Memphis is a small city, but it makes up for it with color and style. Famous for its blues artists like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash, it also has a significant, and sometimes unhappy, history and cultural heritage.
Located on the Mississippi River in Tennessee, Memphis is a popular destination for tourists and it’s really not hard to understand why. With delicious and unique food, a friendly and laidback atmosphere, and lots of cultures to explore, this city appeals to tourists and travelers of all kinds.
Because of the size of the city, it can be a little difficult to find the best neighborhood in Memphis for your first visit or on a return trip. But that’s why we’re here to help. With our guide, you’ll find a neighborhood close to what you most want to see, do, and eat. So, all you need to do is decide what you want to include in your trip and find the area to match!
Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Memphis?
- Where to stay in Memphis first visit – Downtown
- Where to stay in Memphis on a budget – East Memphis
- Best neighborhood in Memphis for families – Midtown
- Best area to stay in Memphis for nightlife – Cooper-Young
- The coolest place to stay in Memphis – Graceland
Where to Stay in Memphis
Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for places to stay in Memphis.
- Free parking on premises
- Dedicated workspace
- Washing machine
This two-bedroom apartment is a good choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis close to everything. It’s close to the most popular attractions in Midtown, as well as to public transport hubs, and the rest of the city. It offers bright, spacious living areas, rustic decor, a full kitchen, and laundry facilities. This apartment has everything you’ll need for a short or long stay.
The Lions Den
- TV with Standard cable
- Free parking on premises
While you’re in Memphis, stay in a home that suits the destination. This majestic offering is cozy and private and you’ll have your own separate apartment and living spaces on the lower level. It has a private entrance and porch to relax on and the surrounding garden spaces are a beautiful place to spend the evenings in.
- very good fitness centre
- Non-smoking rooms
Located just steps away from Beale Street, this is a famous hotel that exudes a lot of Southern charm. It’s also a great choice if you like some luxury, as all its historical features are matched with top-quality modern amenities, like an indoor pool, spa, and fitness center.
The hotel’s dining options are absolutely first-rate, as well. The restaurant serves gourmet French Cuisine as well as delicious seafood, and there’s a bar in the hotel for a late-night drink and snack.
Memphis Neighborhood Guide
Every neighborhood in Memphis is a little different, and which one is best for you will depend on what you most want to see and do, as well as your unique travel style.
The Downtown area is the best choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis for your first visit. It has the greatest concentration of attractions in one small area and is famously busy and enthralling!
If you’re on a budget, then think about East Memphis. This is a quieter residential area with attractions that are geared more for the locals, so you should be able to save a little money in this area.
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Memphis for families, then try Midtown. With its vast range of different accommodation, activity, and restaurant options, you’ll be able to keep every kind of traveler happy in this part of the city.
If you like to head out at night for a few drinks and make some new friends, then stay in Cooper-Young. This youth-oriented area is famous for its diversity and for its flourishing food scene!
And the final area is Graceland, where Elvis’s famous home still stands. No guesses for why this is the coolest area to stay in Memphis. After all, most people who visit this city are fans of some of his music.
Memphis’s 5 Best Neighborhoods to Stay in
Memphis isn’t a large city, but you should still find the best places to stay in Memphis for what you want to do and see. And here’s where to look.
Where to stay in Memphis first visit
- COOLEST thing to do in Downtown – Wander through the Beale Street Entertainment District for shops, restaurants, and a cool vibe that’s second to none
- BEST place to visit in Downtown – The National Civil Rights Museum for a deeper understanding of the city’s dark past
The Downtown area in Memphis has to be experienced to be understood. It’s a vibrant, colorful area full of life and creativity. It’s also the best neighborhood in Memphis for your first visit because it will give you the most intense experiences in the shortest time.
Most of the best attractions in the city can be found in the Downtown area, as well as accommodation options to suit every budget. The area is filled with some of the city’s best restaurants too, so make sure you challenge yourself to try some new and potentially delicious foods!
- Make sure you take a photo with the iconic Elvis Presley statue in the center of the street
- Buy your souvenirs, and at least one meal, at the Memphis City Farmers Market
- Get out of the city and go walking or bicycling in Mud Island Park
- Have a picnic or just take in the views at Beale Street Landing
- Try some good old Southern food at McEwen’s or the Blues City Café
- Relax with a drink at local spots like Eight and Sand or Silly Goose
- Marvel at the unique works of art at the Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art
- Tour Sun Studio to see where Johnny Cash and Elvis once recorded or to pick up some memorabilia
Best Airbnb in Downtown
This apartment is a good choice if you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis on a budget. It offers clean, safe accommodations close to Beale Street and other attractions. With space to sleep up to four guests, it’s a great way to get into the middle of the city without breaking the bank.
Best High-End Airbnb in Downtown
This apartment is comfortable and romantic and ideal for couples on a break away from ordinary life. That’s what makes it a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis for couples. It’s a short walk from Beale Street and other attractions and offers one bedroom, a kitchen, a private bathroom, and free gated parking.
Best Budget Hotel in Downtown
Located in the best neighborhood in Memphis for your first time, this hotel is close to local attractions, like Beale Street and Sun Studio. It has a fitness center on-site as well as breakfast options available every morning. The rooms are large, modern, and have all the amenities and the hotel offers a free shuttle as well as parking.
Best Luxury Hotel in Downtown
Centrally located with views over the Mississippi River and the Downtown area, this hotel offers luxury accommodation with all of the extras. It’s in the best neighborhood in Memphis close to everything, such as the Orpheum Theater and other attractions. The hotel has a 24-hour fitness center, terrace, private parking, two on-site restaurants, and a bar. And the rooms are large, spacious, and contain all the extras.
Where to stay in Memphis on a budget
- COOLEST thing to do in East Memphis – Go hiking, walking, biking, or horse riding in Shelby Farms Park
- BEST place to visit in East Memphis – Mosa Asian Bistro for delicious Asian meals
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Memphis on a budget, then try East Memphis. This residential area offers a relaxed atmosphere and quiet streets with more local accommodation and attractions, making it more budget-friendly. It’s also close enough to the Downtown area that you can easily get in there to explore using public transport.
With tree-lined streets and lots of family-friendly attractions, East Memphis is a popular spot for travelers. You’ll find a range of hotels and other accommodation in the area, as well as some great local restaurants.
- Take the kids to explore the Memphis Botanic Garden and don’t forget to see the Japanese tranquillity garden
- Play a round of golf at Overton park
- Hike part or all of the Wolf River Greenway Trail
- Go shopping at the Laurelwood Shopping Center
- Take the kids to the Children’s Museum of Memphis
- Spend an afternoon wandering through the exhibits at the University of Memphis Art Museum
Best Airbnb in East Memphis
If you’re trying to decide where to stay in Memphis on a budget, then why not in this studio? Located in a separate house behind the main home, it has a kitchenette as well as lots of privacy. Sleeping three guests comfortably, it offers free parking and laundry facilities and is close to restaurants and public transport.
Best High End Airbnb in East Memphis
With luxurious decor and all the extras, this apartment is close to East Memphis and to transport options so you can explore the rest of the city. it’s been meticulously restored with 1960s home design and sleeps up to eight guests with three bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms.
Best Budget Hotel in East Memphis
One of the best things about this hotel is the fact that it provides a free shuttle service to all city sites within a 4.8km radius. It also has comfortable rooms with all the amenities plus a microwave and small fridge, as well as an on-site fitness center and gift shop. And if you’re traveling for work, then you can use the hotel’s business center before heading out to have a bit of fun and explore the city.
Best Luxury Hotel in East Memphis
Located in the best neighborhood in Memphis if you are on a budget, this hotel offers a range of amenities to help make you comfortable during your stay. The guestrooms are large and have fridges and there’s a swimming pool and fitness center on site as well as a restaurant that’s open for every meal.
Best neighborhood in Memphis for families
- COOLEST thing to do in Midtown – Have a musical night at Lafayette’s Music Room
- BEST place to visit in Midtown – Overton Park, for a range of attractions and events nearly year-round
Midtown is the oldest neighborhood in Memphis and is often considered to be one of the most authentic parts of the city. It’s also the best neighborhood in Memphis for families as it has a huge range of attractions, restaurants, and popular sites to suit even the pickiest traveler.
Midtown is also very close to the Downtown area. In fact, depending on where you stay, you can probably walk between these two neighborhoods. This makes exploring the more touristy areas much easier. But you’ll want to explore Midtown itself as well too, because it’s full of diverse cultural and artistic attractions and influences.
- Check out the famous residents at the Elmwood Cemetery
- Have a meal at Huey’s Midtown or the Side Street Grill
- Marvel at the amazing works of art at the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
- Have a drink at Slider Inn or Boscos Squared
- Wander through the garden and see the artwork at the Dixon Gallery and Gardens
Best Airbnb in Midtown
This small studio apartment sleeps two guests and is located in a 1910 colonial building, giving you a touch of history for your stay in Memphis. It’s newly renovated but still retains its original touches and includes a kitchen, laundry facilities, and all the usual amenities you’ll need.
Best High End Airbnb in Midtown
Memphis is known for its creativity and artistic heart and this apartment reflects that. It’s newly renovated and close to local attractions like Overtone Square. With space to sleep up to four guests, it’s located in a complex with professional landscaping, and there are lots of restaurants and coffee shops nearby.
Best Budget Hotel in Midtown
This hotel offers a lot for a budget price. It has a fitness room and business center, a spacious pool with a deck where you can enjoy the warm weather, and a daily hot buffet breakfast. It’s well located in Midtown, close to the interstate and to public transport options, and has a business center, as well as modern rooms with work desks and ironing facilities.
Best Luxury Hotel in Midtown
This brand new hotel is well located in the Midtown district, only a short distance from sites like Brown park and the Sun Studio. It offers large, bright, clean rooms and all the amenities you’ll need for a comfortable stay.
Best area to stay in Memphis for nightlife
- COOLEST thing to do in Cooper-Young – Spend an evening at Bar DKDC for live music and drinks
- BEST place to visit in Cooper-Young – Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium for a game
You can’t forget about Cooper-Young when you’re looking for the best neighborhood in Memphis for nightlife. Hip and trendy, this area is filled with travelers, backpackers, and other young people. This makes it pleasingly diverse and filled with restaurants and bars that are some of the most vibrant in the city.
Cooper-Young is also the epicenter of the city’s diverse and increasingly popular food scene. You’ll find a lot of hidden gems, as well as established restaurants in this area, so plan to eat a lot and maybe do some extra walking to make up for it. Cooper-young is a little further from the Downtown area than other neighborhoods, but all of these attractions make the public transport trips into the city center worth the effort.
- Check out the Memphis Fairgrounds for events and entertainment
- Play a round of golf at the Memphis Country Club
- Eat seafood at Tsunami or Celtic food at the Celtic Crossing Irish Pub
- Have cocktails and tapas at Alchemy Memphis
- Take a walk through the Old Forest State Natural Area
Best Airbnb in Cooper-Young
Located right in the middle of the best neighborhood in Memphis close to everything, this apartment is budget-friendly and sleeps up to 4 guests. The apartment is fully renovated and although it doesn’t have a kitchen, it does have a fridge, microwave, and coffee maker. It’s also just a few minutes walk to all the restaurants in Cooper-Young.
Best High End Airbnb in Cooper-Young
Close to all the charms and energy of Cooper-Young, this apartment is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis for nightlife. With two bedrooms and enough space for five guests, it’s a 1920s bungalow that has recently had a facelift to suit the fun, energetic vibe of the neighborhood and the city. It has a full kitchen and a welcoming, rustic vibe that will make you feel at home during your stay in the city.
Best Budget Hotel in Cooper-Young
Close to Cooper-Young and all its attractions, this hotel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis on a budget. The rooms are simple but comfortable and come in a range of sizes to suit every travel group. There’s free parking on-site and you can even bring your pet along with you to the hotel!
The coolest place to stay in Memphis
- COOLEST thing to do in Graceland – Get in the Elvis spirit and head over to BJ’s Buffalo Style Hot Wings for lunch
- BEST place to visit in Graceland – The Graceland mansion to get a closer look at the singer’s life
Elvis Presley’s famous home is a sprawling complex that is almost a neighborhood in itself. If you’re in Memphis because you want to learn more about the life of this great entertainer, then why not stay close to his home and see as much as you can?
Located in the Whitehaven community, the mansion has seen 20 million guests since it opened and includes Elvis’ private jets and other extravagances.
The Graceland area is a little further away from Downtown and all its charms. But with the easy-to-use public transport in Memphis, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting where you need to go when it’s time to explore the rest of the city.
- Make sure you head over to explore the Martin Luther King, Jr. Riverside Park to pay homage to another great man
- Marvel at the extravagance at the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum
- Visit the grave of the King at Elvis Presley’s Meditation Garden
- Spend some cash at the Graceland Plaza and Graceland Crossing Shopping Center
- Take a tour through the Graceland Chapel in the Woods
- Eat some more barbecue at Vernon’s Smokehouse
Best Airbnb in Graceland
This ranch home has three bedrooms and two bathrooms, can sleep up to 10 people, and is open concept, making it great for families. It’s very close to Graceland and has a pool that you can use in summer. It also has a full kitchen, free parking, and laundry facilities, as well as lots of open outdoor spaces to enjoy.
Best High End Airbnb in Graceland
This apartment is located in the best neighborhood in Memphis for couples who want to visit Graceland. It has four bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms, so is perfect for large groups and anyone who likes a bit of extra space. It’s also very close to Graceland and has a full kitchen.
Best Budget Hotel in Graceland
Offering a touch of luxury on a budget, this hotel has a fitness center and outdoor swimming pool and is located close to Graceland. The rooms are comfortable and air-conditioned, and there are BBQ facilities on-site, as well as a shared lounge where you can socialize with your fellow travelers.
Best Luxury Hotel in Graceland
This hotel is a great choice when you’re deciding where to stay in Memphis close to everything Elvis. It’s just five minutes walk from the mansion and offers all the extras you’ll need for a luxurious stay. The on-site amenities include a shuttle service, theater, two restaurants, and an outdoor pool and pool bar. And best of all, or perhaps just weirdly, there’s also an evening Peanut Butter and Jelly bar.
Final Thoughts on the Best Places to Stay in Memphis
Whether you’re trying to decide where to stay in Memphis for couples, on your own, with family, or with friends, you’ll have lots of choices in Memphis. And then you can head out and explore this amazing, vibrant city, and walk in the footsteps of some of the greatest entertainers the US has ever known. So, make sure you enjoy your time in this amazing city!
***Disclaimer*** Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, One Weird Globe will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going :)