If you’re planning a trip from New Orleans to Atlanta, you’re in for a real treat. From diverse Creole, Cajun and European cultures to delicious cuisine to a thriving music scene, there’s so much to see and do. We think a road trip is one of the best ways to experience these bustling cities – and all the amazing sights, sounds, smells and tastes along the way. However, you can also fly, catch the train or jump on a bus. The best option for you depends on your budget and where you're travelling from.
Driving from New Orleans to Atlanta
Driving is one of the more popular ways to travel between the two cities. Plus, you can break up the journey by stopping at various places along the way. You get to party along the lively Bourbon Street, visit the mansion at Graceland, find delicious Southern eats in Savannah, record a song in Nashville, or do a black history walking tour in Charleston. The driving distance is 470 miles if you go direct past Montgomery via I-85 S, I-65 S and I-10 W, and the journey takes about 6-7 hours. In terms of road conditions, the drive is fairly straightforward as most of it is on the interstate highway.
Another perk of driving is that you'll be able to detour or explore other places between the two cities which aren't accessible with public transport. You're welcome to go as slow or as fast as you like to enjoy the journey (within speed limits, of course!).
Flying from New Orleans to Atlanta
If you're travelling afar from interstate or overseas, flying is your best bet. It also might be a better option if you're on a tight schedule. Atlanta has two main airports in Hartsfield-Jackson and Savannah/Hilton Head. Hartsfield-Jackson is Georgia's busiest airport with over 80 airlines operating a wide range of domestic and international routes. Savannah/Hilton Airport is smaller with eight commercial airlines operating services mostly across Georgia and South Carolina. Between the two airports, there are several direct flights between Atlanta and New Orleans every day of the week and the flight time takes about 1.5-2 hours.
Taking public transport from New Orleans to Atlanta
If driving or flying isn't an option for you, there are also a number of public transport options. This includes catching the train with Amtrak or jumping on a bus with a private coach company like Megabus. You'll usually find the best fares if you book in advance, so bear this in mind when planning your trip.
Amtrak operates one daily Crescent Train from New York to New Orleans via Atlanta. Travelling by train is often quicker than by bus or self-driving due to traffic, but in this case, it's much slower. The journey takes between 13-31 hours, which is pretty crazy considering the drive takes only seven hours.
Ticket prices fluctuate depending on the season and the area of the train you prefer to sit in, but on average they range between $39-$90 one-way. If you're not on a tight schedule and don’t mind sitting on a train for a whole day, it could be a sound and reasonably priced option. Onboard you'll find a cafe, power outlets and free WiFi, however, the signal can be patchy in areas so you might want to download a couple of podcasts or TV shows beforehand.
There are a number of private bus companies that operate services between Atlanta and New Orleans including Megabus and Greyhound. These buses have most of your travel creature comforts onboard including a toilet, free Wi-Fi, power outlets, reclining seats and free entertainment. The average journey time is 9.5 hours and there are multiple intercity services every day. Ticket prices vary depending on the season and availability, but you'll typically pay between $40-$90 one-way.
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