A Practical Guide to Detroit

Detroit is a great place to visit. It is a major metropolis and a hub for music, fashion and culture. Recent times have seen major revitalization in the area making it a terrific destination for travelers and those looking to relocate. Whether you are planning on visiting the city, or are new to the area, here is a quick guide to help you familiarize yourself with the city and some of what it has to offer. 

View from Belle Isle via @seoung 

View from Belle Isle via @seoung 


Detroit has a number of basic characteristics that define the city. It is known for its vibrant theater district as well as its historic architecture, loft apartments and new businesses which seem to be popping up everywhere. These include a number of great shops and restaurants. The city is also known for being the automobile capital of the world and the birth place of Motown records. 

There are a number of sights to see in Detroit including parks, historic gardens, spectacular city views, museums and more. Visitors might enjoy staying at some of the city’s casino resorts, taking a local tour on a cruise ship, going to see a concert, checking out the underground arts scene, or taking in a sporting event. 


The city is divided into various districts. Here are some key characteristics of each:

Downtown via @felicia_fullwood

Downtown via @felicia_fullwood

Downtown: Central to life in Detroit, downtown mainly serves as a business district but is also known for being the country’s second largest theater district. It also contains several parks, stunning buildings and a number of other attractions.

Midtown-New Center: This is a unique cultural destination with great 1920’s architecture and a number of world class museums and galleries.

Eastern Market via  @sammorykwas

Eastern Market via @sammorykwas

East Side: Peaceful in character, this district features much of the city’s riverfront as well as the historic Eastern Market, Pewabic Pottery and more. 

Southwest Side: With many ethnic neighborhoods, like Mexicantown and Corktown, this district reaps the benefits of a variety of cultural dining destinations. Historical sites like the abandoned Michigan Central Station, Tiger Stadium and Fort Wayne are among the must sees the Southwest Side has to offer.

West Side: This district is home to the infamous 8 Mile as well as many historic neighborhoods and the University District.

Hamtramck-Highland Park: These are cities which border Detroit. Hamtramck is known for its Polish population which heavily influences the city while Highland Park is home to many historic buildings and neighborhoods that are worth a visit. 

Weather: Detroit has a continental climate which means the city experiences a variety of weather. Winters are snowy and cold while spring and fall are generally pleasant. The summers are short but are typically hot and muggy with thunderstorms. 

Getting Around: Being that Detroit is the Automotive Capital of the World, it is no surprise that it is one of the most auto-friendly cities in North America. It has one of the most modern freeway systems in the country and offers many convenient parking options.

Those that prefer public transportation may opt to commute on the city’s Q Line, People Mover or bus system. Biking is also an option, and, if that is your method of choice, the city, known as one of the best cities for biking, offers many resources for bicyclists. Those who prefer to walk may find it difficult to reach spaced out destinations, but this may find it a good option for strolling the downtown area. 

There are so many things to see and do in Detroit. Hopefully, this article will serve as a practical guide for those who are planning to be in the area. It’s a terrific city to visit  and to live in. 


Candice Simons, j'adore Detroit