Things to do in Downtown Orlando

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Downtown Orlando has lots of great things to see and do that don’t include the endless theme parks. If you’ve had your fill of theme parks, taking selfies with Micky Mouse and trying to hold in lunch while you take on that 10th rollercoaster of the day, this list is for you. Downtown Orlando is more about history and culture. Book your hotel here and you’ll have endless choices in terms of restaurants, cool bars, theatres, and late-night clubs. The area is small, so you can easily walk around the quaint city streets for the day.

Church Street in Downtown Orlando

Church Street is home to many of Orlando’s best restaurants, a busy nightlife scene, and the city’s iconic Railroad Depot. It’s an excellent place for first-timers to go who want to get to know downtown a little better.

Built-in 1889, the old Railroad Depot still stands as a reminder of the city’s long-lost past, well before Disney and Universal arrived. It’s here that you’ll also find several clubs, theatres, shopping complexes, and the huge Amway Center sports arena.

Bars and Clubs in Downtown Orlando

Bars and Clubs in Downtowo Orlando

Although the old train station here provides a quaint culture fix, a look round and getting your photo taken next to it can only ever take up so much time. The real draw of Church Street is its vibrant nightlife scene, with most venues set around West Church Street, East Church Street, and the surrounding smaller lanes nearby.

For a night on the town, a good starting point would be Chillers (33 West Church Street), an absolute Church Street icon with an additional venue (Latitudes) upstairs. Expect classic comfort food, craft beers, tempting happy hours, and a mixed crowd of locals, day-trippers, international tourists and the occasional bachelor/bachelorette party. One80 Grey Goose Lounge (400 West Church Street) is easily Orlando’s swankiest rooftop bar with some prices to match, while the more ‘local’ Native Social Bar (27 West Church Street) has a more relaxed vibe and decent live music.

Most of the best nightclubs in the area are a block or 2 away – easy walking distance if you use the central train station as a starting point. The Beacham (46 N. Orange Avenue) is a relatively new concert venue housed in a converted 1920s building, while Tier (20 E. Central Boulevard) goes big on dance music, welcoming big-name DJs on a regular basis.

Railroad Depot Downtown Orlando

Dining in Downtown Orlando

From all-American classic diners to swanky French bistros, sushi bars, fresh seafood, Italian, Thai, and pretty much everything in between – Church Street has it. Among the highlights is Hamburger Mary’s (110 West Church Street), which is good for a quick stop to line your stomachs for the evening. Kres Chophouse and Lounge (17 West Church Street) is top of our list for steaks and ribs.

Amway Center in Downtown Orlando

For more dining, as well as live events, shows and performances, Church Street is home to the Amway Center. The vast events and sports arena is also home to the Orlando Magic of the NBA, the Orlando Predators of the Arena Football League, the Orlando Solar Bears of the ECHL.