Do 

Richmond has a range of activities for pretty much anyone of every age and interest. There’s a colorful arts scene with more than 100 murals across the city. And even non-beer drinkers might find something awesome to sip on with the mega craft brewery scene. Also, the capital of Virginia is a history buff’s dream come true. 

  • Take a craft brewery tour or explore Scott’s Addition, which has a concentration of breweries, on your own.
  • Walk or bike the Capital Trail and see the sites along the James River as well as plaques with historical facts 
  • Museums like the Science Museum or Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is great for everyone in the family 

Explore more attractions with our full-length articles on the best things to do in Richmond and the top museums.

What to Eat and Drink

The Richmond food scene has exploded over recent years and includes James Beard-nominated chefs and restaurants serving up memorable meals. 

Richmond has quite a few food options that are specific to the Virginia region. No trip to RVA is complete without sucking down at least one dozen oysters. Try them on the half shell to truly enjoy the coastal flavor or enjoy them fried or baked. Also, Richmonders love pimento cheese. You’ll find the cheese, mayo, and of course, pimento, concoction on quite a few menus, typically served with bread or crackers. Pick up some to-go at Soul N’ Vinegar or try them over fries at Secret Sandwich Society

Virginia is known for its wine (there are more than 300 wineries in the state), but Richmond is a craft beer town. With more than 30 breweries, cideries, and distilleries in the city, sipping at least one beer should be on your to-do list. If you’re unsure of what your beer preference is, it’s easy to sample a bit of everything since many of the breweries are located in Scott’s Addition, like Vasen or Veil

Get to know Richmond's culinary scene with our articles on the best restaurants, foods to try, and best breweries.

City by the River
Sky Noir Photography by Bill Dickinson / Getty Images

Where to Stay

Hotels in the downtown or Arts District are plentiful in Richmond. They provide easy access to great restaurants, museums, and the bus system. You can enjoy everything from the regal Jefferson Hotel, which has a grand marble staircase and has been around since 1895, or the modern Quirk Hotel with a chic lobby bar and rooftop with a killer view. But the city also has quite a few affordable Airbnb’s in neighborhoods like Churchill or Shockoe Bottom that have a rich history and are a bit more removed from the downtown feel but still within walking distance to amazing restaurants.

Explore our recommendations on the best hotels in the city.

Getting There

Richmond International Airport is less than 10 minutes from downtown and has direct flights as far west as Denver, south to Miami, or north to Boston. Major carriers like Delta, American, and United serve the airport. If the train is more your speed, Amtrak has two stations: Staples Mill Road or the Main Street Station, which was reopened in 2003 and is even a location for events and weddings. For an even slower and more affordable journey, Greyhound and FlixBus operate daily. 

Money Saving Tips

  • Enjoy access to free museums like the VCU Institute for Contemporary Art or Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, which is open 365 days a year. 
  • Though you could rent a car, skip that and the hassle of parking by taking public transportation or hopping in an Uber, which are quite affordable.
  • Spring and summer are great times to visit, but don’t overlook a fall visit either. After students at Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia Union University, and University of Richmond have settled in, an October or November trip can save you tons on lodging and the weather hasn’t totally chilled yet. 
  • Follow sites like The Richmond Experience or RVA on the Cheap. They usually have the intel on new openings, freebies, and discounts. You’ll save tons of cash and stay in the know about the latest events and openings. 
Article Sources
TripSavvy uses only high-quality, trusted sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. U.S. Census Bureau. "Quick Facts: Richmond city, Virginia." 2019

  2. Virginia Tourism Corporation. "Virginia Wine." 2020.

  3. Visit Richmond VA. "RVA's Craft Beer Scene."