Are you wondering where to stay in Atlanta? Here we’ll list the best and most diverse places to stay in Atlanta, along with each neighborhood’s recommended to-dos and special points of interest.
From fine dining and high end shopping to historic and cultural sight-seeing, towering high-rises to palatial Victorian architecture, there is an Atlanta for everyone provided you know where to look.
The capital of the U.S. state of Georgia, Atlanta is a city situated at the crossroads of American history: from the Civil War to the Civil Rights movement, the city is the pulsing heart of the modern south.
Famed for its charming neighborhoods, cultural monuments, outdoor activities, and plethora of places to shop, eat, and enjoy, Atlanta is truly a city that has something for every traveler.
Table of Contents
Where to Stay in Atlanta: 10 Best Areas
1. Downtown, where to stay in Atlanta for first timers
The undeniable heart of Atlanta, Downtown is not only the home of Georgia’s state capitol, but a thriving cultural crossroads where business and pleasure meet and mingle.
Because of its proximity to so many of the city’s greatest attractions (the resident Five Points MARTA station is a widely-used and especially visitor-friendly commuter hub), Downtown is one of the best and most bustling places to stay in Atlanta.
There are countless things to do and see in Downtown, with something of value for everyone.
The Georgia Aquarium is a must for families of all ages, where visitors can view thousands of animals and marine species across its 7 major galleries which contain over 10 million gallons of fresh and saltwater.
There is also the World of Coca-Cola, a 20-acre museum complex dedicated to the history of one of America’s oldest and most enduring sodas.
Afterwards make sure to take a stroll through the 22-acre Centennial Park, constructed by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games as part of the infrastructure improvements for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
The busy commercial area of Five Points, founded in 1845, is not to be missed by history lovers, shoppers, and general sightseers alike.
Here you’ll find a seemingly endless array of restaurants, bars, breweries, and specialty eateries, as well as many noteworthy points of interest you can catch while exploring the area.
Lodging options are plentiful in the Five Points district, from 5-Star hotel chains to unique boutique one-offs, as well as private rentals and hostels. As always, keep an eye out for year-round special discount rates and online promotions.
2. Midtown, great place to stay in Atlanta near, but not right at the centre of the action
It’s often said that if Downtown is the heart of Atlanta then Midtown is most surely the city’s soul.
All things pertaining to the arts & culture can be found in Midtown, with plenty of galleries, public exhibitions, markets, stalls, and independent shops to browse to your heart’s content.
A special point of interest are the rainbow crosswalks which run from North Avenue to 17th Street, and represent the city’s collective, colorful spirit of inclusivity.
While visiting Midtown you’ll want to check out the High Museum of Art and maybe take in a show at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, followed by a leisurely sunset stroll through Piedmont Park and the Botanical Gardens, where there’s usually an event (or two) to take in.
And with all the dining possibilities one could hope for, from traditional Southern cuisine to world fusions, you’ll have no trouble finding something to satiate your palate.
There are also plenty of bars and clubs to round out the perfect day in Midtown.
Like Downtown, Midtown is an ideal place to stay in Atlanta thanks to its ease of transport accessibility and unending list of things to do.
From luxurious hotels to funky hostels, as well as Airbnb and private rental options, finding the right place to lay your head should be a cinch in Midtown.
3. Inman Park/Little Five Points, best neighbourhood in Atlanta for nightlife
Located on the east side of Atlanta where Inman Park and Candler Park join to create the funky little district called Little Five Points, this is one of the city’s most popular places to hang out, network, and immerse one’s self in the best of Atlanta’s eclectic scene.
A stroll through the Krog Street Tunnels will reveal some of the city’s most iconic street art, with plenty of shopping stops along the way to satisfy your retail therapy.
Families are encouraged to take advantage of Candler’s 55-acre park containing a swimming pool, 9-hole golf course, playground, and multiple sports fields for soccer, basketball, and tennis enthusiasts.
Foodies will swoon over the vast assortment of restaurants in the Inman Park/Little Five Points area, where anything from authentic Asian bao to Spanish tapas can be procured, along with all the classic Southern and Americana fare you could crave.
Make sure to hang around Little Five Points after dinner to enjoy live street music, festivals, and an overall humming atmosphere that doesn’t die down until dawn.
Lodging-wise, you’ll find a unique collection of bed & breakfasts such as Inman Park’s converted cotton mill dating back to the 1950s, as well as more traditional hotels and Airbnb rentals.
A note for travelers: the neighborhood between Inman and Candler are more spaced out along the MARTA route, so if you’re not a walker you can catch one of the local busses, cabs, or Ubers to get around.
4. Old Fourth Ward, where to stay in Atlanta on a budget
Purportedly the birthplace of Martin Luther King Jr. and one of Atlanta’s early industrial districts, Old Fourth Ward has since become one of the most in-demand places to live and stay in Atlanta.
Just a few minutes from the Downtown center, Old Fourth Ward is renowned for its emerging food scene, with Irwin Street in particular a necessary pilgrimage for foodies.
There you’ll find diners, artisan food shops, specialty stores, and plenty of world eats, while the surrounding neighborhoods host no shortage of coffee bars and food trucks.
Food isn’t Old Fourth Ward’s only draw however, as fashionistas will find themselves in vintage paradise at Ponce City Market.
Visitors can also enjoy the Historic Fourth Ward Park, peruse the shelves of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, and even catch a performance at the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse.
Old Fourth Ward is great for budget backpackers and those who prefer to travel outside traditional norms, with the area boasting more private rentals, bohemian hostels, and boutique hotels than any other popular place to stay in Atlanta.
5. Sweet Auburn, great place to learn about the history of the city and the Civil Rights Movement
More than just an historical neighborhood, Sweet Auburn played a crucial role in the Civil Rights Movement and continues to embody an ever-evolving modern America.
In fact, there remains a debate to this day as to whether Martin Luther King Jr. was born in the aforementioned Old Fourth Ward or Sweet Auburn.
The Martin Luther King Jr National Historical Park and King Centre are must-see venues honoring Atlanta’s heroes during a time of violence, inequality, and the fight for necessary change.
Visitors are widely encouraged to take in these crucial points of interest en route to more uplifting excursions.
There is plenty of shopping and dining on Edgewood Avenue, along with eye-catching street art and local stalls.
For brew aficionados, there’s no better place to grab a pint than the Georgia Beer Garden.
Trendy travelers will appreciate Sweet Auburn’s equally sweet selection of bed & breakfasts, hip hostels, and moderate-to-preciously priced hotels.
6. Grant Park, where to stay in Atlanta for families
Once the lavish home to stately Victorian mansions and Atlanta’s high society, Grant Park has since become one of Atlanta’s most charming neighborhoods, with a perfect blend of old world ambience and modern interests.
Easily accessible by Downtown transport as well as designated walking trails, Grant Park is an idyllic spot for couples, families, and individuals looking to enjoy Atlanta at a slower pace.
Grant Park is home to Zoo Atlanta, making the area a great place to stay in Atlanta for families with young children.
Brewing is a popular pastime in Grant Park, making it a must for beer lovers and brewing devotees alike with Eventide Brewing and the Brass Tap just a few recommended spots to start with.
There are also pleasantly lowkey eateries, bars, and cafes in which to relax and people watch.
While Grant Park is undoubtedly a beautiful place to stay in Atlanta, due to the prestige of the locale, prepare to pay higher rates for luxury lodgings and high-end bed & breakfasts.
7. Buckhead, where to stay in Atlanta for shopping
Shopping is the name of the game in Buckhead, though locals would rightly insist that there are plenty of other attractions besides.
One of Atlanta’s most lavish areas, Buckhead features every imaginable shop, outlet store, and exclusive boutique at your fingertips, along with plenty of cinemas, restaurants, and luxe activities.
Buckhead is Atlanta’s designated brunch spot, so make sure to reserve a table before you depart.
Brunch and all-you-shop aside, Buckhead also boasts some of the city’s most unique lodgings and retreats, from treehouse Airbnbs to luxurious heritage hotels like The Whitley and AC Hotel.
8. Cobb – Cumberland, worth considering for those visiting Atlanta by car and for young families
Although technically a suburb of Metro Atlanta, Cobb sits close enough in proximity to more than count as a highly recommended area to stay in Atlanta.
Just 12 miles from Atlanta’s Downtown, Cobb is a welcoming mix of the urban and suburban, with plenty of appealing attractions for young families including Six Flags Over Georgia, The Battery, Atlanta Braves Stadium Cumberland Mall, and the Main Event Arcade.
Similarly, visitors have an abundance of restaurants, fast food chains, bars, and trendy eateries to choose from.
Lodging-wise, Cobb is one of the most accommodating places to stay in Atlanta, with traditional hotel chains as well as townhouse-style rentals.
If you plan to visit Atlanta by car, Cobb is definitely worth considering.
9. Dunwoody, where to stay in Atlanta for outdoor & nature enthusiasts
This northern suburb of Atlanta dates back to the 1830s, but was officially incorporated on December 1, 2008. Dunwoody is an outdoor & nature enthusiast’s dream, with activities such as zip lining, and the Dunwoody Nature Center all within reach.
10. Decatur, just five miles from Downtown Atlanta and served by Atlanta’s metro system
The county seat of DeKalb County and located just five miles from Downtown Atlanta, Decatur is an established city of its own, with plenty of sights and attractions to satiate any visitor.
Best of all, Decatur is now served by Atlanta’s metro system, making it more accessible than ever.
A hub of activity dating back over 200 years, Decatur in fact contains over five historic districts, with the History Center an ideal place to start.
Guests can promenade through Woodlands Garden, explore the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center and Fernbank Museum of Natural History, gaze upon Stone Mountain, and even check out one of Decatur’s spooky Ghost Tours.
If you’re willing to set up camp outside of Atlanta’s traditional tourist zones, you’ll find no shortage of welcoming hostels, hotels, and private rentals all within a city of its own.
Traveler’s Tip: Know Before You Go
Atlanta boasts one of the best public transport systems in the U.S., and if you plan to get around without a car it’s definitely worth getting a MARTA pass (or Breeze Card) to save on multiple commutes throughout your trip.