Why visit only one place when you can have the opportunity to experience and discover a couple or more during your long awaited vacation? Expert travellers are well aware of the fact that a trip must be carefully planned in advance in order to make the most of it, and the majority of them agree that the ideal adventure must include one stopover at the least; if you are taking two weeks off to travel, you could even make two.
The main reason why you should consider a short stay in between flights is that there are so many cities in the world that have a lot to offer, and frequently they come in handy for a stop halfway between two destinations, helping you to reduce jetlag and providing a unique chance to take a short trip that otherwise would not fit in your itinerary.
In this post you will find advice on how to include stopovers in your trip, which airlines sell flights with already scheduled stops and the best cities in the world for this purpose. Our selection is based on those cities where you can do and see more in a short period of time as well as on the ones boasting the best transport connections to ensure you won’t miss your outbound flight.
How to schedule a stopover as part of your trip
When planning an international trip that will last more than one week, it is always interesting to try to schedule at least one stop in order to make the most of it. You can either arrange everything yourself or purchase airline tickets that will allow you to sleep in different cities along the way. While the latter is a safer option that guarantees that you won’t miss any flight and your journey won’t be disrupted, by booking separate trips to visit different places during your getaway you can tailor your adventure to suit your travel needs and preferences as nobody else would. Bear in mind, though, that every stopover must be at least 24 hours long in order to enjoy some sightseeing and get some good night’s sleep before the next leg of the journey.
Airlines that sell flights with stopovers
Especially when you want to book long-haul flights to go from one end of the world to the other, many airlines will offer you free stops to make your journey a more pleasant one. For instance, Emirates is popular for its short stay packages that include hotel nights, guided tours and activities. Other airline companies who sell flights with stopovers are Iberia, Air Canada, Finnair, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Tap Air Portugal, Icelandair and Singapore Airlines.
Choosing the best cities for your stopover
Provided that you have flexibility to decide which city you will make a stop at, or else your airline of choice gives you several options to choose from, take into account these upward trending cities for stopovers around the globe.
Stopover in Toronto, Canada: take this opportunity to see the CN Tower –one of the seven wonders of the modern world- and visit St Laurence Market, the historical Casa Loma Castle, Nathan Pillips Square and Kensington Market. This tour is feasible in a few hours by getting around the downtown area.
Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia
Stopovers in Kuala Lumpur are ideally spent shopping, and the malls that travellers love the most are Fahrenheit88, Plaza Low Yat, the Starhill Gallery, Berjaya Times Square and Lot10. Right outside the Lot10 shopping mall there is a hop-on and hop-off bus stop; hop on it to commute to the Chinatown neighbourhood, Little India, the Central Market, the Menara KL Tower and the Petronas Twin Towers.
Helsinki in Finland
As is the case with other cities, Helsinki also has a tourist bus that can help you achieve your goal of seeing the main landmarks of the city in one day or less; hop on it and see the Lutheran Cathedral, the University, the National Library, the Orthodox Cathedral, the Old Market Hall and the Cathedral of Helsinki. For an entirely different experience, join a husky ride tour, especially if you visit during the winter season.
Reykjavik in Iceland
Travellers who fly into Reykjavik for a stopover in Iceland normally seek to take a trip to the Blue Lagoon as the highlight of this part of their journey; in order to arrive, hire a car and drive for about 45 minutes. If you haven’t had the time to purchase your tickets in advance, stay in the centre and visit the Einar Jonsson Sculpture Garden, the National Gallery of Iceland, the Museum of Photography, the City Hall or the Art Museum of Reykjavik.
Lisbon in Portugal
A stopover in Lisbon calls for gastronomy tours and living the local nightlife. You won’t need to get too far from the downtown (Chiado and Bairro Alto) or from Alfama to enjoy all the best the city has to offer. You will also be within a short bus commute of Belem, an area you should not miss out on.
Singapore city stopover
The main goal for many tourists and travellers in Singapore is to get a picture at the Marina Bay Sands and the incredibly beautiful Gardens by the Bay. If you are not an avid instagramer and would rather explore the different neighbourhoods in the city, join a Heritage tour or a City Sights tour and get to know the authentic Singapore.
Los Angeles in the United States
A stopover in the City of Angels can be perfect if you stay in the West Hollywood area and rent a vehicle to get around. Where you will choose to go will largely depend on your preferences and available time: if you are a sea lover, head to the beach (Santa Monica, Venice…); if you are a film nerd, go to Universal Studios and take a stroll along the Hollywood Walk of Fame; but if you simply want to soak in some of the best views in California, visit Griffith Park or The Getty at sunset.