7 MULTI CITY FLIGHTS WORTH THE STOPOVER
You may be wondering why anyone would want to purposely prolong their journey when travelling abroad, but it turns out that not only will a stopover flight save you money, but actually add to the whole experience. Think of it as two cities, for the price of one – if you will. Whether it’s a quick two-hour changeover in a world-class airport, or a 24-hour stop allowing you to explore a new and exciting city, these multi city flights offer much more than you ever imagined…
DUBAI, DUBAI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Dubai International Airport is the third busiest in the world for good reason. So what makes it so special for a long stop over? Aside from its palm tree avenues, glistening silver décor and abundance of shopping opportunities, what makes DXB more like a holiday destination than a transit hub is the spectacular on-site pools, landscaped gardens, first-class lounges, fine-dining restaurants and spas – you’ve even got a glamorous gold bullion shop, too.
The airport connects to over 240 destinations across the world and welcomes over 88 million passengers per year. While it’s all too easy to entertain yourself for two to three hours in the airport, an eight-hour layover may leave you questioning how best to spend your time. Despite being an enormous city, Dubai is full of awe-inspiring, record-breaking landmarks sure to help you prioritise your stopover – whether you want to soak up the sights or browse the souks before you step back on board. Transit tours are available through Emirates with a variety of packages available for travellers with a layover of more than five hours, so you can explore thrilling Dubai Parks, embark on hop-on-hop-off city tours, visit the Burj Khalifa and more. Want to explore yourself? You can catch the Dubai Metro directly to the city centre, which departs every 10 minutes from the airport. Top tourist attractions including the Gold Souk (7km), The Dubai Mall (15km), Dubai Creek (10km) can be reached at ease.
Fallen in love with the city and want to stay an extra day, take a look at our guide on how to spend 48 hours in Dubai.
LAS VEGAS, MCCARRAN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
McCarran International Airport is situated in the heart of iconic Las Vegas, meaning even a four hour-long layover is enough time to sample a taste of this entertainment capital of the world. The fun starts as soon as you touch down in the airport, with endless rows of slot machines fringing terminal hallways, enormous screens featuring the city’s most famous shows, an XpresSpa, ZEROlevel Fitness gym, luxurious lounges and an abundance of shops.
A short drive to the Strip, there’s an abundance of things to see and do in this 24-hour city. You’ll stumble upon high-end hotels and casinos including The Bellagio, Ceasar’s Palace and The Venetian, plus a concentration of incredible eateries, cultural treasures, grand shopping malls, lookalike landmarks and much more along the famous 3-mile stretch – a good place to start if you want to see what all the fuss is about. Consider yourself a culture vulture? Spend an hour in Downtown and wander the Neon Museum, formerly the “Neon Boneyard” recognised for Vegas’s historic neon signs. Or if history’s your bag, the Mob Museum allows you to tour organised crime in the US. Fuel up at some of the resorts famous food haunts, Five 50 Pizza Bar, Esther’s Kitchen for fresh Italian food, Mordeo for global fare, or, if you can’t decide on a cuisine, head to Block 16, which squeezes five dining concepts into one space for a whole lot of flavour.
AMSTERDAM, SCHIPHOL AIRPORT
Besides the abundance of duty free shopping, the airport boasts a historical museum (an extension of the famous Rijksmuseum) showcasing the best of Dutch artwork; bookworms can head to the in-house library which houses over 500 books, there’s a casino, multiple airport lounges to relax in, and, to ease any post-flight aches and pains, an XpressSpa.
If you have time, head into the city’s historical centre in Dam Square (where you’ll find the Royal Palace), before navigating your way around the key sites. Shopaholics can wander the Kalverstraat district where the grand Magna Plaza Mall awaits, or explore neighbouring district of Jordaan lined with independent, boutique shops. Wander down the winding narrow streets of Chinatown or Nieuwmarkt, right next to the famous Red Light District – a naughty neighbourhood known for it’s red-lit windows. If history and culture is your thing, the Anne Frank Museum is absolute must – although if you know you’re stopping it may be best to book in advance as queues can last for over an hour.
Better still, you don't have to be on a stopover to enjoy a whirlwind visit to this gem - browse the best places to visit in Europe if you happen to have 24 hours to kill.
TURKEY, ATATURK INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
So you’ve got a stopover in Istanbul? This cultural city is recognised as a gateway between Asia and Europe, and happens to be a fanciful place for a layover. Within the Ataturk International Airport itself, you can find a host of facilities and services to entertain you and your travel party, including bars and restaurants, grocery stores, kid’s playrooms, photography services, hairdressers, florists, lounges and more.
But if you have enough time to head out and explore, squeezing in a few of these must-dos will be worth it. Turkish Airlines has a free city tour service meaning passengers who are staying longer than 20 hours can explore the city with one night’s free accommodation including breakfast – paying only for hotel transfers and any additional meals. This extra time will allow passengers to explore key landmarks such as the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace, Galata Tower and Basilica Cistern. Now, that really is two destinations for the price of one!
LA, LOS ANGELES INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
From grabbing a bite in the uber-cool restaurants to hanging out in a luxe lounge, mooching the shops, and glaring at famous art, there’s plenty to discover in the entertainment hub of Los Angeles. You’ll fly into Los Angeles International Airport, where economy class passengers can leverage the airport lounges at a reasonable entry fee if you wish to wait for your next flight in the airport. The lounges offer food, drinks and many other facilities in a comfortable environment.
Fortunately, the Los Angeles International Airport is located right next to the inviting shores of Santa Monica Bay and there are numerous beaches within the airport’s proximity, which makes a short sunbathing sesh simply non-negotiable! Head to the famous coastal town of Manhattan Beach where you can lounge on the sands, grab a bite in the chic restaurants and window shop in high-end boutiques, or head to Hollywood Boulevard where you can discover the Walk of Fame. If you’re not sure what to look out for, your best option is the Starline Hop-On Hop-Off tour which passes Marina del Rey, Venice, Santa Monica and Hollywood.
BANGKOK, DON MUEANG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
Don Mueang International Airport is one of the oldest in, not only in Bangkok, but Asia as a whole. There are many stopover flights landing in Bangkok, mostly traveling from the northern hemisphere to the southern hemisphere. There isn’t a bundle of things to do in the airport itself, but what the airport lacks the city centre certainly makes up for.
The streets in Bangkok are fringed with bustling stalls selling everything from local food to handmade crafts, jewellery, fabrics, clothing and more – if you land at night the evening market scene is a must-see. Thriving Khao San Road is where it’s at if you want to experience a slice of local culture, or if you’re stopping on a weekend, you can visit the popular Chatuchak Weekend Market – a labyrinth of cobbled passages full of stalls.
If you’ve got the kids in tow, the oasis of Lumphini Park is just 25-minutes from the airport and is a welcome change from the fast-paced streets of the city centre, swapping speeding tuk-tuks and crowded stalls for green space and lagoons. Before you go, don’t forget to tick off famous sights like the Grand Palace, Temple of Dawn and Temple of the Reclining Buddha.
If you want to make your stay a private and comfortable affair, then step into the airport hostel, which comprises 25 sleeping beds in Terminal 2. If you want to indulge with luxury on your stopover, then check-into the airy deluxe category hotel, which is well-connected to the airport and a few steps away.