Answers from Our Experts (3)
The question of whether or not to rent a car in Atlanta can be answered with another question: How much of Atlanta are you hoping to see?
If you're touching down at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you can hop on a one-way MARTA to many of the city's best neighborhoods (in Buckhead, for instance, the MARTA station is situated within a few blocks of many luxurious hotels). Complimentary hotel shuttles and cabs are good options for navigating the immediate neighborhood surrounding your hotel.
For extensive exploring, a rental car may be your best bet. Just make sure a GPS system is included in the car if you're new to the city's winding network of interstates and thoroughfares.
While Atlanta has a bus and train (MARTA) system, it's widely known that public transportation isn't used as much here as in other cities. Furthermore, walking is rare. While renting a car will certainly making getting around easier in Atlanta, visitors shouldn't feel it's necessary.
Calling a cab is a popular option, as well as requesting an Uber vehicle. If you're planning to go out for the night, cabs can be found waiting outside many of the popular bar areas throughout the city.
If you're planning on staying in midtown or downtown Atlanta, renting a car may not be entirely needed.
While cabs aren't as plentiful as say they are in New York City or Chicago, you'll always see them regularly at area hotels. But one of the best new services to hit the city is UBER, which recently launched a low cost transportation option called uberX. It still works much in the same way as UBER, in that you download an app to your cell phone and request a car wherever you are, and this new service picks guests up in a hybrid or mid-range car -- like a Toyota Prius -- that can seat up to four people.
The rates are about what you'd find for a taxi -- base fare starts at $3, minimum charge is $8. Of course, if you want to travel with a bit more luxury, you can still summon a black car from UBER or an SUV (prices start at $7 for the black car and $14 for the SUV).