Atlanta is a charming Southern city with much to offer. It’s home to tens of millions of people and millions more visit each year to visit well-known local museums, see the unique Centennial Olympic Park, or get great bargains at Underground Atlanta. Families with kids who come here are sure to enjoy Atlanta Zoo, Georgia Aquarium, and Children’s Museum of Atlanta with its tens of thousands of hands-on exhibits.
Getting To and From the Airport
Most locals get around by car, and thankfully you can rent a car at the airport itself if you haven’t done so in advance. However, renting your own car does have its downsides and it’s certainly not the only way you can get to and from the airport.
MARTA, Atlanta’s rapid transit rail system, travels from the airport to the northern, eastern, and western sections of the city. A single trip costs $2.50 but there are various card purchase options to pick from, including individual trip cards, a one-day pass, or even a full-month pass.
Taxis from the airport offer rides to downtown Atlanta, Buckhead, and Midtown for a flat rate of $30.00 per person with an added cost of $2.00 per extra person. However, individuals not traveling to the business district should be aware that the cost of a taxi ride to other areas is measured by the taxi meter and will most likely be costly.
Getting Around the City
If you’re new to Atlanta, you’ll quickly find that driving around on your own is not as convenient as it may seem. Rush hour traffic is atrocious, parking can be hard to find, there are many one-way only roads in the city, many streets have similar names, and street names are regularly changed or modified. Plus, a hotel may charge up to $20.00 for parking per night. Thankfully, you don’t really need a car if you stay in town as there are plenty of other great transport options.
MARTA runs throughout the city, taking you just about anywhere you want to go. However, be aware that MARTA does not offer 24-hour service. On the weekends, service stops at 1:00 in the morning so be sure to make travel arrangements in advance if you intend to stay out till the wee hours of the morning.
If you are traveling around the convention and entertainment district or the Sweet Auburn area, you can always hop on a streetcar. The cost for a single trip is $1.00; alternatively, you can buy a $3.00 day pass. You are allowed to ride up to two times around the route before you need to get off.
Buses also run throughout Atlanta and are particularly useful for getting to and from in-town neighborhoods. Alternatively, you can skip transport altogether and walk where you want to go. The downtown area in particular is easy to walk through and you can walk to many places of interest from public transport stops.
Uber and Lyft both operate in Atlanta. Uber offers low-cost, premium, carpool and accessible ride options, the latter being equipped with car seats and/or wheelchair access for the disabled. Cost depends on point of origin and destination, travel time, and the type of ride you select.
Lyft offers Lyft Line, Lyft, and Lyft Plus. With Lyft, the maximum fare is capped at $200 and the base fare starts at $.90. Lyft operates 24/7 and you can travel alone or with up to three friends.
Unique City Laws
Georgia has some unique laws relating to driving and traveling in a car that you should be aware of. For instance, you cannot drink in a car even if you are the passenger and not the driver. You can be pulled over for traveling at (not above) the speed limit, you can’t wear headphones in both ears, you can’t text while driving even if you’ve stopped at a traffic light, and you need to move over not just for police cars but also for garbage trucks and assistance vehicles.
Did we miss anything important about traveling in and around Atlanta? If so, let us know in the comments section below.