• Saturday, September 26, 2020

Best Airport Layover Cities Around the World
April 6, 2011
By , Galavante Special Contributor
Blue Lagoon

The famous phrase that nothing is certain in life but “death and taxes” could also include “waiting in an airport.” In travel, delays and layovers are inevitable; the experience, though, doesn’t have to be. We galavanted around the globe in search of airports that are well-placed for layover exploring, from a dip in Reykjavik’s bubbling Blue Lagoon to desert skiing in Dubai. Our philosophy? Layovers need be less abut killing time, and more about taking advantage of your time. A few tips: Ask about local traffic conditions before setting off; there’s nothing worse than sitting in rush-hour traffic as your flight leaves without you. (Trust us.) Also, confirm if you need a visa or other paperwork, and check if there is luggage storage, as not all airports offer it.

Dubai, UAE (Dubai International Airport)

Distance: 4km to city center; bus and taxi Las Vegas is to casinos what Dubai is to mega-malls. The city’s lavish, massive malls showcase everything from Chanel and Cartier to caviar (no Sbarro slices here) to skiing and ice-skating. The Mall of the Emirates features popular indoor ski slopes. It’s not Vail, but no matter: The zany juxtaposition – snow in the Middle East! – is the real draw. Smorrebrød & Schnapps Copenhagen, Denmark (Copenhagen Kastrup Airport) Details: 8km; frequent metro (this being Denmark, it’s punctual and clean) Climb aboard a gently swinging ferris wheel at Tivoli; lunch on open-faced sandwiches heaped with tangy herring, followed by potent shots of schnapps; say hello to the fairytale icon Little Mermaid at the harbor. Copenhagen is eminently walkable – an ideal layover city. 5-Euro Pitchers of Sangria Barcelona, Spain (El Prat de Llobregat International Airport) Distance: 13km; bus, train and taxi Opt for the Aeroport bus, which crosses the city, offering a visual overview along the way. The bus drops you off at Placa Catalunya, near Las Ramblas, Barcelona’s pedestrian street that is anything but. There is no better place in the country to partake in the Spanish ritual of a paseo (stroll) than Las Ramblas, which cuts a wide swath to the Mediterranean Sea. For lunch, duck into the Modernista Boqueria market, a cathedral to fresh produce; try calamari squirted with lemon and a chilled pitcher of sangria (or three). Blue Lagoon Layover Reykjavic, Iceland (Keflavik International Airport) Distance: 22km; bus and taxi Soak in the famous, bathwater-warm Blue Lagoon, a lovely geothermal spa in Svartsengi Resource Park. The waters, bubbling with minerals, are as rejuvenating as the surrounding Arctic landscape, where steam rises wispily around ink-black lava rocks. (It’s so cinematic that you could imagine Brooke Shields emerging from the water. Remember – the Blue Lagoon?)

Travel by Design Milan, Italy (Milan Linate and Malpensa airports) Distance: 7km from Linate; 43km from Malpensa; metro, bus, and taxi One word: Saldi! Time your layover with Milan’s sales in January and July. Shop-hop through the Quadrilatero d’Oro, a perfume-scented hub of high fashion. Atone for buyer’s guilt at the nearby Duomo, one of the largest cathedrals in the world.