The 15 Best Neighborhoods in Cincinnati for Renters in 2022

Crossing over the Ohio River from Kentucky right into the Queen City is breathtaking, as it's known for its architecture and expansive skyline. After a decline in population since the 1950s, Cincinnati has been slowly but steadily growing since the aughts.

Today, the greater Cincinnati population clocks in just below 1.8 million, with a median age of 32 years old. The average income of Cincinnati residents is a little over $40,000. Cincinnati isn't the cheapest for its cost of living, but it's definitely not the most expensive, so many are able to live comfortably.

Cincinnati's culture is booming, as the city works with local businesses to bring bold colors, flavors and brews into town. The fine arts scene is expansive and residents love festivals, so there's always something to do. Cincinnati is home to the University of Cincinnati and Xavier University, along with pro sports teams like the Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, FC Cincinnati and the minor-league hockey team, Cincinnati Cyclones. Made up of 52 neighborhoods with individual cultures, events and perks, there truly is something always going on in the Queen City! Here are the best neighborhoods in Cincinnati.

1. Clifton

  • Median 1-BR rent: $685
  • Median 2-BR rent: $915
  • Walk score: 67/100

Clifton is historic and eclectic. Located in the heart of Cincinnati, it's pretty convenient. Just nine minutes away from Downtown, it's near the University of Cincinnati and its medical centers. Thanks to its location, the residents are a good mix of doctors, young professionals, students and artists alike.

The homes are what you might expect from a downtown area. Lots of trees line the old streets and cottages and mansions are speckled throughout the residential areas. But there's one thing that's different about Clifton: The neighborhood isn't too partial toward chain restaurants and shops. So, in the heart of the borough on Ludlow Avenue, all the dining and shopping is local.

2. College Hill

  • Median 1-BR rent: $710
  • Median 2-BR rent: $950
  • Walk score: 42/100

College Hill used to have two colleges. Although both colleges have closed down, the area maintains the well-manicured streets typical of college campuses. That combined with the local revitalization efforts going on thanks to the College Hill Community Urban Redevelopment Corporation (CHCURC) and $43.1 million building plans split between rentals and retail spaces, College Hill has been building up to the cusp of a big boom for years.

Plus, the area has big breweries coming in to join existing pubs, bringing in more outside traffic and attention to the area.

3. Columbia Tusculum

  • Median 1-BR rent: $675
  • Median 2-BR rent: $860
  • Walk score: 44/100

Columbia Tusculum, sometimes referred to as the oldest neighborhood in Cincinnati (dating back to a month before Cincinnati debuted in 1788), is home to the Victorian “Painted Ladies," a row of brightly painted architectural homes overlooking the Ohio River.

The area has plenty of pubs and breweries — arguably more than restaurants — along with plenty of gyms and fitness centers. Here, residents can enjoy the hilly, river-view 94-acre Alms Park. Easy to see why this is one of the best neighborhoods in Cincinnati.

4. Downtown

Downtown Cincinnati

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,532
  • Median 2-BR rent: $2,381
  • Walk score: 52/100

Downtown Cincinnati is the place for residents constantly looking for something to do. It's got a little bit of everything for everyone. The kids enjoy the splash pad in Washington Park during hot summer days, and everyone in the family loves a trip to the Play Library to rent out games and toys for family game nights. There are ample boutiques and shops downtown to score local finds, clothes, vintage goods, plants and greens, kitchen utensils and even an old-school hat shop.

The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is home to several museums inside the 1933 Art Deco train station. Look for the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science and the Cincinnati Historical Society Library. Bonus: It's home to the OMNIMAX Theatre, too. Throw in some amazing dining and bar options, plus a few outdoor shows and concerts, and Downtown really is fun for everyone.

5. East End

  • Median 1-BR rent: N/A
  • Median 2-BR rent: N/A
  • Walk score: 52/100

East End is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Cincinnati. Back in the day, it was known for the sublime wooden ships built in the shipyard. Located right off the bend of the Ohio River, this area saw a mass exodus, like much of the rest of the city, as residents fled for the suburbs. But now, seeing its potential, developers have started returning to the riverside area, bringing with it new amenities and residencies, retailers and restaurants.

6. Hyde Park

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,150
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,100
  • Walk score: 70/100

Since 1896, Hyde Park has sought to provide residents with a quiet place to call home. It's done just that, while providing a well-balanced mix of nature-driven and architectural respite, too.

At the heart of this best neighborhood in Cincinnati is the Square, a well-manicured lawn perfect for sitting under the shady trees to enjoy the weather, rest after browsing local shops or eateries or meet up with friends.

7. Mount Adams

Mount Adams, OH

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,100
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,725
  • Walk score: 66/100

If you dream of a chill neighborhood with a view overlooking the city and the Ohio River, Mount Adams is what you've been looking for! Located on a hilltop for peak visibility, Mount Adams is the perfect mix between San Francisco and a European village.

As one of the more upscale areas, doctors, lawyers and young professionals tend to call this place home. But don't let that fool you. While it's a quiet area throughout the week, these professionals and neighboring college students line the streets to enjoy the nightlife. With loads of different food options, residents' palettes are rarely bored.

Close to Downtown, there's also an outdoor amphitheater and Playhouse in the Park, where visitors can catch a play or performance throughout the year.

8. Mount Lookout

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,254
  • Median 2-BR rent: N/A
  • Walk score: 54/100

Mount Lookout is a hilly, slightly ritzy neighborhood with incredible views. It's home to the country's oldest working telescope at the Cincinnati Observatory (National Historic Landmark) and has an incredible vineyard-turned-park that's a fan-favorite among locals.

The area is also packed with great dining and café options, along with a beautiful town square lined with shops and businesses.

9. Northside

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,081
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,430
  • Walk score: 66/100

Northside is a quick 15-minute commute north of Downtown and has become quite the hipster hangout. With coffee houses, breweries and pubs to call home, it's no wonder there's such a Northside following, making this one of the best neighborhoods in Cincinnati.

The neighborhood is notably a safe space for LGBTQ+ members thanks to the presence of allies and supporters. With an annual 4th of July parade and other events, everyone can feel at home in Northside.

10. Over the Rhine

Over the Rhine, OH

  • Median 1-BR rent: $955
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,350
  • Walk score: 95/100

Located just north of Downtown, German immigrants tended to settle into this area back in the day. Having to cross the Miami and Erie Canal to get to work, residents started calling it “the Rhine," like the river that runs through Germany. Thus, the neighborhood's name, Over the Rhine, was born.

It's hard to imagine now, but Over the Rhine was once seen as one of the most crime-infested and dangerous areas in the city. However, over the past decade, Cincinnati has been pouring money and investments into the area to revitalize it. These efforts have worked and many Cincinnatians say OTR is now one of the most interesting and eclectic neighborhoods the city has to offer.

Once the city funding came through, trendy bars, restaurants and shops started coming into the area. The new businesses and the community mainstays, like the 1878 Music Hall that hosts symphonies, operas and ballets, have made OTR a beloved Cincinnati staple.

11. Pendleton

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,299
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,510
  • Walk score: 52/100

Pendleton, located to the east of Over the Rhine, is often referred to as the arts district. Not only is the Pendleton Art Center located there, but many residents have livened up the area by bringing bright colors to their homes' exteriors and businesses have followed suit, as there are ample murals all over local shops and restaurants.

Aside from art, there's a great food scene, lots of things to keep kids busy and cafés and bars for the adults. The supportive neighborly vibes run deep in this bright, cheery area.

12. Pleasant Ridge

  • Median 1-BR rent: $849
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,054
  • Walk score: 46/100

Pleasant Ridge is one of Cincinnati's oldest neighborhoods, dating back to 1795. Now, it holds up its end of a storied past, as most of the businesses have been locally and independently owned for years and years, earning Cincinnati's first Community Entertainment District title.

After a push to reinvigorate the area in the early 2000s, Pleasant Ridge has been basking in the rays of success and is still a trending neighborhood today. The charming town is colorful, too, as its business district has murals throughout.

13. South Fairmount

  • Median 1-BR rent: $1,299
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,510
  • Walk score: 52/100

Traditionally, South Fairmount has been an overlooked area. Most people wrote it off as hopeless. But with $100 million being funneled into the neighborhood, it's quickly turning around.

Thanks to the Lick Run Greenway, a creek with wide sidewalks running alongside the water, South Fairmount is on the upswing. What was once dreary and gloomy, this area is getting a lot of attention from businesses and restaurants looking to capitalize on the new Greenway's attention and it's the perfect time to join in on the commotion.

14. Walnut Hills

Walnut Hills, OH

  • Median 1-BR rent: $944
  • Median 2-BR rent: $1,124
  • Walk score: 67/100

Founded back in 1804, Walnut Hills is rich with history and culture. One house in the neighborhood was a stop for the Underground Railroad, thanks to its resident, author of “Uncle Tom's Cabin," Harriet Beecher Stowe. Her house is now a historic landmark and offers tours.

Just two miles from Downtown Cincinnati, Walnut Hills serves as an overflow area for top professionals and creatives alike. Home to Eden Park, Walnut Hills residents can enjoy a lovely scenic stroll scattered with fountains, sculptures and playgrounds, along with the Art Museum and Kohn Conservatory.

15. Westwood

  • Median 1-BR rent: $736
  • Median 2-BR rent: $760
  • Walk score: 29/100

Westwood is the city's biggest neighborhood and has been through quite a revolution over the past couple of years. It's still in the process of its makeover and newer residents have been smart to jump aboard and join the team.

Residents tend to stick around and for good reason. They see real potential in the neighborhood and they're willing to find out they were right. Westwood's foodie scene has popped off. From pizza to delis to more adventurous options like Ethiopian food, just about anything you try in Westwood is something worth writing home about

Find the best Cincinnati neighborhood for you

If one of these neighborhoods sounds like your ideal future home, be sure to check out these apartments for rent in the best neighborhoods in Cincinnati.

The rent information included in this article is based on a median calculation of multifamily rental property inventory on Apartment Guide and Rent.com as of November 2021 and is for illustrative purposes only. This information does not constitute a pricing guarantee or financial advice related to the rental market.
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