it depends on where you are staying and how much you want to explore the city.
80-90% of the tourist stuff is downtown/vanderblit which is a small 4 mile radius.
most downtown hotels charge like 10-15 dollars for parking, but 1-2 miles away in vanderbilt/west end area most do not charge for parking.
the bus system is decent during the daytime but most busses stop running around 6pm, except for a few major routes...same situation on weekends. The bus from the airport usually runs from 7am till 5pm, and on weekends 2 times in early morning and 2 times in late afternoon...you can search earlier posts for "bus" or "airport" and there is more specific info on routes and times.
most people with 2 nights usually spend the time downtown walking around and seeing all the honky-tonks and historic sites.
there are several car rental places downtown/vanderbilt which are much cheaper than the airport locations so you might try to catch public bus at the airport if you are arriving mon-friday between 7am and 5pm...there is a hertz downtown on 4th avenue north
also, renting a car for 4-5 days usually costs the same as a 7 day weekly rental, so under certian conditions you could get the rental for free depending on how long you use it.
i probably would not get a car if you will spend 2 days walking around downtown, but if you are traveling the state, i would take the bus or taxi to downtown, then rent at a downtown location on a daily or weekly basis...you can save 100 dollars by renting downtown.
lots of taxis in nashville also
where are you staying?
Thanks for your reply, we hav'nt booked a hotel yet, but will do in a couple of days . We arrive on a Sunday (4th nov), we will be renting the car on a one way basis as we will be flying home from New Orleans and returning the car to the airport there.
My advice would be to go on the Grayline tours, that way you will see more of the place without the hassle of driving and parking.
Just go to www.graylinetours.com for all the info.
You will have a great time in Nashville, Memphis and don't know about NO, not going there until next year.
Anything else you need to know, just ask.
I think the decision depends on what you want to see in Nashville. If you're staying downtown and sticking to sites there, you probably could do your visit without renting a car. However, if you're making trips out to Opryland, Belle Meade, Franklin, or elsewhere, you definitely need to rent a car. Hotel parking downtown can be a little expensive, but our cab fares are truly ridiculous. The cab fare from the airport to downtown is easily over $25.00.
Public transport in Nashville is not reliable, convenient or clean. Don't bother with it.
We found there wasn't so much going on downtown during the day although it comes alive at night. We were so pleased that we had a car there and found driving around the city very easy. Having wheels gives you freedom of choice. You'll love Nashville and Memphis too, enjoy!
nashville taxi rates are among the cheapest i've seen in major cities.
i have ridden the nashvile public bus over 25 times and found it to run on schedule, and most busses were very clean and less than 5-8 years old. However, i would not try to take them on long distance travels, except maybe to gaylord opryland or from/to the airport...the schedule is at mta.org and it's bus 17 elm hill pike/airport i believe.
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