Lincoln travel guide

Lincoln Tourism | Lincoln Guide

You're Going to Love Lincoln

Lincoln is the capital city of Nebraska and is the state's government, education, and transport center. Founded in 1859, the city has a population of around 240,000 but still manages to retain a friendly, small town atmosphere. That atmosphere is enlivened by the presence of the university, which contributes to a great nightlife and laid-back, 'artsy' feel.

Top 5 Reasons to Visit Lincoln

1. The People

The residents of Lincoln are genuinely welcoming, making visitors feel at home very quickly.

2. Sports

The city hosts a college football team, basketball, and volleyball teams. Games consistently sell out and create a lively vibe in the city on the day.

3. It's Affordable

You're really going to love the prices in Lincoln. Accommodation, food, and drink are all more affordable than in almost any other US state capital.

4. Culture

Museums like the University of Nebraska State Museum, Sheldon Museum of Art, and the State Capitol Building hold impressive collections.

5. Wine!

Visitors might be surprised to learn that Lincoln is home to its very own winery, James Arthur Vineyards, which is a great place for a visit.

What to do in Lincoln

1. Nebraska State Capitol: A Landmark Tower

The Nebraska State Capitol in downtown Lincoln was designed by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in 1920. Constructed in Indiana limestone, the building was completed in 1932. Known as Tower on the Plains due to its 400-foot tower, the capitol building was designated a National Registered Historic Landmark in 1976. The interior features marble columns, vaulted tile ceilings, mosaic floors, and murals symbolizing the Native American and Pioneer history of the state. Take a walk through this fascinating, historic building, which is open to visitors seven days a week.

2. Sunken Gardens: An Annual Showcase

The Sunken Gardens, built by Charles Bartlett Hester in 1930, are named in the National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens as one of the best gardens to visit in North America. The gardens showcase 30,000 annual plants arranged according to a yearly theme. In addition to the Annual Garden, visitors can wander through the majestic Healing Garden replete with white lilies or the experience the Perennial Garden's glorious hostas, viburnum, and hydrangeas. The green space also features two reflecting pools and a waterfall. Renovated in 2005, the gardens house David Young's statue Rebekah at the Well and Dr. Wayne Southwick's statue Reville, which shows the artist's wife and their children at home.

3. Haymarket District: A Historic Commercial Hub

The Haymarket District dates back to 1867, when it was merely an open market for produce and livestock and host to a camping ground for immigrants. Now the renovated Haymarket features restaurants, shops, and nightclubs housed within renovated turn-of-the-century warehouses. The area boasts numerous antique shops, art galleries and brew pubs, which attract visitors all day and night. The district is bordered by Iron Horse Park, which displays the Iron Horse Legacy, a three-dimensional brick mural, as well as a restored steam engine and a 19th-century water tower fountain.

4. Sheldon Museum of Art: A Trove of Artistic Treasures

The Sheldon Museum of Art, built in 1963, houses an impressive collection of 19th- and 20th-century art. Located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, the museum was designed by architect Philip Johnson and is featured on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The gallery showcases more than 12,000 works of art, including a collection of 19th-century landscapes and still life paintings, works of American Impressionism, modernism, geometric abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. The museum also features a sculpture garden with works by Jacques Lipchitz, Lyman Kipp, Richard Serra, and many more.

5. Museum of American Speed: Racing Through History

Established in 1992 by Bill and Joyce Smith, the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed displays an impressive collection that explores the history of racing and automotive design. Visitors can enjoy a detailed assortment of early racing vehicles, vintage cars, go-karts, car parts, memorabilia, and even autographed guitars. The museum also showcases legendary car engines, such as specialized Offenhausers and Millers.

1. Nebraska State Capitol: A Landmark Tower

The Nebraska State Capitol in downtown Lincoln was designed by architect Bertram Grosvenor Goodhue in 1920. Constructed in Indiana limestone, the building was completed in 1932. Known as Tower on the Plains due to its 400-foot tower, the capitol building was designated a National Registered Historic Landmark in 1976. The interior features marble columns, vaulted tile ceilings, mosaic floors, and murals symbolizing the Native American and Pioneer history of the state. Take a walk through this fascinating, historic building, which is open to visitors seven days a week.

2. Sunken Gardens: An Annual Showcase

The Sunken Gardens, built by Charles Bartlett Hester in 1930, are named in the National Geographic Guide to Public Gardens as one of the best gardens to visit in North America. The gardens showcase 30,000 annual plants arranged according to a yearly theme. In addition to the Annual Garden, visitors can wander through the majestic Healing Garden replete with white lilies or the experience the Perennial Garden's glorious hostas, viburnum, and hydrangeas. The green space also features two reflecting pools and a waterfall. Renovated in 2005, the gardens house David Young's statue Rebekah at the Well and Dr. Wayne Southwick's statue Reville, which shows the artist's wife and their children at home.

3. Haymarket District: A Historic Commercial Hub

The Haymarket District dates back to 1867, when it was merely an open market for produce and livestock and host to a camping ground for immigrants. Now the renovated Haymarket features restaurants, shops, and nightclubs housed within renovated turn-of-the-century warehouses. The area boasts numerous antique shops, art galleries and brew pubs, which attract visitors all day and night. The district is bordered by Iron Horse Park, which displays the Iron Horse Legacy, a three-dimensional brick mural, as well as a restored steam engine and a 19th-century water tower fountain.

4. Sheldon Museum of Art: A Trove of Artistic Treasures

The Sheldon Museum of Art, built in 1963, houses an impressive collection of 19th- and 20th-century art. Located on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus, the museum was designed by architect Philip Johnson and is featured on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places. The gallery showcases more than 12,000 works of art, including a collection of 19th-century landscapes and still life paintings, works of American Impressionism, modernism, geometric abstraction, Abstract Expressionism, and Pop Art. The museum also features a sculpture garden with works by Jacques Lipchitz, Lyman Kipp, Richard Serra, and many more.

5. Museum of American Speed: Racing Through History

Established in 1992 by Bill and Joyce Smith, the Speedway Motors Museum of American Speed displays an impressive collection that explores the history of racing and automotive design. Visitors can enjoy a detailed assortment of early racing vehicles, vintage cars, go-karts, car parts, memorabilia, and even autographed guitars. The museum also showcases legendary car engines, such as specialized Offenhausers and Millers.

Where to Eat in Lincoln

La Paz on N Cotner Blvd is a favorite local Mexican eatery, while Dish on 11th serves South American and Pan Asian dishes. You will pay around $10 for a meal in a budget restaurant and $25 in a more upscale establishment.

When to visit Lincoln

Lincoln in January
Estimated hotel price
$172
1 night at 3-star hotel
Lincoln in January
Estimated hotel price
$172
1 night at 3-star hotel

Winters can be very cold in Lincoln but summers are warm and humid, while spring and fall have the added benefit of the football season to enjoy.

Data provided by weatherbase
Temperatures
Temperatures
Average
Celcius (°C)
Data provided by weatherbase

How to Get to Lincoln

Plane

Lincoln Airport offers flights from Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Memphis, and Minneapolis. Visitors can also fly into Eppley Airfield at Omaha. The taxi fare from Lincoln Airport into town is around $23. Shuttle services will take you into town for $7.

Train

Amtrak offers passenger services from Chicago and the West Coast on the California Zephyr service. The fare from Chicago is from $84.

Car

The main routes to Lincoln are the I-80 and US Highways 6, 34, and 77.

Bus

Greyhound buses serve Lincoln. The fare from Chicago is from $62.

Airports near Lincoln

Airlines serving Lincoln

United Airlines
Good (2,837 reviews)
Lufthansa
Good (2,145 reviews)
American Airlines
Good (4,381 reviews)
KLM
Good (348 reviews)
Air France
Good (395 reviews)
British Airways
Good (1,410 reviews)
Delta
Excellent (3,046 reviews)
Qatar Airways
Good (1,202 reviews)
Iberia
Good (914 reviews)
Air Canada
Good (1,402 reviews)
Finnair
Good (694 reviews)
Alaska Airlines
Excellent (2,601 reviews)
Scandinavian Airlines
Good (438 reviews)
JetBlue
Good (1,294 reviews)
Aeromexico
Good (822 reviews)
ITA Airways
Good (122 reviews)
ANA
Excellent (139 reviews)
Japan Airlines
Good (465 reviews)
Korean Air
Excellent (246 reviews)
Copa Airlines
Good (516 reviews)
Show more

Where to stay in Lincoln

Haymarket - is one of the city's oldest neighborhoods and is a center for dining, shopping, and accommodation.

Popular Neighborhoods in Lincoln

Country Club - is also known on the National Register of Historic Places as the 'Boulevards Historic District'. It is home to some fine residences.

College View - was once a separate village and still has its own village feel with a good mix of local stores and bars.

Where to stay in popular areas of Lincoln

Most booked hotels in Lincoln

The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel
Excellent (8.5, Excellent reviews)
$222+
Graduate Lincoln
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$153+
Embassy Suites Lincoln
Excellent (8.1, Excellent reviews)
$239+
New Victorian Inn & Suites Lincoln
Excellent (8, Excellent reviews)
$139+
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Lincoln Airport
Good (7.4, Good reviews)
$87+
Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, Lincoln North
Good (7.4, Good reviews)
$118+
See all hotels

How to Get Around Lincoln

Public Transportation

Lincoln's StarTran buses serve the city and fares cost from $1.75.

Taxi

Taxis are a popular way of getting around town. The meter drop is $3.00 and then you will pay around $4.20 per mile.

Car

Lincoln's street are laid out in a grid pattern and are relatively simple to navigate. Traffic is light for a major city but can get heavy during rush hours and on football Saturdays. Car rental is from $27 per day.

The Cost of Living in Lincoln

Shopping Streets

The Downtown area has the usual mix of fashion, food, and technology stores, while Haymarket has more local craft stores and independent boutiques.

Groceries and Other

A quart of milk in Lincoln will cost around $0.87 and a dozen eggs is $2.53.

Cheap meal
$16.13
A pair of jeans
$64.89
Single public transport ticket
$2.02
Cappuccino
$6.29
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