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Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

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Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 With Kids - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo
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

Needing a bit longer in Kuala Lumpur? Check out this epic 4-day Itinerary for KL.

SINGAPORE

By Adventure Travel Family
Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Singapore - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 – Can NOW be found at:

MIDDLE EAST – Ideal Cities For A Long Layover

ISRAEL – Tel Aviv

By The Fashion Matters
Ideal Cities For A Long Layover - Tel Aviv - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 - The Traveller's Guide By #ljojlo

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 – Can NOW be found at:

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.  

5 thoughts on “Ideal Cities For A Long Layover”

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