Des Moines, Iowa. Where to stay & City advice for travellers.

Table of Content

  • City Info
  • Where to Stay
  • Estimated Daily Cost
  • Public Transportations
  • Safety Tips for Travelers
  • F.A.Q’s

Exploring Des Moines, Iowa: A Hidden Gem

Welcome to Des Moines, Iowa! Nestled amidst vast landscapes, rolling hills, and quaint Midwestern charm, this vibrant city offers a delightful mix of cultural attractions, culinary delights, and outdoor adventures. In this travel blog article, we will guide you through the best locations to stay, estimated daily costs, public transportation options, and safety tips for an unforgettable visit to Des Moines.

Best Locations to Stay


Downtown Des Moines is the beating heart of the city, offering a range of accommodations and easy access to the top attractions. Stay in one of the boutique hotels or luxurious high-rises and immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of the city. From here, you can explore the scenic Riverwalk, visit the iconic Pappajohn Sculpture Park, or indulge in the city’s renowned dining scene.

East Village

If you’re seeking a trendy and eclectic neighborhood with a touch of history, East Village is the place to be. This district is famous for its unique shops, art galleries, and local cafes. Immerse yourself in the area’s creative ambiance by staying in boutique accommodations or charming Airbnbs. Don’t miss the chance to shop for extraordinary souvenirs or catch a live performance at one of the intimate theaters.

West Des Moines

For those seeking a suburban experience with modern conveniences, West Des Moines is an excellent choice. This area is known for its diverse shopping options, top-notch restaurants, and beautiful parks. Stay in one of the upscale hotels or cozy bed and breakfasts, and enjoy a tranquil retreat while still being just a short drive away from the downtown excitement.

Historic East Village

Step back in time by staying in the Historic East Village neighborhood. This charming area boasts beautiful historic buildings, vintage shops, and delightful cafes. Choose from a range of accommodations, including charming inns or traditional bed and breakfasts. Explore the local farmer’s market, discover hidden gems in the antique shops, and soak up the nostalgic atmosphere.

Estimated Daily Costs

Des Moines offers a variety of options to suit different budgets.

  • Accommodation: Budget options starting at $60 per night, while mid-range hotels and vacation rentals range from $80 to $150 per night.
  • Meals: Enjoy affordable meals at local diners and casual restaurants for around $10-15 per person. Experience upscale dining for $30-50 per person.
  • Transportation: Public transportation costs approximately $2 for a single ride, or invest in a day pass for $4. Car rental rates start at $35 per day.
  • Attractions and activities: Many attractions are free or have minimal entrance fees. Budget around $20-30 per day for additional activities.

Public Transportation Options and Renting a Car

Des Moines offers several transportation options to make your visit hassle-free.

Public Transportation

The Des Moines Area Regional Transit (DART) provides convenient bus services throughout Des Moines and its neighboring areas. Bus fares are affordable, and routes cover popular attractions, shopping districts, and downtown. Consider purchasing a day pass for unlimited rides.

Renting a Car

If you prefer the flexibility and convenience of having your own transportation, renting a car is a great choice. Several car rental companies operate in Des Moines, offering a wide range of vehicles to suit your needs. Rental prices typically start at $35 per day, and you can easily navigate the city with well-maintained roads and plentiful parking options.

Safety Tips for Travelers

Des Moines is generally a safe city to visit, but it’s always wise to take precautions:

  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid poorly lit or unfamiliar areas, especially at night.
  • Keep your personal belongings secure and avoid displaying valuable items.
  • Follow traffic rules and be cautious when crossing streets.
  • Take note of the local emergency numbers and keep copies of important documents.
  • Stay updated about any safety advisories through official sources.


1. What is the best time to visit Des Moines?

The best time to visit Des Moines is during the spring and fall when the weather is pleasant, and the city hosts various festivals and events. However, each season offers its unique charm, so plan according to your preferences.

2. Is Des Moines a family-friendly destination?

Absolutely! Des Moines offers a plethora of family-friendly activities, including interactive museums, parks, and nature centers. Families can enjoy exploring the Blank Park Zoo, the Science Center of Iowa, or taking a bike ride along the extensive trail system.

Des Moines, Iowa, may be a hidden gem, but it is brimming with remarkable experiences waiting to be discovered. Whether you choose to stay in the vibrant downtown or prefer the tranquility of the suburbs, this captivating city will leave you with cherished memories. Pack your bags and embark on an unforgettable adventure in Des Moines!