Nashville in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Nashville, the world-renowned mecca of country music, is an American city that captivates all who visit with its lively Southern atmosphere and non-stop activity.

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

9 min read

Nashville in 2 Days: everything you need to know

Streets of Nashville | ©paulbr75

Tennessee' s state capital is a city brimming with life and enthusiasm for music, dance and entertainment. Lose yourself in the many pubs on Broadway Street, have fun in an original honky tonk bar, stroll along the Cumberland River or marvel at the extraordinary Nashville Parthenon. And in this charming corner of the United States you will not be short of fun plans to do.

So, if you do not have much time and want to enjoy all that this fantastic city has to offer, read on and I will tell you all the secrets to see the most important places in Nashville in just two days.

1. Day one: visit Nashville's most important park and stroll through the heart of the city

Centennial Park| ©Bill Badzo
Centennial Park| ©Bill Badzo

To start your first day in the charming city of music, you will visit the extensive gardens of Centennial Park, the most important park in Nashville, and then you will have the opportunity to enter the Ryman Auditorium, one of the most emblematic buildings of the city.

After the visit, you will go to the lively Farmer's Market, and after tasting the exquisite gastronomy of the area, you can finish your day with a walk through the center of the city and some of its most famous streets.

If you are one of those who enjoy a day of long walks, you can take a tour of Nashville on foot, since the distance between the different places of interest is not too long. However, if you prefer to visit the city in a more comfortable and quicker way, you can take an uber, a bus tour or a fun guided bike tour.

Rent a bike in Nashville

Start the day with a ride through Nashville's lungs

Centennial Park is the largest green space in the city. This majestic urban park is not only noted for its beautiful scenery, but is also known for the exhibits, festivals and other activities that take place there. If you are traveling to Nashville with children, this visit is ideal, as they are sure to have a great time running around its extensive grassy areas and playing in its facilities.

Be impressed by Nashville's imposing Parthenon

After a pleasant stroll through Centennial Park, a visit to the Nashville Parthenon, located inside the park, is a must. This amazing building is a life-size replica of the Parthenon of Athens itself and was built in 1897 for the Tennessee Centennial Exposition.

This construction was so successful that it was decided to keep it permanently, however, not being built with materials designed to last over time, the building had to be demolished in order to erect a new version in concrete, which is the one we can see today. Inside there is a sculpture of the Goddess Athena, as in the original monument. In addition, it currently serves as a museum and inside it houses up to four art galleries consisting of paintings by American artists.

  • Where: Centennial Park, 2500 West End Avenue, Nashville.
  • Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm. Sundays from 12:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
  • Price: to enter the Nashville Parthenon, general admission is approximately €10.

Pay a visit to the Ryman Auditorium

A little more than half an hour walk away is one of the most emblematic buildings of Nashville, the Ryman Auditorium, a large concert and performance hall built in 1892 that is considered one of the icons of the city.

The Ryman Auditorium is known as the mother church of country music, as there was held the Grand Ole Opry, a weekly concert in which new folk, country and gospel artists performed, and thanks to which country music was popularized and became a million-dollar industry.

Today, to visit this sacred temple of Nashville's musical history there are two options. The first option would be to buy a ticket for one of the concerts that are still held there. The other would be to take a tour inside the building to learn about the history of this majestic place.

Book an experience at the Ryman Auditorium

Discover the relics hidden in the traditional Farmer's Market

Farmer's Market| ©Reading Tom
Farmer's Market| ©Reading Tom

The Farmer's Market is a traditional market that has been in operation since 1837. In it, you can find a huge variety of products such as fruits and vegetables, curious antiques or local crafts.

Nowadays, you can also enjoy its wide range of cafes and restaurants serving local food as well as food from many other parts of the world. Once there, you will have the opportunity to visit one of the most mythical places in Nashville, buy a souvenir or even have a beer or a glass of wine in one of its stalls. Also, if you are lucky, you may come across some of the exhibitions and events that are often held there.

  • Where: 900 Rosa L Parks Blvd, Nashville.
  • Hours: daily, 8:00 am to 6:00 pm.
  • Price: Admission is free.

Enjoy local cuisine

Although in the downtown area of Nashville there will be no shortage of restaurants where you can enjoy a fantastic meal, since your time in the city is limited I am going to propose a fun option with which you will have the opportunity to taste the local cuisine in depth.

Therefore, the plan that I propose is that you book a gastronomic walking tour of Nashville. In it, you will not only be able to taste the dishes of some of the best restaurants in the area, but you will also be guided through downtown while they tell you curiosities about the city, and if that were not enough, you will finish the tour with a visit to a distillery where you can enjoy some of their delicious cocktails, among many other options.

Book a food tour of Nashville

Get to know the famous Broadway street and enter a honky-tonk bar

There is no better way to get to know a city than getting lost in its streets with a long walk. That's why the next plan I'm going to propose is that you walk through its most famous area, Broadway Street. Visiting Broadway Street is an essential plan to do at night during your stay in Nashville. However, this street oozes life during all hours of the day, as it is the most touristy area of the city for being known as the mecca of country music.

And in this busy street music is on every corner, besides being full of young people, bars with lots of atmosphere and stores selling typical southern products such as cowboy boots. Broadway's venues are illuminated with bright signs and inside you can listen to country, rock, blues, soul or live music shows.

However, the main attraction of this particular street are its honky-tonk bars. These bars are typical in the south of the United States and are characterized by their theme, which revolves around country music. Some of the most outstanding honky-tonk bars in the area are Robert's Western World or Tootsies Orchid Lounge, although if you want to know in depth the most legendary pubs in the city, a great option would be to book a tour of the most famous pubs in Nashville.

Book a Nashville Pub Crawl

Enjoy dinner at Nashville's popular Hard Rock Café

If your stroll down Broadway and your visit to the original honky-tonk pubs was limited to a few beers, a great option for dinner would be to dine at the Hard Rock Café, which is just a few minutes away. The Hard Rock Café is a symbol of typical American food and is appreciated for its delicious cuisine as well as its fun and striking decor set to music.

Reserve a menu at the Hard Rock Café

2. Day two: discover some of Nashville's most interesting neighborhoods and finish with a spectacular walk along the Cumberland River

The Gulch, Nashville.| ©Travis Estell
The Gulch, Nashville.| ©Travis Estell

For your second and last day in the fascinating city of Nashville I have prepared a tour that begins with a delicious typical American breakfast in one of the most famous coffee shops in the city.

After recharging your batteries with a good tower of pancakes, you will visit some of the most special neighborhoods of the city such as Music Row and The Gulch, and you will enter one of the most important museums in Nashville, the Country Museum. Lastly, you'll get to know the Cumberland River, which runs through the city, and tour it aboard a fun cruise.

Start the day with a delicious breakfast

You won't want to leave the United States without trying a typical American breakfast, which is why I encourage you to start your second day with a visit to The Pancake Pantry, one of Nashville's most famous coffee shops.

Tall towers of fluffy pancakes topped with syrup, cream, bacon, egg or any of the manytoppings available will start your day with energy and a full stomach.

  • Where: 1796 21st Ave S, Nashville.
  • Hours: daily, 6:00 am to 3:00 pm.
  • Price: Approximately $15 to $25 per person.

Get to know one of the most mythical neighborhoods of the city

After a hearty breakfast, I suggest you take a walk to the Music Row area. This neighborhood is known for being the epicenter of the country music industry, as it is home to numerous record labels, recording studios, radio stations and other businesses related to the world of music.

Despite its appearance of typical American residential neighborhood formed by perfectly aligned houses and gardens whose lawns are always pristine, this corner of the city is home to such emblematic places as the famous Historic RCA Studio B, where artists such as Dolly Parton and Elvis Presley have recorded their songs.

Book a guided tour of RCA Studio B

Discover the history of country music in a very special museum

Country Museum and Hall of Fame| ©Jonathan Cutrer
Country Museum and Hall of Fame| ©Jonathan Cutrer

To continue your tour, the next place to head to is the legendary Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. This museum is entirely dedicated, as its name suggests, to country music, and in it you can learn about the history of the origin of this musical genre and its importance in the United States.

Nowadays, it is one of the main attractions in Nashville, since this city is especially known for its musical history. In addition, the museum has a number of interactive exhibits that will make the experience more entertaining and interesting, even if you are not a big fan of country music.

Reserve your ticket to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum

Visit the innovative The Gulch

The Gulch is a unique, industrial-looking neighborhood that in recent years has reemerged as one of the city's most vibrant areas. In addition, The Gulch neighborhood is home to hundreds of trendy upscale boutiques and innovative, cutting-edge restaurants.

Once there, I encourage you to take the opportunity to taste the cuisine of its acclaimed gastronomic spaces, as well as to stroll through its streets and visit some of its most famous live music venues, such as the well-known The Station Inn. Another interesting visit to make in The Gulch, is to the Frist Art Museum, which is located in a beautiful art deco building in which numerous exhibitions, lectures and film screenings are held.

Say goodbye to Nashville with a pleasant stroll along the Cumberland River

One of the best areas to enjoy views of the Cumberland River is from the John Seigenthaler Bridge. From there you will be able to admire the Nashville skyline to perfection and you will have the opportunity to observe some of its most emblematic buildings, such as the Batman Building.

Another option to enjoy the extensive river would be to rest in some of the parks with lawns along its banks. However, the plan I suggest to say goodbye to this fantastic city is to take a dinner cruise on the Cumberland River, especially if you travel to Nashville during the summer months.

The boat on which you will take this tour is the General Jackson Showboat, an impressive vessel designed to recreate the showboats that plied the waters of the rivers of the United States during the nineteenth century. Along the way, you can admire the views of the city while enjoying a delicious dinner and listening to a live orchestra.

Book a dinner cruise on the Cumberland River