Layover in Atlanta – the ultimate guide 2023
The Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport is where you'll fly into if you have a stopover in Atlanta, Georgia. It is one of the world's busiest airports, handling a record-breaking amount of passengers arriving from and departing to over two hundred different countries as well as domestic flights to multiple cities across the United States.
At just eleven kilometers away, the airport is relatively close to Downtown Atlanta. There is an efficient rapid transit system operating, MARTA, from the airport to the city. The one disadvantage you may find when you're on an international flight is that the station is in the Domestic Terminal, so to get there from the terminal you land in you'll need to take the free shuttle bus service. That journey takes on average fifteen minutes which, even if you're quick depositing your bags with the Atlanta airport luggage storage service, will eat into your layover time faster than a dot-consuming Pac Man.
6 hour layover in Atlanta
A six-hour layover, especially if it's an overnight layover, in Atlanta won't be long enough for you to leave the airport. Once you've made all the necessary transitions through immigration then collected your luggage from the baggage hall, you'll need to begin the check-in procedure for your on-going Atlanta connection. Figure on needing at least three hours to do that, especially if you need to change terminals. The good thing is there's plenty to occupy you in the airport's departure area mega-mall, Skypointe. Skypointe covers seven concourses, all of which are accessible once you've negotiated the security section.
- Skypointe contains over two hundred and fifty eateries, cafeterias, and stores.
- Save yourself precious time wandering around Skypointe like a lost sheep by checking out online what services suit you best before you land for your Atlanta layover.
- To help you locate specific businesses you can download QR codes from the official Skypointe website which coincide with touchpoints distributed around the concourses that will send you in the right direction.
8 hour layover in Atlanta
When you have eight hours before your connection takes off, you'll be able to brave dropping your bags at a convenient Atlanta Airport luggage storage facility and catch the MARTA to Downtown. Once you're there, head for the World of Coca Cola Museum to discover all about the history and making of the world-famous refreshment. Touring the museum takes around two hours if you don't dawdle too much, which is just about how much free time you'll have on your hands.
- To visit the World of Coca Cola Museum you must buy your tickets online in advance stating the day and time of your visit
- Make your Atlanta stopover restful as well as educational by spending a couple of hours wandering around the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park.
10 hour layover in Atlanta
There's one thing you really must do when you have the extra time a long layover in Atlanta gives you and that's take a ride on the Skyview Atlanta. This incredible Ferris wheel in Downtown's Centennial Olympic Park is twenty stories high, so day or night, you'll get amazing views of the city while taking a chilled-out spin. Centennial Olympic Park hosts many events throughout the year too, so check to see if there's anything happening before you go. There are also lots of incredible fountains and monuments commemorating the Olympic Games to take a selfie in front of, so don't leave your camera in the luggage locker.
- Skyview operates until midnight on Fridays and Saturdays and until ten in the evening the rest of the week.
- If you're on an Atlanta layover with kids they'll enjoy a visit to the Atlanta Children's Museum where there's a plethora of interactive exhibits to keep them occupied for a couple of hours or more.
12 hour layover in Atlanta
When you have a twelve-hour layover you'll be able to plan on getting some exercise before you need to get back to the airport for your Atlanta connection. One great way to do that is to hire a cycle and ride the Atlanta Beltline. This circular pathway is still partly under construction but already links several of Downtown's green spaces with twenty miles of trails. If you're not keen on cycling you can stroll, jog, roller skate, or hire a segway if you prefer. There are coffee shops, stores, and restaurants along the path so there's no need to go out of your way when you want something to eat or drink.
- Atlanta is a street artist's canvas with many gigantic murals and you can see them all by taking a walking art tour of the city.
- To discover the foods that make Atlanta tick, try visiting the bustling Krog Street or Ponce City Markets.
- If you go to Ponce Street Market don't miss going up to The Roof. It's a rooftop theme park with bars, restaurants, and amazing city views.
24 hour layover in Atlanta
With an overnight layover in Atlanta looming before you it's time to thank your lucky stars, as you'll have time to do things you wouldn't be able to on a shorter layover. Hire a car or book a private driver to take you out of Atlanta and to the Amicalola Falls State Park. It's only an hour's drive and one of the most scenic spots in the state of Georgia where you can hike a trail up to the Amicalola Falls. An overnight layover in Atlanta is also the perfect time to educate yourself more about the happenings of the Civil Rights Movement in the city. You can do that by visiting the National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Apex Museum, or the Atlanta History Museum.
- Go to the Buford Highway corridor if you can't decide where to eat. There you'll find a street lined with restaurants and pop-ups serving food from all over the world.
- Check out Atlanta's take on what technology holds for the future by visiting the Illuminarium. There you can have an incredible up-close, but digital, meeting with the landscapes and animals of Africa without having to go to a zoo. It's totally surreal.