Atlanta Weather

31°C

Local time Atlanta

Currency

US$

Travel to Atlanta

Flying to Atlanta

Airlines operating direct flights from the UK to Atlanta include British Airways, Delta and Virgin Atlantic.

Flight times

From London - 9 hours; New York - 2 hours 30 minutes; Los Angeles - 4 hours 30 minutes; Toronto - 2 hours 10 minutes; Sydney - 20 hours (including stopover).

Travel by road

The USA has a network of sequentially numbered Interstate (I) highways. The roads with numbers ending in 0 cross the country east to west, while those ending in 5 run north to south. Maximum speed limits in the Atlanta metropolitan area range from 88kph (55mph) to 113kph (70mph) on freeways. Locals regularly exceed these limits and pass with impunity on both left and right sides. In business or residential districts, a limit of 48kph (30mph) usually applies. Fines can be issued on the spot for seat-belt or helmet offences, speeding and also throwing litter from the vehicle.

The minimum age for driving in Atlanta is 16 years; however, there are various restrictions for drivers under 18 years. It is best to check the Georgia Department of Driver Services (www.dds.ga.gov). National driving licences are sufficient if in English, otherwise International Driving Permits are required. Rush hours are 0700-0930 and 1600-1900.

Auto Club South (AAA) (tel: +1 800 222 1134; http://autoclubsouth.aaa.com) provides insurance and breakdown recovery for members, and also provides free maps and tourist guides.

Emergency breakdown services

AAA (tel: +1 800 222 4357/AAA HELP).

Routes

Atlanta is intersected by Interstates 20, 75 and 85. I-20 travels west to Birmingham (Alabama) and Dallas (Texas) and east to Augusta and Columbia (South Carolina). I-75 passes through Atlanta on its way north from Florida to Michigan. I-85 heads southwest to Montgomery (Alabama) and northeast to Charlotte (North Carolina) and Virginia. I-285 is a perimeter highway that rings the metropolitan area but the city has expanded northwards to Marietta, Roswell and other suburbs outside the ring. An urban highway, GA400, links the northern suburbs with the city centre and provides easy access to the north Appalachians. GA400 is a toll road; the cost levied depends upon the mileage driven.

Coaches

Greyhound (tel: +1 800 231 2222; www.greyhound.com) has a 24-hour coach station, at 232 Forsyth Street SW, off Peachtree Street SW and near Garnett MARTA station, where baggage and parcel services, tickets and fast food are available. Greyhound operates coaches throughout the USA; some direct destinations include Memphis, Nashville, Savannah, New Orleans and Orlando.

Time to city

From Birmingham - 2 hours 30 minutes; Charlotte - 4 hours; Orlando– 6 hours 30 minutes; New Orleans – 7 hours; Miami – 10 hours; Chicago - 11 hours; Dallas – 12 hours; Houston - 12 hours.

Travel by Rail

Services

Atlanta's Amtrak station is Peachtree Station, 1688 Peachtree Street NW (tel: (404) 881 3063), in Midtown, has basic facilities, such as a ticket office and vending machines.

Operators

Amtrak (tel: +1 800 872 7245; www.amtrak.com) is the national railway service provider. The Crescent service links Atlanta with New Orleans and New York. An evening, overnight departure runs to Washington and New York and a morning departure to New Orleans. Sleepers, restaurant service and various excursion options are available. Reservations are necessary for priority seating and sleeping accommodation.

Journey times

From New Orleans - 11 hour 35 minutes; New York - 18 hours; Washington - 13 hours 45 minutes.

 

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Featured Hotels

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Westin Peachtree Plaza

This 73-storey, glass cylinder skyscraper hotel defines Atlanta's skyline. A five-storey lobby atrium and a thin glass elevator that inches up the building's exterior are just as sleek. Pie-shaped rooms are outfitted in natural hues and dark woods. On the 73rd floor is the multi-levelled, revolving Sun Dial Restaurant and Bar.

The Ellis

In a landmark building on Peachtree Street, this chic boutique hotel has elegant rooms and is a short walk from top attractions such as the CNN Studio Tours. Unique features include a private-access women's only floor, whose rooms come with luxury Gilchrist & Soames toiletries. Enjoy organic farm-to-table dining at the Terrace Bistro.

Glenn Hotel

The Glenn's selling points are its proximity to downtown Atlanta's main attractions and Luckie Marietta District and the panoramic view from its SkyLounge rooftop bar. This stylish boutique hotel downtown has sleek, modern rooms and suites. The Glenn Kitchen restaurant serves local Southern favourites.

Georgian Terrace Hotel

A part of Atlanta's history, the hotel's Grand Ballroom hostedGone With The Wind's movie premiere gala in 1939. Now, a tall glass atrium rises above the lobby where author Margaret Mitchell, in 1935, hesitantly handed over her original manuscript to her future editor. The hotel's terrace is a good spot for a cocktail overlooking the historic Fox Theatre.

Four Seasons Atlanta

A grand staircase in the soaring lobby underscores the opulence of this luxurious property that occupies part of a 50-storey skyscraper. This hotel has all the trappings of luxury: formal but elegantly appointed rooms, a spa with 10 treatment rooms, an indoor saline lap pool, a top-of-the-range fitness centre and a lounge and terrace overlooking the lobby's dramatic atrium.

Hampton Inn Atlanta Northlake

Located in the northern business district near the I-285, known as 'The Perimeter' to Atlantans, the hotel is easily accessible via the city's main highways. Friendly staff, the large open lobby and breakfast bar area, plus oversized rooms and a sizeable outdoor pool make it a popular low-budget stop.