With an early economy based on pork, a lovely riverboat heritage and having the first profession baseball team in the US, Cincinnati is a place you should visit and experience its many faces.
What to do
Carew Tower & Observation Deck, located in Downtown, offers some great views of the city (from its 49th floor). Also in Downtown you'll find Fountain Square, which hosts a fountain, the skating rink , offers free wi-fi, and is the place where you can grab a bite in one of the restaurants.
The Business district has a Skywalk which is an indoor above-ground path allowing people to walk to the places of interest without having to withstand the weather. It's free to use and can be a nice break from the city's hustle and bustle. How about a walk on the John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge, which was featured in the movie Rain Man? It was the longest suspension bridge in the world until 1883.
Cincinnati is also home to plenty of religious places (church, temple, cathedral), museums and art centers, parks , amusement parks and festivals. Riverfest is the largest and most well known of the festivals and features the famous race between rubber ducks called the Rubber Duck Regatta.
Cincinnati Observatory Center, now run by volunteers, hosts gazing events. It can be a romantic end to a trip here.
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) is serving the city. The city is a second hub for Delta but the fares to Cincinnati are the most expensive in the US thanks to Delta's monopoly. If you end up using this airport and need to go by car there, you can book and pay for your Cincinnati Airport Parking ahead of time to save both time and money.
Mostly due to the high fares, many tourists prefer to use other airports and then drive the distance to Cincinnati. Such a good choice is Port Columbus International Airport (CMH) in Columbus which is also a preferred city by Delta but Southwest Airlines, Delta Air Lines, US Airways and American Airlines also have a strong presence here which means finding flights to Columbus is much easier than the other option. If Columbus doesn't satisfy you, then you can also choose Dayton International Airport (DAY) in Dayton or or Louisville International Airport (SDF) in Louisville.
Where to stay
You can find plenty of places to stay in Cincinnati, from budget to luxury hotels. Although there are no real hostels in Cincinnati, you will find some budget hotels listed under hostels.