Just because you have a layover flight (or even a stopover) doesn’t mean you have to be bored. Even though most of us think of stopovers as a necessary evil, they can be more fun than that.
No matter if you travel on business or holiday with your family, these 9 cities’ layover and stopover programs will make your next flight an absolute delight. Some even offer free city tours and accommodation. There’s no reason not to enjoy the whole journey (instead of just the final destination), so let’s find the perfect place for you!
1. Scope out Doha, Qatar on your next layover
If you have a layover longer than 8 hours in Doha you don’t have to stay at the airport the whole time. Thanks to the Qatar Tourist Board and Qatar Airways, you can go on a city tour.
Prices start from 40 QAR (US$ 11), and you’ll see the highlights of Doha like Katara, Museum of Islamic Art and Souq Waqif. If you’re not strapped for time and your transit is more than 5 hours, you can even go on a desert adventure or drive around Doha with a chauffeur. Prices for this start from 250 QAR, and terms and conditions apply, but if you’re in the mood for some glamour or adventure, book your next layover flight in Doha.
2. Stuck in Seoul, South Korea? Get a free city tour!
If you’re connecting through Incheon International Airport and have a layover or a stopover, make sure you go on a city tour. Seoul is a fantastic city full of incredible sights to see, so it’d be a shame to spend all of that time stuck in the airport.
There are plenty of options to pick from, so you’re sure to find something fun to do during your Seoul layover. Free transit tour options include Incheon City Tour, Seaside Tour, Temple Tour, and others, so you can find the right one for yourself. You don’t even have to worry if your layover isn’t six hours or longer; you can choose between 1-hour, 2-hour, 4-hour, and 5-hour tours.
3. Belgrade layover? Get a room!
Air Serbia has a special offer for all of their New York JFK passengers. If you’re traveling to or from JFK with Air Serbia and transiting through Belgrade, Air Serbia will add complimentary hotel accommodation while you wait. This offer is only valid for layovers between 8 and 24 hours, but both Business and Economy Class passengers can use it.
Pro tip: Have fun in Belgrade. It’s a vibrant city that young travelers in particular will enjoy. While you’re there, don’t forget to try ćevapi (a meat dish), and rakija (schnapps).
4. $1 B&B stopover in Astana, Kazakhstan
No one pampers their customers more than AirAstana, so if you’re transiting through Kazakhstan, check out their stopover offer. Their stopover holidays in Astana and Almaty include hotel stays starting from $1, and airport transfers. If you want to extend your stay, you can do so at a discounted price (starting from $65). All the hotels AirAstana offers are 3 and 4-star hotels, so you’ll be spending your layover or stopover in style.
They also organize city tours in Astana and Almaty. If you want to see the highlights of the Jewel of the Steppes and the City of Apples (Astana and Almaty respectively) make sure you book the tour before boarding the plane.
5. Book a stopover in Dubai
There’s so much to do in Dubai, and if you book a stopover there, you won’t be disappointed. Depending on your Emirates status, you can make the most of your stopover and enjoy activities such as:
- Complimentary hotel accommodation
- Guided city tours
- Golf (with complimentary clubs and shoe rental)
- Desert adventures
- Visits to parks and resorts
It may take a long time to get there, but once you experience a stopover in Dubai, you’ll never want to leave.
6. Free Taiwan tour
If you have long layovers that last between 7 and 24 hours in Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, make sure you see Taiwan before your next flight. You can choose a half-day tour in the morning or afternoon if you’re from a visa-exempt country. The tours are completely free, and you can book yours ahead of time if you want to make sure it won’t be crowded.
Some of the sights you’ll see are Qingshui Zushi Temple and Yingge Ceramics Old Street, but there’s many more to explore.
7. Transiting through Abu Dhabi? Etihad has an awesome offer!
If you’re flying with Etihad and waiting for your connecting flight in Abu Dhabi, not only can you make use of luxury airport facilities, but you can also pick between a few amazing stopover options.
If you book a 2-day stopover in Abu Dhabi, Etihad will give you the second night in one of their 3, 4, and 5-star partner hotels for free. This offer is valid for economy class passengers, and it includes breakfast.
If you have a layover flight and you’re traveling in Etihad Business Class, you’ll get one-night’s stay in a 5-star hotel at no extra cost to you. If you’re in First Class, your two-night stay is on Etihad.
8. Free layover city tour in Singapore
Singapore Changi Airport is amazing for so many reasons, and one of them are its two free city tours. If your layover time is between 5-6 hours, you can venture out into the city on the Heritage Tour, or the City Sights Tour.
You’ll see vibrant neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little India on the Heritage Tour. And if you’re a night owl, you can enjoy the City Sights Tour and see the stunning architecture of Singapore lit up under the stars.
9. Layover in Los Angeles
There’s a lot to do if you find yourself between flights in Los Angeles. You can go on an LAX Layover Hollywood tour that’s made specifically for passengers in transit who want to see some glitz & glam. Expect to see the homes of movie stars, Hollywood itself, and other well-known L.A. sites.
Make the most of your layover
You can also venture out on your own. Even though sometimes organized tours mean you can relax the most, if you’ve got enough time on your hands, create your own adventure.
After all, layovers don’t have to be boring. In the right city, they might just be the most fun you’ve had in years.