Getting Around Nashville: Rent a Bike, Hop on a Trolley and More

Filed Under: Nashville
Nashville MTA
Nashvillians are car people, it’s the Southern way. Everyone drives everywhere, even down the block! But if you’re visiting the Music City, you’ll find plenty of transportation options -- whether you rent a car or not. Hop a trolley or ride a bike as you explore many of Nashville’s best attractions. Check out these and other transportation options for navigating in and around Music City.

Arriving in Nashville
All air travelers arrive at the Nashville International Airport (BNA), about 20 minutes from downtown Nashville and 15 minutes from the Opryland area. If you’re going to downtown Nashville or to Opryland, a taxi from the airport is a flat $25, with a $1 fee for each additional passenger.

Before your trip, check to see if your hotel offers a shuttle service from the airport; it may be less expensive than taking a taxi.

The Nashville MTA offers bus service between the Nashville airport and downtown Nashville. The Route 18 Airport/Elm Hill Pike bus leaves hourly from the Nashville airport between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. from the ground transportation area. Visit Nashville MTA's website for drop-off locations.

Gray Line Nashville Airport Express also offers shuttles to downtown Nashville and West End Nashville hotels from 4 a. m. to 11 p.m., departing every 15 minutes. Their booth is located in the ground transportation area, too.

Downtown Nashville
In Nashville for a special event (like the Country Music Festival) and staying at a downtown Nashville hotel? Then you may not need a car. Downtown Nashville is fairly compact: a Tennessee Titans game, a symphony at the Schermerhorn, a conference at the Nashville Convention Center, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Predators’ hockey games at Bridgestone Arena are all within a mile of each other, making it easy to walk or hop a cab.

Nashville MTA’s Music City Circuit is a free bus service that runs 3 routes through the downtown Nashville corridor every 10 to 15 minutes, Monday through Saturday. Hop a ride to the Nashville Farmers' Market for lunch, catch happy hour in The Gulch, see the newest exhibit at the Frist or attend a concert at the Ryman.

The Music City Trolley Hop is also a great way to get around Nashville. The trolley offers a 1-hour fully narrated tour, with the option of disembarking at any of 7 stops, including the Ryman Auditorium, Bicentennial Park, Parthenon, Frist Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame. The trolley hop departs from 2nd and Broadway at the Hard Rock Cafe.

If you do have a car, most downtown Nashville hotels provide parking for their guests but it can be quite expensive. Public garages throughout Nashville cost much less. Visit the Park it! Downtown website for locations and costs. And for ideas on where to go and what to see in Nashville, check out these maps.

The Wildhorse Shuttle provides transportation back and forth from Opryland to downtown Nashville, with stops at the Ryman Auditorium, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Wildhorse Saloon. The shuttle runs from 10 a.m. to 11:35 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 1:35 a.m. Friday and Saturday.

Nashville Metro Area
To explore the greater Nashville area, check out WeCar, a car- sharing service in downtown Nashville. The cars are available to rent by the hour or by the day. You will need to apply for membership online before your trip.

Another option is Nashville GreenBikes. This bike-share program offers a convenient, easy-to-use and healthy way to explore the Nashville area. Riders can enjoy Nashville's urban core as well as the extensive system of Nashville Greenways, bike lanes and parks. Nashville’s cruiser-style bikes are available at 8 metro parks, and anyone can enjoy the bikes by becoming a registered rider.

Hotels throughout Nashville are serviced by a number of taxi companies, although taxi service can become expensive if you venture to several venues around the metro area. The typical taxi fare is a $3 pickup fee and $2 per mile traveled. Most of the major Nashville hotels have stands or staging areas, but it’s a good idea to check with the concierge in advance. Friday and Saturday nights get busy; make your cab reservations several hours in advance, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle of waiting.

About the Author

Nanette Noffsinger has traveled to all 50 states and extensively overseas. She worked for NBC News in New York for 16 years before returning to her hometown of Nashville. Noffsinger continues to work with the network on special projects (such as political conventions/election coverage, Matt Lauer's "Where in the World" and Al Roker's "Lend a Hand") and as a producer for news coverage. Noffsinger recently traveled to 16 countries and over 50 cities while working on a 10-part documentary. She owns Burke Hollow Media, a public relations firm.

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