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World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Tennessee > Memphis

Memphis Weather

33°C

Local time Memphis

Currency

US$

Getting around Memphis

Public transport

The Memphis Area Transit Authority (MATA) (tel: +1 901 274 6282; www.matatransit.com) operates buses and a streetcar service - the Main Street Trolley. Vintage trolley cars run along Main Street, Madison Avenue and on a Riverfront Loop. The service is inexpensive and runs every 10 to 15 minutes. Sunday service stops early.

You can pay single fares upon boarding (exact change required). Daily, weekly and monthly passes are available from MATA's transit centres.

Taxis

Taxis must be booked by telephone. Recommended taxi firms include Yellow Cab Company (tel: +1 901 577 7777) or City Wide Cab Company (tel: +1 901 324 4202).

Driving

Traffic can be heavy during rush hour, from 0730 to 0900 and 1700 to 1830. The city is mainly laid out on a grid, with avenues running east-west and streets running north-south.

Driving is on the right. Right turns on red lights are permitted unless otherwise stated. Metered street-parking or parking lots are available downtown. There is a free car park between Front Street and the river.

Car hire

Some companies require International Drivers Permits as well as a national licence, so check. Drivers must be over 25 years old.

All major companies have offices, including Alamo (tel: +1 888 826 6893; www.alamo.com), Avis (tel: +1 901 345 2847; www.avis.com), Budget (tel: +1 901 398 8888; www.budget.com) and Hertz (tel: +1 901 345 5680; www.hertz.com).

Bicycle hire

You can hire bikes at the Peddler Bicycle Shop (tel: +1 901 327 4833; www.peddlerbikeshop.com). Outdoors Inc. (www.outdoorsinc.com) has two locations, at 5245 Poplar Avenue (tel: +1 901) 767 6790), and 1710 Union Avenue (tel: +1 901 722 8988).

Featured Hotels

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Gen X Inn

A chic boutique-style hotel in Midtown from the Best Western chain. It's in the heart of the Medical District and less than one block from Interstate 240, ideally located on the trolley line and only two miles from downtown. The décor in the 32 rooms is knowingly contemporary, and the king and queen rooms feature complimentary WiFi and cable TV. Breakfast is included and there's an exercise room and free parking.

The Guest House at Graceland

As part of the Graceland complex's renovations, the somewhat dated Heartbreak Hotel closed down but instead Elvis fans can opt for more luxurious accommodation with a stay at The Guest House, opened in October 2016. This 450-room resort was built to feel like an extension of the Graceland mansion itself with a touch of Southern colonial style to its exterior and décor and furnishings inspired by retro opulence from Presley's homes in Memphis and Palm Springs.

River Inn of Harbor Town

This 28-room boutique bolthole opened in 2007, one of the few properties on the well-to-do island of Harbor Town. For dramatic views of the city skyline and the Mississippi, you could do worse than their rooftop terrace. This Memphis hotel is a mix of European and Old South chic, with lavish sitting rooms to lounge in. A chocolate and glass of port wine await you as you retire to your room at night.

Madison Hotel

Transformed from an original bank building, this Memphis hotel now boasts Beaux Arts architecture and 110 well-appointed rooms. The interior has been transformed: for example, the fitness centre occupies the original bank vault and includes an indoor heated lap pool. One of the hotel's best features is its rooftop terrace. In the summer on Wednesday to Saturday nights, parties there feature live DJs and afford sunset views over the Mississippi.

The Peabody

The South's 464-room Grand Hotel is the epitome of elegant Southern hospitality, and the social hub of Downtown Memphis. This 1869 historic landmark was restored to its original splendour in 1981. See once, but only once, the famous Peabody Ducks' twice daily march at 1100 and 1700 to and from the marble lobby fountain. Sunday brunch and Thursday-night rooftop parties for dancing under the stars are the social highlights.

Days Inn Memphis at Graceland

Elvis fans on a budget should take a look at the Days Inn for an adequate alternative to the expensive Guest House at Graceland. With 60 rooms not far from the airport and a short walk to Graceland, the hotel has a guitar-shaped outdoor pool and inclusive WiFi, breakfast and parking.