Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

Without a doubt, my most hated aspect of travelling is flying. Being confined to a small space for an extended period is not something I enjoy. Luckily my love for travel outweighs this hate for flying, and I am still managing to see the world. However,  what is up there with my hatred for flying is boring as layovers stuck in airports. Who agrees with me? Come on now I bet you do! I mean, to be honest, some decent airports can entertain me for a couple of hours, but after that, besides sitting on my computer and working I know, I would much prefer to be exploring the city just outside the airport. Therefore to make life easier for travellers who feel the same I have put together a compilation of ideal cities for a long layover. 

NOTE: It is your responsibility to check visa requirements for each country you are travelling to including places you are hoping to have a layover in. Depending on your nationality these layovers may not be a viable option for you. The Traveller’s Guide By #ljojlo takes no responsibility if you are denied entering a country for a layover. 

AFRICA – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

ETHIOPIA – Addis Ababa

By Travellers Archive
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Addis Ababa

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Addis Ababa

 

The Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa may not sound like an ideal city for a long layover, but it offers endless options that will let you dive into Ethiopian traditions and the culture within minutes. Immigration into Addis Ababa is only allowed with a valid visa. If you are just transiting you can apply for a transit visa up to 14 days prior to departure or simply get it at the airport in Addis Ababa.

Start by taking a taxi from the airport and get right into this bustling African megacity with its 3.3 million inhabitants. Not only is Addis, like the locals call their city, located at an altitude of 2.355 metres above sea level, but also does it have its own mountain, Mount Entoto, from which you’ll have limitless views over the Ethiopian capital. Apart from that, Addis Ababa is the home of the largest open-air-market in West Africa, the mercato. Come here and get lost between mountains of spices, various metal shops as well as vegetables and fruits. It’s one of the greatest things to do in order to watch Ethiopian daily life pass by. If you still have time left, make sure to check out the 3.2-million year old fossil Lucy, which is located in the National Museum.

Time to head back to the airport already? Well, you are in Ethiopia and should better get yourself a strong coffee. Drinking coffee is one of the major parts of Ethiopian culture and tradition. It’s usually served in small cups and drank with 4-5 spoons of sugar. That should get you pumping for the next flight. In case you would like to go out for dinner, ask any taxi driver about a “cultural” restaurant and you’ll end up enjoying delicious Ethiopian food.

Written by Clemens @ Travellers Archive

KENYA – Nairobi

By Bren On The Road
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Nairobi

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Nairobi

 

I always encourage people to take a few days in Nairobi. A lot of people pass through this airport as it’s a gateway into East Africa, but most jump straight onto a connecting flight to the region’s tourist zones. It’s a shame because Nairobi has so much to offer!

If you’re taking a short layover here, you’ll need a transit visa which will give you 72 hours in the country. It’s $20 USD and you can get it online or on entry. The process is reasonably smooth.

Next it’s time to explore the city. Taxis are plentiful and shouldn’t cost much more than $7-8 (you may need to haggle), or you can use Uber which is very popular in Nairobi and slightly cheaper.

There are many things to do here. You can visit Karura Forest, feed the giraffes at the Giraffe House sanctuary, explore the bars and restaurants of Westlands, see the animals at Nairobi National Park. If it’s your first time in Africa, just wandering around Nairobi city centre and mingling with people makes for an interesting day. Don’t worry, everybody speaks English, and is super friendly. You might even find yourself leaving completely enamoured with the city – all it needs is a chance. Enjoy!

Written by Bren @ Bren On The Road

SOUTH AFRICA – Cape Town

By Singapore N Beyond
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Cape Town

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Cape Town

 

While Cape Town is more of a destination than a layover city, you may indeed find yourself passing through. Cape Town International may only be number 19 in the world’s best airports, but it is the best in Africa beating Durban’s King Shaka and Johannesburg by a mile. Even though it is a fairly small airport, there is free wifi, good coffee shops and restaurants, prayer rooms, a pharmacy and other facilities for a shorter layover.

If you have the necessary visa requirements, travel resources and time to spare you can enter the city as it is only a few kilometers away. There are also luggage storage facilities at the airport. Famed wine route Stellenbosch is only a 30-minute drive, white sand beaches at Camps Bay and Sea Point are 20 minutes and other sites like Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront shopping mall are about the same distance. If you’re roaming, you can take an Uber to any of these attractions. Otherwise, there are taxi and MyCiti bus services available if you don’t like the idea of renting your own car.

An even better idea is to organise a tour with a reputable company beforehand. Depending on how much time you have and what activities you want to partake in, you could be shark-cage diving, riding a helicopter over the peninsula, watching penguins, or sipping international award-winning wine for as little as US$35 pp for a half day tour. It should be noted that traffic going into the city between 6:30-9am and back to the airport between 4-6:30pm is rather painful. So while it may take 20 minutes to get to a destination with no traffic, it could easily take around 1 hour for the same trip at peak times. Please factor this in when planning your excursion!

Written by Callan @ Singapore N Beyond

ASIA – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

CAMBODIA – Phnom Penh

By Travel With Maria
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Phnom Penh

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Phnom Penh

 

On your way to see Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, you’re flight booking may bring you to Phnom Penh first – the capital city of Cambodia. It’s a city that still carries its old charm so please expect a bit of inconvenience in terms of transportation. From the airport, there’s no train so prepare to take a tuk-tuk instead. There are taxis but you’ll pay more so it is up to you.

For 30 to 45 minutes you can reach the hub where the majority of tourist attractions are located. There are no free tours and it may be difficult to do a DIY way of reaching each of these because you’ll end up paying more. You can join a group or get a packaged tour arrangement. Your tuk-tuk driver will offer you to tour around from the moment you take a seat. Feel free to haggle or just pick the ones you want. Grab a free copy of the airport’s Phnom Penh travel guide complete with maps, how to get there and most recent events you don’t usually read online.

Best way to start is by getting to know the tumultuous history of this country by visiting The Killing Fields and the S21 Tuol Sleng museum. For shopaholics, go to Russian Market. For culture buffs, please go to Wat Phnom, National Museum, Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda. If Paris has Eiffel Tower, Cambodia has Independence Monument. It is a lotus-shaped stupa that you will see from the country’s flag to the Khmer temple at Angkor Wat. Don’t leave without having a photo taken here. There’s also a sunset boat cruise for $5 only along the Mekong river, it’s a nice way to meet fellow travellers, take photos of the city from afar and finish a long layover.

Written by Maria @ Travel With Maria

CHINA – Beijing

By Travels Of A Bookpacker
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Beijing, Forbidden City

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Beijing, Forbidden City

 

Beijing is a great city for a layover since the introduction of a 72-hour visa free window for citizens of the USA, Canada, Europe and many other countries. There is an express train straight to the city centre which only takes 20 minutes. Once there you can use the easy-to-navigate subway system to get around to some of the amazing sights and make the most of your layover.

The number one thing to see is the Forbidden City, a complex maze of palaces, temples and walkways all beautifully decorated. But in just a few hours you can also take yourself to Tiananmen Square, Jingshan Park and the Wangfujing food markets for some authentic Chinese food. If you have more time there is also the summer palace, Olympic stadium and Lama Park.

If you don’t feel up to negotiating Beijing on your own there are plenty of tours which pick you up from the airport and take you to some of the major sights before dropping you back in time for your onward flight. For longer layovers, there are tours to the Great Wall which is also within a few hours of the airport!

Written by Rohan @ Travels Of A Bookpacker

CHINA – Guangzhou

By Dapsile
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Guangzhou

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Guangzhou

 

When the circumstances allow, I try to maximize my layovers in different locations. My recent one was Guangzhou, China. There are exceptions, but if you have a ticket purchased to a 3rd country and you will be leaving within 24 hours, most people do not require a Visa to travel through China.

My layover was around 9 hours so I went through the airport to an immigration check. At the check I received a stamp for temporary transit for 24 hours, allowing me to leave the airport. I flew China Southern so they took care of me, including someone waiting for me after I went through the check, which was very helpful. China Southern actually has great perks (including a travel card for the train) they share with their passengers on long layovers.

I placed my carry-on bag in the left luggage facilities, used an ATM for money, then headed downstairs to the train station. There was English at the station and on the train from the airport. Not everyone speaks English but most of the airport and China Southern employees did.  The trains and stations were very busy on a weekday morning. Thankfully I read the map on the first train and counted the stops because once I transferred trains, there was no English. I visited the Guangdong Folk Arts Museum which was mostly outside and about a one hour train ride from the airport.

While I would have liked to see more, the China Southern free city tour would have been great, I am happy I chose to see something in Guangzhou. It was my first time in China and it was a great teaser for the country. Seeing a new location is a wonderful way to spend your layover time between two long-haul flights.

Written by Teresa @ Dapsile

CHINA – Hong Kong

By Getting Stamped
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Hong Kong

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Hong Kong

Hong Kong is the perfect city for a short layover and for most tourists it’s visa-free. As Americans, we require a visa for China but for Hong Kong we are visa-free. You can store your luggage right at the airport so you don’t’ have to drag it around the city as you explore.  The Hong Kong airport express can have you in the heart of the city in 20 minutes for $16 round trip, which is really cheap compared to other things in Hong Kong. You can catch the train right at the airport, purchase your tickets online in advance or right at the airport kiosk.

I wouldn’t suggest leaving the airport if you have under 5 hours because you really would only have time for some dumplings and to see the skyline. If you have 6-12 hours you easily could cover some of the best things to do in Kowloon but probably not enough time to go to Hong Kong Island too.  You can’t go to Hong Kong and not visit Tim Ho Wan known as the world’s cheapest Michelin-star restaurant. Head to Victoria Harbour for the skyline view of Hong Kong Island and if you have time hop on the Star Ferry to Hong Kong Island for only $2.50HK which is only $0.40. If happen to be here during the evening the Star Ferry is great at night when the city is all light up. Hong Kong is an amazing city and after a short layover, you’ll add it to your bucket list to return to as you’ll need a few days to see everything.

Written by Hannah @ Getting Stamped

CHINA – Hong Kong (With Kids)

By Our Kids V The World
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Hong Kong

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Hong Kong

 

Hong Kong is a great city for a  layover with young kids, it’s easy to get around and the public transport system is one of the best in the world and easy to navigate. There are numerous ways to get from the airport to the city, including a free shuttle bus to many of the hotels in Kowloon and Hong Kong Island. The train also runs from the airport although you will need to purchase an Octopus card which can be organised for you at the airport.

Hong Kong has plenty for the kids to do, Hong Kong Disneyland is a short ride on the train from Kowloon and is focussed at the young ones specifically aiming at those 13 and under but also suitable for the whole family. We choose Hong Kong Disneyland for our first Disney experience because the kids were between 5-9 years and they were able to ride every ride.

Hong Kong’s Ocean Park is another zoo/theme park aimed at those kids just a little bit older. It’s full of extreme roller coasters and rides that your thrill seekers will love. It’s also suitable for little ones as the animal enclosures are impressive, especially the aquariums and Asian animal enclosures with giant pandas and red pandas being a big hit.

The Peak Tram is a great way to take in the view of Hong Kong from behind Victoria Harbour. On a good viewing day, you can see across to Kowloon. The old tram railway opened in May 1888, comprises a total distance of 1.4kms and elevates to 400m. I don’t think you can visit Hong Kong and not take in the view at the Sky Terrace 428.

As you can see I’ve only mentioned a couple of things, there’s plenty of shopping and other sightseeing to be done in Hong Kong. If you have the chance Hong Kong is an ideal city for a long layover. I highly recommend it.

Written by Sally @ Our Kids V The World

CHINA – Shanghai

By Ten Thousand Strangers
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Shanghai

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Shanghai

 

The Bund is a waterfront area along Zhongshan Road of Shanghai and a great stop on a long layover. To reach The Bund by train, take the MagLev Trains at Pudong International Airport. This is a single point journey which will take you to Longyang Road Station.

The MagLev train itself is a one-of-a-kind and a must have experience when you’re in Shanghai. This transport system boasts of being one of the fastest MagLev trains in the world with peak speed of 430 km/h. However, not all trips run at this peak speed, other trips only speed up to only 300 km/h. If you want to experience travelling at 400 km/h, take the 9:02 AM – 10:47 AM and 3:02 PM – 4:47 PM trips. A single journey ticket costs 50 yuans, while a round-trip ticket (valid for seven days) costs 80 yuans.

From Longyang Road Station, take Subway Line 2 (Green) to Nanjing East Road. From there, take a short walk southeast to The Bund. The entire travel from the airport to Nanjing East station could go from 40 to 60 minutes so you’ll have enough time to explore the area. Stroll along The Bund promenade and enjoy the view of Shanghai skyline. Here you can do your shopping, sightseeing, or enjoy China’s extensive cuisine.

The Bund has become Shanghai’s symbol of cosmopolitan prosperity. To maximize your experience with this massive waterfront, you may also consider taking one of the more lucrative Huangpu River Cruises.

Most air passengers can avail of free transit visas when having layovers in major airports in China, including Shanghai. However, check your eligibility at the Chinese Embassy website here: http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/hzqz/zgqz/t84242.htm

Written by Noel @ Ten Thousand Strangers

MALAYSIA – Kuala Lumpur

By Arzo Travels
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Kuala Lumpur

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur makes a great stopover destination for any kind of traveller. So whether you are heading to one of Malaysian´s beautiful islands afterwards or another destination – make sure to get out of the airport and explore as much as possible.While I enjoyed my week in Kuala Lumpur I think, staying a day in KL is probably enough to see the most important sights and even if you have just a few hours in Kuala Lumpur you can manage to see several great places of KL.
 
The Kuala Lumpur International Airport is located about 60 kilometres from the town centre (aka the Petronas Towers). You can get there by train express (most beautiful way to approach KL), taxi (most convenient) or by bus (cheapest) – just keep in mind that traffic in KL can be quite busy which might cause some delays.
 
One of the most beautiful parts of Kuala Lumpur is where you will see the amazing Petronas Towers. Many great places are located just in that area so you can squeeze in quite a lot of sightseeing during a short layover. Admire the Petronas Towers, relax at the park behind it and shop at the gorgeous KLL Suria Mall – even if it takes you a while to get to the towers from the airport you will then be able to enjoy a lot without having to walk/drive much further. Plan in some time to see the beautiful hate fountain dance show in front of the Petronas Tower – that has been my favourite water fountain show so far!
 
If you have some more time head the Batu Caves – this KL attraction is a bit further away but shows you a different angle of Kuala Lumpur.

Written by Arzo @ Arzo Travels

SINGAPORE

By Adventure Travel Family
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Singapore

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Singapore

 

Singapore‘s Changi airport is widely hailed as the best airport in the world. As well as numerous food courts offering local and international cuisine, Changi is home to a butterfly garden, field of sunflowers and a free 24/7 cinema as well as a quirky rooftop cactus garden.

For those waiting for a connecting flight during the day, a complimentary city tour is available so that visitors can take a whirlwind tour of Singapore and enjoy its highlights. There are two options to choose from of you can take the tour most suited to your interests.

The Heritage Tour takes guests to the colonial and cultural districts such as Little India and Chinatown. The bus stops at the Merlion Park for passengers to take a photo with the symbol of Singapore, and again at Kampong Glam in order to soak up the colourful vibes of the ethnic district. This tour is 2.5 hours long and departs at 9am, 11,30am, 2.30pm and 3.30pm with registration closing one hour before departure.

The City Sights tour is ideal for those who want to see the modern and innovative side of Singapore. Visitors will take in Marina Bay Sands, the Singapore Flyer and the Esplanade as well as other sights. Stops for photos will take place at Merlion Park and the Gardens by the Bay. This tour is 2.5 hours long and departs at 6pm and 7.30pm, with registration closing one hour before departure.

Registration booths are found in the Transit areas of Terminal 2 and Terminal 3 of Changi airport.

When catching a connecting flight from Changi airport be sure that you have thoroughly read the visa regulations for your next destination. Singapore is meticulous with paperwork and if you do not have a required onward ticket from your next location they will not allow you to board your flight. Still, there are worse airports to be stuck in!

Written by Hannah @ Adventure Travel Family

SOUTH KOREA – Seoul

By Adventure Family Life

Laying over in Seoul is great because you can easily see the city in a few hours and the airport has top-notch amenities for transit passengers. If you want to see the city during your visit, you can do easily it on your own as the city train stops at the airport. However, the government also offers free city tours especially for those passing through. There are eight different options with durations from 1-5 hours. Most of the tours are free but a few have a small entrance fee (but those usually include a meal!). The tours allow you to see some of the top sights in Seoul without having to plan a thing. I’d suggest booking a tour that includes a palace visit and a stop on Insadong Street which is a popular shopping destination. They even offer a tour of the airport which points out all of the cultural attractions that are spread throughout Incheon Airport. However, you can certainly visit the Traditional Korean Cultural Center to make a Korean craft or listen to traditional music on your own without participating in a guided tour.

Of course, if you don’t have time to leave the airport at all, there’s plenty to keep you entertained and refreshed. One of our favourite features is the free hot showers. The showers are clean and include toiletries, towels and hair dryers. After you’ve showered, you can relax in one of several rest areas that features lounging chairs perfect for resting or sleeping during your layover.

Parents with young children will love the play areas which offer fun ways for kids to burn off energy as well as the Nursery rooms which are perfect for those with young babies, especially if you are looking for a quiet, private place to feed your baby.

Written by Melanie @ Adventure Family Life

TAIWAN – Taipei

By The Hot Flash Packer

Taipei, Taiwan is one of those ideal cities for a long layover. Taiwan is visa-free for most nationalities and the immigration is a breeze.  There are ample ATMs and currency exchanges at the airport. There are two great ways to explore Taipei when on a long layover in TPE:

  1. In a morning or afternoon 4-5 hour free tour. This only works if your layover fits their schedule. Book ahead and online as they have limited spots.
  2. Do-it-yourself.

If you plan to DIY, the best way to get downtown is on the purple line on the MRT. This extension of the Taipei metro system just opened in early 2017. Surprisingly, they don’t take credit cards – cash only for tickets.  This will take you to the central station where you can transfer to another line (separate fare) or set off on foot. The sites of Taipei are fairly spread out so if you want to save time, use the MRT system.  Unless you’re planning more than 5-7 rides on your layover, it’s cheaper to buy individual tickets rather than an MRT day pass. Some of the highlights of Taipei on a long layover:

  • Taipei 101 – this was once the world’s tallest building and a focal point of Taipei’s skyline.
  • Elephant Mountain – Climb this hill for a great skyline view.  It’s especially beautiful at sunset.
  • Night Markets – There are many.  Raohe is a favourite and you can visit the temple at the east entrance.
  • Longshan Temple – this is one of the top temples in the city.  Make sure you check out the waterfall wall.

Overnight layovers are common at Taipei and it’s easy to combine one or more stops above with a stay in a hostel, pod hotel, or hotel – accommodation choices are abundant.

Written by Lisa @ The Hot Flash Packer 

THAILAND – Bangkok

By Travel Tom Tom

If you have a couple hours while at Suvarnabhumi Airport then definitely make sure to explore this crazy city, Bangkok. There is something for everyone in the Thai capital and that is why I encourage people to leave the airport. Bangkok is the city of endless opportunities and just wandering around in the city centre will already amaze you.

To get to the city you can either take the direct sky train for $1.50 or an Uber for around $12. It will only cost you about 30 minutes with a taxi and there is cheap luggage storage at the airport if you don’t want to take your (hand) luggage with you. Bangkok is amazing for shopping and if that is your thing make your way to Siam Square where you will find 5 shopping malls within 2 kilometres. For around $10 you can get yourself a VIP seat in one of the ultra-modern cinema complexes on the top floors of the malls, worth the experience. For a more authentic shopping experience head to local markets like the Pratunam Street Market or Patpong Night Market.

One of the most fun things to do in Bangkok is to have a drink on a rooftop bar. Forget about the Hangover bar where you pay $10 for a non-alcoholic drink but instead head to Octave, Red Sky Bar or Park Society. For food lovers, a culinary journey through Chinatown cannot be missed and even a quick visit to the most famous temples can be done within 30 minutes at Grand Palace.

The best thing about all this: immigration in Thailand is really smooth and easy for most of the countries making Bangkok one of the ideal cities for a long layover.

Written by Tom @ Travel Tom Tom

EUROPE – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

CZECH REPUBLIC – Prague

By Studying The World

The compact size and easy airport connections make Prague a perfect city for a long layover. The journey from the Vaclac Havel international airport to the city centre takes about half an hour on public transport. There are two options: you can either take the bus 119 until the Nádraží Veleslavín station for metro line A, or the bus 100 until the Zličín station for line B. There is also an airport express bus, which runs to the main train station in around 35 minutes.

Once in town, you have plenty of interesting attractions and activities to choose from, from exploring the city on a free walking tour to sampling the famous Czech beer in one of Prague‘s many atmospheric pubs. Whatever you do, however, do not miss the historic centre – it is a Unesco World Heritage site for a reason! The best place to start is the Old Town Square, with its colourful houses and the world-renowned astronomic clock. From there, just follow the cobblestone streets wherever they take you. You won’t be disappointed: the old town of Prague is one of the most beautiful in the world.

Written by Liza @ Studying The World

DENMARK – Copenhagen

By Worldmission196
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Copenhagen

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Copenhagen

 

I had a brief 48 hours in Copenhagen earlier this year. If you are arriving from a Schengen country you will only need to clear customs, however, no immigration. The train station into the city is also located right outside the airport and the train ride is only 13 minutes. My advise would be to buy your train ticket from a machine before you clear customs. The queue at the ticket machine near the train station can be a bit of a wait.

Once you get into the city you have the option to choose between going to see the Little Mermaid Statue, Freetown Christiana, do a short cruise. If you want to save some money do the city cruise where you aren’t able to hop off, it is cheaper. Alternatively food snobs would definitely want to visit Noma a two star rated Michelin restaurant (One guy caught the train all the way from Mongolia to eat here). Further options are visiting Tivoli (the second oldest amusement park in the world), Rosenberg Castle, or ample museums. Copenhagen is a beautiful city with much to offer for a long layover. You will enjoy it so much that you no doubt you will want to book another trip there.

Written by Petro @ Worldmission196

FINLAND – Helsinki

By A Rai Of Light

You could spend quite a bit of time exploring Helsinki and the surrounding archipelago, but the main sights can be seen on a layover because it is one of those ideal cities for a long layover. The Finnair city bus or the regular public bus gets you into the city centre in 30 minutes for under €10. Alternatively, a taxi is an additional option.

Once here, head to Senate square. Here you will get the best view of the Helsinki Cathedral, quite possibly the city’s most famous monument and attraction. Following that a two-hour walk in the surrounding neighbourhood will provide a good feel for the city. Be sure not to miss out on the world-famous Finnish coffee and a box (or two) of Korvapuusti before going back to Helsinki-Vantaa airport because both are delicious.

Written by Rai @ A Rai Of Light

FRANCE – Paris

By My Feet Will Lead Me
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Paris

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Paris

 

I usually hate layovers, and when I realised I’d booked a ticket home from Morocco that left me in Paris from 10pm to 10am, my first thought was “crap.” But then I remembered I am known for making the most of my time so I reached out to tour companies who offer private and unique tours of Paris. I contacted Cedric’s Paris Tours to see if they’d be willing to consider a slightly unconventional tour that would go into the wee hours of the morning. Their personalised response and eagerness to make my night in Paris a perfect one solidified my decision to choose their company.

Arriving at the airport, I took a taxi to the city centre, but the train or bus are other options as well. I was enthusiastically greeted at our midnight meeting point by my driver/tour guide, Chris. He opened the door to his stunning green 1977 2CV, helped me into the backseat, offered me a blanket, and gave me a box of Pierre Hermé macaroons. Our first stop was to grab a crêpe for the road and then we were on our way.

Everywhere we cruised, I was able to pop out of the roof to take pictures, and since there was very little traffic, we could stop when we wanted. Chris explained all the history behind the monuments and places we visited, including some secret facts about landmarks that many Parisians don’t even know. His enthusiasm and passion for his city was contagious!

Our 2CV Paris tour took us to a rather unknown viewing spot of the Eiffel Tower on the banks of the Seine (complete with a bottle of champagne), the Louvre, the Notre-Dame Cathedral, one of the “love lock bridges,” and much more. It was magical seeing everything at an hour when almost no one was around.

All of Cedric’s Paris Tours are done in an adorable old 2CV with a Parisian guide, can vary from 1-3 or more hours and can be taken day or night. The four-car fleet is owned by the guides and they never use advertisement on their vehicles. If you can fit in a few hours to take one the most special and personalized private tours in Paris you won’t regret it.

Written by Jessica @ My Feet Will Lead Me

Hungray – Budapest

By LooknWalk

The capital of Hungary, Budapest, is one of those ideal cities for a long layover. The main reasons are: excellent public transportation and many attractions are located in a compact area.Hungary is part of Schengen area, so make sure to get the visa if you require one. European Union nationals can travel freely with their Passport and ID card, without the need of a visa.

Once you get off the plane and are done with the passport control (if required, if you fly from another Schengen country, you’ll skip this step), stop at the MAV booth and get a 24h travel card. It includes the bus from the airport to the metro station and all metro lines, buses, and trains in the city, plus the HEV (which you won’t use during the layover anyway). Travel card in hand, hop on 200E and get off at the last stop (they will announce it in English so you know where it stops to change for metro). Hop on the metro (line blue) and get off at Deak Ter. This is where the blue line meets the red and yellow line and you’ll be right smack in the centre.

Now you have several choices. You can spend a bit of time on Vaci utca, the commercial street with a lot of places to eat and shop; or you can make your way to the Danube Promenade. Of course, if you are famished, you’d want to stop for a bite first. On the Danube Promenade, you get an amazing view of the Danube and Buda with the Castle, Mattihias Church, and on the Pest side, Chain Bridge and further down the Parliament. With your back to the Chain Bridge, you can see Elisabeth Bridge and Gellert Hill with Citadella on top.

With limited time on the layover, I suggest to walk to Chain Bridge, then make a right and walk to St. Istvan Basilica. You won’t have time to get to the viewing platform but you may have time to visit the interior. Then walk to the Parliament. Again, no time to tour, but plenty of time to take photos and enjoy the area. From here, walk to the Danube and see the Shoes on the Danube Memorial. Also, the panorama towards Buda is amazing! With your back to Chain Bridge again, you’ll see now Margaret Island.

It takes more than an hour to get to/from the airport (safe to calculate 1h 30 min). So that’s 3 hours easily commuting to/from the airport.  I usually fly into Budapestand then take a train from here. Keleti train station is super close to Deak by metro (red).

Written by Cris @ LooknWalk

ICELAND – Reykjavik

By Two Restless Homebodies

If you’re heading to Europe, Iceland is all about the layovers. Book through Icelandair’s website, and they include the ability to add up to a 7-night layover to your itinerary. But if you only have a few hours to spare:

Go to the Blue Lagoon – Few things in life top a spa visit after a long plane trip. This amazing luxury resort offers shuttles from Keflavik International Airport, a secure luggage storage area onsite – and surprisingly affordable package options for a quick visit. Just be sure to schedule your time in advance!

Explore Reykjavik –  There are two separate bus systems that run regularly from KEF to the city and back. Take a bus into Reykjavik, where you can walk from one end of the city to the other in about 30 minutes, but there’s so much to see and do in between. Get in some shopping (Icelandic wool blankets, anyone?), delicious Scandinavian food (don’t try fermented shark – trust us), or museum visits. Among others, the phallic museum is of particular interest to many visitors!

Go horseback riding – If shopping and museums just aren’t your cup of tea, take a bus into the city and book a short horseback riding excursion through Reykjavik’s volcanic fields with Islenski Hesturinn. Icelandic horses are a treat to experience, so don’t pass up the opportunity.

Rent a car and drive part of the Golden Circle – More suited to a multi day layover, the Golden Circle is easily a multi-day adventure. Enjoy Gulfoss waterfall, Geysir and its hot springs, or simply enjoy stopping along the drive for picture after picture of the gorgeous landscape.

Written by Meagan @ The Two Restless Homebodies

IRELAND – Dublin

By The Upbeat Path
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Dublin

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Dublin

 

Why visit Dublin? There’s hardly anything that can put a damper on a layover in this city – aside from the rain clouds, but I would say that’s part of its character. Dublin is an accessible destination to get your daily fixing as it’s only 6 miles (12 kilometers) from the Dublin International Airport.  Getting to and from is made simple via the 747 buses known as Airlink. The Airlink costs €6 one-way for adults, €10 return. The buses are frequent, departing every 15 or 20 minutes. If you’re on even more of a time crunch, you could take an Uber instead.

Once in the city, get your caffeine boost at a local coffee spot. Dublin has some excellent coffee that is up to even our high coffee standards.  Visit the historical and holy Saint Patrick’s Cathedral as it’s a staple of this city. TIP:  If you’re in a hurry, avoid paying to get inside and instead walk around the outside and read up for yourself.

Next, you’re going to want to find yourself the perfect pint. No better way to do so than by touring the Guinness Storehouse. Admission costs €17.50 per person and includes a self-guided tour around the museum as well as a drink ticket for a complimentary pint. The tour takes about 2 hours to complete. Finally, enjoy a storytelling dinner at Brazen Head (but make reservations!).

While there are endless ways to experience a city, we hope this peek into our day in Dublin helps you plan your bite-sized tour of Baile Átha Cliath!

Written by Steph & Jim @ The Upbeat Path

LATVIA – Riga

By Megan Starr
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Riga

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Riga

 

I think Riga, Latvia makes for one of Europe’s best layover spots due to the city’s size and accessibility from the airport.  Riga is the hub for the Baltic country and acts as a gateway to the east of Europe and even into the Caucasus region, so I have often found myself (at least six times!) on extensive layovers in Riga.

To get into the city from the airport, you simply walk outside and hop on the public bus (no.22 now, but always check to ensure that still stands before your trip) that frequently runs between the airport and city centre.  The fare is always extremely affordable and will drop you off right near the city centre (11.Novembra stop is the ideal drop-off point).  Once there, you can waltz around the Old Town, enjoy delicious Latvian food at the plethora of traditional restaurants in the area, and admire the Disneyland-esque architecture you’ll be surrounded by.

Once you enjoy this part of the city, I definitely recommend branching out a bit and either heading to Miera Iela, a hipster quarter with good restaurants, bars, and the Laima Chocolate Factory, or in the surrounding areas where you can admire Riga’s renowned Art Nouveau architecture scene.  When you’re ready to head back to the airport, you can simply take the same airport bus from 13.Janvara stop to Lidosta Riga, or the Riga Airport.  The best thing for me about having frequent Riga layovers is that I get to explore new enclaves and neighbourhoods every time I go and I am starting to learn the city like the back of my hand! Riga really is one of those ideal cities for a long layover.

Written by Megan @ Megan Starr

NETHERLANDS – Amsterdam

By Travel Hacker Girl
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Amsterdam

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Amsterdam

 

Amsterdam is one of those ideal cities for a long layover. We had 10 hours between flights so we decided to spend this time exploring Amsterdam. It is easy, quick and cheap to get into the centre. The best way is to use the train. They run 24 hours a day and it takes 10 minutes to get into the centre. A one-way journey costs €3.30 and €7.80 for a same-day return journey.

The city isn’t too big, so you can very comfortably walk to most places, however, I think Amsterdam is best explored by bike. I am an avid cyclist, so we didn’t hesitate to rent a bike. As you probably know the city is very bike friendly. It is a very safe and convenient way to travel.

As we had just a short time in the city we mostly just wanted to get a feel of the city. I think another must do apart from cycling is going on a boat trip. You can buy tickets all over the city and get on a boat almost straight away. The canals are really gorgeous and our guide was very informative. We learned a lot about canal boats, house prices, the history of the city and the canal system. Don’t forget to try Dutch fries and Stroopwafel while you are there!

Written by Enikő @ Travel Hacker Girl

NETHERLANDS – Rotterdam

By My Kids In Tow
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Rotterdam

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Rotterdam

 

Rotterdam is a post-apocalyptic futuristic city 40 miles south of Amsterdam. I understand this sounds like the opening line of a movie, but it’s real. During World War II, (1940- 1945) the city of Rotterdam experienced massive bombing raids that levelled the entire city. Nothing was left except a few homes and the St Lawrence Church. The city decided to rebuild better than it was before. There seemed to be no thought of nostalgically rebuilding the old city, as it would be at the expense of a more modern future. And modern it is. Here is why Rotterdam is the Netherlands, best-kept secret that you can explore if you have a layover in Amsterdam.

Rotterdam is only 27 Minutes from Amsterdam airport by train. The architecture is amazing and futuristic. You feel as though you’re living in the future. Don’t miss the Markaal Market, the cube houses, the Erasmus bridge, and the Euromast. Art is everywhere.

It’s great to just walk around and take in the surprises around the city. Don’t miss Witte de Witte strand, a funky artistic street with many restaurants and bars. There’s a great park in the middle of the city, an idyllic green space. There are also canals everywhere and water taxis. When in Rotterdam, you have to take a water taxi. Visit New York New York, a hotel and now restaurant where many people sailed from on their way to America hundreds of years ago.

Rotterdam is truly a hidden gem in the Netherlands making it one of the ideal cities for a long layover.

Written by Amy @ My Kids In Tow

PORTUGAL – Lisbon

By Portugalist
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Lisbon

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Lisbon

 

Compact and easy to get around, Lisbon is a fantastic city for a layover. With a little planning, most of the sights can be seen in a few hours and that includes plenty of opportunities to indulge in Lisbon’s delicious cuisine as well!  Getting in and out of Lisbon is straight-forward. The most cost-effective way is via metro, which typically takes around 30 minutes. A taxi or Uber takes even less time; usually 15-20 minutes.

Most of Lisbon’s key attractions are split between Lisbon City Centre and the Belém neighbourhood. Don’t miss Praça do Comércio and the Castelo de São Jorge while you’re in the city centre, two of Lisbon’s main attractions. It’s also worth taking the time to wander the streets, particularly around Alfama.

If you don’t want to stop for a leisurely lunch, the quickest thing to grab is a bifana or a prego. These two sandwiches are the closest thing that Portugal has to street food and fast food, and they’re definitely worth trying. Getting between the city centre and Belém is best done by tram (#15) or by taxi. While a tram takes around 30 minutes, a taxi or Uber takes just 15. During a layover, it’s often worth forking out for a taxi in order to save time. In Belém, take the time to visit the Mosteiro dos Jerónimos, Torre de Belém, and the Padrão dos Descobrimentos. Belém is also home to the original pastel de nata, which can be found at Pastéis de Belém.

After that, it’s back to the airport for your next flight. It’s a flying visit of Lisbon, but it’s much better than simply sitting in the airport.

Written by James @ Portugalist

SPAIN – Madrid

By Something Of Freedom
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Madrid

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Madrid

 

With flights to/from multiple destinations in Asia, Africa, South America and Europe, Madrid is one of those ideal cities for a long layover. For most, immigration is a breeze, as residents of a large number of countries don’t need an advance visa. Unfortunately though, for residents of China and some smaller nations listed here, it is necessary to get a visa at least 2 weeks in advance.

Thankfully, Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport is very well connected to Madrid city centre. Between 5.58am and 10.27pm, you can catch the RENFE Cercanías train to Atocha station for just €2.60. The downside is this only runs from terminal 4, so you’ll have to catch the airport shuttle there if you’re at another terminal. A great, but slightly more expensive alternative at €5, is the 24-hour express bus service which takes up to 40 minutes to reach the city.

Madrid’s main attractions are within walking distance of each other, so it’s possible to explore the city on foot. If you’re really pushed for time though, make use of the local metro service. For grandiose architecture head to the royal palace, and while you’re there enjoy a stroll through the colourful gardens. If you’d prefer to soak up the Spanish sun, don’t miss El Retiro park. Hire a rowboat for a pleasant ride on the park lake or enjoy the expansive areas of greenery throughout. Should you crave more beautiful architecture, the charming Plaza Mayor is a must see. There are plenty of shops and cafes if you fancy a bite to eat, but if you’re looking for a cheaper option head to the nearby San Miguel market. With so much to do and the city easily accessible from the airport, you can’t go wrong with a layover in Madrid!

Written by Sam & Natalia @ Something Of Freedom

MIDDLE EAST – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

ISRAEL – Tel Aviv

By The Fashion Matters
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Tel Aviv

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Tel Aviv

 

Tel Aviv is a city that is totally worth visiting for its beautiful sandy white beach, unique architecture and delicious food. On a long layover, it is very simple to get to town via train. Tel Aviv city centre is only one stop away from the airport and once there: everything is possible!

Chilling on the gorgeous beach is one great option or alternatively, you can walk around the Old City of Jaffa which is located right off the beach. Jaffa is picture perfect, but it doesn’t stop there, Neve-Tzedek is another beautiful neighbourhood that has been known as an oasis of art and architecture.

For food lovers, Tel Aviv is heaven! With so many great food options- you’re guaranteed to be mesmerized. Definitely try out the local dishes such as Schnitzel, Falafel, Shakshuka and Hummus. If you’re into food markets Shut HaCarmel is a few minutes walk away from the beach and has the most delicious fast food. This is also a good place to buy souvenirs from the Holy Land to your friends and family. Around Rothschild Boulevard you can find a wide variety of great restaurants and cafes as well as an amazing nightlife. For shopping, you should definitely stop by Dizzingof Street that has cute local clothing boutiques and a shopping centre.

Tel Aviv has so much to offer that can only be fully experienced in a visit of a few days, but, if you’re already at Ben Gurion Airport, it would be a shame to miss out a little taste of Tel Aviv.

Written by Hadas @ The Fashion Matters

JORDAN – Amman

By Eleonore Everywhere
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Amman

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Amman

 

The urban city of Amman, just 45 minutes from Queen Alia International Airport, is the perfect spot for a long layover. Spread out across seven hills, this city will give you a taste of the Middle East and leave you wanting to come back for more! Getting into Amman itself is easy. When you arrive at the airport allow up to 1.5 hours to get through customs and get your visa (40 JOD / £42). Once outside the airport, there will be plenty of taxis airport ready to take you into Amman. The prices are fixed (20 JOD / £21) so you won’t need to worry about having to haggle the price.

What should you do during your layover? Start in downtown Amman and visit the Citadel which is perched on top the highest hill in the city and is a great spot to get a view of downtown. From there, walk to the nearby Roman Theater, taking in all of the beautiful urban street art as you go. Have lunch on the terrace of Shams al Balad or falafel and warm Jordanian tea at Hashem. Habibah Sweets is perfect for trying to hot Kunafa. Other great things to do in Amman include visiting the Abu Darwish Mosque, wandering the various stores selling handicrafts in downtown or soaking it up at the Al-Pasha Turkish Bath. And if you need a coffee before the next leg of your trip, wander to the beautiful al-Weibdeh neighbourhood to Rumi Cafe.

If you have a longer layover of a day or two, you can wander further afar from Amman and visit the Dead Sea (1 hour), Mount Nebo (45 minutes) or even the spectacular Petra (3 hours). Royal Jordanian Airlines offers specific layover packages that arrange tours for you to Amman, Petra, the Dead Sea or a number of other beautiful spots in Jordan.

Written by Eleonore @ Eleonore Everywhere

QATAR – Doha

By The Traveling Ginger
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Doha

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Doha

 

It would seem that Doha, Qatar is made for travellers, particularly ones that want to utilise their stop-over to the max! Qatar Airways seems to make it easy for travellers by offering multiple extended layover options, easy VISAs (for most countries, apart from those currently in the Middle East), and the city has so many easily accessible sights, hotels, and restaurants. After landing in Qatar, most nationalities can purchase a VISA on arrival (or ahead of time) and make their way through customs. To get into the city, utilizing Qatar’s taxi services is best – note though that they do not accept credit cards. Withdraw/exchange money from the airport; it’s quick and efficient.

Once in the city, there is plenty to see, and most of it is in easy walking distance, or accessible with a taxi. The Museum of Islamic Art is beautiful and free to explore. From here, you can walk along the Corniche, passing the dhow boats. You may even want to board one of these party boats and travel across the bay. Past the dhow boats and along the Corniche you will come to the Souq Wafiq. It is a traditional market in Doha that has absolutely anything and everything, including dozens of restaurants. The Qataris have made Doha an easy excursion on a stopover. Qatar Airways even offers free city tours dependent on your layover time. If Doha is an optional stay over on your travel route, I would book it and explore this tiny country’s capital city!

Written by Nikki @ The Traveling Ginger

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Abu Dhabi

By Pack The PJs
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Abu Dhabi

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Abu Dhabi

 

Abu Dhabi is a hub for many journeys towards the Far East, India, Australia and New Zealand. But it is more than just a stop, it is a fabulous and interesting city in its own right, with a lot to offer and much to see, making it one of the ideal cities for a long layover. If you find yourself with a layover of half-to-a-whole day, there are lots of options to get out the airport and explore.

The airport is about 45 minutes from the city centre (the Corniche) and so at the very least you can do a city tour and take in the highlights, such as the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, the Souk Qaryat Al Bery (for gifts), the harbour (to see Arab Dhows being built), Yas Marina Circuit (for Formula One fans) and the Corniche (the heart of the city). More experienced travellers might make time to visit Ferrari World (you could be there all day), visit the Grand Mosque (3 hours to do it justice), play golf or even do a desert safari tour with dune bashing and camel rides (all afternoon into the evening).

It purely depends on how much time you have, but the main thing is to plan ahead as much as you can. Eat out in the city – it is cheaper than the airport and there is more choice from steaks to a SpongeBob-themed Kebab house. Taxis are highly regulated and so a ride from the airport into the city is quite reasonable (70-80 Dirhams approx $30). Be bold and see the sights. AbuDhabi is a great city to visit and one that we want to return to.

Written by Tracey @ Pack The PJs

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – Dubai

By Happiness Travels Here
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Dubai

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Dubai

 

With the help of Emirates airlines, Dubai has firmly placed itself on the map as a premium layover destination. The city of skyscrapers, perched between the desert and the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf has something for every style and budget.

Take an Agra boat along Dubai Creek to see the heart of historic Dubai. Visit the souks and shop for spices and cashmere scarves. See the traditional Dhow boats being loaded with cargo bound for India and China. Head to a luxurious resort along the marina or on the man-made Palm Island. Lay by the pool with a cocktail and be pampered at one of the many spas. Experience Dubai from the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world and shop high fashion at the deluxe Dubai Mall, here you’ll also find a dazzling fountain light show after dark. Thrill seekers can take a waterslide through a tank of sharks at the Atlantis waterpark, ride roller-coasters at the many theme parks, carve out some turns on the indoor ski slopes or experience one of the worlds top sky-dives.

The logistics of a stopover are simple in Dubai, the city is easy and cheap to navigate via taxi or the clean and efficient metro. Many hotels offer airport pick up as well as free shuttles to and from Dubai Mall. If you are transiting with Emirates choose one of their stopover packages where everything is taken care of down to the last detail.

Written by Kaylie @ Happiness Travels Here

NORTH AMERICA – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Atlanta

By This Girl Travels
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Atlanta

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Atlanta

When you have a few extra hours in Atlanta and the required visas, don’t hang around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Instead, make your way to the main terminal and catch a ride on the MARTA train for a nominal fare. MARTA will take you straight into downtown Atlanta, where you’ll find a wealth of attractions to entertain you making Atlanta one of the ideal cities for a long layover.

Go to the Five Points station, and switch to the Blue Line going west. Hop off at the Dome/GWCC/Philips/CNN stop, which is the first stop. Trust me, it sounds more complicated than it actually is. Once you leave the train and exit the MARTA station, you will find yourself outside, surrounded by many of Atlanta’s most popular attractions.

In the centre is Centennial Olympic Park, which is surrounded by the World of Coca-Cola, the Center of Civil and Human Rights, the Georgia Aquarium, the College Football Hall of Fame, and the Skyview Ferris wheel. You most likely won’t have time to experience them all, so choose your favourite and get started sightseeing.

When it’s time to head back to the airport, just retrace your steps. Return to the Dome/GWCC/Philips/CNN MARTA station, and get on the Blue Line going east. At the Five Points station (first stop), switch to the Red/Orange Line headed south. You won’t miss your stop, given the airport is the end of the line. Of course, you will have to go through security again to reach your gate, so return early enough to accommodate wait times.

Written by Karon @ This Girl Travels

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Chicago

By Have Seat Will Travel
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Chicago

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Chicago

 

If you have a short day or maybe even just half a day, Chicago is a great city to check out! From both major airports (O’Hare and Midway), you can take the train directly into downtown. In just 20-30 minutes you’ll be in the heart of downtown Chicago, steps away from The Bean, Buckingham Fountain, Navy Pier, Lincoln Zoo and the infamous Chicago Theater. All of these great sights are within walking distance so forget worrying about a rental car! If your feet get tired they have a variety of city bikes you can rent or there’s always Uber.

The Bean (also known as Cloud Gate) is located inside Millenium Park. When we visited in August it was the perfect time of year to wander the park and enjoy everything it had to offer. Just beyond the Bean was a free concert taking place at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. If you enjoy architecture, this amphitheatre is a must see! The gorgeous waterways are not far and if you walk from Millenium Park to Navy Pier you’ll encounter some great views along the way. Whether you have a day or only an afternoon, take the time and check it out. You won’t be disappointed!

Written by Samantha @ Have Seat Will Travel

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Honolulu

By Always On The Way
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Honolulu

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Honolulu

 

One of the perks of having a long layover in Honolulu is that you get the opportunity to explore many people’s dream vacation destination, Hawaii. The airport has public transport on the ground level where you can take the bus #19 and #20 to Waikiki and the hotels. On the flip side, Roberts Hawaii Airport Shuttle takes you directly in front of the hotel within 30 minutes. Once you arrived in Waikiki, you are surrounded by the beautiful beach, shopping area, delicious international cuisine, and street activities.

To explore more of Oahu, take the #52 bus from Ala Moana to North Shore to discover amazing beaches in Waimea Bay, Sunset Beach, and Turtle Bay, buy lunch at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck, try the Matsumoto Shave Ice, and watch the sunset at the Sunset Beach. If you want more tranquillity and flexibility, opt for a self-drive around the island, or head to Lanikai Beach and Waimanalo Bay for jaw-dropping gorgeous seascapes and then end your day at the top of Tantalus for the best view of the island. For those interested in hiking, Diamond Head and Koko Head are popular places among visitors and locals.

Please note that Hawaii is the 50th state of the United States. Canadian, USA and EU passport holders will not have any issues travelling to Honolulu. A tourist visa may be required for citizens of other countries. Be sure to check out the official page of the USA immigration and make sure you have the proper entry documents ready before your visit.

Written by Julie @ Always On The Way

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Las Vegas

By Nomad By Trade
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Las Vegas

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Las Vegas

 

Las Vegas may be the perfect city to visit on a layover. Unlike most cities, whose airports are typically located way on the outskirts, its main airport – McCarran International – is right on the strip. And I really mean right there. Its perimeter fences are right across the street from the Mandalay Bay and Luxor hotels. The only downside is that free transportation options are limited. There are plenty of taxis around, but the casinos don’t have shuttles, unfortunately. I found that the cheapest way to get from the airport to the Strip was to take a shuttle that made several stops according to passenger requests.

Once you’re on the Strip, you’re free to explore the sights and sounds of Las Vegas. I started at the north end and walked the whole thing. The best part is that there is tons of free stuff to do so you don’t have to spend a fortune if you don’t want to. You can grab a meal at one of the restaurants and then spend your time just walking and taking photos of the casinos and their over-the-top décor. I particularly liked the fountain shows outside of the Bellagio, the replicas of Paris’ famous landmarks at the Paris Hotel and Casino, and the over-the-top New York City scenes at the New York, New York. Once you’re done exploring, the airport is just a short taxi ride away, though it takes deceptively long even from casinos right across from its runways so be sure to leave plenty of time to get back through security.

Written by Kris @ Nomad By Trade

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – New York

By My Tickle Feet
 Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - New York

Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - New York

 

What makes New York City one of the ideal cities for a long layover for travellers is the fact that it has two major airports within the city limits – John F Kennedy and LaGuardia. NYC has great flight connectivity to the rest of the world so chances are you will find cheap flights in and out of the US with a layover in NYC. The top attractions in the Big Apple, as it is fondly called, can easily be seen in a layover here. Since these international airports are in Queens which is a borough of New York across the East river let’s start from Brooklyn which is closest to Queens.

From JFK airport you can take a train to Brooklyn or from LaGuardia it would be easier to just hail a cab. In a short duration, you must not miss the following points of interest from South to North in direction:

  • Brooklyn: The Brooklyn Bridge, DUMBO area.
  • Downtown Manhattan: Freedom Tower, 911 Tribute Center, Charging Bull, Trinity Church, Battery Park to get a glimpse of Statue of Liberty
  • Midtown Manhattan: Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center (choose between these two buildings to go on top for an aerial panoramic view), Times Square, Central Park

You can even rent a Citibike to explore Central Park. The best way to see everything in NYC is by walking. However since Downtown is quite some distance away from Midtown, I would suggest taking a cab to Empire State and then walk all the spots there on foot. While you are near Times Square don’t forget to eat NYC’s famous chicken over rice at Halal Guy’s food truck.

Written by Richa @ My Tickle Feet

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – San Francisco

By Practical Wanderlust

San Francisco is a fantastic place to explore on a layover! .The city geographically tiny: it’s only 7 miles by 7 miles. You can, actually, walk from one end to the other in a day – or see a ton of San Francisco‘s uniquely distinct neighbourhoods on foot. Just be sure to bring a jacket or some layers – each neighbourhood in San Francisco has its own micro-climate. Just one of San Francisco‘s many weird quirks.

Whether you’re flying into Oakland International or San Francisco International Airport, the city is easily accessible. Both airports connect directly with the BART transit system: just look for the signs directing you to the BART station and hop on the next train towards San Francisco. You’ll be in the city in about half an hour.

We recommend hopping off and exploring at Embarcadero Station to explore the beautiful waterfront and some of the best San Francisco attractions. When you disembark at Embarcadero, stop by the Ferry Building for some delicious fancy food & snobby coffee. Here, you can begin a 3 hour self-guided San Francisco walking tour. Or, if you’re short on time and heavy on luggage, take the F-Train up to Fisherman’s Wharf, wave at Alcatraz, walk up to Ghiradelli Square, and catch a trolley down one of San Francisco‘s famously steep hills! Get back on the BART at Powell Station by Union Square to head back to the airport.

Written by Lia @ Practical Wanderlust

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA – Washington DC

By Kelsey Social

Spring has sprung in DC

A post shared by KELSEY OHLEGER (@kelseysocial) on

Washington D.C. is a great city for a layover. The iconic monuments never fail to be impressive and the Smithsonian museums are some of the best in the world. If you have a layover at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA), leaving the airport is an option by metro or taxi. Be sure you’re layover is at DCA and not Dulles (IAD) or Baltimore (BWI). IAD and BWI airports are about an hour from downtown and will require much more time. DCA is only 3 miles from downtown which makes it very accessible and gives Washington DC the status of one of the ideal cities for a long layover.

When planning to leave the airport, be aware that there are no luggage lockers or other storage facilities at National Airport. Try to check your luggage ahead of time or consider leaving it at a nearby hotel. You can easily leave the airport by metro or taxi to go tour the National Monuments or one of the Smithsonian museums. You can also arrange a tour of the White House in advance. Without any planning, you can visit the White House Visitor Center from 7:30 AM until 4 PM daily.
My personal recommendation is to take a taxi or Uber to the White House for a quick view from behind the gate. From there, walk to the Washington Monument. You can make a reservation ahead of time to go up it for a nice view. Then, go down the Mall to the WWII Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and, my favourite, the Lincoln Memorial. Head over to the Tidal Basin to see the Martin Luther King, Jr. monument, the FDR Memorial and the Jefferson Memorial before calling an Uber and heading back to the airport. This trip would take 3-4 hours depending on traffic and your walking speed. This part of town is also bike friendly and you could consider renting from Capital Bike Share that has many automated stations in this area.

Written by Kelsey @ Kelsey Social

So there you have it! An extensive list of cities you can visit instead of being stuck in an airport while on a long layover.

Which ones have you experienced? Did you agree with the information or is there something even better to do while on the layover? Is there another city you would like to add to the list? Please comment below and let me know.

I am hoping to make this list as accurate and extensive as I can. Who knows maybe we can have a city from every country included on this list one day, however visas might be a slight issue, which is a bummer. 

Anywho I hope this list has helped or inspired at least one person to leave the confines of one of the airports above and explore a glorious city.  

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