The most popular neighbourhoods in Atlanta have these things in common: they’re rich in history, culture, and entertainment. While Atlanta is a sprawling city, its neighbourhoods often feel like standalone villages. Each has unique attractions and the Southern charm. Hip, arty, historic, upscale, residential – Atlanta’s neighbourhoods are a diverse selection.

    The weather in Atlanta is terrific year-round, making it great for outdoor explorations. The city has several parks where you can enjoy cycling, walking, and nature trails. You can get easily travel between neighbourhoods in a car, taxi, rideshare, or the MARTA transit rail system. Deciding on where to stay in Atlanta? This Go Guide has all the info on the city's most popular neighbourhoods. 

    What are the most popular neighbourhoods in Atlanta?

    1

    Buckhead

    A go-to destination for well-heeled locals

    Atlanta's wealthiest neighbourhood, Buckhead is considered the "Beverly Hills of the South". Here, you'll find palatial homes, glamorous nightlife, and some of the city's best dining and shopping destinations. Shop for designer wear and luxury brands, like Dior, Prada and Fendi, at Lenox Square, Phipps Plaza, and The Shops Buckhead Atlanta. The trendy Buckhead Village District is a 6-block car-free oasis, home to boutiques, hip eateries, and live music on weekends.

    Another highlight of Buckhead is the 268-acre Chastain Park, the city's 3rd-largest urban park. It offers various recreational activities, including swimming, tennis, and jogging. The Atlanta History Center has historic houses, gardens and 9 permanent exhibitions, making it a great place to learn about Georgia's history, culture, and traditions.

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    2

    Little Five Points

    One of Atlanta's hippest neighbourhoods

    Little Five Points is a fun, vibrant neighbourhood with a charming, carefree bohemian vibe. The stretch along Euclid Avenue is home to quirky gift shops, vintage boutiques, vegan restaurants, and art galleries. If you’re looking to spruce up your wardrobe, most stores specialise in retro, gothic, and alternative fashion.

    Little Five Points is a great place to get a tattoo, buy hard-to-find vinyl and books, and sample local craft beer. Take a seat on an outdoor bench and enjoy people-watching and street performances. The neighbourhood's creative energy extends to street art, with several colourful murals adorning buildings, back alleys, and parking lots. 

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    3

    Virginia-Highland

    A historic neighbourhood with a relaxed, welcoming ambience

    Virginia-Highland, or VaHi as residents call it, is an old-fashioned neighbourhood just 3 miles northeast of Downtown Atlanta. With pedestrian-friendly sidewalks, you won’t need to spend money on transport. On a stroll, you can people-watch, shop at funky boutiques, and take in the charming 1920s bungalow houses.

    Virginia-Highland has a happening bar, restaurant, and nightlife scene. Visit Taco Mac for tasty tacos and margaritas, La Tavola for spaghetti and veal meatballs, and Murphy’s Atlanta for southern classics. Irish pub Limerick Junction offers old-timey entertainment, including comedians and live folk music. Head over to Blind Willies if the blues are calling you, or end the night on the dancefloor at Dark Horse Tavern.

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    photo by Jamarks (CC BY-SA 3.0) modified

    4

    Cabbagetown

    A small town and among Atlanta’s best-kept secrets

    Cabbagetown is only 2 miles to the east of Downtown Atlanta, but it has a delightfully small-town vibe. Once populated with textile mill workers in the 19th century, the 4-block neighbourhood is now an artsy district, home to an artistic community. On the 106-year old Krog Street Tunnel and the walls along Wylie Street, you’ll find beautiful street art which changes every month.

    Along Carrol Street, you can see historic buildings and mingle with residents at Carroll Street Cafe and Milltown Arms Tavern. If you’re visiting Atlanta in November, you can enjoy the Chomp & Stomp Chili Cook-Off and Bluegrass Festival. The event includes a 5K run, a chilli cook-off, and live bluegrass music.

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    5

    Downtown Atlanta

    For Atlanta’s bustling urban atmosphere

    Downtown Atlanta is packed with some of the city’s best dining, shopping, and tourist attractions. Start with a 20-storey view of the city and ride the SkyView Atlanta Ferris wheel. Across from here, visit the World of Coca Cola and the Centennial Park, with walking paths and the iconic Fountain of Rings from the 1996 Olympics.

    At the Georgia Aquarium, you can discover over 500 marine species and 60 different habitats. If you’ve always wanted to know how the news industry works, join a daily-guided tour of CNN’s global headquarters in Downtown Atlanta. Enjoy a stroll through Castleberry Hill, an industrial area-turned hipster zone with indie art galleries and an eclectic dining scene.

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    6

    Midtown

    Atlanta’s Arts District and cultural epicentre

    Midtown is known as the Heart of the Arts of Atlanta and boasts the most arts and cultural venues in the southeastern USA. Running along Peachtree Street is the Midtown Mile. Here, you’ll find the Fox Theatre, Museum of Design Atlanta, Woodruff Arts Center, and Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The High Museum of Art’s HIGH Frequency Fridays let you enjoy music, drinks, and art exhibitions every first Friday evening of the month.  

    After exploring Atlanta’s culture, relax in the lush Atlanta Botanical Gardens or Piedmont Park. The botanical gardens often host art exhibitions and live music. Midtown’s Arts District is accessible via the MARTA Arts Center Station. The upscale neighbourhood is pedestrian-friendly, so you can easily explore the area on foot.

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    7

    Grant Park

    A historic residential district with lush green spaces

    Grant Park refers to both the historic park and surrounding neighbourhood. It lies southeast of downtown and is one of Atlanta’s oldest residential areas. On a stroll, you can admire Victorian-era architecture and visit the Historic Oakland Cemetery. Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone With the Wind, and several former mayors of Atlanta are buried here.

    The 130-plus-acre Grant Park is the oldest in Atlanta. You can enjoy miles of walking and jogging paths, plus Zoo Atlanta, Atlanta Cyclorama, and the Civil War Museum. Grant Park hosts several festivals, including the Summer Shade Arts & Music Festival and the Halloween Lantern Parade. On Sundays from April through December, you can visit the Grant Park Farmers Market.

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    8

    East Atlanta

    A tiny enclave with a hip vibe, street art and nightlife

    East Atlanta Village is an eclectic, walkable neighbourhood with a small-town vibe and great entertainment. Live music venues are a major drawcard here. The Earl is an alternative rock mainstay, hosting live local and national bands. At the Basement, you can dance the night away at decade-themed DJ parties and monthly soul and funk nights.

    Mingle with locals at The Midway Pub or sample craft beers and pizza at Argosy. Shoppers can browse vintage furniture at Kaboodle Home and or visit the Thursday market from March to December. On the 3rd Saturday of September, East Atlanta Village hosts the East Atlanta Strut – this free festival features art, food, live music, and a parade.

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    photo by BurnAway (CC BY 2.0) modified

    9

    Old Fourth Ward

    The birthplace of Martin Luther King, Jr

    Old Fourth Ward, or OFW, lies to the east of Downtown Atlanta. In recent years, it has transformed into a trendy district, attracting foodies, shoppers, and a young, creative crowd. With a fabulous selection of retail stores and a lively food court, Ponce City Market is a great place to spend a couple of hours. Take a walk down Edgewood Avenue to spot a nice speakeasy or 2.

    At the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, you can visit the famous social activist's home, church, and final resting place. A few steps away is the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame. Also worth visiting is the lush Historic Old Fourth Ward Park, which has trails, playgrounds, and a skate park.

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    10

    Inman Park

    A leafy neighbourhood perfect for a relaxed stroll and brunch

    Inman Park was Atlanta’s first planned neighbourhood in the late 1880s. There was even an electric streetcar transporting residents to and from Downtown Atlanta. Stroll down any street – Elizabeth Street and Sinclair Avenue are lovely – and you’ll fall in love with gorgeous Victorian-style homes lining the paved sidewalks.

    The BeltLine Eastside Trail – a converted railway line – runs through the neighbourhood and is dotted with trendy bars, cafes, and patio brunch spots. Inman Park is also home to the Krog Street Market, which deserves a couple of hours. The market occupies a refurbished factory and offers some of the best dining in the city, plus casual-chic shopping.

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    Jacqui de Klerk | Contributing Writer

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