Taking MARTA to downtown Atlanta is an easy commute with perks of avoiding parking fees and traffic, especially during big events. Plus, it’s very convenient to ride MARTA from the airport to downtown, with a commute of approximately 20 minutes. Read on if you’re making travel plans and figuring out your best route options. There are six stations in downtown Atlanta, some better than others, and all useful for different things. Here’s how to use them.
Peachtree Center Station
We love the Peachtree Center MARTA station for being in the middle of the downtown business district. It is surrounded by hotels, restaurants and tall buildings, making it feel the most lively out of all the downtown stations. On the red and gold rail lines and next to a streetcar stop, Peachtree Center also provides service to and from Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport without having to change trains. Other perks of this station include nearby food court, drugstore, post office, ATMs and public library, or walk to top attractions including the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, Centennial Olympic Park, SkyView and The Tabernacle (for concerts). As an insider tip, you can walk to Mercedes-Benz and State Farm Arena from this station if you’re up for a longer stroll, or use an area e-scooter to speed up your journey. Just don’t ride on the sidewalk!
Dome/GWCC/State Farm Arena/CNN Station
Our next recommended downtown Atlanta MARTA station is the Dome/GWCC/State Farm Arena/CNN station. It is next to many attractions and sport/performance venues, including Mercedes-Benz Stadium, State Farm Arena and Centennial Olympic Park. You can also walk to the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola, SkyView, Georgia World Congress Center and College Football Hall of Fame easily. If you’re looking for a place so stay, there are also some nice hotels nearby near the park for a less urban stay in the city including the Omni Hotel, Glenn Hotel, Embassy Suites and Hilton Garden Inn.
Note that this station is on the blue and green rail lines, so if you are traveling from the airport or another station on the red or gold lines, you must transfer trains at the Five Points MARTA station. You only have to travel one stop, though. Look for the westbound train platform.
Civic Center Station
Often overlooked, the Civic Center MARTA station is on the edge of downtown and Midtown Atlanta. The station is famous for being built both underground and above an interstate, plus trains travel to and from the airport at this location (no need to transfer). Exit here if you’re walking to the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Shakespeare Tavern, or are planning to stay or play at the W Hotel Downtown Atlanta. Twelve Downtown hotel is also conveniently right next to the station if you’re looking for accommodations, and the Megabus drops off and picks up passengers outside the station as another perk. Don’t miss the nearby Max Lager’s Wood-Fired Grill and Brewery, which is in one of the older buildings left in the downtown area.
Georgia State Station
Consistently one of the safest train stations in Atlanta, the Georgia State MARTA station on the blue and green lines is in between the Georgia Capitol (and government buildings) and Georgia State University. Waffle House is next to the station, a Southern favorite, and you can also walk to The Masquerade music venue, Georgia Railroad Freight Depot (an event venue and historic building), Grady Hospital, Sweet Auburn Curb Market (and Sweet Auburn historic neighborhood) and the Sweet Auburn streetcar stop. There aren’t any hotels nearby, but it is a good station for sightseeing or reaching jobs, the university or events.
Five Points Station
The central train station in Atlanta with connections to all rail lines and several bus routes, Five Points is great for changing trains, picking up printed bus schedules, visiting the lost and found office, stopping by the MARTA RideStore, visiting the Fresh Market on Friday afternoons or playing/watching Station Soccer. However, outside the station, the area isn’t very nice for walking around. Redevelopment of neighboring Underground Atlanta is scheduled, which will create new destinations to visit once complete. Until then, utilize the amenities at this station rather than around it.
The sixth station in downtown Atlanta, the Garnett MARTA station is just south of Five Points in a more run-down area of the city. It is next to the Greyhound bus station if you need to make a connection. Or walk to Atlanta City Detention Center and the Municipal Court of Atlanta. Otherwise, it isn’t a station for tourists and not frequently visited by locals. Many development projects in the area are in the works, so this station is one to watch (view renderings of the future projects).