Traveling to far-off places is exciting, and layovers can be a great opportunity to explore some of the best European cities. Plenty of incredible European destinations make perfect stopovers whether you’re on a long layover or just have a few hours between flights. From Dublin to Barcelona, our picks are for the best European cities for layovers.
1. Dublin, Ireland
The Irish capital makes an ideal spot for those travelers who only have a few hours before their next flight. Although there is little time to do sightseeing in such short time frames, many people find themselves drawn to the lively pubs and traditional music scenes throughout Dublin’s city center.
The Guinness Storehouse is one popular spot where visitors can learn about beer’s history while sampling some of Ireland’s most famous brews. Other options include visiting some of Dublin’s many museums or participating in activities like walking tours or bike rentals through local companies offering day trips around the city.
2. Brussels, Belgium
Though Brussels may seem like a minor choice when planning travel stopovers so close together, it offers its share of attractions.
Those looking for gastronomic delights should head toward Grand Place, near central Brussels, where visitors can try out classic Belgian dishes. These include waffles, mussels, Flemish cuisine, and various beers from all over Belgium’s regions during their stay at this UNESCO World Heritage Site. If time allows, explore other parts, such as the Manneken Pis statue.
3. London, England
A layover in London is always an unforgettable experience, even if you only have a couple of hours till your next plane departs. As one would expect from Britain’s largest city, culture has been remembered too; transport yourself back into medieval times with stops at Tower Bridge or take part in guided tours that cover key sites ranging from Buckingham Palace to Big Ben.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
This Dutch gem offers countless opportunities no matter how long you have until you catch another flight. You can explore its delightful canal-side streets or walk around Nieuwmarkt square area while enjoying the yummy dishes at the local restaurants. Those looking for something more action-packed may also opt to try one of Amsterdam’s many museums or even go on a city tour.
5. Paris, France
The City of Lights is an unforgettable destination, no matter how long you plan to stay there. If time permits, visit some of Paris’ most iconic monuments, such as the Eiffel tower, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Louvre Museum, or take a stroll along its bustling boulevards.
If hunger strikes during this layover, make sure not to miss out on enjoying some delectable French cuisine, such as croissants or escargot while sampling some of the wines produced throughout this region.
6. Rome, Italy
This Mediterranean jewel just oozes grandeur and history, so why not do your best to explore it while waiting in transit? Rome offers many attractions, including the Colosseum – which requires no introduction, and Vatican City, where visitors can experience centuries-old art masterpieces.
As far as dining goes, Italian cuisine is world-renowned, with delicious pasta dishes found virtually everywhere around town, ensuring your taste buds aren’t disappointed.
7. Reykjavik, Iceland
Though Reykjavik has only recently begun attracting tourists from around the globe due to its relatively low-cost flights compared to other European cities, don’t let that deceive you into thinking there’s nothing here.
The capital boasts stunning views across Faxaflói Bay along a spectacular coastline setting, making for the perfect backdrop for watching the sunset over nature reserves like Þingvellir National Park. You can also wander among hot springs and steam baths.
Iceland is a wonderfully romantic destination, think bathing in the Blue Lagoon or doing a night-time safari to see the Northern Lights. Check out these great ideas for Iceland Honeymoon Tour Packages.
8. Munich, Germany
Munich provides travelers with plenty of options when they have time between flights which range from exploring beer gardens culture at Marienplatz square. Car fanatics can check out modern architecture projects like the BMW Welt museum next door to the car maker’s headquarters.
Those seeking shopping opportunities should take advantage of designer stores lining major thoroughfares around the Schwabing area, allowing them to grab last-minute souvenirs before boarding the plane.
9. Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona is great for a layover because of its beautiful architecture, delicious food, and mild climate. Visitors can soak up some culture by visiting one of the city’s many museums or galleries, like Museu Picasso or Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia.
You can also explore Barcelona’s famous parks, like Park Güell, and take a stroll down Las Ramblas to experience the hustle and bustle of the city. Try tapas in one of Barcelona’s charming cafes or indulge in churros con chocolate for a quick bite.
Tips for Planning Travel Stopovers
When planning travel stopovers, there are several things you need to consider, and they include the following:
● Check the Airlines that Offer Free Stopovers
One way travelers can save money on their trip is by checking the airlines offering free stops at certain destinations. This could mean paying far less than if they booked separate flights each time, meaning no extra costs incurred either.
Knowing which carriers provide these services will help you decide whether using them makes sense given budget constraints since sometimes it might not always be cheaper. However, researching beforehand should reveal the best value options before starting your journey.
● Check for Promotions in Any of the Cities
It pays off to keep an eye on any special offers in the cities included in the itinerary. This can range from discounted museum passes through ticketing combos and other perks that will make your stopover worth it.
Not only does taking advantage of these deals allow visitors to access more attractions without breaking the bank, but it often saves them from queueing up to buy tickets.
● Plan for Things to Do on Your Stopover
Before leaving home, think about the type of experiences to seek while away. This helps you set priorities such as must‐see sights, allowing you to maximize travel time. You must also keep a list of activities on hand to ensure that you never lose track of time, thus, allowing a smooth transition to the next flight.
● Check for a Place to Leave Your Luggage
Having somewhere to store belongings securely during the gap between trips is necessary to prevent valuable items from loss and damage. Nowadays, airports have lockers to rent for short periods, and they accept both coins and credit card payment methods, making the process hassle‐free.
Layover cities provide excellent opportunities to explore Europe without spending fortunes. You can conveniently explore cultural hotspots, iconic historic sites, and delightful cuisines and make friends. Therefore, whenever you travel, choose any of the above cities as your stopover and enjoy all they offer.