The CNN Center in downtown Atlanta has been the head office of one of the world’s biggest news networks since 1987. You can still tour newsrooms and eat beside journalists and producers at the center’s food court.
The CNN center is made up of five separate buildings connected by a massive atrium. These buildings were originally designated for office space, and then turned into a theme park. A hotel still occupies one of the buildings.
Three different guided tours are run through the CNN headquarters. During the Morning Express with Robin Meade tour, held on Thursdays, you’ll meet lead news anchor Robin Meade and go inside the show’s newsroom.
Inside CNN VIP tours are run four times a day, Monday through Saturday. They offer more exclusive access than the general tours. General tours run every 10 minutes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Sunday. Children under 12 aren’t allowed on either the VIP or Robin Meade tour. Reserve tickets ahead of time through the CNN Center website.
Tours start on the ground floor of the atrium. The world’s longest free-standing escalator connects the ground-floor with the eighth, where most of the action happens. Make your way around the center to see writers, researchers and studio crews in action. Glass windows separate tour groups from staff.
The general and VIP tours pass through the sets of CNN, CNN International, CNN En Espanol, Head Line News and In Session. Get your photo taken at the CNN News desk. Some tours coincide with live broadcasting times, and groups are known to run into CNN personalities in the halls.
Each tour lasts about an hour and finishes in the CNN gift shop. Pick up CNN souvenirs such as T-shirts, mugs and caps.
A food court on the lower level caters to staff from the center and local businesses. It gets busy around lunchtime. Take your pick from 15 different fast-food eateries. There are several fine-dining restaurants on the upper floors. Book a table and you may rub shoulders with executives at an up-scale seafood restaurant.
Parking is limited at the CNN Center, so consider using public transport. Take the MARTA railway on the blue or green lines.