The world’s best destinations for a stopover
Our new research has revealed that over half of Brits would prefer to turn their stopover into a small holiday. But where should you go? We’ve compared loads of layover destinations around the world to find the very best place for a little bonus trip.
To find the best destinations for a stopover, we looked at all kinds of criteria. We checked the cost and distance of a transfer from the airport to the nearest city, the type of public transfer available, the number of places the airport has flights to, airlines offering a free stopover, and the airport rating – phew! Using all of this, we calculated our overall Netflights.com score to reveal the best stopover destinations.
|City||Airport Name||Airport to City Distance||Public Transport to City||Time to City Centre||Number of Destinations||Netflights.com rating (out of 30)|
|Amsterdam||Schiphol||20km||Train - £4.81||15 Mins||217||29|
|Singapore||Singapore Changi Airport||20km||Bus - £5.12||25 Mins||400||28|
|Lisbon||Lisbon Portela Airport||9km||Metro - £1.25||25 Mins||111||27|
|Bangkok||Suvarnabhumi Airport||25km||Metro - £1||15 Mins||186||27|
|Beijing||Beijing Capital International Airport||25km||Metro - £2.79||20 Mins||230||26|
|Dubai||Dubai International Airport||15km||Metro- £2.50||33 Mins||211||26|
|Tokyo||Haneda Airport||27km||Metro - £4.50||30 Mins||150||26|
|Shanghai||Shanghai Pudong International Airport||30km||Train - £6.24||25 Mins||209||25|
|Frankfurt||Frankfurt airport||12km||Train- £4.14||15 Mins||240||25|
|Vancouver||Vancouver International Airport||15km||Metro - £5.40||30 Mins||98||25|
|Doha||Hamad International Airport||45km||Bus - £1||20 Mins||146||24|
|Toronto||Toronto Pearson Airport||27km||Train - £7.20||25 Mins||163||23|
|Helsinki||Helsinki Airport||20km||Bus - £4.45||40 Mins||99||23|
|Porto||Porto Airport||17km||Metro - £2.18||30 Mins||66||22|
|Atlanta||Hartsfield- Jackson||16km||Metro - £1.95||20 Mins||205||22|
|Madrid||BarajasAdolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas||12km||Metro - £4.01||12 Mins||186||22|
|New Delhi||Indira Gandhi International Airport||16km||Metro - £0.70||15 Mins||133||21|
|Paris||Charles de Gaulle Airport||28km||Metro - £8.22||50 Mins||300||21|
|Istanbul||Ataturk Airport||21km||Bus - £3.12||45 Mins||259||20|
|Sydney||Sydney Airport||9km||Train - £12.32||13 Mins||97||20|
|Rome||Fiumicino Airport||32km||Train - £12.46||32 Mins||174||19|
|Los Angeles||Los Angeles International Airport||24km||Metro - £1.37||30 Mins||159||19|
|Abu Dhabi||Abu Dhabi International Airport||30km||Bus - £1||45 Mins||120||19|
|Miami||Miami International Airport||13km||Train - £1.76||30 Mins||150||18|
|Hong Kong||Hong Kong International Airport||40km||Train - £11.13||24 Mins||220||18|
|Dublin||Dublin Airport||10km||Bus - £6||40 Mins||121||16|
|Montreal||Pierre-Elliott Trudeau International||22km||Bus - £8.90||55 Mins||103||16|
|San Francisco||San Francisco International Airport||21km||Train - £6.32||30 Mins||115||16|
|Ho Chi Minh City|
|Ho Chi Minh City||Tân Sơn Nhất International Airport||7km||Bus - £2||40 Mins||63||15|
|New York - JFK|
|New York - JFK||JFK Airport||19km||Metro - £6.05||60 Mins||173||15|
|Melbourne||Tullamarine||23km||Bus - £9.36||20 Mins||69||15|
|Auckland||Auckland Airport||21km||Train - £6.30||50 Mins||58||15|
|Kuala Lumpur||Kuala Lumpur International Airport||45km||Train - £6.59||33 Mins||121||14|
|Santiago (Chile)||Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport||16km||Bus - £2||45 Mins||51||13|
|Wellington||Wellington International Airport||8km||Bus - £6.30||30 Mins||24||13|
|Reykjavik||Keflavik Airport||50km||Bus - £11.85||50 Mins||54||11|
|New York - La Guardia|
|New York - La Guardia||La Guardia Airport||13km||Bus-metro - £2.93||50 Mins||65||10|
|Seoul||Incheon Airport||50km||Train - £8||60 Mins||147||9|
And the winner is…
In first place on the overall list is Amsterdam. It scored big ticks in essential boxes – it’s just a short distance from Schiphol Airport to the centre of Amsterdam, and there’s a wide and well-priced variety of transport to get you there. The Netherlands’ flagship airline, KLM, also offers the option to include a stopover in Amsterdam for free as a part of some long-haul fares. So you can experience Amsterdam life before travelling on to one of the many long-haul destinations available, including Thailand, the Bahamas and Bangladesh.
Why have a stopover?
If you ever want to go anywhere exotic, long-haul flights are a necessary evil. The triple whammy of jet lag, lack of sleep and hours in a cramped seat can take its toll – sometimes it takes days to recover from.
But we’ve got good news. There’s a better way to go long haul, and it could be easier to engineer than you think. According to our research of 2,000 UK adults, making the most out of a stopover may be the answer to avoiding long-haul stress, with 54% of Brits saying they’d prefer to turn their stopover into a small holiday.
It makes sense. You can’t always choose the location of your stopover on a long-haul journey, but you can often extend it for free. That means, instead of spending several hours in the airport waiting for a connecting flight, you can take advantage of the stop and spend up to a week exploring a new place – without any added cost on your airfare. So after spotting the potential benefits, we set about finding out the best way to make a stopover work for you.
The best bits about stopovers
Extending your stopover is a great way to alleviate the most frustrating things about long-haul travel – over a quarter (28%) of respondents to our survey said feeling cramped on the plane was the worst thing about a lengthy journey, and 25% said it was the lack of space. But an extended stopover gives you a chance to feel like you’ve halved that time. You can stretch your legs and get back to the real world after just one flight.
What’s more, 21% of our surveyed fliers struggled with the poor quality of sleep and 20% claimed that boredom was the worst thing about long-haul travel. Two shorter journeys with an overnight stay (or longer) in between can work wonders, giving you a proper night’s sleep in a comfortable hotel bed. Plus, exploring a new place is a great way to avoid boredom – you’ll spend the first leg of the journey anticipating your stopover, making the second leg seem a short hop to your end destination.
The main motivation for a stopover was to break up an uncomfortable, sleep-deprived plane journey (24%) along with visiting an extra destination, regardless of where (13%).
How to make the most of a stopover
When it came to the different features our travellers wanted in a stopover destination, most cited a short distance from the airport to the city (34%). Naturally, you don’t want to spend any longer in transit, and a quick dash from airport to stopover city helps you maximise your time there.
A good choice of hotels near the airport (28%) was another must, along with the destination being compact and easy to get around (25%) to let you cram in as much sightseeing as possible before jetting off again.
Where to plan a stopover
We were pleasantly surprised by the breadth of the best destinations, with the top 10 including a wide range of destinations in Europe, Asia and North America, giving you a great spread of routes where you can maximise your layover. Want to see if you could make the most of a handy stopover on a trip you’re planning? Have a browse for flights now.
- Consumer survey from Censuswide on behalf of Netflights of 2,014 UK consumers aged 16 and over: 31/10/2018 - 02/11/2018