In this post I'm going to explain why Nashville hotels are so expensive and provide you some AMAZING locations that you can stay for cheap.
Nashville hotels are expensive due to high demand, particularly during busy months like March. Factors contributing to this demand include:
- Events and Conventions: Nashville frequently hosts college basketball tournaments, hockey games, and numerous conventions. March, for instance, sees the SEC Basketball tournament and the Southern Women's Show, attracting tens of thousands of attendees.
- Tourist Destination Ranking: Various publications and organizations have ranked Nashville as a top U.S. tourist destination, increasing its allure and, consequently, the demand for accommodations.
- Desirable Downtown Area: Many tourists prefer to stay in the heart of the action. The immediate proximity to attractions often means higher room rates. Alternatives for budget-friendly accommodations include areas near the airport, Opryland, and Brentwood, with transportation options like shuttles, Lyft, and Uber available.
- Other Events: While the Nashville Film Festival happens around this time and might impact hotel rates, it's the convergence of multiple events, like conventions and festivals, that typically drives prices up. Check the Visit Music City Calendar for upcoming events that might impact prices.
Hey! I'm Alex, a Nashville local here to guide to the best-priced hotels, best locations to stay and things to do. You can learn more about me here. Feel free to reach out with any additional questions.
Budget-Friendly Tips on Where to Stay (from a Local)
Nashville is a large city with a lot of places to stay that are close to downtown but without paying downtown prices.
Downtown Nashville. Most people want to stay here. The problem is that it's the most expensive option because it's within walking distance of major attractions like a festival, the convention center, Lower Broadway, the Ryman, and more.
My Advice: Stay in the Gulch, Midtown, or Music Row areas. Sure, you won't be able to walk to the major attractions in Nashville, but you're so close! It's only about a 20-minute walk or a 5-minute Uber ride. Plus, those areas are beautiful, with great bars, restaurants, and live music venues. It's a nice compromise.
Check out our hotel guides for more information:
Airport Area. This is an affordable option and only a 20-minute drive from downtown. The Red Roof Inn offers rates around $70/night. Plus, it's within a $25 cab zone to downtown. Check out more airport area prices here.
Opryland Area: Another good bet, though beware that certain resorts here can be costly. A bonus is the shuttle service which stops at most hotels in this area, dropping you downtown for a mere $10.
This is a great spot to stay if you want to visit the Opryland Resort or Grand Ole Opry.
Vanderbilt/West End Area. Hotels here often provide free shuttles. The east end of this zone is walkable for those who enjoy a short trek to downtown. You might even be lucky with the Vanderbilt area offering mid-range prices and being an easy cab or rideshare away.
Smyrna: About 20-25 minutes from downtown, Smyrna lies between Nashville and Murfreesboro. With rates often in the low $100s, it offers great value. When visiting in August, some travelers find the Hampton Inn to be a great spot. Click here for best rates on Smyrna hotels.
Franklin. This is a stunning local town just 30-minutes from downtown Nashville. You'll love the boutique shops and dining options. See our guide to Franklin vs Nashville here.
Brentwood: Near where Old Hickory Blvd crosses I65, Brentwood offers good rates and is close to Franklin – another spot tourists often visit. It's a beautiful, prosperous place where a lot of celebrities live. Click here for best rates on Brentwood hotels.
I hope this has been helpful. The above areas a close to Nashville, cheaper and provide a beautiful spot to stay while still being close to downtown.