Atlanta is not short on things to do and places to go, so if you're travelling with children or the young-at-heart, visit the World of Coca-Cola or the Atlanta Zoo — the Giant Pandas here are a rare sight to enjoy. For a mix of fun activities and the great outdoors, Stone Mountain's theme park and camping grounds are just a short drive away. A few more days in the city will have you visiting the CNN's Atlanta Studio, Georgia Aquarium, and the eclectic collection at the High Museum of Art before boarding your flight back home. And many of these attractions are included in the Atlanta CityPass, which gives you half-price discounts on admission tickets to lots of the most popular tourist haunts. While many neighbourhoods in Atlanta maintain their old Southern charm, most of the city continues to evolve into an increasingly urban landscape with a mix of cultures and nationalities from across the world. Today, it's as easy to find Korean and Indian fare here as it is to find traditional dishes like fried chicken or pecan pie.
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Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) is Atlanta's main airport located nearly 16 km from downtown Atlanta. Almost every major international and domestic US airline has services or codeshare agreements for flights to Atlanta. These include Air Canada, US Airways, American Airlines, Continental, United, Spirit, AirTran, Air France, British Airways, KLM, Korean Air, and Lufthansa. ATL is also the main hub for Delta Airlines and therefore a large number of international flights pass through here on their way to destinations across the world. As one of the busiest airports in the world, cheap flights to Atlanta are usually easy to find, so whether you book several months in advance or at the last minute, you're bound to get great discounts on airline tickets to Atlanta.
With labels like 'Hotlanta', you're better off skipping summertime flights to Atlanta when temperatures can go well over 30°C. Booking Atlanta flights from September to early-November or from late March to May will take you to the city when temperatures are cooler, there's greenery everywhere, flowers are blooming, and there are still enough outdoor concerts and performances for you to enjoy the city at its best. Atlanta experiences heavy snowfall during some winters and the temperature is low enough to make you want to stay indoors even if it's not snowing, so unless you're visiting someone for the holidays, wait until it gets warmer to book your flights. If your heart is set on visiting Six Flags Over Georgia, avoid the period from November until January when the theme park is closed for the season.
When your flight arrives at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL), you can choose from among the following options for Atlanta ground transportation. Each option is also colour-coded in the terminal so that once you have disembarked from your flight to Atlanta, you can easily follow the signs to the right area for your desired mode of transport. The Ground Transportation Center is located on the west curb between the North and South terminals of the airport. For shuttles and taxis, authorized drivers are required to wear an airport ID badge so beware of offers made by those not sporting the badge.
Public Transit: ATL is well-connected to the city by public transport so, even after a long flight, you can hop onto a local train or bus run by the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority(MARTA) and be in the city within 20 minutes. You will need to buy a Breeze Card or ticket and load the appropriate fare onto it, keeping in mind that up to four transfers per ticket can be made within three hours from the start of the journey. A one-way ticket averages $2 USD making this the cheapest travel option to get to the city. Tickets and cards can be bought at the RideStore near the Airport Station entrance.
MARTA Bus: There are several buses which stop by the airport and you can see a complete list of these on the MARTA website. You can connect to pretty much anywhere within the city by bus or transfer to a train station along the way.
MARTA Train: The station is located at the airport and there's an elevator at every train station with plenty of room for luggage inside the rail cars, so don't worry about how you're going to carry your baggage up and down stairs to ground level. The airport station is on the southbound Red and Gold Lines from which you can connect to the Green and Blue Lines as well. Trains run approximately every 20 minutes during the peak weekday hours of 6 a.m. and 1 a.m.
Airport Shuttle: Shared shuttle services can be found in the Green Bus Isle of the Ground Transportation Center. The Atlanta Airport Shuttle Service runs shuttles to the downtown, midtown, and Buckhead areas. One-way fares to downtown Atlanta are about $17 USD, and you can also get cheap round-trip tickets. For other destinations, it is advisable to book in advance with one of the shuttle companies listed on the airport's website, especially if you're travelling for a business conference or convention which attracts a large number of visitors.
Hotel Shuttle: These are available at the Purple Isle of the Ground Transportation Center. If the shuttle for your hotel is not immediately available, there are courtesy phones located around the pick-up and baggage claim areas which you can use to contact the hotel and summon one.
Taxi: Taxis can be found at the Yellow Isle of the Ground Transportation Center. You will need to pay a set fare depending on your destination with a flag drop fee of $1.50 USD and a supplemental charge of $2 USD for each additional passenger. From the airport to the Business District, comprising downtown, midtown, and Buckhead areas, prices range between $30-$40 USD. For destinations outside this district, fares are metered.
Car Rental: The airport's Rental Car Center is a short distance away from the main airport terminal and can be accessed via the free ATL SkyTrain. The SkyTrain station is near the West exit of the airport. There are 13 car rental companies located at the Center including Alamo, Avis, Hertz, Budget, and National. Contact details for each are on the airport's website and advance bookings are advisable.
Limousine Service: You can rent a sedan or stretch limousine from one of over 200 companies which provide these services from the airport to destinations around the city. The pick-up process for private transportation is not necessarily the same as other Ground Transportation Center services, so you should make specific arrangements with the company you engage.
Other:An Amtrak station is located near the airport and you can get a ground transfer from the airport to the station by booking with A-National Management Services before heading off on your flight to Atlanta,. A Greyhound Flightlink bus station is located at the airport on the lower level of the North Terminal.