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A tunnel walkway in Detroit Metro Airport. The walkway’s walls and ceiling are various shades of purple.

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The ultimate guide to Detroit Metro Airport

Where to eat, how to get there, and what to do at DTW

The underground walkway between McNamara Terminal Concourse A and Concourses B/C.
| Courtesy of Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

Visitors flying into Detroit know one of our best kept secrets: Detroit has an impressive international airport.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) sees over 35,000,000 passengers per year go through its McNamara and North terminals. And with the visitors to Detroit going up each year thanks to the city’s continual recognition in national press as a top tourist destination, that number will likely continue to grow.

Passing through soon? We’ve got you covered on how to make the most out of DTW. We even have some fun facts along the way.

Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a newbie, this guide—covering how to get there, where to park and eat, and relaxation tips—will help you navigate the airport with minimal stress.

Pro Tip: Have any questions while you’re at DTW? The airport has about 80 volunteers, called Airport Ambassadors, who can help you out. Find them in their sharp blue vests around the airport.

How to get there

In 2017, the suburban transit system SMART unveiled a service called FAST, which has a route that goes from downtown Detroit to the airport via Michigan Avenue in about an hour. It’s $2 each way and stops at both terminals. Schedules can be accessed here.

It takes about 30 minutes (door-to-door) driving to get to downtown Detroit from the airport depending on traffic. Below, we have a few suggestions on where to park.

A taxi ride runs about $45 to $50 to downtown and taxis can be found at the Ground Transportation section right outside baggage claim.

Those who choose to take ride-hailing services like Lyft or Uber will need to go to Ground Transportation, cross the skybridge, and arrange a ride to meet at the Ride-Sharing spot.

Where to park

Many parking options are available around DTW. Of course, the airport itself has short- and long-term parking garages across from the North and McNamara Terminals. Daily long-term parking at the McNamara Terminal maxes out at $24 in the garage, and $14 in the Big Blue Deck at the North Terminal. Green lots are also available for parking for $12 a day. A shuttle can take visitors to either terminal.

The exterior of the North Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport. The terminal has glass on its upper level. On the lower level are columns and an area for cars to stop and drop off or pick up airport visitors.
The North Terminal
Courtesy of Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

Visitors can also choose from a variety of Qwik Park lots near the hotel, where it costs up to $11 a day to park. Spots can be ordered ahead of time and a shuttle takes travelers to their terminal.

Many travelers choose to park and ride at a nearby hotel. Most hotels are located near Merriman Road and I-94, and offer a safe parking option with an overnight stay. The Westin at the McNamara Terminal also offers a Park & Fly option.

Where to eat

Our friends at Eater Detroit put together a must-read guide for food intel at DTW. While McNamara Terminal still dominates the food scene at the airport, the North Terminal is starting to offer some better options.

In McNamara, try Bigalora Wood-Fired Cucina for a nice but casual dining experience, Cat Cora’s Taproom for boozy milkshakes, or Plum Market for something to do. The North Terminal has a National Coney Island for a Detroit experience, and Natural Break for healthier alternatives.

Both terminals have Detroit-themed restaurants and shopping. For more detailed maps, check out the North Terminal and the much bigger McNamara Terminal.

They also recommend an app called Grab to prepay and order ahead.

Many concessions and dining options open at 5 a.m. for early-morning travelers. DTW also has a number of water bottle filling stations in the terminals for your convenience.

Where to relax

If you find yourself at DTW for an extended layover, there are plenty of relaxation options to melt away the hours.

The McNamara Terminal has two Be Relax locations to get a massage. If working out is more your thing, the Westin has a fitness studio with a fitness center, swimming pool, and showers. The cost is $15 and a security check point is located nearby, so travelers don’t have to return to the ticketing counter.

As we’re a Delta hub, there’s also four Delta Sky Club lounges at DTW. This is more of a frequent flyer option as you have to be a Delta Sky member to enter, but there’s complimentary food, drinks, and Wi-Fi.

A hotel lobby in the Detroit Metro Airport. The lobby has high ceilings, a central garden area, and a large desk.
The lobby at the Westin in the McNamara Terminal.
Courtesy of Wayne County Airport Authority

Eight nursing rooms are available for mothers throughout both terminals. The rooms have comfortable chairs, a sink, a counter, and electrical outlets. Those wanting to use a room need to have their cell phones handy for an access code. At McNamara, rooms are located on Concourse A near gates A15,A25, A53, and A63, and in Concourse C near C2. At the North Terminal, find them at gates D8, D15, and D24.

The McNamara Terminal is also home to a PGA Pro Shop, where visitors can practice their swing while they wait for their flight.

Looking for some peace and quiet? Both the McNamara and North terminals have reflection rooms for prayer, yoga, or meditation. Access the McNamara room via elevators outside the TSA checkpoints, and the North Terminal room near Gate D-16.

For longer layovers, the Westin offers a Room for a Day, so visitors can sleep and shower. Rooms are available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and run $150 for weekdays and $109 on weekends.

Pro Tip: The Westin has dining options near the security checkpoint, so if you’re looking to meet up with a friend who has a long layover, that’s can be a great option.

Traveling with a pet? Both terminals have pet-relief areas past the security checkpoints.

Do you have any more tips for travelers at DTW? Drop us a note on our tip line.

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