Planning a trip to Atlanta but need help figuring out where to stay? Well, I’m here to help. I’ve lived Georgia for years and have spent many a long weekend in Atlanta. Deciding where to stay in Atlanta can be tricky because the “Big A” is a sprawling city and traffic is notoriously bad just about all the time.
However, doing research and picking the best Atlanta neighborhood for your needs, can save time and money, because you won’t be driving around excessively. You might even be able to get by without a car.
Where to Stay in Atlanta
Before you decide where to stay in Atlanta it’s helpful to know a bit about the geography of the city so here’s a quick explanation.
Atlanta is made up of over 240 distinct neighborhoods and is divided by two major interstates – I-75 and I-85. These two major thoroughfares join slightly north of downtown and pass right through the middle of the city and is referred to as the Downtown Connector.
There’s also an interstate perimeter that goes all the way around the city. That perimeter – Interstate 285 – circles Atlanta and serves as a geographical marker of sorts.
Out of all those 240 neighborhoods in Atlanta, I recommend staying in Downtown Atlanta, Midtown Atlanta, Westside Atlanta, Old Fourth Ward or Poncey Highland and Buckhead.
How to use this map: click the icon on the top left to see the hotels in neighborhoods divided into map layers. Once you open a layer, click on a hotel or attraction for more Google info – like addresses, phone numbers and the business website. You can even get directions from there. To save the map – click the star at the end of the title to add it to your Google account.
Where to Stay in Atlanta – Downtown
In my opinion, Downtown Atlanta used to be a little bit boring after 5 pm but since Atlanta hosted the Olympics and with the growth of Georgia State University, Atlanta’s Downtown is much more fun.
Plus, there are a slew of Atlanta nice hotels to choose from. Downtown Atlanta is a convenient place to stay even without a rental car since public transportation and is a great neighborhood for families, couples and even solo travelers.
The hotels in Downtown Atlanta are in an good location for visiting Centennial Park, the Georgia Aquarium, the Coca-Cola Museum or the Atlanta Sky Wheel.
Downtown Atlanta hotels are also close enough to Mercedes Benz Stadium that you could stay there if you are attending a sporting event at the stadium.
Top picks for downtown Atlanta hotels include the Westin Peachtree Plaza – with some of the best views of the city – or the Omni CNN Center. Both of these properties are in a prime spot for visiting all the downtown attractions and even the Georgia Capitol Building.
For a spa experience downtown, the W Atlanta Downtown is an ideal choice. Their Bliss Spa and roof top pool are the ultimate splurge. Other budget friendly options in downtown Atlanta are the Sheraton or the Fairfield Inn.
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Where to Stay in Atlanta – Midtown
Midtown Atlanta is a mix of corporate high-rises, condos and parks. It’s a little bit business with a side of fun and has a variety of best restaurants and nightlife.
It’s perfect for girls trips, romantic getaways and friends trips. There’s also there are several MARTA stations and it’s easily walkable.
Some of the highlights in Midtown are the famous Peachtree Street and unique venues like the Fox Theatre. The Atlanta Botanical Garden is also in the Midtown neighborhood. And art lovers will enjoy visiting the nearby High Museum of Art with its ever changing special exhibits.
When it comes to where to stay in Atlanta, Midtown is a good choice with some of the most trendy Atlanta hotels – and one of my personal favorites – The Georgian Terrace that has a modern Gone With the Wind vibe.
Additionally, The Starling Atlanta near Piedmont Park is a swanky hotel with public spaces and a lively bar. For more budget-minded travelers Home2 Suites in Midtown is an excellent choices for families.
Where to Stay in Atlanta – East Side
Just south of Midtown, the east side of Atlanta has more than a handful of fun neighborhoods like Old Fourth Ward, Poncey Highland, Little Five Points, Cabbagetown and Summerhill.
This side of Atlanta is the place for hip restaurants, breweries, bars and more murals than you can count. Besides shared rides, there are less public transportation options so a car would be best for these neighborhoods.
Some of the most popular Atlanta attractions can be found on the east side. Ponce City Market with shopping, unique eateries and access to the Atlanta Beltline is nearby.
Atlanta’s historic food hall – Krog Street Market is also on the east side. This side of Atlanta is also the optimal area to stay if you are in town to tour Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site, visit Zoo Atlanta or tour the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library.
The classic Hotel Clermont with it’s rooftop bar, on famous Ponce de Leon Street is a terrific choice for the east side. Built in the 1920’s and renovated in the 2010’s, this unique hotel reopened in 2018 and is one of the most interesting historic hotels in all of Atlanta.
Similarly, the Wylie Hotel is another cozy boutique hotel with a great story, onsite restaurant and even offers a Georgia resident discount.
Not in the mood for a hotel? Since the eastside of Atlanta is made of a lot of residential neighborhoods, there are plenty of Airbnb and VRBO properties available. Here’s a couple of my favorites in Grant Park and Summerhill.
Where to Stay in Atlanta – West Side
For Atlanta visitors with their own vehicle, the westside, or West Midtown, is personally one of my favorite areas in Atlanta. Maybe because I’ve watched it transform and change over the years from the industrial zone to a destination in its own with trendy local restaurants, exciting outdoor spaces and loads of shopping.
The west side is a practical choice of where to stay in Atlanta if you are planning a visit to Georgia Tech, interested in seeing the Trap Music Museum, Westside Reservoir Park, the Goat Farm Arts Center or even attending a concert.
However, with the exception of a couple of boutique hotels, westside Atlanta just doesn’t have the quantity of hotels like Downtown and Midtown but it does have is one of Atlanta’s most attractive hotels – the Bellyard.
This property is one of Marriott’s Tribute Portfolio Hotels which is their lineup of intriguing boutique hotels “connecting people and places”. The hotel is located on what once was Atlanta’s old stockyards with buildings that have been repurposed beautifully to fit the westside’s modern industrial scenery. Everything is gorgeously done. And there’s even a French bakery onsite.
Where to Stay in Atlanta – Buckhead
For the longest time, Buckhead, north of Atlanta, has been the place to stay in Atlanta. The “it” neighborhood. While it might be full of luxury, it lacks – at least in my opinion – the real feeling of what makes Atlanta, well, Atlanta. I also can’t ignore the amount of crime that has increased in the area.
That being said – it’s remains one of the absolute best places to stay in Atlanta for a relaxing weekend getaway.
Buckhead has long been known as the Atlanta neighborhood for high-end shopping. Lenox Mall, Phipps Plaza and Buckhead Village are where all the designer shops like Hermes, Dior and Jimmy Choo are located.
Some of of Atlanta’s most luxurious hotels are found there as well. The prestigious St. Regis and the Waldorf Astoria are both in Buckhead.
For a more mid-range priced hotel consider one of my favorite options – the InterContinental. Convenient to almost everything in Buckhead, including the MARTA station, it’s just a short ride to Downtown or suburbs north of the city.
Budget minded travelers that want to be in Buckhead, should consider this Holiday Inn Express or TownePlace Suites nearer the perimeter.
Where to Stay in Atlanta Near Truist Park
Straddling Atlanta’s perimeter is the Cumberland neighborhood. Northwest of the city, where Interstate 75 crosses Interstate 285, it’s actually located in Cobb County and ironically, home of the Atlanta Braves.
This is the ideal place where to stay in Atlanta for visitors with a vehicle – offering convenient access to Downtown and activities north and northwest of the city,
Overnighting in Cumberland is fantastic for families attending a baseball game or an event at the Cobb Energy Center. It’s a fun, laid back area with lots of shopping and restaurants.
Truist Park – the stadium of the Atlanta Braves – contains an adjacent activity and event area called The Battery. This venue is filled with restaurants, shops and a hotel. Feel like bowling and games? Check out Punch Bowl Social. Rather spend an evening in Naples? Then nosh on my favorite pizza in Atlanta at Antico.
The onsite Omni Hotel – which also has a location at the CNN Center – is in the middle of the everything at the Battery and is within walking distance to the stadium. It also has one of the best pool views in Atlanta.
FAQs About Where to Stay in Atlanta
What’s the best area of Atlanta to stay in? Midtown is the best area to stay in Atlanta. You are close enough to downtown attractions but have a better variety of restaurants and bars. Although, I also think it depends on your objective in visiting Atlanta.
For example, if I was visiting Atlanta for a popular concert, like the Taylor Swift concert, I would want to be as near the venue as possible. Since there’s not many hotels around Mercedes Benz Stadium, besides the Reverb by Hard Rock, then the next best neighborhood where to stay in Atlanta for a concert is downtown.
Is it best to stay in Midtown or Downtown? I love them both. I think it depends on what experiences you are looking for. For a first time visitor, Downtown would be best.
What’s the best way to get around Atlanta? Most people visiting Atlanta arrive via Hartsfield Jackson International Airport (ATL) south of the city. Although, there are plenty of hotels for any budget around the airport itself and it’s great place to stay for an overnight, it’s not the ideal location if you are visiting Atlanta’s touristy spots.
Even though traffic is bad in Atlanta, it’s fairly easy to get around. To rent a car at the airport, use RentalCars.com to compare prices.
For visitors flying in that don’t want to rent a car, Atlanta’s MARTA train system, can be accessed directly from the airport. There are convenient stations throughout the city including in nearby College Park and East Point. For a long layover or a couple of nights, one of those neighborhoods might be a good fit. Out of the two, I prefer College Park and Hotel Indigo near its historic downtown.
What is the safest area of Atlanta to stay? There are certain areas in Atlanta that are safer than others but most tourist areas are generally secure particularly in daytime. I personally feel most safe in Midtown. Remember to always be situationally aware and exercise caution just as you would in any other big city. Don’t flash jewelry, money or phones. Carry a crossbody or a small bag and protect your wallet, especially on MARTA trains or public situation.
The Atlanta Police Department provides a map of reported crimes in Atlanta. You’ll find that most crime is crime against property. If you drive or rent a vehicle in Atlanta, keep everything in your trunk. Don’t leave bags or luggage in plain view.
When is the best time to visit Atlanta? Honestly there’s no bad time to visit Atlanta. Even winters are generally mild and summers hot and humid. Spring is beautiful but it is thunderstorm season, which can be scary at times. If I had to pick one season, late fall is the best time to visit Atlanta. The summer humidity has passed but it’s still warm and getting outdoors is really enjoyable. In fact, Atlanta makes my Best USA Cities to Visit in Fall list.
More Atlanta Tips
- We don’t call it Hotlanta. Ever.
- If you’re in town for a few days, consider purchasing a CityPASS which allows you to pick four popular museums and venues visit. Choose from places like the World of Coke and the Fernbank Museum of Natural History and other for a set price.
- Screenshot or download a MARTA map for convenience.
- Check out this website for a map of fabulous Atlanta street art.
- Moon Guide has a useful US Civil Rights Trail book for visiting civil rights sites in the south and across the country.
Planning Where to Stay in Atlanta
When it comes to choosing where to stay in Atlanta, the biggest deciding factor is how much driving and how much traffic you are willing to put up with. Even if you fly and don’t rent a vehicle, staying near your planned activities and interests will help maximize your time and help you save money on taxis and shared rides.
What’s your go-to Atlanta neighborhood? Did I miss a great place to stay? Let me know in the comments.
Traveling to Atlanta soon? Here’s the most helpful websites I use when I plan my travel:
- For flight info and tickets prices for these USA fall, cities shop prices on Skyscanner.com.
- My absolute favorite website for hotels, hostels and even some long term stays is Booking.com.
- To book a package with a flight and a car all at once use Expedia.com.
- To check out home stays and long term places try VRBO.com.
- For cars and vehicle rentals – Rentalcars.com.
- See real reviews and what other travelers are saying at Tripadvisor.com.
- For local tours & experiences use the helpful Viator.com
- And finally, one of the most important items in your travel plans is travel insurance. Browse a variety of coverage options at TravelInsurance.com