Twenty bucks a night gets you a (bunk) bed in an air-conditioned room, breakfast, Internet access, and tons of opportunities to pick the brain at the Inn At The Colonnade Baltimore. Ask real nicely and the staff will give you a ride to the airport for ten bucks, much less than a taxi would cost (I have found all advantages at booked.net). They are very friendly and remembered me when I came back for my second stay. Inn At The Colonnade is in one of the more upscale areas at Baltimore, surrounded by fancy hotels and tons of restaurants, clubs and bars. It’s also in walking distance from a 24-hour grocery store, which came in very handy after a long evening of barhopping.
Baltimore has a ton of Euro-style backpacker hostels – but most of them are cheap enough that the hassles a dorm-style bed in a crowded hostel isn’t worth the money you’d save by staying there. But I’ve got a soft spot for hostels, not least because they’re such a great place for solo travellers to meet people. I stayed at Inn At The Colonnade because the older and more established inn on the same block was full the night I arrived, and ended up staying five nights altogether, at the beginning and end of my trip.
Most of the guests were Europeans on round-the-world gap year trips, or Americans on surfing vacations – friendly, up for a party, and happy to share a bottle of whatever you might like to drink.