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7 Things to do on your Atlanta Airport layover

  • Air Travel
  • Renee Martin
  • 6 minutes

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Atlanta’s Hartsfield Jackson Airport is one of those airports you wouldn’t mind being stuck in. It’s that huge and offers something to do for everyone. Atlanta Airport is the primary hub for Delta Airlines. The airport offers connectivity to other airports across North America and South America, Central America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Don’t worry if you find yourself at Atlanta Airport with hours to kill! There are loads of things to do at Atlanta Airport and nearby. Whether you’ve got just a couple of hours or an entire day to spend at Atlanta Airport, here are 7 things you can do on your Atlanta Airport layover.

Atlanta Layover

Fill your belly

Atlanta Airport’s food and dining options are a far cry from the usual underwhelming and overpriced fare that airports are notorious for. The upscale One Flew South has consistently been ranked as one of the world’s best airport restaurants. Enjoy the salmon hotpot or miso BBQ ribeye from here. Ecco offers the ideal ambiance to unwind in and some pretty awesome pizzas, pasta, and cheese boards. For some of the best tasting burgers in Atlanta, head over to Bobby’s Burger Palace, owned by celeb chef Bobby Flay.

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More celeb food?  Rapper Ludacris owns the Chicken + Beer restaurant at ATL that dishes out chicken (no surprise!), batter-fried catfish, sandwiches, and waffles. The Atlanta Chophouse dishes out some mean steaks and delicious Rueben sandwiches. Popeyes will serve you some fantastic fried chicken. Krispy Kreme, Wolfgang Puck Express, Shake Shack, and LottaFrutta are some of the airport regulars you’ll find here. So, make the best of your Atlanta layover by digging into some great food.

Enjoy the ‘beer’ necessities of life

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There are plenty of places you can get a pint and more to quench your thirst during your Atlanta Airport layover. Last Cast Bar & Grill has some awesome beer and food pairings. Three Crafts Tavern Beers offers Belgian-style brews. TAP has craft beers and cocktails along with upscale pub food. The Atlanta Braves All-Star also has beer and pub food that you can enjoy while cheering on the Braves. The Atlanta Stillhouse is a Jim Beam-sponsored bourbon bar. Sweetwater Drafthouse & Bar serves craft beer from one of Georgia’s most famous craft breweries. If it’s fancy cocktails you’re looking for, head over to the 40/40 Bar. El Taco can help take your pre-flight edge off with margaritas, as can the Dos Equis Explorers Lounge with Tequila.

Shop till you drop

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Shopping is a great option to pass the time while you’re on an Atlanta Airport layover. There are plenty of options here -from luxury brands to last-minute gifts. You’ll find an eclectic mix of international brands and locally-owned shops at the Hartsfield Jackson Airport. For high-end shopping, check out Ermenegildo Zegna, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Bvlgari, Ferragamo, Swavroski, Brooks Brothers, and Mont Blanc. P. Diddy’s contemporary menswear brand, Sean John, has an outlet here, as does Lather’s eco-friendly beauty store. More beauty products are available at Lancome’s Beauty Lounge, L’Occitane, The Body Shop, and Kiehl’s. You also have all the usual airport electronics and book stores like inMotion, iTravel, SimplyBooks, and Duty-Free Americas. Panda Veranda and All ATL are ideal for last-minute gift and souvenir purchases.

Get a dose of culture

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There’s plenty of art and culture to be appreciated at Atlanta Airport. The Atlanta airport displays 250 permanent artworks across the airport, including 20 sculptures brought in all the way from Zimbabwe.  You can also enjoy music by local musicians at the Atrium.

Surf the Web

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Wifi is free and unlimited here, making your Atlanta Airport layover the perfect option to catch up on your work emails or social media streams. Free Wireless Internet service is available all throughout the Hartsfield Jackson Airport.

Relax and unwind

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There’s nothing quite like a gentle shoulder massage to help relax your muscles. Head straight to one of the two XpresSpas. Treat yourself to a relaxing pedicure, soothing shoulder massage, or any other relaxation treatment.

Settle down for a snooze

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Getting a little shut-eye during your Atlanta Airport layover is a great idea, especially if you’re someone who finds it difficult to sleep in an airplane. There are Minute Suites here that offer daybeds, desks, and showers – perfect for some quiet time! Some of the lounges at Atlanta Airport will allow you to use their facilities for a fee. These lounges are ideal spots to nap in before boarding your flight.

How to get around at Atlanta Airport

Atlanta Airport has its own train station and is connected to the city’s rapid transit system, MARTA. This can help get you to downtown Atlanta Airport easily. A SkyTrain runs between the rental car center, the Domestic Terminal, and Georgia International Convention Center. If you’re staying within the airport premises, there’s an automated people mover, the Plane Train, that transports passengers between the various terminals and the airside concourses.

Things to do near Atlanta Airport

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If your Atlanta layover is long enough, you can spend a few hours exploring the city. Atlanta has plenty to offer sightseers. If you’re going to downtown Atlanta, the Center for Civil and Human Rights, Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium, and the World of Coca-Cola should be on your itinerary. You could also take a ride on the Skyview Atlanta Ferris wheel to get panoramic views of downtown Atlanta. Midtown Atlanta has the Atlanta Botanical Garden, High Museum of Art, Margaret Mitchell House, and Woodruff Arts Center. While in Atlanta, be sure to visit the King Center and MLK National Historic Site.

Note: Before you venture out during your layover at Atlanta Airport, make sure you are permitted to do so.

Atlanta Airport Travel Tip:

  • If you want to spend time enjoying all that Atlanta Airport has to offer, be sure to reach the airport early. Make sure you book your Atlanta Airport parking spot ahead of your travel so that there’s no last-minute hurrying. 

  • Avoid public transportation and services like rideshares or taxis as far as possible. Instead, drive yourself to the airport if you need to catch a flight. You can further minimize your risk by booking your contactless Atlanta airport parking spot online.

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