If you have found yourself with a layover at Atlanta Hartsfield Airport, you may now be wondering what to do with your time….besides sleep! While there isn’t anything unique about ATL, you can easily get lost in the seemingly endless restaurants, bars, and shops.
Here are 8 things to do on a layover at Atlanta Airport:
Eating is a big activity here at Atlanta Airport. Plenty of to-go spots are never far from you. Chick-Fil-A’s chicken sandwiches are a cult favorite, and Atlanta Bread Company started here in town. If you’ve got the time, sit-down restaurants really give you a taste of Southern cooking. Our favorites include Chicken + Beer, One Flew South, and Tap, the airport version of a downtown favorite. Of course, you’ll find plenty of burger and beer joints, pizza places, cafes, Asian cuisine, and seafood.
Thanks to the many, many flights coming and going, it can be tough to find a quiet place to veg out or take care of some work. Luckily, many airport lounges here invite travellers from any flight class (not just First or Business) to check in and take advantage of quieter, comfier digs, food, news, and WiFi. To enter, pre-purchase a lounge pass online or pay at the door. Our Atlanta Airport Guide details the locations and amenities – some even offer shower facilities!
3. Check out Atlanta’s art and music scene
The airport displays both permanent and rotating art collections, and local musicians often perform in the Atrium.
4. Venture into the city
Ride the MARTA, the regional train system, from the airport to various city points for some sightseeing. (If you’re tempted to use taxis, beware that traffic in Atlanta is notoriously bad, and isn’t limited to a certain time of day, so leave plenty of time to reach your destination.)
If you’ve got 5 or so hours, hop on the MARTA to the Arts Center stop, a 30-minute ride. Visit the High Museum of Art, known for its architecture. Its art collection includes works by Monet, Rodin, and Dorothea Lange. Or, stroll over to the Atlanta Botanical Garden for some fresh air.
With extra time on your hands, you can visit kid-friendly sites like the World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium, one of the largest in the world. The CNN Center offers a 1-hour studio tour, though advance reservations are required. Experience a vital part of American history at the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site, located at the childhood home of the famed civil rights’ leader. Walk through Centennial Park, home of the 1996 Summer Olympics. All sites are within walking distance of the Peachtree and Civic Center stops on the MARTA rail network.
For some travellers, big airports mean big shopping. Atlanta certainly proves this, with many popular shops having multiple locations. Everything is here, from bookstores and newsstands to travel amenities and electronic entertainment. Browse boutiques like Sean John, Coach, and Bulgari, or hit the duty-free for your favorite items. Stop by skin-care shops like L’Occitane, Kiehl’s, and the Body Shop for lotions to quench your dry airport skin, or stop by Savannah’s Candy Kitchen for some Georgia sweets.
6. Hit the spa
If you want to unwind or treat yourself, head to XpresSpa. Two locations offer foot and leg massages, sinus and stress relief treatments, mani/pedis, waxing, and facials.
7. Surf the Web
Stay connected to friends and family, update your social media accounts or surf the internet courtesy of the airport’s free unlimited WiFi.
Most travellers have no problem getting away with some overnight sleeping inside this airport, but do be prepared with eye masks, ear plugs, and extra layers to combat the bright lights, loud music, and cold temps. Travellers often report Concourse F and International Terminal as best for comfortable sleeping spots. If camping out in the airport isn’t quite your style, you can rent sleep cabins by the hour at Minute Suites in Concourse B. Otherwise, plenty of proper hotels are located just minutes from the airport, and several are connected by airport shuttle or ATL SkyTrain. See our Atlanta Airport Guide for locations and details.
These are just a few things to do on a layover at Atlanta Airport. Visit our Atlanta Airport Guide for more information about more services and facilities available, such as food, WiFi, mobile charging, luggage storage, nearby airport hotels, and much more.