When I began planning longer flights to further places, I started realizing that there were a lot of flight options that allotted very long layovers. I use to look at layovers as annoying, why would I ever want to have to get off a plane and try to hopefully catch another plane, and in some cases go through TSA again or re-check my luggage, why? But I then started to look at layover’s as a further way to explore the world. I started to then look for long layovers in places I’d like to see. These are some of my adventures during layovers.
With Singapore I had a 6 hour layover. Which at first I thought was horrible, not enough time to efficiently go out and travel; but then I learnt that Changi airport has free city tours specifically for passengers who have over a 5.5hour layover (an idea i think ever airport should offer). Unfortunately between getting lost in the airport and them sending me in circles, by the time I found the desk to sign up for it, it was already full and I couldn’t go on the next one because of the time constraints. I was pissed, wont lie, but got over it. Fortunately for me, Changi airport has a bunch of other things to accommodate for long layovers. My suggestion explore the airport. They have different nature exhibits at different gates, a resting area (like with lounge chairs), even a movie theater. Those were just the places I set out to explore, but the airport has so much more to offer.
Geneva was a stop made between flights, it’s where I landed before going to Paris and after leaving Berlin. I was in Geneva for maybe a total of 6hours. In this time though I took their transit system which was fairly easy and stayed around the Place Dorcière area near the Gare Routiere (which is the central transit stop). Went to a restaurant (that was expensive so I opted out from there), ended up at a bar that was pretty chill. Locals were in there, pretty drunk, top 40 music playing from youtube, and good priced booze. I also went to Holycow, a burger place which was orgasmic; could of been cause I was starving but that fresh burger and fries were amazeball.
Zurich wasn’t suppose to be a layover even worth talking about, but when a string of unfortunate travel events happen on my way to Abu Dhabi, my hour stay turned into about 5. First and foremost I HATE Zurich airport (not really but kinda), it’s freaking huge, it doesn’t help that I was extremely frustrated while there and getting lost a bunch of times with noone who speaks English was a bit exhausting. But similarly to Changi airport, the airport does have a lot to offer within it. I went into a train got nervous I’d miss when they found my luggage so went like 3 stops just to see outside then came right back around. Within the airport you can buy tickets for the observation deck. It was 5CHF, and from there you were able to play with some of the props, watch from the binoculars the planes departing and arriving, as well as a beautiful view of the mountains and town.From the little that I saw, Zurich was absolutely beautiful and I’m excited that that’s the next planned trip I have.
Ireland has ALWAYS been on my bucket-list; granted I got to see a lot in the short time I was there, I definitely look forward to going back and for a longer stay. I only had a 4 hour layover. I originally wanted to go to a castle about 20min from the airport, but the tours weren’t open at the time I got there so instead I left the airport and hopped in a cab. I asked my driver to take me to the city center, take me to all the main spots and to keep the meter running. For about 2hours he took me site seeing. We went to the Guinness Factory, the Jameson Factory, to Christ Church Cathedral which I believe was one of the first cathedrals, to the Brazen Head the oldest standing pub in Ireland dating back to 1198, and to see the River Liffey. The meter I believe came out to about $100usd after the exchange rate, to me it was well worth it. Plus my driver was fun, cute middle aged Irish guy who was playing 50cent.
So my layover tips?
- Check to see how long the layover is and how far it is from the city center or place you’re interested in seeing
- Check the different modes of transportation, and see which is most efficient and fastest for time and money purposes.
- if going to a different country make sure you know if you need any special passes or visas to be in that country.
- also check to make sure you know the deal with your luggage. Is it automatically going onto the new flight? Do you have to re-check your luggage? How long is the TSA line going to be if you leave?
- Do you know people in that city? get them to pick you up and meet you cut all your travel issues in half.