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Indianapolis is the largest city in Indiana and the state capital. It home to several great sights and has good nightlife. The city has a little over 800,000 inhabitants, though the total metropolitan area has over twice as many people within its area.
Indianapolis has a humid continental climate. Summers from June to September see average highs of 26 °C to 29 °C with nights mostly between 15 °C and 19 °C. Winters from December to early March have highs of 2-4 °C with nights well below zero. The alltime highs are 41 °C and -33 °C! Precipitation averages a little over 1,000 mm a year with most of it falling from April to August, though there is not a particular wet or dry season; winters are just somewhat drier and snow is possible from late October to early April, though mostly falls from December to February with 6 to 9 inches a month (16 to 23 centimetres).
|Avg Max||0.9 °C||3.5 °C||10.5 °C||17.4 °C||23.2 °C||28.2 °C||29.7 °C||28.7 °C||25.3 °C||18.8 °C||11.1 °C||3.6 °C|
|Avg Min||-8.2 °C||-6.2 °C||-0.1 °C||5.3 °C||10.9 °C||16.1 °C||18.4 °C||17.1 °C||13.1 °C||6.4 °C||1.2 °C||-4.9 °C|
|Rainfall||58.9 mm||62.5 mm||96.3 mm||94 mm||101.6 mm||88.6 mm||113.5 mm||92.5 mm||72.9 mm||66.8 mm||82 mm||84.8 mm|
Indianapolis International Airport (ND) is about 7 miles (11 kilometres) from the central business district of Indianapolis. It has a range of flight with destinations including Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cancun, Charlotte, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Fort Lauderdale, Hartford, Houston, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Los Angeles Memphis, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, St. Louis, Tampa, Toronto and Washington, D.C..
To/from the airport
Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) operates the Green Line Downtown/Airport Express daily from 5:00am to 9:00pm. From 5:00am to 9:00am and noon to 9pm the service runs every 15 minutes. From 9:00am to noon the service runs every 20 minutes. The express service costs US$7 per passenger. The boarding/debarking point is located at the the Ground Transportation Center, which is found on level 1 of the parking garage. IndyGo Route 8 bus also connects the airport with downtown Indianapolis. Unlike the Green Line Express, Route 8 bus is a slower & cheaper bus route that makes frequent stops along Washington St. The fare for Route 8 is currently US$1.75 for single ride.
At the Ground Transportation Center there are also services like taxis, limousines, car rental facilities and shuttles.
The Cardinal/Hoosier State, operated by Amtrak, travels between New York and Chicago, also stopping in Washington DC, Cincinatti and Indianapolis.
Indianapolis is known as the "Crossroads of America" for a good reason. Interstates 65, 69, 70, and 74 meet here. The city's outer belt is I-465. Travel directly through the city on I-70 (east and west) or I-65 (north and south). Direct travel using I-74 or I-69 is not possible; I-74 is routed around the center of the city on I-465, and I-69 currently ends at its intersection with I-465 to the city's north.
Note that 65 and 70 intersect at a region known as "the split" south of downtown. There is also a ramp onto Washington Street, which is the main east–west artery in the city. Traffic here can be extremely busy and construction is routine. It's possible that you'll have situations where you want to cut across five lanes of traffic going 70 mp/h (113 km/h) in a distance of less than a mile (1.2 km)!
Motorists wanting to experience a bit of history may wish to take a trip along Washington St. which forms part of the National Road (a.k.a. Cumberland Road). This route was the first federal highway in America and initially stretched from the Atlantic Ocean through most of Illinois. It has been extended into Interstates 40 and 80, so travelers can take a trip from Baltimore to San Francisco along it today. Small milestones mark all of the major cities along this All-American Road.
Greyhound has buses throughout the US.
Many international rental companies have a wide selection of rental cars and these include Hertz, Avis, Dollar, Thrifty, Enterprise, Budget and Alamo/National. Most companies will require you are at least 25 years of age, although younger people might be able to rent cars at slightly higher rates and with some insurance differences as well. A national driver's license is usually enough, but an additional international one is recommended. Also note that it usually costs more to include lots of other extra things. For example extra drivers, GPS, the first full tank, SLI (Supplemental Liability Insurance), PAI (Personal Accident Insurance, usually covered already at home), road assistance/service plan, and drop-off costs for one-way rentals.
If you want to book a car, it is recommended that you book your car before arriving in the USA. This is almost always (much) cheaper compared to just showing up. Also, try and book with a so-called 'broker', which usually works together with a few or many car rental companies and can offer the best deal. Some examples include Holidayautos, Holidaycars and Sunny Cars. Some of the cheapest deals to book from Europe, includes Drive-USA, which also has a German version.
For more information and tips about renting cars and campers, additional costs, insurance, traffic rules, scenic routes and getting maps and fuel it is advised to check the USA Getting Around section.
Indianapolis Public Transportation Corporation (IndyGo) serves the city and surroundings. The public bus system is fairly clean and efficient but routes are sometimes complex, and substantial portions of the metro area are inaccessible. Outside of peak hours, waits can be prohibitively long.
Outside of the walkable Downtown and some Cultural Districts, you'll need a vehicle to navigate the urban sprawl.
Biking is easy due to the smooth topography. There are a variety of bike paths throughout the city, including the Monon Trail and the Central Canal. The Indianapolis Cultural Trail was built through several years in the early 21st century and takes riders through downtown providing signs with Indianapolis history; public art dots many stops and you will be guided past several restaurants and local businesses. This world-class bike and pedestrian path marks an interconnectivity that no other city of Indianapolis' size can achieve, connecting the city's seven Cultural Districts, neighborhoods, and entertainment amenities, and serving as the downtown hub for the entire central Indiana greenway system. Starting in 2008, Mayor Greg Ballard announced a plan to make Indianapolis a bike-friendly city for those venturing out on open, and often busy, roads. The plan includes constructing 200 miles of additional bike lanes throughout the next 15 years, many of which are already constructed.
|The Indy Hostel||4903 Winthrop Ave.||Hostel||91|
|Americas Best Value Inn||3740 N. Highschool Rd||Hotel||-|
|Motel 6 Indianapolis South||5151 Elmwood Avenue I-465 at South Emerson Avenue, Exit #52 Indianapolis,||HOTEL||-|
There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.
See also International Telephone Calls
The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.
The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.
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