Getting to Atlanta, Georgia

Jeremias Padilla Picture
John Vedua Picture
by Jeremias Padilla, John Vedua
updated 4 months ago

The biggest hub of the US, Atlanta. Get to the city from $120 by train, $20 by bus. Book your Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport Transfer through Mozio for a seamless experience in the hands of professionals.

The Tricky Part

I-75 and I-85 are gridlocks during rush hours, between 7:00 AM to 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Leave early so you can get back without getting caught in the traffic jam. There are 71 streets in Atlanta that has Peachtree in their name. Peachtree Street starts at the financial district of Five Points all the way up to Buckhead. Outside the city limits, there's Peachtree Road passing Brookhaven and Chamblee.

Safety Concerns

Atlanta is generally safe but similar to other cities there are areas you need to avoid. Grove Park, Adair Park, Vine City, and Mechanicsville are the areas with high crime rates that you need to avoid specially during night. Always practice normal precaution measures when taking the public transportation, don't flash your jewelry, and always keep your valuables attended at all times.

Other Logistical Complexities

Shop around for the best foreign exchange provider in the airport. A lot will offer zero fees or no commission but the truth is the exchange rate is bad that you’ll end up at the losing end. Use online currency converter to compare the rates. Most commercial establishments accept credit cards but its always wise to carry cash, how much will depend on your itinerary. Paying with eliminates the possibility of overspending.

Getting to Atlanta

Atlanta is a city that balances southern traditions and modernism. It is one of the largest cities in the United States and its metropolitan area is the home to approximately 6 million people. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world and serves as the primary international airport serving Atlanta. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is the primary hub of Delta Air Line and consider as the focus city for low-cost carriers for Frontier Airlines and Southwest Airlines. This means cheap and more accessible domestic flights all across the United States. Once you reached the airport, you will have ample of choices for a ground transfer to reach you hotel destination. Ride the taxi, rent a car, prebooked a private transfer or a shared ride. Public transportation in Atlanta is also a alternative option for those you are budget conscious since its cheap and reliable.

Travelling long distance either by boarding bus or driving your own car is relatively easy. Grey hound and Megabus connect major cities and regions to Atlanta through a robust and comprehensive network of freeways.

AtlantaPhoto by Ben Dutton on Unsplash

By Air

Several airline companies that offer no frills and low-cost direct flights to ALT. Travelers from Spain, Finland, Italy, United Kingdom, Germany, Greece, France, Netherlands, etc. may book a roundtrip flight to Delta Airlines and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, price starts at $1200 and the flight time may take up to 20 hours. Virgin Australia and Air New Zealand are the airlines of choice for tourists coming from New Zealand and Australia. A round trip ticket cost $4500 and the flight time may take up to 42 hours. Tourist from the ASEAN 11 countries (Philippines, Brunei, Singapore, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia, Myanmar, Thailand, etc) China, and India may book their flights to United Airways, American Airlines, and Delta Airlines. The price of a round trip ticket starts at $1200 per person and the travel time may take up to 36 hours. The peak season in Atlanta starts from May to September where the price of services and accommodations may go up to 10-20 percent higher while the prices go back to normal during its off season/ winter months from November to early March.

How to get from the Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport to Atlanta?

Getting to downtown Atlanta from ATL is simple as there are various options to choose from. Boarding the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) train is the cheapest way to reach downtown Atlanta from ATL. The train terminal is located next to the baggage claim area and the price of the ticket starts at $2.50 and an additional cost of $2 for a Breeze card which is a reloadable smart card that passengers use as part of an automated fare collection system by MARTA. MARTA RideStores and Breeze card vending machines are available on all train and bus terminals.

An alternative is a private Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson Airport transfer, prebooked through Mozio and its local partners Heycars and Elife Limo a regular sedan for up to three passengers’ costs $63. A private van for up to up to five passengers cost $78 and an SUV for up to six passengers cost $84. Taking a taxi from Atlanta Airport to Downtown provides you with a quick, easy and highly convenient way of getting straight to your hotel door with minimum hassle.

By Bus

Atlanta is accessible to various key areas and cities by Bus. Greyhound, Southeastern Stages, and Megabus offer daily trips from Birmingham, Nashville, Charlotte, St Louis, and Tallahassee, going to Atlanta. Price starts at $20 per person each way and travel time varies from 2-5 hours.

By Train

Amtrak Crescent Line connects the cities of New York, Washington DC, Charlottesville, Greensboro, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham, and New Orleans. It offers 3 trips a week from the big apple going southwest to the easy-going and laid-back city of New Orleans. Price of the ticket starts at $120-$140 per person and travel time takes 30 hours.

By Car

Interstate 95 and Interstate 75 are two of the nation’s seven most important north-south transcontinental interstate highways that connects Atlanta to the rest of the nation and links the state's major cities. I-95 goes through Georgia’s coastal areas linking Miami and Houlton, Maine. Travelers coming from New York City, Washington, Boston, Richmond, and other states can drive on this 1,919-mile highway. While I-75 crosses Georgia from its the northwest going on the far southern border with Florida which connects all the way north, Sault Sainte Marie in Michigan. Atlanta's perimeter highway Interstate 285 and Interstate 575 connect I-75 making it accessible to the Gainesville and its neighboring areas.

Coming from north, Nashville to Atlanta takes 4-5 hours via I-75. It takes 3-4 hours if you are coming from Birmingham to Atlanta, while it takes 5-6 hours travel time from Jacksonville going to Atlanta. There are no tolls in the following states Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, South Carolina and Connecticut.

The Frugal Option to get to Atlanta

If you are coming from a foreign country, booking a direct flight to Atlanta during the off season will save you a couple of hundred bucks while travelling by bus is the most economical means of transportation for locals coming from neighboring states who wish to visit Atlanta.

The Compromise Option to get to Atlanta

Travelling by car is the middle ground option for local tourists who wish to visit Atlanta. This is ideal for those who doesn’t take time and budget into the top of their priority list, as long-distance driving can be a strenuous task and time consuming. Additional cost for lodging, food, and gas are also factors that will come into play.

Private Transfer Options to Atlanta

Augusta-Richmond County Metropolitan Area to Atlanta

Uber prices start at $189 for a small car, one way. While for Lyft, the price starts at $156 for a regular sedan for up to three passengers.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partner Rush Hour Limo with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $397.

• On a private SUV for up to seven passengers from $471.

• On a private van for up to ten passengers $635 or fourteen passengers for a private bus from $1411.

Columbus to Atlanta

Uber prices start at $132 for a small car, one way. While for Lyft, the price starts at $136 for a regular sedan for up to three passengers.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partner Rush Hour Limo with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $275.

• On a private SUV for up to six passengers from $332.

• On a private van for up to ten passengers $485.

Macon to Atlanta

Uber prices start at $111 for a small car, one way. While for Lyft, the price starts at $91 for a regular sedan for up to three passengers.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partner Rush Hour Limo with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $220.

• On a private SUV for up to six passengers from $268.

• On a private van for up to ten passengers $387 or twenty-seven passengers for a private bus from $877.

Savannah to Atlanta

Lyft prices start at $256 for a small car, one way.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partner Talixo with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $576.

• On a private SUV for up to six passengers from $707.

• On a private van for up to ten passengers $920.

Athens to Atlanta

Uber prices start at $110 for a small car, one way. While for Lyft, the price starts at $95 for a regular sedan for up to three passengers.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partner Rush Hour Limo with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $233.

• On a private SUV for up to six passengers from $283.

• On a private van for up to ten passengers $372.

The Mozio Recommendation

For local tourist, the most practical and cost-effective way to get to Atlanta and jumpstart you adventure without the costing of an arm and a leg is by boarding the bus. Buses travelling long distances are comfortable and have more legroom compare to the city buses. While flying is best for foreign travelers and those who needs to get to Atlanta the soonest.

Getting AROUND Atlanta

Discovering Atlanta is easy, convenient, and can be budget friendly due to its extensive and efficient public transportation system. MARTA offers train, bus, and tramway routes that will carry tourists and locals across the city and neighboring areas. If you prefer more control over your schedule you may rent a car, rideshare, hail a cab, or indulge yourself and have a private driver take you to your desired destinations by prebooking a private transfer.

Photo by Janelle Hiroshige on Unsplash

By Bus

MARTA offers affordable and reliable service that covers more than 100 routes over one thousand route-miles. All MARTA buses require a automated fare collection hence you will need to purchase a Breeze card for $2 and add money into it to start your journey. MARTA RideStores and Breeze card vending machines are available on all train and bus terminals. Buses run every day from 5:00 AM to 12:00 midnight and buses are being dispatched every 30-60 minutes. Most of the bus routes were closed due to the pandemic, only 41 bus routes remain operational. Below are some of the active bus routes:

  • Bus# 2 Ponce de Leon Avenue
  • Bus#4 Moreland Avenue
  • Bus#5 Piedmont Road
  • Bus#6 Emory University
  • Bus#15 Candler Road
  • Bus#19 Clairmont Road
  • Bus#21 Memorial Drive (Fulton County)
  • Bus#26 Marietta Street/ Perry Blvd
  • Bus#39 Buford Highway
  • Bus#40 Peachtree Street Downtown
  • Bus#42 Pryor Road
  • Bus#49 McDonough Blvd
  • Bus#50 Donald Lee Holloway

If you are planning to ride the bus multiple times in one day or during the course of your vacation, its best to consider buying MARTA Passes available for 1-day pass for $9, 2-day pass for $14, 3-day pass for $16, 4-day pass for $19, 7-day pass for $23.75-, and 10-day pass for $25. Download the MATRA on the GO APP to get a real-time update on the bus schedule, it also provides a full bus route map, and track the closest bus station to your location.

By Subway/Train/Tramway

MARTA's rapid train system has 38 rail stations over its 47.6-mile route. There are four train lines; Red Line, Blue Line, Gold Line, and Green Line. The train system operates within the boundaries of Fulton, Clayton, and Dekalb county. MARTA also serves the airport and various within Atlanta including; Alpharetta, Avondale Estates, Brookhaven, Chamblee, Clarkston, College Park, Decatur, Doraville, Sandy Springs, and Union City. Similar to the bus, the fare is fixed at $2.50 for a one-way trip per person and train frequencies varies from 15-20 minutes. Peachtree Center, Buckhead Business District, Georgia State University, Fox Center, Downtown Decatur, and the Woodruff Arts Center are some of the famous hubs accessible via MARTA.

By Taxi/On Demand (Uber, etc).

Yellow Cab of Atlanta and Taxi Atlanta are amongst the hundreds of taxi companies operate from ATL going to metropolitan Atlanta and its surrounding areas. You will find the taxi bay in ATL when you exit the arrival hall, across the Yellow Bus aisle. Taxis are available 24/7 and mostly parked outside hotel lobbies. Flat rate applies on trips from ATL going to the central district. Trips coming from the Atlanta's central business district going to Buckhead, midtown, and Downtown are at a fixed rate of $8 plus $2 for each person. For trips going outside the Atlanta Business District and the surrounding areas; the flag drop fee is $1.50, $2.50 for the first 1/8 mile and $0.25 for each additional 1/8 thereafter. Its easy to flag a taxi in the streets specially near shopping centers and tourist hubs but the difficulty rise on remote areas and you may have to call a taxi company or book an Uber. In terms of payment, most taxi drivers accept cash and a few numbers accept credit card as not all taxis are equipped with POS.

Flat rate also applies on trips coming to and from the airport to the following location:

  • Buckhead: $30
  • Downtown: $40
  • Midtown: $32

An additional charge of $2 for each additional passenger and a flag drop fee of $1.50.

Other ways to get around Atlanta

Atlanta Streetcar or the Downtown Loop runs 2.7 miles east-west from Centennial Olympic Part to Martin Luther King Jr. Nationation Historic Site. The fare is $1 per person which can be paid on the fare box on board or a 1day pass for $3 which can be purchased via vending machines found on the streetcar stops. From Peachtree Center Station, the streetcar travels in one direction only toward Centennial Olympic Part before turning and travelling east back toward downtown.

Car Rental Options in Atlanta

The requirements to rent a car in Atlanta are the following; you must be 21 years old, a hold of a valid driver's license from the country of origin, and a credit or debit card for the payment. Drivers from aged 21-24 are required to pay a young driver’s fee ranging from $20-$40 because statistically drivers less than 25 years old are more prone to vehicular accidents. International car rental agencies such as Alamo, Budget, and Avis are available in the Rental Car Center. The daily rent for a regular sedan starts at $20 and can go up as high as $100 depending on the vehicle make and model. Getting a parking spot in Atlanta is a breeze as you have options to park on the side of the streets with meter maids for $2 per hour or park on secured parking facility for $5-$10 per hour.

In terms of the young driver’s fee; Budget charges $27 per day, Avis charges $35, while Alamo charges $20. Board the SkyTrain for free which connects the ATL-Georgia International Convention Center -Rental Car Center (RCC). Rental agencies in RCC are open 24/7 and this is also the location where you can opt to pickup the vehicle you rented if you booked a reservation online or just walked in and rented a vehicle.

The Frugal Option to get around Atlanta

The cheapest way to around is by exploiting the MARTA transportation system (combination of Bus+Train). Its cost effect, reliable, and links most of the tourist spots and metropolitan Atlanta Area making getting around easier. Public transportation is cost-effective but the tradeoffs are waiting time, comfort, and the cost may pile up if you are travelling in a group.

The Compromise Option to get around Atlanta

Renting a car offer the flexibility and freedom to explore Atlanta and its neighboring areas to your heart’s content. The young driver’s fee may be the deal breaker here since its hefty and enough to remove renting a car in the equation.

Are Rideshare & TaxiApps Readily Available In Atlanta?

Available On-Demand Providers

  1. Uber
  2. Lyft
  3. Cab Hound
  4. Blacklane

Cost per Mile for an On Demand ride

The costs and base fares indicated are estimates only and do not reflect variations due to geography, traffic delays, promotions, and other factors.

Cab Hound - Works like Uber but for taxis only, this enables passengers to request, track, and pay their taxi trip.

Uber X

Base fare

$1.18

Minimum fare

$9.03

Cancellation fee

$7.25

Per mile

$0.91

+Per minute

$0.17

Uber Comfort

Base fare

$1.37

Minimum fare

$11

Cancellation fee

$6

Per mile

$0.99

+Per minute

$0.22

UberXL

Base fare

$3

Minimum fare

$9.80

Cancellation fee

$6

Per mile

$1.96

Uber Black

Base fare

$7.75

Minimum fare

$15.75

Cancellation fee

$10

Per mile

$2.23

+Per minute

$0.85

LYFT Atlanta

Lyft

Base Fare $1.12

Cancel Penalty $6.00

Cost Per Mile $0.87

Cost Per Minute $0.17

Maximum Fare $400.00

Minimum Fare $5.30

Lyft XL

Base Fare $3.00

Cancel Penalty $6.00

Cost Per Mile $1.96

Cost Per Minute $0.30

Minimum Fare $7.00

Lux

Base Fare $4.00

Cancel Penalty $6.00

Cost Per Mile $1.39

Cost Per Minute $0.66

Minimum Fare $9.00

Lux Black

Base Fare $7.00

Cancel Penalty $10.00

Cost Per Mile $2.23

Cost Per Minute $0.85

Minimum Fare $15.00

Lux Black XL

Base Fare $14.75

Cancel Penalty $10.00

Cost Per Mile $3.00

Cost Per Minute $0.90

Minimum Fare $25.75

Blacklane

From ATL to Midtown Atlanta

Business Class Sedan for 2 Passengers - $92

Business Class Van/SUV for up to 4 passengers– $102.93

First Class for 2 passengers – $203.30

Day Trips Around Atlanta

Athens

Known as "The Classic City," Athens lies about 70 miles of northeast of downtown Atlanta. The city is famous for its extensive and lively college culture and rich music history. Top attractions worth visiting while in Athens are State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Sanford Stadium, Bear Hollow Zoo, and Downtown Athens. By car, head on Interstate 75 north and Interstate 85 north going on Gwinnett County then exit to 106. Continue to Interstate 29 north and Interstate 78 east until you reach Oconee Country. Proceed to Lexington Road and take exit 8 en route to your destination in Athens. Uber prices start at $98 for a small car, one way.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partners Elife Limo & Book Taxi Group with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $245.

• On a private SUV for up to seven passengers from $256.

• On a private van for up to six passengers $363 or fourteen passengers for a private bus from $1183.

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain Park is one of the most-visited attractions in Georgia and less than an hour away from Atlanta. Tourists gather to this largest granite formation in the world where faces of important figures namely Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson are carved. Thrilling rides are also offered in the park where guest for all ages and spend fun and quality time. To start your journey going to Stone Mountain Park, get on Interstate 75 north and head on State Route 10 going to Ponce De Leon Avenue. Continue to Scottdale and follow Interstate 85 east of Stone Mountain Freeway to Jefferson Davis Drive. Take exit 8 from Interstate 78 en route to Stone Mountin Park. Uber prices start at $42 for a small car, one way.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partners Elife Limo & Book Taxi Group with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $96.

• On a private SUV for up to seven passengers from $102.

• On a private van for up to five passengers $154 or fourteen passengers for a private bus from $476.

Dahlonega

Dahlonega is a historic town located in North Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia. It was the site of the major gold rush hence gold mining was embedded and considered as an important part of cultural identity of Dahlonega. From Atlanta, it takes less than 2 hours to reach Dahlonega and the fastest route is via Interstate 400 and State Route 19 north until the end of Interstate 400. Turn left onto Interstate 19 north and after 6 miles head south to Chestatee and you will reach Dahlonega.

Uber prices start at $93 for a small car, one way.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partners Elife Limo & Book Taxi Group with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $235.

• On a private SUV for up to seven passengers from $254.

• On a private van for up to six passengers $341 or fourteen passengers for a private bus from $1140.

Lake Lanier

Lake Lanier or Lake Sidney Lanier is a manmade reservior named after an American poet Sidney Lanier and located in the northern part of Georgia, atleast an hour away from Atlanta. It was created when the Buford Dam was created on the Chattahoochee River in 1956 and since then managed by US Army Corps of Engineers for flood control and water supplies. Lake Lanier offers a quick escape from city life and perfect for those who enjoy the anture and doing outdoor activities such as hiking, swimming, and water sports activities. There are also several parks located just off the lake where you may enjoy a more laidback and relaxing afternoon stroll. The fastest route to Lake Lanier is via Interstate 85 north and Interstate 985 going to Spout Springs Road and take exit 12. Continue driving onto Thurmon Tanner Parkway and Jim Crow Road going to Old Federal Road to reach Lake Lanier. Uber prices start at $68 for a small car, one way.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partners Elife Limo & Book Taxi Group with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $168.

• On a private SUV for up to four passengers from $185.

• On a private van for up to six passengers $279 or fourteen passengers for a private bus from $821.

Brasstown Bald

Brasstown Bald is located northeast of Georgia in the mountain known to native Cherokee people as Enotah. It is the highest point in Georgia, 4,784 feet above sea level and it spans the Appalachian and Blue Ridge Mountain in the northeastern part of the state. On clear days, visitors can witness a breathtaking 360-degree views of the four states without any help of the on-site telescope. On overcast days, it offers an ideal place for that instagramable photo of fogged filled valleys. Before you leave make sure to spend time to view the exhibits on local culture, wildlife, and geology on Brasstown Bald Visitors Center and Recreational Area.

To reach Brasstown Bald, get on Capitol Avenue and merge on Interstate 75 north and Interstate 85. Take State Route 19 N going to Interstate 155 until you reach Long Branch Road and Town Creek Church. Continue to State Route 19 N and State Route 180 in Union City en route to Brasstown Bald. Uber prices start at $143 for a small car, one way.

Prebooked through Mozio, a ride with local partners Elife Limo & Book Taxi Group with all charges included:

• On a private sedan for up to three passengers from $333.

• On a private SUV for up to seven passengers from $347.

• On a private van for up to six passengers $476 or fourteen passengers for a private bus from $1604.

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