Charlotte Travel Guide


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Getting Around Charlotte

The best way to get around Charlotte is by car. The city's transit system isn't as well-connected as in other major cities, so having your own set of wheels is your best way to navigate the Queen City. You can rent a car at Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CLT) — located about 7 miles west of the city center — or you can take a taxi and rent a car once you're in town. Taxi fares from the airport to Charlotte's downtown area cost a flat fee of $25. You can also take a shuttle — the Sprinter bus — from the airport to Charlotte's Uptown area for $2. But the low cost comes with a longer ride due to the multiple stops the bus makes in between the airport and city center.


If you plan to explore Charlotte beyond Uptown, a car is the easiest way to get to the city's other neighborhoods, like NoDa and South Park. You'll find several rental car companies at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport and in the downtown area.

Light Rail

The LYNX Blue Line Light Rail system connects South Charlotte to Uptown, running parallel to I-77 and South Boulevard for 10 miles. It operates daily, from around 5:30 a.m. to about 1:30 a.m., with 15 stations near top attractions like 7th Street Public Market and Discovery Place. One-way tickets, which can be purchased at ticket vending machines at each station platform, cost $2 for adults and $1 for children. Passes for one-day unlimited rides cost $6; weekly passes cost $20. Passes can be purchased online or at these Charlotte locations. Trains run every 10 minutes during weekday rush hour and every 15 minutes during non-peak hours. On weekends, trains operate every 20 minutes during the day and every 30 minutes during late-night hours.


Cabs aren't hard to find in the Uptown area, but are scarcer in Charlotte's surrounding neighborhoods. The initial fare starts at $2.50. Rates are based on mileage; each 1/5 of a mile costs $0.50 (so each mile will cost $2.50). If you're hoping to explore some of top attractions located outside of the city, like the U.S. National Whitewater Center or the Charlotte Motor Speedway, rent a car instead. Popular taxi companies in include, Diamond Cab Company, Yellow Cab of Charlotte and Crown Cab Charlotte.


Charlotte Area Transit System bus service operates more than 40 routes throughout the city, with stops in Uptown near some of Charlotte's top attractions. Buses run between 5 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. daily. The Sprinter bus offers trips to and from Charlotte Douglas International Airport and Center City. Buses run every 20 minutes during week days and every 30 minutes at night and on the weekends. You can look up routes and schedules for all Charlotte buses on the CATS website. You can pay for bus rides with exact fare ($2 per adult; $1 for seniors and students; and children younger than 5 ride for free) or with a pass, which can be purchased at these locations.

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