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Introduction Region

Back in 1837 Atlanta was little more than a hamlet existing to serve as a railway terminus; then came the Civil War that saw the town burned to the ground. Undaunted by this tumultuous beginning, the Atlanta of today bustles with close to 500,000 people, and has been chosen by numerous leading international companies as the home of their corporate or regional headquarters. The lively, thriving city styles itself as the capital of the 'New South', and its dramatic skyline is littered with gleaming skyscrapers.

Atlanta attracts visitors both for holidays and business, with its plethora of entertainment, shopping and cultural attractions as well as innumerable world-class convention and accommodation venues. The downtown Peachtree Center pedestrianised precinct covers about 14 blocks of retail space, including massive hotels, dozens of restaurants and imposing office towers. There are also plenty of museums, galleries and centres for performing arts, as well as the world's largest aquarium.

Atlanta has not lost its pioneering southern spirit or charm despite its modern guise, and the city's symbol of the phoenix serves as an enduring reminder of its troubled past and bright future. The energy that was embodied in its famous sons, Martin Luther King, Jr and Ted Turner (founder of CNN) still crackles in the air and the genteel olde-world atmosphere lingers in the residential neighbourhoods. Above all, Atlanta radiates a warm welcome in the true tradition of Southern hospitality.

Climate Info

Atlanta has four distinct seasons, and a humid subtropical climate. Winters (December to February) are very cold with temperatures below freezing for much of the time, but the daytime weather is mild enough to sit outdoors, with only an occasional snowfall. Summers (June to August), by contrast, can be hot and humid with heat wave spells lasting days at a time. In mid-summer the average high temperature is 88°F (31°C), and in mid-winter the average low temperature is 32°F (0°C). Atlanta receives abundant rainfall, which is evenly distributed throughout the year.

Convert to Imperial

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Getting Around

Atlanta's trains and buses reach most parts of the city, but they are not always the most convenient way to get around, and services are limited outside of the immediate city limits. The MARTA (Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority) network is inexpensive, safe and well-integrated, but travel can be slow. A one-way MARTA pass, good for travel anywhere on the system, costs around $2.50. There are weekly, weekend and visitor's passes available for various rates.

Atlanta is a car-dominated city, so there is plenty of parking, especially at tourist sights, but traffic on the freeways and in the city centre can be very busy, particularly during rush hours. During conventions and big sporting and entertainment events, it is easier to use public transport to get around. 'The Buc' is operated by BATMA; it is a free shuttle service connecting the two MARTA rail stations with many hotels, shopping areas and businesses in the city.

Taxis are available, but it is easier to order one by phone than to find one on the street; they can also be found in taxi stands around the city. Visitors should be cautious of unlicensed taxis, and women travelling alone at night should order taxis by phone.

Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

LocationThe airport is situated 10 miles (16km) south of downtown Atlanta.
Time DifferenceGMT -5 (GMT -4 from March to November).

Tel: +1 404 209 1910 or 530 7300.

Transfer terminals

The two terminals and six concourses are connected by an Automated People Mover which operates approximately every two minutes. A fifteen minute shuttle ride connects the International Terminal with the Domestic Terminal's ground transportation area.

Getting to city

The airport is serviced by the trains and buses of the local Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA). Tickets to downtown Atlanta cost $2.50 and the journey takes around 20 minutes. Other options like taxis, shuttles and limousines are all available at the Ground Transportation Center, located near the baggage claim area of the arrival's lobby.

Car Rental

Car rental companies represented at the airport include Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National and Thrifty.

Airpor Taxis

Taxis are available at the Ground Transportation Center, located near the baggage claim area of the arrivals lobby. The fixed fare from the airport to downtown Atlanta is $30 and a $2-per-person fee applies for two or more passengers.

Airport Facilities

The airport offers more than 200 concessions for services, food, beverages, and retail shopping. Additional services include currency exchange offices and ATMs, internet access, meeting rooms and cell phone hire. Other facilities include an interfaith chapel, smoking lounges, a post office and concierge services.

Car Parking

Parking is charged at $3 per hour for all lots, however daily rates range from $16 to $36 depending on their distance from the terminal. The hourly parking lots located in front of each terminal are the most convenient parking for picking up or dropping off. There are also daily lots adjacent to the airport's main terminal and economy lots nearby. The Park & Ride lots are the cheapest option and are connected by regular shuttle buses.

Atlanta History Center

Set in nine hectares (23 acres) of beautiful gardens, the Atlanta History Center is the ideal place to soak up the rich history of the state.

The main attractions are two historic homes, open to the public offering informative guided tours. The Tullie Smith House originally s
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The Swan House ©Hellohowareyoudoing

Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site

In January 1929 a baby boy was born in an upstairs bedroom of a house in Atlanta. Today the Victorian house is the centre of a protected site dedicated to the memory of that baby, Martin Luther King, who grew up to become America's Nobel prize-winning Civil Rights leader.

A h
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Martin Luther King Jr. ©Public Domain

World Of Coca-Cola

In 1886 Jacob's Pharmacy, a small drugstore in Atlanta, began selling a new headache and hangover tonic called 'Coca-Cola'. In 1891, entrepreneur Asa Candler paid $2,300 to acquire the rights of what is now the world's most valuable brand. The following year he founded the Coca-Cola Comp
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Coca-Cola Museum ©Melizabethi123

Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield

In 1864 Kennesaw Mountain was the scene of a bloody Civil War battle when General Sherman led his Union forces against the entrenched Confederate forces at the site, resulting in the death of more than 67,000 soldiers.

The park consists of several thousand acres of protected
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Kennesaw Mountain ©Mikereichold

Atlanta Botanical Garden

A highlight of the Atlanta Botanical Garden is the Fuqua Conservatory, a giant greenhouse enclosing different climate-controlled eco-systems that was financed by an Atlanta businessman in memory of his wife. A walk through the conservatory takes visitors from a desert into a steamy tropi
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Indoors at Atlanta Botanical Gardens ©Daderot

Fernbank Museum of Natural History

As one of the South's pre-eminent museums, Fernbank Museum of Natural History is a gateway for discovery and exploration, unfolding the story of the earth's history, the physical universe, the environment and human culture through exhibitions, programs and films in the IMAX Theatre. Open
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Fernbank Museum of Natural History ©James Emery

Stone Mountain Park

Stone Mountain is situated about 20 minutes from Atlanta and features numerous man-made and natural attractions. Most awesome of these is the huge relief carving of the three Southern heroes of the Civil War, which has been etched into the mountainside. The images of Confederate Presiden
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Stone Mountain ©Jtesla16


About 15 miles (24km) south of Atlanta in Clayton County is the town of Jonesboro, a not-to-be-missed destination for movie fans and those hankering for a taste of the real 'Deep South'.

Jonesboro was the setting for Margaret Mitchell's acclaimed novel, and later film, Gone w
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Gone With The Wind ©Public Domain

Georgia Mountains

Northern Georgia is hilly and mountainous, dotted with numerous small towns, fascinating historic sites, national parks and forests.

Among the highlights of an exploration of this region are the New Echota State Historic Site (the last capital of the Cherokee nation); Chickam
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Tallulah Gorge ©Thomsonmg2000

Turner Field

Originally built for the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Turner Field was converted after the event to serve as the home of major league baseball team the Atlanta Braves. Affectionately known as 'The Ted', the attractive open-air stadium is a great place to spend a hot summer night in Atl
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Turner Field, Atlanta. ©Zpb52

Georgia Aquarium

The impressive Georgia Aquarium is the largest of its kind and boasts over 100,000 animals from 500 species. A range of different environments play host to fascinating animals from around the world, from whale sharks and manta rays, to sea lions and sea otters, penguins, sharks and a rio
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Georgia Aquarium ©Angela Grider

High Museum of Art

Atlantas's High Museum of Art is home to more than 12,000 pieces in its permanent collection and includes 19th and 20th century American and decorative art, important and visiting European collections, as well as contemporary art and photography, and African folk art. The museum has an i
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High Museum of Art ©Atlantacitizen

The Fox Theatre

Atlanta's Fox Theatre, which is often promoted as the Fabulous Fox, is one of the magnificent movie palaces built in the United States during the 1920s. The theatre's unique beginnings and Moorish design set it apart from other theatres of that period. Today it hosts an array of artistic
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Fox Theatre ©Broadway Tour

Imagine It! Childrens Museum of Atlanta

The Imagine It! Children's Museum of Atlanta is one of the most fascinating places parents on holiday in the city can take their younger kids for a day of exploring, learning and discovering. With exciting interactive exhibits such as the Curious George Gallery or exploring trees, childr
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Imagine It! Children's Museum ©Jeri Gloege

Zoo Atlanta

Zoo Atlanta features around 1,000 animals representing 250 species from around the world and sees over 1 million tourists every year. Founded in 1889, the zoo has become one of Atlanta's top family attractions with exhibitions on the African rainforest, a free-flying parakeet enclosure,
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Elephant at Zoo Atlanta ©Gavemyheart3162

Six Flags Over Georgia

A great day out for kids of all ages, Six Flags Over Georgia is a fantastic amusement park filled with rides and thrills for just about every child to enjoy. Try the Acrophobia, the Superman, the Batman or the Goliath for the really adventurous, while younger tots will enjoy the Thomas t
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View form the top of the Scream Machine ©TimothyJ

Monetary Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank

Although it doesn't sound like much of a tourist drawcard, visitors to the Federal Reserve Bank are unanimous in their enthusiasm about the fascinating Monetary Museum found there.

Whether part of a guided group tour (recommended for scholarly types), or just perusing the exh
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Federal Reserve Bank ©Andrey Dumchev

Ebenezer Baptist Church

Though small, Ebenezer Baptist Church has played a large role in America's history. Founded in 1886, the church functioned as the epicentre of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. Martin Luther King Jr acted as co-pastor from 1960 to 1968, and worked toward equal rights for African-Am
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Ebenezer Baptist Church ©Library of Congress


Shopping in Atlanta is more of an activity than a pastime and with so much on offer, Atlanta's shopping malls, boutiques and markets are more than enough to meet every shopaholic's needs.

Head to Buckhead for some first class shopping opportunities or discover the trendiest boutiques, which can be found in Decatur, Virginia-Highland and Little Five Points. Some of Atlanta's best buys can be found at Lenox Square which is anchored by Bloomingdale's, Neiman Marcus and Macy's and features almost 250 specialty stores and a number of restaurants for weary shoppers to rest their legs.

For budget buys head to the North Georgia Outlets where just about anything under the sun can be found for a bargain. Most people won't leave without buying something. In addition to countless shopping malls, Atlanta also has some wonderful flea markets where antiques are a popular buy. Don't be afraid to haggle with the sellers as you are guaranteed to find some steals!

Most shops in Atlanta are open from Monday to Saturday from 10am to 9pm and on Sundays from 12pm to 6pm. The sales tax varies by city and state in the US and ranges from 4 percent to 15 percent. This is added to the price of goods at the point of purchase.

There is no system for refunding non-US visitors in Atlanta but large and expensive purchases are often tax-exempt if they are shipped from outside the state they are bought in.


The heat makes for a lethargic day, but the night air opens the bright doors of Atlanta's night owl hotspots. This flashy city can get downright gritty but in both cosmopolitan bars and street side clubs it is best to come dressed to impress.

Buckhead is a good place to start. The area has a festive night scene with a line of hopping nightclubs and rowdy bars. Here are dance clubs, pubs and a bit of something for everyone, although venues close at 3am. Downtown has some chic lounges and cocktail bars, especially in the large hotels. For a bit of trendy Atlanta nightlife, the Virginia Highlands regularly packs a young professional crowd into stylish clubs.

Smaller venues scattered around the city are perfect to revel in a bit of southern baritone blues. Others prefer one of four huge concert venues, part of any major band's American tour. Of course, Atlanta hip-hop features many clubs with line-ups of rising and returning stars.


In an ambience thick and tightly packed room the trendiest diners in Atlanta share American cuisine with local Georgian ingredients. An open kitchen adds to the lively setting which bills itself rather perfectly as an 'upscale urban eatery' although a local neighbourhood feel also persists. Reservations should be made for daily lunch and dinner.

Food Type: American     Style:     Price: 4

Address: 1441 Dresden Drive, Suite 100


Anns Snack Bar

Burger aficionados will literally have their hands full on Ann's famous Ghetto Burger, a monstrous pile of ingredients consistently chosen as the best burger in all of America. Ann's Snack Bar churns out delicious fast food treats to locals and the lucky few out-of-towners who catch wind of her fryer. Its all made to go as the small establishment can't fit more than a few patrons at a time. Monday through Saturday 11am to 7pm.

Food Type: American     Style:     Price: 1

Address: 1615 Memorial Dr


Mary Macs

It is a classic not to be missed institution of southern dining and a litany of celebrity patrons and their pictures on the wall would attest to it. Hearty southern meals like fried chicken and barbecue are big pieces of evidence that cooking doesn't need to be fancy to be downright delicious. Open seven days a week 11am to 9pm.

Food Type: American     Style:     Price: 2

Address: 224 Ponce de Leon Ave



Bone's is Atlanta's most famous steakhouse; a key lunch venue for important people, from presidents to businessmen and celebrities, with a masculine, club setting. Bone's serves the best prime-aged Iowa beef, prepared exactly as ordered. The lamb chops are another delicious option, as is the Maine lobster. Decadent desserts include Mountain-high Pie (layers of chocolate chip, rum raisin and vanilla ice cream). The wine gallery has hundreds of excellent wines, specialising in French and Californian bottles. Lighter entrees are on the menu for lunch and Bone's is open daily for lunch (except Saturday and Sunday) and dinner.

Food Type: American     Style:     Price: 4

Address: 3130 Piedmont Road


Sotto Sotto

At ('hush hush' in Italian), the noise is incredible; this is the place of the moment and an energetic crowd all seem happy to shout at one another over their seafood risotto. The wood-roasted fish is Sotto Sotto's specialty, and the rich chocolate soup, with dark Belgian chocolate, hazelnut whipped cream and sugar croutons is delectable. The bartender makes an excellent martini and the all-Italian wine list is extensive. Sotto Sotto is open all week from 5.30pm till late.

Food Type: Italian     Style:     Price: 3

Address: 313 North Highland Ave



Murphy's was a wine-and-cheese shop and evolved into a restaurant and bakery with a cozy atmosphere; one of the most popular venues in Atlanta for brunch. The bakery/wine shop has display cases overflowing with pastries, crusty fresh-baked breads and luscious desserts. For dinner, Murphy's offers a variety of entrees, including sautéed rainbow trout with sweet-potato hash; there's also a good selection of pastas, salads, waffles and pancakes. Murphy's is open all week till late.

Food Type: American     Style:     Price: 4

Address: 997 Virginia Ave


Floataway Café

Hidden on a secluded industrial street, in a renovated warehouse, the Floataway Café opened in 1998. The menu changes daily, with fresh and local organic produce and unusual ingredients being the order of the day. Enjoy succulent wood-grilled or roasted meats and seafood or homemade pastas; grilled steak with pommes frites and red-wine shallot butter is a house speciality. The wine list is quite international and complements the food beautifully. Floataway Café is open Tuesday to Saturday, from 5.30pm to 10pm.

Food Type: French     Style:     Price: 3

Address: Suite 15, 1123 Zonolite Road


Inman Park Spring Festival

Spring is certainly sprung with great gusto in historic Inman Park each year. The neighbourhood, located just to the east of downtown Atlanta, was one of America's first garden suburbs and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every year the locals enthusiastically put on a festival during the last weekend in April, delighting spectators with a colourful parade of floats, marching bands, entertainers and all manner of quirky participants. The festival also includes a huge street market and the 'Tour of Homes', when locals open up their homes ranging from Victorian bungalows to modern lofts, to the public. There is also live entertainment in many guises, from ballet to rock, and a host of activities like pony rides and rock climbing. The festival hotline is (770) 242 4895.

Date 2018-04-27 to 2018-04-29     Website
Inman Park Parade ©Hotlanta Voyeur

October Scarecrow Festival

The October Scarecrow Festival, held annually at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens, hosts a series of events and activities for families. See over 50 weird, wonderful and sometimes scary scarecrows created by the locals. The special events held every weekend in October include games, storytelling and scarecrow crafts. The festival culminates in a children's costume party, with lots of Halloween treats and entertainment.

Date 2015-10-01 to 2015-10-31     Website
Scarecrow ©Keith Roper

Atlanta Jazz Festival

The annual Atlanta Jazz Festival is a 31-day series of events featuring internationally celebrated jazz artists, which has included the likes of Miles Davis, Nina Simone, Hugh Masekela and Dr John. It claims to be the nation's largest free jazz festival, with jazz playing throughout the city at restaurants, clubs, museums, parks, churches and department stores, with a special focus on the three-day festival of performances in Woodruff Park at the end of the month over the Memorial Day weekend.

Date 2017-05-26 to 2017-05-28     Website
Jazz in Atlanta ©Pawel Loj

The US Masters

The US Masters Tournament (referred to simply as The Masters) is one of golf's four major championships. Unlike the other three 'majors,' the Open, The US Open and the PGA Championship, this tournament is held at the same venue each year, the Augusta National Golf Club. The Masters was begun in 1934 by Bobby Jones and Clifford Roberts, two amateur golfers who wanted to provide a service to the sport by creating the Augusta National Invitation Tournament. It was only in 1939 that the tournament became referred to as The Masters Tournament. Augusta National Golf Cub is equidistant from Atlanta and Savannah.

Date 2018-04-05 to 2018-04-08     Website
9th hole ©pocketwiley

Peach Drop

Peach Drop, first held in 1989, takes place on New Year's Eve at Underground Atlanta. This is an all-day event with a variety of live entertainment, food stalls and activities to occupy the whole family, imaginatively culminating in a splendid fireworks display and the fantastic 58-second descent of a giant peach.

Date 2016-12-31 to 2016-12-31     Website
Peach Drop ©chrisjtse

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