If you are planning to check out Atlanta’s major attractions and museums, CityPass is a way to prepay for admission tickets and get a discount on the places you already planned to visit. Combined with commuting on MARTA while in the city, you can save money by avoiding a car rental fees and cost of gas, especially if you build your entire trip around hotels and attractions that are near train stations.
To get started, view basic information on Atlanta CityPass destinations, MARTA itinerary options and recommendations on how to make the most of your sightseeing.
Atlanta CityPass Basics
When purchasing a CityPass, you can save up to 40% on five top Atlanta attractions, including these three:
In addition, you have the option to select two more:
- Zoo Atlanta or Center for Civil and Human Rights
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History or the College Football Hall of Fame
Not sure which to choose? Explore options below based on interests, time and level of commute difficulty.
Option 1: Easy and Walkable
Good for: Families, people who have difficulty with mobility or have limited time
Choose the following attractions if you want the easiest option, as they are all in walking distance of each other and are near two MARTA stations in downtown Atlanta (Peachtree Center and the GWCC MARTA station):
- Georgia Aquarium
- World of Coca-Cola
- Center for Civil and Human Rights
- CNN Center Tour
- College Football Hall of Fame
Maximize your trip by visiting the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and Center for Civil and Human Rights back to back, as these three attractions are literally right next to each other (if you can handle that much museum time!).
The CNN Center Tour is also conveniently next to the College Football Hall of Fame, just across Centennial Olympic Park from the other destinations. So start with CNN and the Hall of Fame (or with the other three attractions), then walk across the park to visit the others. You could knock out all five attractions in one day if you are really motivated and have the time, or split on two different days. If you stay at a downtown hotel near MARTA, you can also walk to all of these destinations (we recommend a hotel west of Peachtree Street for the shortest walk).
Option 2: Zoo
Good for: Animal lovers and urban explorers
If you are excited about visiting Zoo Atlanta and seeing the pandas, choose the zoo option instead of the Civil and Human Rights museum and keep everything else the same for simplicity. The zoo requires a more involved commute, which is easily solved if you book a hotel that offers free taxi service to the zoo. Otherwise, there is the option for a city hike or bike ride that will expose you to historic areas in Atlanta as a bonus (not recommended for young children).
For the urban hike/bike option, go to the King Memorial MARTA station on the blue and green line where you can see or visit the historic Oakland Cemetery then walk through the Grant Park neighborhood to reach the zoo (or rent a Relay bike next to the train station to speed up the commute). View directions to learn more. As a bonus, there are a few restaurants and the hip Revelator coffee shop on the way, which are great additions to your adventure.
Option 3: Natural History Museum
Good for: Single or couple travelers, bike adventurers, nature and history lovers
The Fernbank Natural History Museum isn’t just a museum. In addition to exhibits and an IMAX theater, the museum includes access to a forest with trails and outdoor art. If this sounds like your ideal way to spend your day, choose Fernbank over the College Football Hall of Fame, and plan for a short bus commute, walking trek or a bike adventure through a charming and historic intown neighborhood. We highly recommend the neighborhood bike ride or walk, although there are not any bike options for young children (only adult-size bike rentals at the station). View MARTA directions to Fernbank to learn more.
Because this museum is the furthest away from downtown out of all the CityPass attractions, you might not want to visit any other attraction on the same day due to the longer commute. Especially if you add in the exploration of the Candler Park neighborhood (including the Olmsted Linear Parks that are across the street from the museum), you can easily stretch out your time spent in the area. Don’t miss out on the original Flying Biscuit Cafe or sandwiches in the local Candler Park Market if you decide to reach the museum through the neighborhood.
Tip: MARTA bus 2 stops near the museum and can take you to the North Avenue or East Lake MARTA station. You can also request a Lyft or Uber car for one leg of the trip.
Option 4: Zoo and Fernbank
Good for: People with multiple days to sight see and city explorers
If you don’t care for college football and really want to visit the zoo, choose the following attractions:
- Georgia Aquarium
- World of Coca-Cola
- CNN Tour
- Zoo Atlanta
- Fernbank Museum of Natural History
We recommend visiting the Georgia Aquarium and the World of Coca-Cola on the same day, and potentially also the CNN tour. To simplify your other excursions, take advantage of the free taxi service from select downtown hotels to the zoo (generally avoiding the bike commute unless you really love to ride). Then on a third day, bike, bus, walk or request a Lyft or Uber car to reach Fernbank.
For seasoned transit riders, you might want to get a 1- or 2-day MARTA pass for unlimited bus and trains rides if you want to skip biking all together to focus on bus, rail and walking commutes.