The Best Cities for Layovers

The Best Cities for Layovers


The only thing better than a nonstop flight is (we kid you not!) a connection in these hubs. Here’s how to maximize your time.

4 Hours: No need to leave the airport. Head over to Holland Boulevard for crack-like stroopwafels and tulip bulbs. See art from Dutch masters at the Rijksmuseum’s rotating exhibit.
10 Hours: Twenty minutes on the train gets you downtown. Hit the Eye Film Institute for edgy retrospectives on film legends and the café’s killer bitterballen (Dutch meatballs).
24 Hours: Stay at the new Andaz hotel, pick up an “I Amsterdam City Card” (for unlimited transit rides and universal museum access), and visit the quirky shops at Negen Straatjes (nine little streets).

4 Hours: The food court has seemingly infinite options, but Seafood Market is our pick for simple, as-you-like-it fish. After, relax in Terminal 3’s Zen garden.
10 Hours: It’s a 10-minute cab ride to Old Dubai, where you’ll find traditional gold souks and a lavish Emirati breakfast at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre.
24 Hours: Meet penguins and carve powder at Ski Dubai (gear included). Sleep at the Grosvenor House hotel, or stay up until your flight at the 360 Degrees nightclub.

4 Hours: Catch the Hello Kitty–themed gate and dim sum at Wu Hua Ma Dumpling House or a movie (from the seat of a massage chair) at the “transit lounge” in
Terminal One.
10 Hours: Book the free twice-daily, four-hour city tour, which hits all the city’s essentials: the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, Lungshan Temple, and the Taipei 101 skyscraper.
24 Hours: Check in to the W hotel. Ride the Maokong Gondola for views of the city’s mountains. Save the best for last: a trip to Raohe night market for hu jiao bing (black pepper buns).

Photo of Dubai International Airport by Roevin/Flickr. This appeared in the March/April 2015 issue.

Aislyn Greene is the associate director of podacsts at Afar, where she produces the Unpacked by Afar podcast and hosts Afar’s Travel Tales podcast. She lives on a houseboat in Sausalito.
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