Atlanta, Georgia is a city boasting a wealth of history and a heap of modern cultural allure. Set in the heart of the south-east of the United States of America, Atlanta has a lot for travelers to discover.
A city that is often overlooked by international visitors, Atlanta is not to be missed. If only for a couple of days, you can immerse yourself in one of the most authentic cities in the USA. With a strong sporting community, a thriving music scene and an evolving food culture, Atlanta is just waiting to be explored.
Atlanta wears its history with pride but also lives in the moment. There is always something fun happening in Atlanta – you just have to look in the right places. From the Olympic Park of 1996 or an Atlanta Falcons game to the 4th of July celebrations at Turner Field, the possibilities are endless.
As a versatile city, Atlanta changes from neighborhood to neighborhood. It is a real eclectic mix. Will you feel at home in Downtown Atlanta or Inman Park? Do you want to live like a local in Sweet Auburn, perhaps?
I’m an Atlanta local, I grew up in the city and I’m sure this guide on where to stay in Atlanta can offer you some good insights for your next visit.
Downtown Atlanta is the heart and soul of the city. Home to both the central business district and the major touristic hotspots, Downtown is a great place to stay if you are a first time visitor to Atlanta. That said, if you are only on a whistle-stop tour of Georgia, Downtown is a great neighborhood to use as a base.
Downtown is surprisingly green for an inner-city sphere. There are a number of park areas that are designed for the community to enjoy. Right here in the heart of the city is Centennial Olympic Park. It is rare to find such an impressive Olympic Park within a central business district, but the Olympic legacy of 1996 lives on strong in the heart of Downtown.
There are a great number of what I consider must-visit museums in Downtown Atlanta, namely the Center for Civil and Human Rights. Atlanta played a prominent role in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1940’s through to the 1960’s.
Be sure to also check out my guide on downtown Atlanta.
Good For: Active Travelers, Business Travelers, Big Budget Travelers, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Culture Vultures, Sports Lovers, Whistle-Stop Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights I suggest: Center for Civil and Human Rights, Centennial Olympic Park, Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia International Plaza, CNN Studio Tours, SkyView Atlanta Georgia, World of Coca-Cola, Agatha’s A Taste of Mystery, Apex Museum
Hotels I recommend:
- Sheraton Atlanta Hotel – Sheraton Atlanta can be found in the heart of Downtown. Boasting an incredible array of facilities, guests have every need catered for. Guests can make use of the free WiFi, the hot tub, and the fitness center that is open 24-hours a day. Coffee making facilities are in all rooms.
- Aloft Atlanta Downtown – Modern, bright and super stylish, Aloft is one of the coolest places to stay in Downtown. The rooms are colorful and have trendy, urban furnishings. Many rooms offer amazing views of the city and WiFi is available throughout the hotel. Guests can relax at the in-house bar, W XYZ.
- Hyatt Regency Atlanta – Opulent and regal, the Hyatt Regency is a fantastic place to stay in Downtown. There are three different dining venues within the hotel, inclining a rotating restaurant. There is an outdoor swimming pool in addition to a well-equipped fitness center. All rooms have an ensuite and there are suites available.
Related: 55 Best Things to Do in Atlanta
For those who want to be at the heart of the action but don’t necessarily want the hustle and bustle of rush-hour twice a day, think about Midtown. Lying just north of Downtown, Midtown is a little bit commercial, a little bit artsy and a tiny bit residential. These three aspects marry together to create a vibrant and thriving neighborhood that is a joy to explore.
The High Museum of Arts, which is my personal favorite, is one of the most visited museums in Atlanta and can be found to the Northern tip of Midtown. This museum houses a true diverse curation of modern art within one of the most striking buildings in Atlanta. In the immediate vicinity of the High Museum of Arts, you will find other incredible art venues, including the Woodruff Arts Center.
For art lovers, culture vultures and city slickers who like a slower pace of exploration, Midtown is a fantastic place to stay in Atlanta.
Good For: Art Lovers, Architecture Enthusiasts, Budget Backpackers, City Slickers, Culture Vultures, Foodies, Like a Local Travelers, Party People, Young Travelers.
Neighborhood Highlights I suggest: High Museum of Arts, Museum of Design Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, Opera Nightclub, Lava Lounge, Botanical Garden of Atlanta, Center for Puppetry Arts, Winn Park, Yonah Park
Hotels I recommend:
- Renaissance Atlanta Midtown – Featuring neutral tones and modern furnishings, Renaissance Atlanta is a great place to stay in Midtown. Many rooms offer impressive views of the high rises in Downtown. There are both rooms and spacious suites available. There is a rooftop bar that serves craft beer, cocktails and light bites, open seasonally.
- W Atlanta – W Atlanta is a wonderful place to stay in Midtown. The rooms are modern and minimalist and many feature luxurious bathtubs. The suites are vast, feature ultra-modern furnishings and incredible views of the city. Each room has a flat-screen TV, iPod Dock, and an expansive media library.
- Hilton Garden Inn – For affordable luxury in Midtown, Hilton Garden Inn is an ideal place to stay. This Hilton Hotel features both classic and modern design elements. There is a business center where guests are welcome to work throughout the day. There is an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center too.
Also read: 15 Best Day Trips from Atlanta
Old Fourth Ward
Once an industrial area of Atlanta, like so many urban districts, Old Fourth Ward has undergone some rapid regeneration. A hotspot for hipsters, yuppies, and travelers on the lookout for a like a local experience, Old Fourth Ward is a bit of a hidden gem.
Only a few minutes from the center of Downtown, Old Fourth Ward is home to Atlanta’s emerging food culture. There are urban coffee bars aplenty, in addition to food trendy eateries and markets. Hardcore foodies should be making a beeline for Irwin Street Market. There you’ll find more refined diners and artisan foods from around the world. Fashionistas should head down to Ponce City Market to snap up some vintage bargains.
In terms of history, Old Fourth Ward has a lot to explore; no visit to Atlanta would be complete without a visit to the birth home of Martin Luther King Jr on Auburn Avenue.
Good For: Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, City Slickers, Culture Vultures, Foodies, Trendy Travelers, Like a Local Travelers, Party People, Young Travelers
Neighborhood Highlights: Irwin Street Market, Ponce City Market, Martin Luther King Jr’s Birth Home, Historic Fourth Ward Park, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, TWO urban licks live music bar, Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse
Hotels I recommend:
- Staybridge Suites – Staybridge Suites sits on the border of Old Fourth Ward and Midtown, just 400-meters from FOX Theatre. Guests are welcome to enjoy the outdoor swimming pool and fitness center. Each suite comes with a fully equipped kitchen, a workspace, a private bathroom, and a cozy living room area.
- Hotel Clermont – With a wonderfully homely feel, Hotel Clermont is a wonderful place to stay in Old Fourth Ward. Offering king rooms to quadruple rooms and a series of executive suites, there is something for every kind of traveler at Hotel Clermont. There is an in-house bar and restaurant.
- Crowne Plaza – Crowne Plaza is a modern hotel with appealing decor. There is an in-house bar with a lounge and a restaurant. Guests can enjoy a swim in the rooftop pool or simply enjoy the city view. There is a breakfast buffet served daily that comes complimentary with some room rates.
A small town all of its own, set within the inner sphere of Atlanta, Inman Park is a wonderful neighborhood in the Georgian state capital. Ideal for travelers who want the local experience but also want a taste of the nightlife, the green spaces, and the amazing museums too.
It is easy to get from one neighborhood to the next in Atlanta. The MARTA rapid transit rail system and the Atlanta Streetcar make is so very easy and affordable to explore. Staying in Inman Park gives you easy access to fashionable Old Fourth Ward and multicultural Sweet Auburn.
There are a lot of green spaces to explore in Inman Park. The neighborhood feeds into Freedom Park where you will find the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. If you follow the Freedom Park Connector trail, you will transect the neighborhood and arrive at the Inman Park-Reynoldstown Transit Station, ready to ride into the Downtown.
Good For: Active Travelers, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Like a Local Travelers, Mid-Budget Travelers.
Neighborhood Highlights: Inman Park, Freedom Park, Springvale Park, Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Horizon Theatre Company, 7 Stages Theatre Company, The Porter Beer Bar, Ladybird Grove & Mess Hall, Wrecking Bar Brewpub.
Hotels I recommend:
- Urban Oasis – Homely, cozy, and featuring an open fireplace, Urban Oasis is a real home away from home. Guests are welcome to relax in the beautifully kept garden or snuggle in the living room. There is free WiFi throughout the house and there is central heating too. Urban Oasis is within a short walk of Inman Park.
- Traveler’s Nook – With a cottage-like feel and bright color scheme, Traveler’s Nook is a little gem. Able to host one guest, this is the perfect spot for solo travelers on a budget. Guests are welcome to use the shared kitchen to prepare their own meals and hot drinks.
- Hip Historic Loft – In keeping with the trendy nature of the neighborhood, Hip Historic Loft is an urban paradise. Featuring old wooden furniture and modern décor, this is a hipster home away from home. There is a 50’’ TV boasting Netflix, Hulu and other cable channels. Guests are welcome to chill out on the patio.
Home to lavish Victorian mansions and some of Atlanta’s more affluent residents, Grant Park is a wonderful place to stay in Atlanta for every kind of traveler. Well connected to Downtown by transport and via walking trails, Grant Park truly offers the best of both worlds.
Away from the park, there is something rather calming about taking a stroll through the Grant Park neighborhood. Peek inside the Victorian mansion homes and get dreaming about which one you would buy if you had all the money in the world.
The whole of the United States of America is seeing a massive boom in the number of craft brewing companies and Atlanta is no exception. Although many of the local craft beers are produced in the suburbs where innovators can access cheap rent, there are a number of ultra-trendy brew bars in Grant Park. I suggest Eventide Brewing and The Brass Tap as a good place to start.
Good For: Active Travelers, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Foodies, Like a Local Travelers, Mid-Budget Travelers, Luxury Travelers.
Neighborhood Highlights: Grant Park Georgia Hill Neighborhood Center, Erskine Memorial Fountain, Eventide Brewing, The Brass Tap
Hotels I recommend:
- The Grant – White-washed with a few flecks of yellow, The Grant is a wonderful space to call your own while in Atlanta. This micro-studio can sleep up to two people and is set within a 120-year old Victorian home. Breakfast is included in the nightly rate, as is WiFi.
- Sanctuary in the City – Sanctuary in the City is just that, a sanctuary. This wonderfully furnished apartment rental offers guests the chance to live like a local and relax at the end of a long day of exploring Atlanta. There is a fridge and a microwave for preparing basic meals. Coffee and nibbles are provided.
- The Buchanan House – Like something straight out of a lifestyle magazine, The Buchanan House is at the heart of Grant Park neighborhood and was built in the 1890’s. Guests have their own private entrance, living room and small kitchen too. The bedroom is light and features wonderfully high-quality linens. Breakfast is provided.
This historical neighborhood has played a significant role in modern America. During the Civil Rights Movement, Sweet Auburn was a hive of activity and is still a busy and thriving neighborhood today. Depending on who you talk to, the birth house of Martin Luther King Jr falls either in Old Fourth Ward or Sweet Auburn. The two neighborhoods are inextricably linked by the history they share.
In the heart of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood is the Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park and The King Centre. Both venues serve as a reminder of the pioneering work and bravery citizens of Atlanta showed in the face of adversity. This neighborhood is integral to modern American and should not be skipped wherever travelers choose to stay in the city.
After a humbling experience learning about the Civil Rights Movement, I suggest to go to Edgewood Avenue to hang out at the hipster bars and admire the impressive street art.
Good For: Active Travelers, Budget Backpackers, Budding Historians, Couples, City Slickers, Culture Vultures, Foodies, Families, Trendy Travelers, Like a Local Travelers.
Neighborhood Highlights: Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park, The King Centre, Martin Luther King Jr’s Birth Home, Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church, Historic Fire Station 6, Escape Room Atlanta, Selena S. Butler Park, the Sound Table, Cafe Circa, Georgia Beer Garden,
Hotels I recommend:
- Chic and Central Oasis – Chic and Central Oasis is an open plan apartment that features a fully equipped kitchen and a large L-shaped sofa. As a real home away from home, the apartment can sleep up to three guests. Guests have their own private entrance and off-street parking is available.
- The Krog – The Krog is an oversized Victorian bungalow that can sleep up to four guests. There is a cottage-like feel to The Krog and the decor is chic and modern. There is a fully equipped kitchen-come-dining room. There is laundry facilities, free WiFi, and cable TV.
- Atlanta Loft – Set in the heart of Sweet Auburn, Atlanta Loft is an open, modern space. There is an arty feel to the apartment and plenty of space to spread out – it sleeps up to seven people. There is a fully equipped kitchen area that includes an oven, and a lovely dining area too.
Also read: 15 Best Tours in Atlanta
For travelers who want to stay a little off the beaten track in Atlanta, give a moment’s thought to Buckhead. This collection of affluent uptown neighborhoods is a great place to stay if you are wanting to experience the most authentic side of Atlanta.
What’s great about Buckhead is that travelers can be in the heart of Downton within a 10-minute drive, or just 40-minutes on public transport. Regardless as to how travelers arrive and depart, exploring an under the radar neighborhood in Atlanta can do wonders for the street-cred of an intrepid inner-city explorer.
At the heart of the Buckhead neighborhood is the Atlanta History Centre. The center features exhibits on the antebellum South. Set within an 1845 farm, this site was once a blacksmith and smokehouse too. Spreading across 33-acres, a visit to the Atlanta History Center perfectly complements a day exploring Old Fourth Ward and Sweet Auburn.
Good For: Active Travelers, Budding Historians, Couples, Culture Vultures, Families, Like a Local Travelers, Mid to Luxury Travelers, Road Trippers.
Neighborhood Highlights: Atlanta History Center, Atlanta Memorial Park, The Punchline Comedy Club, The Painted Pin, Brookwood Hills Historic District, Chastain Park Golf Course, Phipps Plaza, The Shops at Buckhead, The Meredith House
Hotels I recommend:
- Windgate by Wyndham – Boasting an outdoor swimming pool, a luxurious hot tub and an excellent fitness center, Windgate by Wyndham is a great hotel in Buckhead. The hotel offers an airport shuttle service on request and the staff are happy to advise about how to best explore Atlanta using Buckhead as a starting point.
- Homewood Suites by Hilton – Homewood Suites by Hilton offer guests the opportunity to stay in a wonderful, airy space while in Buckhead. Guest suites all have a fully furnished living room complete with flat screen TV. There is a basic kitchen in every suite in addition to a private bathroom with a walk-in shower.
- Hampton Inn – With a modern and high end feel, Hampton Inn mirrors the upmarket feel of Buckhead throughout the property. Guests have access to the outdoor swimming pool and fitness center. Hampton Inn provides a good breakfast buffet each morning that is complimentary in some room rates. There is free parking on-site.