Atlanta Layover Guide (ATL)

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Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the main international airport found in Atlanta, Georgia in the United States. The airport located on the 9 km (7 mi) from the center of Atlanta. The airport has had international flights since 1971. Atlanta is the capital of the State of Georgia and is known for its diverse musical heritage, Southern hospitality, its sports teams and its history in the civil rights movement.

Can you leave Atlanta Airport (ATL) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible for certain travelers to visit Atlanta during a layover but others require a visa depending on nationality. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Atlanta Organized Tours

Georgia Aquarium

This is the largest aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. It is divided into seven different areas and has an interactive 4D theater. There are several animals to discover such as whale sharks, manta rays, giant groupers, weedy seadragon, beluga whale, giant Pacific octopus, California sea lions and Japanese spider crab and stingrays. These can be viewed from huge window or through the clear underwater tunnel running through a giant tank. An exciting exhibit to see is the professional trainers with bottlenose dolphins and observe their charismatic displays and behavioral traits. » book this tour

Highlight Trolley Tour

Hop aboard the Trolley in Atlanta’s downtown and enjoy the tales and history of this metropolis. This trolley tour is an excellent way to get acquainted with the city while seeing the best spots in Atlanta. Discover the neighborhood where Martin Luther King Jr. grew up as well as other historic neighborhoods such as Centennial Olympic Park Inman Park, and Ansley Park. » book this tour

5 Hour City Tour by Air-Conditioned Bus

Discover the highlights of Atlanta from the comfort of an air-conditioned bus on a 5-hour tour. This is a comfortable way to explore the many unique sights of Atlanta. The tour takes you through Downtown to Buckhead and includes the Buckhead Mansion Tour, Civil War Battleground Sites, walking the Beltline, The Swan House, and dozens of other sites. The Swan House was featured in The Hunger Games movie. The tour also takes you to the CNN center. » book this tour

Atlanta Things to do / Sightseeing

National Center for Civil and Human Rights

This downtown attraction was opened in 2014 and celebrates the American Civil Rights Movement and the global Human Rights Movement. The building was inspired by Washington, D.C.’s National Mall, Cairo’s Tahrir Square, and Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. The museum has three levels of galleries and event halls. There are illustrations of the impact of Jim Crow laws that legalized racism in America. It also explores themes such as the communities’ fights for equality.

Time required: 2-3 hours.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 20 minutes while public transport can take up to 40 minutes.

World of Coca-Cola

It is a known fact that Coca-Cola was invented in Atlanta by pharmacist John S. Pemberton in 1886. There is an interactive museum that covers 92,000 square feet and it welcomes 25 million visitors each year. Within there is an immersive 4-D Theater that makes you feel like you’re riding through a Coke-themed world. There’s also a challenge to try an old-fashioned manual bottling machine and the best part is a tasting room where you can try more than 100 Coca-Cola sodas from around the world.

Time required: About half a day.

Airport to here: Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes while public transport typically takes 40 minutes.

Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum

The Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum features the modernist architecture which is still remarkable though it was opened in 1986. The museum celebrates former U.S. President and Georgia native, Jimmy Carter, on a large scale. The museum offers interactive exhibitions that explore Carter’s life before, during, and after his time in the Oval Office. Even his Nobel Peace Prize medal is on display.

Time required: At least 2 hours would be the minimum.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 20 minutes and public transport takes an hour on average.

Hotel Clermont

Hotel Clermont was once a former motor lodge but currently it is one of Atlanta’s buzziest new boutique hotels. The rooftop of this hotel is where you would want to visit. It is fitted with outdoor furniture, string lights, and lawn games. There is a bar with tiki-inspired cocktails and they offer several drinks including local brews.

Time required: 2 to 3 hours.

Airport to here: Taxi takes an average of 25 minutes while public transport takes 40 minutes.

The Fox Theatre

The Fox Theatre is certainly the grandest entertainment venue in Atlanta. It was built in 1929 and stepping in feels like you’re traveling back to the golden age of theater and movies. The building has Islamic architectural details such as the unique dome atop the building, and inside you’ll find pretty decorations. Shows are ranging from musical acts, stand-up, dance performances, and traveling Broadway numbers in an intimate.

Time required: Set aside an hour or 2 to enjoy the theatre.

Airport to here: Taxi takes an average of 20 minutes while public transport typically takes 25 minutes.

Ponce City Market

Ponce City Market is huge and it is great for a good time. It offers something for you no matter what it is, be it’s shopping at a small boutique, gallery, or larger store, or eating in the central food hall. There other activities that take place too such as events, cooking classes, art and candle making workshops, wine tastings, and more. The market also has the biggest retailers, local boutiques, gyms, and many restaurants and food stalls.

Time required: Set aside 2 or 3 hours to explore the city market.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 25 minutes and public transport takes 40 minutes.

Atlanta Botanical Garden

Atlanta Botanical Gardens is a 30-acre oasis in the heart of Midtown and welcomes more than half a million visitors yearly. It features a Canopy Walk, a 600-foot walkway suspended in the trees. There is also am steamy orchid house with an edible garden of native plants. Make sure to stop at the Longleaf restaurant for a meal within a botanical garden. The botanical garden is a leader in conservation so it educates some guests on certain issues.

Time required: Set aside 2 or 3 hours to enjoy the gardens.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 25 minutes and public transport takes 40 minutes.

New Realm Brewing

New Realm is one of the bustling brewery companies in Atlanta though it started in 2017. This 20,000-square-foot industrial facility overlooks the Atlanta BeltLine. It features a 25 hectolitre brewhouse, a 3,000-square-foot restaurant serving pub food, a rooftop patio, and beer garden.

Time required: Set aside 2 or 3 hours to explore the New Realm Brewing.

Airport to here: Typically takes a Taxi 30 minutes and public transport takes an hour.

Things to Do in Atlanta Airport (ATL)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
There are many lounges in each terminal of the airport. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
There are many hotels close to the airport and one for transit. » view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There are no designated rest zones within the airport.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Free WiFi is available at the airport. Connect to the “ATL Free Wi-Fi” network.

SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Atlanta, United States that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Taxis are located in the Yellow Bus aisle.

Train: Passengers can travel from the airport to the city using the MARTA rapid transit commuter rail system. (more info).

Bus: Local buses operate between the airport's terminals and the city (more info).

Shuttle: Many area hotels provide free airport shuttle service as a courtesy to their guests.

Car rentals: Onsite car rental pickups and returns are handled at the Rental Car Center. » view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: The Airport offers around-the-clock parking with convenient access.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There are secure luggage storage in all terminals available on a 24 hour basis. » book a luggage storage or locker at Atlanta Airport (ATL) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Atlanta Airport (ATL) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks