21 Best Things To Do In Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

things to do in downtown phoenix
| 9 min read

As the most populous metropolis and capital city of Arizona, Phoenix is definitely a city to stop and see. The Valley of the Sun, which is a metropolitan area in Phoenix is an attraction of its own. Desert Botanical Garden is another must-visit attraction that boasts of numerous cacti and native plants which are on full display. But, there is only one place that you have to go. In fact, if you do not visit this particular place, you cannot say you have traveled to Phoenix at all! This place is downtown Phoenix, the bustling business and entertainment district of the city. You must be aware of what it means when an area is considered a prime business and entertainment district - it is fully loaded with the best attractions, restaurants, nightclubs, art galleries, museums and more. Keep reading to learn about the best things to do in downtown Phoenix, Arizona.

1. Embrace science at Arizona Science Center

Arizona Science Center 2011
Source: Photo by user Kirs10 used under CC0

Do you like science or are you an obsessive science enthusiast? It does not matter because a science lover or not, you will have to visit the Arizona Science Center. The science center boasts of an impressive collection of interactive exhibits, both permanent and seasonal. It is time to embrace science and arouse that spark of curiosity as you go through exhibits that feature Forces of Nature, American Airlines Flight Zone, and My Digital World. Science lovers are going appreciate and learn about new inventions and discoveries and non-science lovers might convert too!

Arizona Science Center

Address: 600 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Arizona Science Center

Opening hours: 10am - 5pm (daily)

Price: 19.95 USD

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2. Enjoy the aerial view from a helicopter

Phoenix is a beautiful land blessed by the bounty of nature. Imagine how stunning the city would look like from high above. So, why don’t you treat your eyes to the stunning skyline of downtown Phoenix by taking a helicopter ride? The valley and downtown tour offered by Western Sky Helicopters includes flying over Paradise Valley, the downtown City Skyline and Piestewa Peak. This tour lasts for approximately 30 minutes and we guarantee you will always remember this thrilling half-an-hour ride.

Western Sky Helicopters

Address: 7305 E Greenway Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85260, USA

Website: Western Sky Helicopters

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

Price: 195 USD

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3. Relax by the pool at Lustre Rooftop Bar

Believe it or not, pool views can be amazing when enjoyed from a trendy bar like Lustre Rooftop Bar. Presented in a pool setting, the bar offers a selection of craft beers and cocktails along with delicious snacks and light meals. Of course, you can soak in the cool ambiance all by yourself. But, you can also bring your loved ones to hang out together or socialize with other visitors.

Lustre Rooftop Bar

Address: 2 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Lustre Rooftop Bar

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 10pm; Fri - Sat: 11am - 12pm

Price: 11 USD

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4. Re-ignite your love for art in First Friday Roosevelt Row

Down Town Phoenix Roosevelt Street.
Source: Photo by Flickr user Kenneth Hagemeyer used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Phoenix is a lot of things. If you want to indulge in some artsy time, the city offers First Friday Roosevelt Row. Just like the name says, the art market is open to the public every first Friday of the month for free. As a visitor, you can enjoy a collection of curated fine artworks along with handmade crafts as well as a culinary and vintage market. Mark your calendar and spare some time on Friday.

First Friday Roosevelt Row

Address: 922 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: First Friday Roosevelt Row

Opening hours: 6pm - 11pm (first Friday of every month)

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5. Unwind at the Japanese Friendship Garden

Japanese Friendship Garden is one of the most beautiful gardens you can find in the city of Phoenix. In addition to the lush landscape of the verdant gardens with trees and flowers, you can also enjoy a tea garden and a tea house inside. Moreover, you can participate in a Japanese tea-drinking ceremony to experience something unique.

Japanese Friendship Garden

Address: 1125 N 3rd Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

Website: Japanese Friendship Garden

Opening hours: Fri: 6pm - 9pm; Sat - Sun: 7am - 11am, 6pm - 9pm

Price: 7 USD

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6. Spend an evening in the buzzing CityScape

Downtown Phoenix Skyline Lights
Source: Photo by Flickr user Alan Stark used under CC BY-SA 2.0

What is CityScape, Phoenix and why does one need to spend an evening at this place? CityScape is the central hub of downtown Phoenix. It is the place where people, both locals and visitors, come together to indulge in the vibrant atmosphere of the city as well as celebrating their day through all kinds of entertainment like dining, partying, clubbing and shopping. The Breakfast Club, Urban Outfitters and Stand Up Live are just some of the destinations you can explore right here, in the one and only CityScape.


Address: 1 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: CityScape

Opening hours: Mon - Fri: 8am - 5pm (closed on Sat & Sun)

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7. Enjoy a ballet or an opera performance at Orpheum Theater

Watching a ballet or an opera performance is always a nice experience. For the most spectacular performances or shows, you have to visit Orpheum Theater that is located within walking distance from the Phoenix Convention Center. The theater is so massive that it can accommodate up to 1,364 guests. To avoid disappointment and missing out on a show, we recommended you book your tickets online. Check out what is playing on their website and book your ticket directly. What’s more, the theater offers free guided tours every Tuesday from 12 pm to 1 pm throughout the year. Participate in the tour and gain some insights into the historic theater.

Orpheum Theater

Address: 203 W Adams St, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

Website: Orpheum Theater

Opening hours: Varies

Price: from 20 USD

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8. Admire the quaint Heritage Square

Heritage Square-1
Source: Photo by user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

It is time for some history lessons at the quaint Heritage Square. Situated in the Heritage and Science Park, the same place where Arizona Science Center is located, Heritage Square reminds you of the Victorian past. As you are strolling down the streets and observing the buildings and its architecture, you will be taken back into the 1800s. The most interesting attraction in Heritage Square is the Rosson House Museum, which has been fully restored. The only way to enjoy the house museum is through a guided tour. Book a tour and explore parts of the house to get a glimpse of how Queen Anne Victorian lived her life back in the old days.

Heritage Square

Address: 113 N 6th St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Heritage Square

Opening hours: Wed: 10am - 5pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon, Tue & Thu)

Price: 10 USD

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9. Browse through acclaimed art at Phoenix Art Museum

Posted by Phoenix Art Museum on Friday, 21 June 2019

What if you get the opportunity to view art through time, from the Renaissance era until the present day today? It is possible if you make a stop at the Phoenix Art Museum. It is not just the time period that is so expansive, but also the collection itself! The Museum exhibits art across countries and continents. From Latin and Western American to Asian and European artworks, all can be enjoyed here.

Phoenix Art Museum

Address: 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Phoenix Art Museum

Opening hours: Tue: 10am - 5pm; Wed: 10am - 9pm; Fri - Sat: 10am - 5pm; Sun: 12pm - 5pm (closed on Mon & Thu)

Price: 18 USD

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10. Catch a game of baseball at Chase Field

Arizona Diamondbacks 9, Los Angeles Dodgers 4, Chase Field, Phoenix, Arizona (33)
Source: Photo by user Ken Lund used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Those who are extremely fond of baseball should catch a game at Chase Field. The stadium is well known for its signature swimming pool and its retractable roof. Absorb the friendly atmosphere as you blend in with the crowd that loves baseball just as much as you do. Even if you are not a huge baseball fan, you will surely enjoy watching a baseball game here.

Chase Field

Address: 401 E Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Chase Field

Opening hours: Varies

Price: from 40 USD

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11. Enjoy a music concert at Phoenix Symphony Hall

Symphony Hall (Phoenix, Arizona)
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Visitor7 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Phoenix Symphony Hall celebrates music through various entertaining performances. If you are in Phoenix, you must visit the Symphony Hall and indulge in your passion for music. Among the most notable concerts held here include classic performances of Beethoven’s masterpieces and even modern pops series like Billy Joel and Star Wars. You are advised to book your favorite concert in advance because tickets sell fast.

Phoenix Symphony Hall

Address: 75 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Phoenix Symphony Hall

Opening hours: Varies

Price: from 45 USD

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12. Plan a night out at Gypsy Bar

Phoenix is worth enjoying both in the day and even during the night. While you may visit most of the attractions during the day, you also need to let your hair down at night by enjoying yourself at Gypsy Bar. There are a lot of things you can do at this bar, such as relaxing over a glass of cocktails, dancing to the music, grabbing a delicious bite to eat or playing a game at the bowling alley.

Gypsy Bar

Address: 50 W Jefferson St, Phoenix, AZ 85003, USA

Website: Gypsy Bar

Opening hours: Sun - Thu: 11am - 12am; Fri - Sat: 11am - 2am

Price: from 11 USD

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13. Enjoy an evening stroll through Civic Space Park

Civic Space Park
Source: Photo by Flickr user Michael Ruiz used under CC BY 2.0

Spend a relaxing evening at the prettily lit Civic Space Park, which is an urban park tucked away in downtown Phoenix. Opened to the public for the first time in 2009, Civic Space Park features sculptures, sustainable construction and unique designs that can be found throughout the park. You can visit the park in the morning, of course, but it will be even more worthwhile to visit it in the evening with all the artificial lighting. This park is a symbol of successful urbanism!

Civic Space Park

Address: 424 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Opening hours: 5am - 11pm (daily)

Price: Free

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14. Attend an event at Phoenix Convention Center

Phoenix Convention Center regularly hosts a range of events. Whether you want to attend a concert, a performance, a show, a convention or a corporate event, this Convention Center is the place to be. To know what is going on and what are the upcoming events, check out its website. It is also possible to book a ticket first before arriving at the venue.

Phoenix Convention Center

Address: 100 N 3rd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Phoenix Convention Center

Opening hours: Varies

Price: Varies

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15. Take the kids to Children's Museum of Phoenix

Phoenix Children's Museum
Source: Photo by Flickr user marada used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Of course, the Children’s Museum of Phoenix is not for a fully grown-up adult like you! This amusing museum is for your little ones especially if they are toddlers or under 10 years of age. The museum boasts of more than 300 play areas that are both interactive and entertaining and they have been specially designed keeping children in mind. Let your kids enjoy fun times and play with other kids their ages. For babies, toddlers and preschoolers, there is a special place on the third floor designed to support their developmental stage.

Children's Museum of Phoenix

Address: 215 N 7th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034, USA

Website: Children’s Museum of Phoenix

Opening hours: 9am - 4pm (daily)

Price: 14.95 USD

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16. Catch a live performance at The Nash Jazz Club

Some people believe that good music is beneficial for your body and soul and jazz music is among the best music in this world. So, find your way to The Nash Jazz Club and treat your musical inclinations to a soulful jazz performance. Witness some of the best jazz musicians and enthusiasts perform their jazz music live.

The Nash Jazz Club

Address: 110 E Roosevelt St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: The Nash Jazz Club

Opening hours: Mon - Tue: 10am - 3pm; Wed: 10am - 3pm, 7pm - 10pm; Thu: 10am - 3pm; Fri - Sat: 5:30pm - 10pm; Sun: 6pm - 9pm

Price: from 10 USD

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17. Discover American Indian artifacts at Heard Museum

Do you have a thing for American Indian art? That is good because now that you are in Phoenix, you can discover a collection of American Indian art and artifacts at Heard Museum. The non-profit museum is built specifically for the advancement of American Indian Art. That is why you will only find all things related to American Indians at this museum. There are more than 40,000 objects you can enjoy and 4,000 fine artworks displayed at the museum. Key collections include Navajo textiles and Hopi Katsina dolls.

Heard Museum

Address: 2301 N Central Ave, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Heard Museum

Opening hours: Mon - Sat: 9:30am - 5pm; Sun: 11am - 5pm

Price: 18 USD

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18. Watch award-winning musicals at Herberger Theater Center

We all can agree that musicals are among the most entertaining performances out there. How can they not be entertaining? The singing and the dancing will make you sing and dance along with the artists as you watch a musical. Catch a superb show or some special performance that you like at the Herberger Theater Center. Learn about upcoming performances on the theater’s website and book your ticket online.

Herberger Theater Center

Address: 222 E Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Herberger Theater Center

Opening hours: Varies

Price: Varies

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19. Check out a classic movie at FilmBar

There is no better way to kill time than watching a good movie. And, classic movies are always the best. We know that you can catch a movie at a local cinema back home. But, when you are on a vacation, you should try to explore everything, right? In Phoenix, you should watch a classic movie at FilmBar. If you want to watch other genres, it is possible too. The cinema plays classic, indie, foreign and cult movies. When you are finished, go to the cafe and enjoy a glass of wine or beer. Then, you can go back to your hotel room or vacation rental satisfied!


Address: 815 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: FilmBar

Opening hours: Varies

Price: from 10 USD

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20. Check the shopping list at Collier Center

The Collier Center, Copper Square, Phoenix, Arizona
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user davidpinter used under CC BY 3.0

You have been waiting to find out where you can shop your heart out, haven’t you? No worries! Phoenix has a lot of shopping centers, but one that you need to visit is no other than the Collier Center. Everything you want can be found at this shopping center that features a myriad of shops and restaurants. The popular ones include Fired Pie, The Whining Pig and of course, Hard Rock Cafe that seems to be in every place in every city!

Collier Center

Address: 201 E Washington St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Collier Center

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

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21. Satisfy your hunger pangs at Nook Kitchen Downtown

Last but not least, you need to make a stop at Nook Kitchen Downtown to satisfy your hunger pangs and satiate your appetite. The stylish restaurant is best known for its specialty pizzas along with other delectable Italian dishes and cocktails. Favorite meals include steak fries for an appetizer, casarecce al forno for the main course and peanut butter mouse bar for dessert. You can also unwind at the spacious patio after a satisfying meal.

Nook Kitchen Downtown

Address: Hilton Garden Inn Phoenix Downtown, 15 E Monroe St, Phoenix, AZ 85004, USA

Website: Nook Kitchen Downtown

Opening hours: Sun - Wed: 5pm - 10pm; Sat: 5pm - 11pm (closed on Thu & Fri)

Price: from 11 USD

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Downtown Phoenix is the best place in Phoenix

While you can explore other parts of Phoenix, you cannot miss a visit to downtown Phoenix if you are aiming for a memorable vacation. There are plenty of activities to do for sure, but we have chosen only the best ones for you to book and enjoy. So, make sure that you do not miss them, not even a single one! We wish you a wonderful holiday.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Tenissa is a content writer, translator and editor. She enjoys being a globetrotter and has traveled to many countries around the world. So far, her favourite destination is Switzerland. She looks...Read more

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