Getting Around Nashville Without a Car: Practical Tips for Visitors.

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It’s easy to visit Nashville without a car. Nashville is not a large, sprawling city, and the airport is only 20 minutes from Downtown. Most attractions are focused on Downtown Nashville and Lower Broadway. Once you are there, neighborhoods like The Gulch, Germantown, or Hillsboro are walkable. There is rideshare, public transport, bikes, and scooters to rent.

The attractions that require ground transportation would include The Hermitage (home of Pres. Andrew Jackson), Belle Meade Plantation (old mansion famous for its horse breeding), Loveless Cafe, the Natchez Trace Parkway, Opryland area (Opryland Hotel, Opry Mills Mall, and Grand Ole Opry House), neighborhood shops/restaurants in East Nashville and 12 South and Hillsboro Village, Arrington Vineyards, and Franklin (old town square, shops, Civil War sites).



How to Get from Nashville Airport to Downtown

The airport is only 20 minutes from Downtown Nashville during non-peak hour times. If you are not going to rent a car when arriving at the Nashville Airport (BNA), there are many options to get to downtown Nashville. The Nashville Airport has a “Ground Transportation Center”. It's located on ground level. Once you've picked up your luggage, head right once you walk outside and follow the signs. From there, you have the option of the following:

  • Rideshare (Uber/Lift) – An Uber costs about $20-$30 dollars from BNA to Downtown.
  • Taxis are also available from the same location and are more expensive than an Uber.
  • Public Transportation. These buses are called WeGo Public Transit. Follow the signs for “Shuttle/Buses.”
  • Shuttles. These need to be organized ahead of time. Companies include Nashville Express Airport Shuttle and CitiValet.

What Can See in Downtown Nashville Without a Car?

Downtown Nashville is very walkable. However, you will want to ensure you stay within a comfortable walking distance. I recommend staying Downtown as it's close and convenient to everything. If you want to spread your wings to other suburbs, I've listed the best forms of transportation below. For a list of hotels within walking distance of downtown that we recommend, click here.

All of the following attractions are within easy walking distance of Downtown.

The Bridgestone Arena

The Bridgestone Arena is located across the street from Rippy's Bar and Grill, Tootsies Orchid Lounge, and The Ryman Auditorium. If you are coming to Nashville to see a show, The Bridgestone Arena is smack dab in the middle of everything. The Bridgestone hosts concerts, Nashville Predator games, and Monster Truck rallies.

Honky-Tonk Highway (Lower Broadway)

Lower Broadway is a lot of fun. It's a historic strip of buildings that have been turned into over 32 bars. You are literally stepping into music history on this strip that plays music (not just country music) 24/7. For a list of the best bars on Broadway, click here. To learn more about the most famous bar on Broadway, click here.

The Ryman Auditorium

The historic Ryman Auditorium was the home of the Grand Ole Opry from the 1940s to the 1970s. The venue has hosted notable stars such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Van Morrison, and Minnie Pearl. Today, visitors can tour the 2,362-seat auditorium, visit the museum, or catch a live show. Book a guided tour here.

Nissan Stadium

On a hot summer night in August, my wife and I parked our car downtown and walked over the bridge to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers perform at the Nissan Stadium. This venue is the home of the Tennessee Titans. It's a very pretty and easy walk. Still, if you want to get a taxi or a bike cab, those options are available, too.

Nashville Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

The hop-on hop-off tour features a 90-minute trolley tour with over 100 points of interest. You can hop on at any one of the stops. For example, if you are staying downtown, hop on at 201 Broadway and hop off at any of the places that interest you. You'll get live onboard commentary, stop at the Bicentennial Square/Farmers Market, and learn about the popular Nashville sights and history. This is a great way to discover Nashville and the popular suburbs without paying for Uber or a Taxi every time. The cost is only $47. The stops include:

  • Downtown Nashville
  • Ryman Auditorium
  • Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Tennessee State Capital
  • Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum
  • Nashville Farmers Market
  • Capital View Avenue
  • Marathon Village
  • Centennial Park
  • Midtown
  • Belmont Mansion
  • The Union Station Nashville Yards
  • The Gulch

More Walkable Attractions in Downtown Nashville:

When Might You Need Transportation?

If you are planning to visit and not just visit Downtown, you'll probably need a form of transportation to get there. For example, if you plan to see Andrew Jackson's “The Hermitage”, The Grand Ole Opry, The Zoo, or basically any of the surrounding suburbs, you'll need a form of transportation. Once you are within the individual areas of Nashville, walking is a breeze and preferably the best mode of transportation.

You may want to visit The Gulch, Midtown, Germantown, Music Row, or East Nashville. Each of those suburbs is self-contained and could warrant a day trip in and of themselves. They are only a 10-minute drive or 30-minute walk from Downtown. This may be restrictive if you don't have a car.

How to Get Around

WeGo Public Transit (Buses)

  • Coverage: Comprehensive routes across Nashville.
  • Cost: $2 per ride or $4 for a day pass.
  • Best For: Exploring neighborhoods like Downtown, East Nashville, and The Gulch.
  • Tips:
    • Get the WeGo Public Transit app for routes and tickets.
    • Check out this route map.

Rideshares & Taxis

Lyft & Uber

  • Coverage: Widely available throughout the city.
  • Cost: $10-15 for short trips.
  • Best For: Quick neighborhood hops or late-night rides.

Taxis

  • Options: Yellow Cab, Checker Cab.
  • Cost: Metered fares starting at about $2.50.

Electric Scooters

  • Companies: Bird, Lime, Spin.
  • Cost: $1 to unlock + per-minute charge.
  • Best For: Short trips in Downtown, Germantown, and The Gulch.

Hop On Hop Off Trolley Tour

Overview

  • Stops: 15 stops across Nashville.
  • Cost: $45 for a one-day pass.
  • Best For: Sightseeing with live commentary while reaching top attractions.
  • Tips:
    • Start early to make the most of your pass.
    • Check the trolley schedule here.

Airport Transportation

Shuttle Services

  • Options:
    • Nashville Airport Shuttle ($15).
    • Jarmon Transportation ($14).

Rideshares & Taxis

  • Uber/Lyft: ~$20-25 to Downtown.
  • Taxi: Flat rate of ~$25.
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