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How to Get from Cleveland Airport to Downtown Cleveland

Are you wondering how to get from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to downtown Cleveland? 

Passengers arriving by plane to Cleveland, Ohio have several options for getting from the airport to downtown. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport is located just under 15 miles from downtown Cleveland, making it a very easy trip.

With multiple options for reaching downtown Cleveland from the airport, here’s an overview of each one to help you plan your arrival into Cleveland.

How to get from Cleveland Airport to Downtown Cleveland

1. RTA Red Line (light rail)

The first option for getting from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport to downtown Cleveland is the RTA Red Line. 

This is the only public transportation option for reaching downtown Cleveland from the airport, and it’s by far the most affordable method.

You can catch the RTA from the station on the lower level of the main terminal at Cleveland Airport (follow signs for trains to downtown from the baggage claim level).

Cleveland airport RTA station
Entrance/ticketing to the airport RTA station

A one-way fare on the RTA costs just $2.50. The journey takes less than 30 minutes, and the Red Line takes you to the Tower Square station downtown, where you can transfer to the Green and Blue Line trains.

Trains depart from Cleveland Airport every 15 minutes.

2. Rideshare

A popular option for getting from Cleveland Airport to downtown Cleveland is by using a rideshare app. Both Uber and Lyft operate in Cleveland and are available at the airport.

The average cost of an Uber or Lyft from the airport to the city center is between $30 and $40 depending on time of day and availability. Reaching downtown Cleveland by car takes 15 to 20 minutes.

Rideshare pickups occur on the upper level (departures) and lower level (arrivals).

Just note that if you’re landing at the airport late (i.e. after 10 p.m.), it’s a good idea to pre-book an Uber, as they can be trickier to come by late at night.

3. Taxi

Another way to get downtown from Cleveland Hopkins Airport is by taxi. 

Taxis tend to be more expensive than Uber or Lyft, with the typical fare running around $45 to go from the airport to downtown. There’s also a $3 surcharge for airport pickups.

For this reason, taking an Uber or Lyft is usually more economical. However, if you do want to take a taxi, taxi pickups occur outside in the queue in front of the taxi entrance at the south end of baggage claim (to the far right when you enter the baggage claim area).

4. Super Shuttle

If you’re traveling with a group, it might make sense to book a shuttle to get from Cleveland Airport to downtown. Super Shuttle is a company that offers an airport shuttle service that you can book in advance.

The exact price depends on your dropoff point, but most dropoffs in downtown Cleveland cost $35. This is based on a shuttle with up to four passengers.

Since the pricing for a shuttle is the same whether you have one or four passengers, it makes more sense to book it only if you have a larger group. Otherwise, taking an Uber or Lyft works out to be around the same price for a single traveler or a couple.

5. Renting a car

Cleveland Airport also has a rental car facility if you would prefer the flexibility of having your own car. The rental car facility can be reached via shuttle from the main terminal. 

Passengers can catch the shuttle from the Ground Transportation Center, which is located on the north end of baggage claim. The shuttle runs continuously at all times, and takes about 5 to 7 minutes to reach the rental car facility.

Rental car companies available at the Cleveland Hopkins International Airport include Alamo, Avis, Budget, Dollar, Enterprise, Hertz, National, and Thrifty.

Once you have picked up your rental car, it’s a 15 to 20 minute drive to downtown.

Other Options

Finally, there are a few additional options for getting from Cleveland Airport to downtown Cleveland.

If you’d like a more luxurious option, there are many authorized black car and limo services you can book, although these run on the pricier side ― $80 to $100 or more to get from Cleveland Airport to downtown.

Some downtown Cleveland hotels also offer a shuttle service to the airport that can be booked in advance, though you’ll have to check with your hotel.

Best Way to Get from Cleveland Airport to Downtown Cleveland

What’s the best way to get from Cleveland Airport to downtown Cleveland?

For visitors on a budget, the RTA Red Line is an affordable and efficient choice for reaching downtown Cleveland from the airport.

If you don’t mind spending a little more, rideshare apps are another convenient way to get from the airport to downtown, and are generally cheaper than taking a taxi.

And if you plan to go outside of downtown Cleveland, having a rental car will save you money in the long run. A rental car also gives you the most flexibility for your trip.

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