Can I leave the airport during a layover?
You have a lot to consider when booking a flight with a layover. Direct flights are always best, but sometimes money or distance means you’ll end up with a layover. And sometimes that layover is a long one. It might be long enough that you ask yourself, can I leave the airport during a layover?
The quick answer is it depends.
Whether you can leave the airport during your layover or not depends on a lot of factors, and there’s no one size fits all answer. Consider the following points in order to make the best decision about leaving the airport.
How long is your layover?
This is probably the most important factor in your decision because if your layover is too short, the rest doesn’t matter.
You might look at the time your first flight lands and the time your next flight takes off and think you have plenty of time. But look a little closer.
Subtract out the time it will take for the plane to taxi to the gate and for you to get off the plane and through the airport. (Maybe 30 minutes or so.)
Subtract out the time you need ahead of your second flight. (1-2 hours depending on the airport and if it’s a domestic or international flight.)
Then subtract the time you need to get to and from the city or wherever it is you want to go during your layover. (Varies greatly but could be as little as 30 minutes or as much as 2 hours depending on where you are, mode of transportation, and traffic conditions.)
How much time do you have left? Is it enough time for a meal and a walking tour? Is it just enough to grab an ice cream and turn around again? Or are you in negative numbers now?
2022 update: This summer as people start traveling again, airports are chaotic, and airports and airlines are understaffed.
Unfortunately this means everything is taking longer than normal, flights are being delayed and canceled, and you’ll need lots of time and patience. Leaving the airport on a long layover might not be the best idea unless you have a really, really long layover.
Is your layover in another country?
If you’re flying from one end of the US to the other and you have a layover in the middle, there’s no immigration procedures to worry about.
This means for domestic connections, if you leave the airport on your layover, you’ll have to go through security again to get to your second flight. But that should be the only long line you have to deal with.
But if your layover is in another country, you will have to go through customs and immigration if you want to leave the airport.
You’ll definitely have to go through customs and immigration if your layover is in the same country (or visa zone like the Schengen Zone) as your final destination, although this is true whether you’re leaving the airport on your layover or not.
This adds extra time to the first item on this list. Immigration procedures can take as little as 10 minutes or several hours depending on the lines and where you are.
Take this time into account when deciding if you can leave the airport on your layover.
>>Read: Amsterdam Layover Guide: How to Spend a Long Layover in Amsterdam
Due to the current situation, rules and regulations for entering different countries are constantly changing. You’ll need to verify what the rules for entry are, including testing and vaccine requirements. This might mean you can’t leave the airport during your layover.
It’s also important to research the situation in the city where your layover is. Even if it’s possible, it might not be smart to leave the airport, or the city might have restrictions on tourism.
Any of this could make your long layover frustrating, not so much fun, or even downright irresponsible.
>>Read more about traveling during COVID-19.
Please note that some posts contain links that earn me a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Do you need a visa for your layover?
Many (but not all) countries that require visas do not require them if you’re simply transiting through the airport. You bypass customs and immigration, so you never get stamped into the country, but you can’t leave the airport during your layover.
If you want to leave the airport in one of these places, you’ll have to get a visa. Some countries require you to get one ahead of time, while others do visa on arrival.
Always check visa requirements for your nationality for each country you travel through, even for layovers. Every country has its own rules for entry and transit passengers.
Aside from the time it takes to go through customs and immigration, you also have to consider the cost of the visa and the application process, if it’s one you have to apply for ahead of time.
A $20 visa on arrival might not be a big deal, but $150 or a visa that requires lengthy forms (which probably means it’s also an expensive one) is probably not worth it when you will only have a few hours on your layover to explore the city.
What time of day is your layover?
If your layover is from early morning until late afternoon or sometime that night, you have lots of daylight hours to explore.
But not all layovers are this nice. Often your first flight will land in the middle of the night and the next flight will take off early in the morning.
In most cases, this is not the ideal time to leave the airport during a layover and check out the city. Potential safety issues aside, there probably won’t be much open depending on the city.
On the other hand, if it’s a city with good night life and a good club scene (and you’re into that) it could be a fun way to pass a few hours.
Just be sure to research the area so you know where it’s safe, and make sure you have transport options at that time of night. And maybe don’t drink so much that you’re late getting back to the airport.
What should you do if you leave the airport on a layover?
What you decide to do during your layover depends on where you are, how much time you have, and what your interests are.
I once spent a long layover in London walking around a lot, going to the British Museum, briefly seeing a few sights like Buckingham Palace, Big Ben, and Westminster Abbey, and having lunch.
My husband once spent a long layover in Hong Kong taking boat rides on the junks and meeting friends for dim sum. I know a couple who had a long layover in New York City and decided to take a tour.
I recently had a long layover in Amsterdam and took a food tour. Check out my Amsterdam layover guide for more info about how to get through the airport and into the city.
Some cities even have free tours for people on layovers. Your layover needs to be a certain length and at the right time of day, but a free tour sounds like a great option if your timing works out. Here are a few examples:
>>Check out more layover perks you never knew about.
Since tours are a great way to see a lot of the city in a short period of time, that can be a good option. Plus being with a guide means you won’t waste time getting lost.
Try a walking tour that brings you to some of the city’s highlights, or try a food tour to eat your way through the culture for a few hours.
I recommend searching Viator for a tour for your long layover adventure.
What to do with your luggage on a long layover
If you’re leaving the airport during a long layover, you probably don’t want to lug your bags around with you the whole time. So what’s the solution?
First, verify with the airline whether they are going to transfer your checked bags from one flight to the next. In most cases, they will still transfer your luggage.
But occasionally when the layover is really long, the airline won’t be able to tag it to your final destination. Usually this happens when the second flight leaves more than 24 hours after the first flight, but no matter what, you should confirm how the airline is handling your checked bags.
For your carry-on luggage or any checked bags the airline can’t transfer to your next flight, you’ll need someplace to store them. Some airports have luggage lockers, but some have eliminated them for security reasons. Train stations are another place to try, depending on the city.
Another great option is to book a luggage storage solution through Stasher. They have connections with hotels and other stores where you can drop off your luggage and pick it up again later. Locations are worldwide, so chances are there’s a location where you’re going.
Stasher’s prices are usually lower than most luggage lockers or left luggage services. Note that you must book and pay online.
If you’re trying to decide if you can leave the airport during a layover, ask yourself the questions above. Spending a long layover in the airport can be tedious. Leaving the airport to explore the city, or even just getting some sleep at a hotel, can be a much better alternative if you have enough time and visa requirements aren’t much hassle.
You might also enjoy:
- Carry-on Luggage Size Chart with over 170 Airlines
- How Do Layovers Work?
- Is Your Layover Long Enough?
- 8 Things to do If You Think Your Layover is Too Short
- Ask These 5 Questions to Maximize a Long Layover
May 2, 2019 @ 4:48 pm
Hi if I have a layover in Toronto for 7 hours and a connecting flight to barcelona can I leave the airport?
May 3, 2019 @ 2:33 pm
Hi Sylvette! Assuming there are no visa issues, you should be fine to leave the airport in Toronto during your layover. Make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport ahead of your flight to Barcelona. Check out the Toronto airport’s layover tool here that will tell you what you need to do during your layover, that should give you an idea of how much time you might need.
April 28, 2019 @ 12:42 pm
I have ticket doha to amsterdam transit canada my flight connecation 20 hour so can I leave canada airport for some hour just visit out side.
April 29, 2019 @ 12:30 pm
I don’t really understand, you’re flying from Doha to Amsterdam with a layover in Canada somewhere? That doesn’t make sense. But in any case, you’ll need to check with the embassy website of the country where your layover is to see if you need a visa based on your citizenship. Some countries require visas even for transiting, so you should check for that too. I recommend looking at iVisa to get started.
April 24, 2019 @ 7:54 am
I HAVE LAYOVER OF 24 HRS AT PARIS AIRPORT THOUGH ITS CONNECTING FLIGHT OF AIR FRANCE (HOUSTON-ATLANTA-CDG-MUMBAI) I WILL BE REACHING PARIS ON 14TH AUG AT 10.30 AM AND CONNECTING FLIGHT IS AT 11.05 AM SHOULD I GO FOR THAT CONNECTING FLIGHT OR SHOULD OPT FOR OTHER DAY I.E15TH AUG FLIGHT SAME TIME?
WOULD I BE NEEDING TRANSIT VISA TO STAY AT AIRPORT HOTEL?
April 24, 2019 @ 2:39 pm
Hi Karim! I really don’t think 35 minutes is long enough to get to the next flight. Those big trans-Atlantic flights take a lot of time just to unload everyone, so it’s near impossible that you’d make it on such a short layover. Is there an earlier flight to Paris? I know there’s often just one a day from most cities, so that might not be an option. I’m not a visa expert, so I can’t advise you on whether or not you’ll need a visa to stay at an airport hotel or leave the airport. Check out iVisa to see if you need one based on your citizenship. Also, if you do get stuck with this 24 hour layover, you might have to claim your checked luggage when you get to Paris, and the airline might not be able to check it in until the next day when you come back for your next flight. Airlines seem to have different policies on this, so be sure to ask.
April 24, 2019 @ 6:49 am
Hi ali… i,m alfie..and i have a connecting flights.. dammam airpot to kuwait..and i have 13 hours of layover.. it is ok to leave the airport? What should i do..if ever i leave the airport? Thanks..
April 24, 2019 @ 2:33 pm
Hi Alfie! You should check with the Kuwait embassy website to see if you need a visa to enter the country, based on your citizenship. If you don’t need a visa, it should be fine to leave the airport during your layover. I’ve never been there, so I don’t have any suggestions, but if you search for things to do in Kuwait City, you’ll find some suggestions. Just make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport and through security and exiting passport control before your next flight.
April 19, 2019 @ 1:59 am
Can you exit the security customs part of the airport while waiting for the layover of your flight? My layover is domestic (Toronto to Vancouver) and coming from Paris. Family wants to say hi before I head off to Vancouver.
April 24, 2019 @ 2:06 pm
Hi Quentin! When you arrive in Toronto from Paris, you’ll have to go through customs and immigration no matter what. Chances are you’ll also have to claim and recheck luggage. The Toronto Airport website has a great tool that will tell you step by step what you need to do once you put in a couple pieces of info: https://www.torontopearson.com/Connecting.aspx#. So if you want to say hi to your family on the non-secure side of the airport, you can do that after you’re done with customs and immigration, and then you’ll just have to go through security to get back into the secure section for your flight to Vancouver. Make sure you have enough time for all that, but then that’s it!
April 9, 2019 @ 4:42 am
Hi, I live in Vancouver BC Canada. My daughter lives in Seattle WA. They will be returning from a vacation on a flight from London UK to Seattle WA with a 3 hour layover in Vancouver BC Canada. Legally can they just leave the airport in Vancouver and have me drive them to Seattle WA as it would save hours on their journey (They will have on carry on luggage)
April 10, 2019 @ 3:53 pm
The airline might not like it and most airlines have language in their terms that technically allow them to charge the customer for the difference in fare, and if they are frequent flyers with that airline, the airline can technically suspend their account. But I don’t see any *legal* problems with it. But does it really save them time? They’ll have to go through Canadian customs and immigration in Vancouver, which could take some time depending on the lines. And don’t forget, it takes time just to get off the plane. So that could all easily take an hour or so. That gives them 2 hours or less to wait for a one hour flight to Seattle. Vancouver has US customs and immigration, so they would use that layover time to deal with that. If you drove them, you’d all have to deal with immigration on the road, which could still take some time. I don’t know, totally up to them what they decide to do, but it doesn’t sound like much time saved (3 hour drive vs the remaining 2 hours or less of their layover + one hour flight) and they’d have to be willing to take the (admittedly low) risk with the airline.
April 10, 2019 @ 4:22 pm
Thank you…I should have mentioned that they have a 1 1/2 hour drive home from Seatac and they have Nexus so no wait at the border. Their wait at YVR,flight and drive will be approx. 5 hours as opposed to 2 3/4hours drive from YVR to their home.
April 10, 2019 @ 4:58 pm
Yeah, so maybe it does make sense. Just make sure they’re ok with any potential risk from the airline. It’s definitely a small risk, but something to think about if they’re frequent flyers.
April 24, 2019 @ 1:57 pm
Am Stephen from Nigeria travelling to Guyana but am having a layover in mia Miami airport for 14hrs please can I remain in the airport without going anywhere? Because am only having Guyana students Visa. Hope I will not have problem?
April 24, 2019 @ 2:42 pm
Hi Stephen! The US makes every single person entering the country go through customs and immigration, even if you’re only transiting and not leaving the airport. It’s a pain, but it’s their policy and it’s unavoidable. So unfortunately, you’ll need to check with the US embassy to see what they require for a visa, and if there even is a transit visa option. Sorry I can’t help more, I’m not a visa expert.
April 8, 2019 @ 8:39 pm
I am travelling to Greece with a long layover in VIENNA ( 13 Hours Day Time). Should i have any problem leaving the airport and explore the city? I am traveling with my wife who is not US Citizen but we are getting her Schenegen Visa so she can travel any country in Europe or atleast the ones we are visiting. Will she have any problem leaving the airport during our 13 hours layover in VIENNA?
Thank you in advance!
April 10, 2019 @ 3:21 pm
I’m not a visa expert, but it seems like that would be fine. The Schengen visa should allow your wife to travel to any country in the Schengen Zone, and since you’re landing in Vienna, that’s where you’ll both have to go through customs and immigration anyway. Once you’re through that, you won’t even deal with another immigration officer, so I see no issue with leaving the airport for such a long layover. When you get back to the airport for the Vienna to Greece flight, you’ll have to go through security, but that’s it. Leave yourself enough time for transport back to the airport and to get through security and to your gate, and enjoy!
April 10, 2019 @ 7:04 pm
Thank you very much!
April 4, 2019 @ 2:51 am
I have a 5 hour layover in Beijing and i saw online that theres a free shuttle that takes you to the airport hotel and you can use the gym and heated pool there. Would I still need a visa or to go through customs?
April 4, 2019 @ 11:31 am
Hi Kimi! I’m not a visa expert, but there is some kind of visa waiver if you’re only transiting through China. Are you going to another country after your layover in Beijing? If so, you might qualify. There’s some info here that sounds helpful: https://www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/visa/free-72hour/. If you’re going somewhere else in China, you will probably need a visa, depending on your nationality. No matter what though, you will have to go through customs and immigration to leave the airport. You’ll also have to go through security before your next flight. If your next flight leaves China, you’ll also have to go through exiting passport control when you get back to the airport.
Occasionally there are airport hotels located inside an airport, where you don’t even have to go through customs and immigration because it’s still within the transit area. I’m not sure if Beijing has any of those though, you’d need to do some research about the airport.
March 28, 2019 @ 6:27 pm
Hello please I will be traveling to Chicago on british airways and I have a layover of 10 hours in London Heathrow airport. I’m a Nigerian can I leave the airport and go out to chill and see how London looks like and come back to the airport within the 10 hours lay over
March 29, 2019 @ 10:02 am
Hi Richard! You’ll have to check the UK embassy website to see if you are required to get a visa to enter the country. 10 hours is plenty of time to leave the airport on your layover, but I don’t know the visa rules for every nationality.
BERNARD SARPONG BOATENG
March 27, 2019 @ 3:08 pm
WOULD LIKE TO FIND OUT IF I CAN STEP OUT OF THE AIRPORT.THIS IS BECAUSE MY LAYOVER TIME IS VERY LONGER.
March 28, 2019 @ 11:28 am
If you have a very long layover and you don’t need a visa for the country where your layover is, it’s very possible you can leave the airport during your layover. You’ll need to calculate the time to get in and out of the city, through security on your way back into the airport, possibly going through customs and immigration when you land, possibly going through exiting passport control before your next flight, getting back an hour or two before your next flight, and the time it takes to get off the first flight. If you didn’t quite get enough info from this article, I recommend also reading this one: Ask These 5 Questions to Maximize a Long Layover.
March 23, 2019 @ 8:25 am
I am travelling from Singapore to US ,a Filipino citizen I have a lay over in Australia do I need to get a visa?
March 25, 2019 @ 11:33 am
Hi Sarah! Unfortunately I’m not a visa expert, so I can’t say for sure. This site has some info: https://archive.homeaffairs.gov.au/lega/lega/form/immi-faqs/do-i-need-a-visa-to-transit-through-australia. And I recommend checking the website for the Australia embassy for info about transit visas.
March 19, 2019 @ 4:35 pm
I am travelling from Delhi to Huntsville U.s. and having 20 hrs layover at Heathrow airport London…can I leave and go outside of airport and explore London City During layover and do I need any type of visa or something else….
March 25, 2019 @ 11:02 am
Hi Rohit! I’m not a visa expert, so you should check the UK embassy website for info about visas, if they are required for your citizenship.
March 16, 2019 @ 5:05 am
I am a Canadian Citizen and will have a layover of 8 hours (9:20 to 5:15) in Vancouver before my flight home to my hometown in Ontario, do you think I could leave the airport after checking in my luggage again (not carry ons but checked baggage) after passing through customs as they won’t be automatically transferred to my final destination? If not, could I leave them in a storage locker at YVR?
March 25, 2019 @ 10:51 am
I think that would be fine. Check with the airline, occasionally they aren’t able to check in your luggage that far ahead of the flight, so if that is the case, you’d have to find a luggage locker. Looks like there are a few options at YVR: http://www.yvr.ca/en/passengers/shop-dine-and-services/276. Just make sure you leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport, retrieve your luggage and check it in with the airline if you have to use a locker, and get through security again before your next flight.
March 15, 2019 @ 4:24 pm
Hello Ali, I am a seaman from India with a valid C1D visa. I have a 18 hour layover at Miami before my next flight which goes to St Eustatius. Can I step out of the airport and take a night’s rest considering my next flight is noon time the following day?
Thanks in advance
March 25, 2019 @ 10:37 am
Hi Vishal! I’m not a visa expert, but if your C1D visa allows you to enter the US, then I see no reason why they’d have a problem with you leaving the Miami airport during your layover. You might want to check the embassy website for more info on what that visa allows, or see if someone you work with (your boss or HR department or something?) knows more about it. From a quick google search about C1D visas, it sounds like it gives you almost a month, so a long layover would be fine. I just don’t want to tell you for sure since visas can be tricky.
March 14, 2019 @ 5:45 pm
Hi, i’m travelling from Indonesia to Tokyo and return back using SQ …. layover at Singapore both ways. While returning, i’ll be issued 2 boarding passes….Tokyo to Sing and Sing to Jakarta. Luggage too will be checked in till Jakarta. However after reaching Singapore, In case i decide not to go to Jakarta but spend few days in Singapore, can i do it ?? I have a valid Singapore visa. For return to Jakarta, i can book another ticket, since my old one will be cancelled as “no Show’.
For luggage….guess i can ask airlines to keep it with them at Jakarta till i return !
Any advice ??
March 15, 2019 @ 4:51 am
Hi JS! If you don’t get on the Singapore to Jakarta flight, they will take your checked bags off the plane as a security measure. But your luggage won’t just go to the luggage claim area at the same time, so I wouldn’t recommend doing this. Your best bet is to either continue with the flight as booked or contact the airline to change your flight.
March 10, 2019 @ 12:47 pm
Very helpful information. We are US Citizens traveling back to the US from Barcelona with a 7 hour layover in Portugal. Traveling with our two kids and my elderly mother. Is it worth stepping out of the airport to get a quick glimpse of Portugal? Thank you!
March 13, 2019 @ 12:09 pm
Hi JJ! If you’re flying through Lisbon, the airport is pretty close to the city by subway, so I think this is doable. You’ll want to be back at the airport at least 2 hours ahead of your flight to the US because you’ll have to go through exiting passport control and security. So with a 7 hour layover, you might have 3 or 4 hours in the city. I suggest picking one sight or two that are close to each other. Don’t try to do too much, make sure you know how long it takes to get back to the airport, and give yourself a buffer. If you decide to take a taxi, be aware of the time of day so you don’t get stuck in rush hour traffic. The subway might just be easier and a bit less stressful.
March 8, 2019 @ 8:01 pm
Hi I am indian citizen, I am travelling from Kingston(Jamaica) to India Via New York via Dubai to India. and I have 10 hours layover in New York JFK airport and I am in C1 Transit visa which I am using to transit of US. Can I go out from the JFK airport in the 10 hours layover time. and Visit the New York city. Please let me know ho can I go through the same. Let me know if you nee any other information.
March 13, 2019 @ 12:03 pm
Hi, I’m not a visa expert and I don’t know the details of how the C1 transit visa works. I recommend checking the US embassy website for more info about what that visa allows you to do. You’ll have to go through US customs and immigration, as well as claim and recheck your luggage, when you land in NY no matter what.
March 1, 2019 @ 5:53 am
Hi m going to Amsterdam from Delhi n have a layover for 3 hrs at Paris. Is that enough to collect my luggage n catch the next flight??
March 1, 2019 @ 10:14 am
Hi Avi! If both of your flights are booked on the same itinerary, the airline should transfer your checked bags from one flight to the next. So when you land in Paris, you’ll have to go through customs and immigration to get stamped into the Schengen Zone (which France and Netherlands are both a part of) and you’ll have to go through security. But that’s it, so 3 hours should be plenty of time. If your flights are booked separately, you’ll have to claim and recheck your bags, and that could take longer.
February 28, 2019 @ 12:12 pm
I have a very similar question to many others but I’m more concerned about my checked bags. I will be travelling through Seoul on my way back from Thailand to Canada. I do not need a visa for Seoul. I have an 11 hour layover from 7am to 6 pm. There is a free tour through South Korea Tourism (5 hours). I am not concerned about going through immigration, I just don’t want to deal with my large checked bags. Can I log through immigration without collecting my checked bags. Thank you
February 28, 2019 @ 12:47 pm
Hi Phil! In most countries, your checked bags will automatically get transferred from one flight to the next. It’s really just the US and Canada that make you claim and recheck your luggage. There are some exceptions when your layover is that long, but you’d need to talk to the airline to be verify what their policy is for checked bags with a long layover like that. On the off chance that they do make you claim your checked bags, do a search for luggage lockers at Seoul airport. Most airports outside of the US have some kind of lockers or left luggage service, you just want to make sure they are outside of security (landside).
March 13, 2019 @ 9:27 pm
Hi there. Just an update. We did have a 11 hour layover in Seoul. We ended up doing two back to back tours out of the airport. One was to a temple and the other was to the grand palace downtown. The tourism association does the tours for free and they work with you to determine your time frame and if the tours will work. 50 % of the spots are allocated to people you book ahead and 50% for people who make the decision at the airport. It is easy to spot the booths that the tour people are from. I would highly recommend doing this if you have a long layover in Seoul. Immigration is straight forward when you tell them them you are doing one of the tours. No need to pick up you bags if they were checked through to your final destination.
March 14, 2019 @ 2:16 pm
Thank you so much for the update, Phil! This is great info, and I’m glad you had a good time!
February 27, 2019 @ 7:54 pm
I’ll be traveling from China to Papua New Guinea, i have 15 hours layover in Manila, I’m Indonesian citizen. I did check the embassy of Philippines(for 30 days free visa). Is it possible to leave the airport and explore the city? Thank you
February 28, 2019 @ 12:40 pm
Hi Dian! If you don’t need a visa, it should be fine to leave the airport for such a long layover. You’ll have to go through customs and immigration to get stamped into the country, and you’ll have to go through exiting passport control when you come back to the airport to get stamped out of the Philippines before your next flight, plus you’ll have to go through security. Make sure you leave plenty of time for all of that. I usually check https://www.toandfromtheairport.com/ to find out how to get into the city from the airport. Pay attention to how long it takes you on the way in, and leave at least that much time, if not more, to get back at the end of your layover. If you’re taking a bus or taxi, make sure you leave a buffer in case of traffic.
February 25, 2019 @ 10:16 pm
I am from Albania and i have the USA visa.Can i visit London on my layover on London’s airport?
February 26, 2019 @ 6:07 pm
Hi Berti! I’m not a visa expert, so you’d need to check the visa requirements of the UK. This site looks like a good place to start: https://www.gov.uk/transit-visa
February 24, 2019 @ 1:55 pm
I did check the UK Gov website, but still want some clarity. Can an Iraqi citizen who holds a Canadian visa, traveling back from Canada to London Heathrow arriving at 5:30 am and leaving at 5:30 pm to Istanbul, (both flights are operated by British Airways) on the same day be eligible for a layover? Also should they mention why and what is the best excuse?
Thank you for all your help.
February 25, 2019 @ 11:52 am
Hi Dino! I’m really not a visa expert, so I can’t advise you any more than what you’ve found on the UK embassy site. You should contact them if you’re unsure about the layover. Sorry!
February 14, 2019 @ 8:03 am
I will be traveling to the Philippines on Feb 26, I will be having 16:40 min. Lay over in Narita airport in Japan. Do you think that’s enough time for me to go to Tokyo to see the city. I have Canadian passport so I don’t think I’ll need a visa. Do I need to take the luggage with me. My layover is from 5pm to 9 am.
I would appreciate you help and suggestions!
February 14, 2019 @ 3:12 pm
Hi Carla! Yes, that’s plenty of time! You’ll have to go through customs and immigration when you land in Narita in order to leave the airport, and then you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out of Japan the next morning before your next flight. With a 9am departure, you might want to get to the airport by about 7am or even a little earlier, that way you’ll have plenty of time for passport control and security. As for luggage, you’ll need to verify with the airline if they will transfer it to the next flight or if you’ll need to pick it up and recheck it the next morning. Usually they’ll transfer your luggage on a connecting flight, but occasionally with a really long layover like this one, they aren’t able to. It depends on a few factors, but the airline is the one who can tell you how they’ll handle that. I recommend packing everything you think you’ll want with you on your layover in your carry-on bag.
February 11, 2019 @ 11:17 pm
Hello greetings to you all am traveling to Fiji ?? from Nigeria I have a layover of 19hrs in London an 6hrs in USA is there possibilities of me leaving the airport eaither of my two layovers
February 13, 2019 @ 10:31 am
Hi, 19 hours in London should be plenty of time to leave the airport on a layover. But you’ll have to go through UK customs and immigration, so make sure you check the UK embassy website for information about their visa requirements in case you are required to get one. The same for the US, although even more so there because you’ll have to go through customs and immigration in the US (as well as claim and recheck luggage) even if you don’t plan on leaving the airport. And 6 hours might be enough time but it might be a little tight, it just depends on what airport your layover is at. My suggestion is to look into how long it takes to get from the airport into the city, and maybe even add a few minutes as a buffer. Then remember you’ll have to be back at the airport before your next flight leaves, usually 2 hours is recommended for an international flight, but if all you have to do is go through security again, you might be ok with less time – your call. And remember it’ll take time to get through customs and immigration when you first land. So lets say it takes an hour to get off the plane and through customs and immigration and rechecking your luggage, maybe an hour round trip in and out of the city, and getting back to the airport 2 hours before your next flight, that leaves you with 2 hours max to explore. You’d have to have something really specific in mind that you want to see/do, and definitely keep an eye on your time. If you have to take a taxi to get into the city, definitely leave yourself a buffer in case of traffic to get back to the airport. I’d hate for you to miss your flight to Fiji!
February 9, 2019 @ 7:09 pm
Hi I’m travelling from the uk to Indonesia/bali with a 23 hour stopover In guangzau (china). Will i be able to leave the airport and explore during that time or do i need to stay in the airport. Also usually with checked luggage is it an automatic transfer onto the next flight or will I need to reclaim and recheck my bag??
February 11, 2019 @ 5:40 pm
Hi Linda! China has a visa exemption for certain circumstances, and I think you would qualify. I’m not a visa expert though, but this looks like a good place to start: https://www.visaforchina.org/SYD_EN/generalinformation/visaknowledge/269282.shtml. Scroll down to item #5, that sounds like your situation. As for your luggage, normally it would be tagged to your final destination, so the airline would transfer it to the next flight. But since your layover is so long, it’s possible they wouldn’t be able to do that. This really varies by airline and other factors, so you should call the airline and ask them if your bag will be transferred. I’d also verify with the agent when you check in for your first flight.
Ms. Rogie calix
February 9, 2019 @ 4:16 am
We have a layover 8hours what shoyld we do? Can we go out from tbe airport or just stay in the airport?
Can you advive them what we should do.thanks
February 11, 2019 @ 4:59 pm
That all depends on where the layover is. Usually 8 hours is enough time to leave the airport and see a few things, but there are things to consider. Is your layover in a country where you would need a visa to enter? How far is the airport from the city? What time of day is your layover? Most of those details are in this post or in this one over here, that should help you determine if it makes sense to leave the airport during your layover. As for what to do, I’d recommend a few things that are fairly easy to do, and close to transportation. Are there one or two sights in the layover city that interest you? For example, if your layover was in Paris, you could get the train from the airport into the city and then take the metro to go see the Eiffel Tower. Then you could go see one other sight, like Notre Dam, or grab a quick meal somewhere. Just make sure to leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport and allow for 1-3 hours ahead of your flight depending on whether it’s domestic or international. I hope this helps!
April 1, 2019 @ 10:22 pm
Circling back to our earlier conversation (SO helpful by the way)!!! Are you aware if there are storage lockers large enough for our carry on luggage/ suitcases? First in Paris- CDG then London Gatwick. Trying not to check our luggage as Norwegian charges an arm and a leg! Thanks!!!!
April 2, 2019 @ 11:56 am
Glad to help! Sometimes there are lockers, sometimes there’s a left luggage service. I used a left luggage service at Gatwick years ago (because I think they didn’t have lockers, but I’m not positive) and here’s some info: https://www.gatwickairport.com/at-the-airport/passenger-services/luggage/. For CDG, I found this https://www.airfrance.com/SR/en/common/faq/at-the-airport/are-there-baggage-lockers-at-paris-charles-de-gaulle-airport.htm and this https://www.parisaeroport.fr/en/passengers/services/book-a-service/luggage-storage. Usually if you search “luggage lockers” and the airport name, you’ll find some listings. Some airports don’t have lockers anymore because of security reasons, so the left luggage places x-ray your luggage first and then store your bags. Also, most train stations have luggage lockers, so if you’re taking the train into the city, you can look for that too. Always a solution!
February 6, 2019 @ 9:54 pm
Thanks for this info! We have 7 hour layover in London on our way from Sweden back to the US (9am to 4pm). Our kids are dying to see London. Per some research it seems feasible to take the Heathrow Express directly to Paddington. Thinking we can hot some hot spots there, have lunch and head back??? Does this seem reasonable?
February 7, 2019 @ 12:52 pm
Hi Melanie! I think that’s enough time to go into the city and see one or two things. Remember that you’ll have to go through customs and immigration to get stamped into the UK if you’re leaving the airport, and then before your flight from London to the US, you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out. You’ll probably want to get back to the airport at least 2 hours ahead of your London-US flight to do exiting passport control and security. Make sure you know how much time it takes to get back to the airport and leave yourself a little buffer. Here’s some info about getting in and out of the city, though it looks like it hasn’t been updated in awhile: https://www.toandfromtheairport.com/heathrow.php. I’d recommend picking sights that aren’t too far from Paddington Station, that way you aren’t losing too much more time in transit or adding extra complications that could delay you. Just as an example, it looks like about 20-25 minutes using the Tube to get from Paddington to Big Ben.
One option that could work is doing a hop on hop off bus. Not always my favorite way to see a city, but with limited time, it could be perfect. I found this https://www.londonpass.com/london-attractions/hop-on-hop-off-bus-tour.html and if you look at the Big Bus London Tour Routes, the Best of the West route has a stop at Paddington and is short enough you could do it. Might be worth looking into.
A quick look at the timing for you: Customs and immigration could be super fast or super slow, so to be safe, let’s say it takes an hour from landing time to getting to the train. Plus 30 minutes on the train into the city, another 30 minutes back. Plus getting to the airport two hours before your next flight. That leaves you with about 3 hours to get lunch and do a tiny bit of sightseeing. So you really want to make sure you have everything planned out. Know exactly where you want to go and which Tube line you need to get there. Find some restaurant options for a quick lunch near wherever you’re going.
I hope this helps, and enjoy your trip!
February 7, 2019 @ 2:42 pm
Thank you for so much information Ali! After I sent this, I looked closer only to find that we are actually flying through Gatwick. It seems that is farther from the sites in London, but I did find out you could purchase Premium Passport Control (and Premium Security) passes. I went ahead and bought them as for 4 of us, all 8 passes were under 40 pounds. Hopefully that helps!!! Do you have any experience traveling in and out of Gatwick? It looks like a taxi might be quickest, even if it is more expensive. Then we can see a little bit of London while driving in? Honestly, I think our kids will be happy seeing one site and having a quick lunch. Just don’t want to add any stress to the trip.
ALSO . . . . we layover on the way to Stockholm in Paris. We have done the Eiffel Tower so I’d love any ideas of something else fun to do while there. This layover is 1:15 – 10pm.
February 8, 2019 @ 10:51 am
I actually did a long layover in London a few years ago, flying in and out of Gatwick. I took the Gatwick Express train to Victoria Station, which was nonstop and took about 30 minutes one way. Here’s some info on transport options from Gatwick: https://www.toandfromtheairport.com/gatwick.php. My worry about taking a taxi is traffic. Traffic can be pretty bad in London, but the train just goes. Victoria Station is really close to Buckinghan Palace, so when I had my layover, I walked over there to see it, then down to see Big Ben and Westminster Abbey. I mapped it out, so you can see it here. The Westminster Bridge is right there by Big Ben and Westminster Abbey, and you can get some really nice views of the city from there. You could find something to eat around that area and then either walk back to Victoria Station along Victoria Street, or take the Tube from the Westminster station.
For Paris…here’s the info for transport options: https://www.toandfromtheairport.com/paris-charles-de-gaulle.php, assuming you’re flying into/out of CDG. You could go see Notre Dame or the Arc de Triomphe. If your kids like slightly creepy things, you could take them to the catacombs. I actually have an itinerary for a week in Paris, so maybe there’s a sight or activity in there that would be interesting for you. Worth noting, when you land in Paris, you’ll have to go through customs and immigration to get stamped into the Schengen Zone. But since France and Sweden are both in the Schengen Zone, you won’t have to do any immigration procedures at the end of your layover to fly to Stockholm (but you’ll still have to go through security), so that’ll be a little easier.
February 4, 2019 @ 3:51 am
hy i want to know that…..can u leave the airport during 2 days layover for visit tour….i am.from.pakistan and i am going to london cardif…from.pakistan…..pakistan to barcelonaand then barcelona to london cardiff…..i ahve 2 days layover on barcelona …can i go outside..and may visa is visit visa from.pakistan to.london……180 days….
February 7, 2019 @ 10:44 am
Hi Ahmed! You’ll need to check with the Schengen authorities to see if you’re required to get a visa to enter the Schengen Zone. And with such a long layover, that’s not really considered a layover anymore, so I believe you would need a visa no matter what to do a flight itinerary like that. I’m not a visa expert though. Here’s a good place to start your research: https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/tourist-schengen-visa/
February 3, 2019 @ 12:56 am
Hi, I’m flying home from paris into Newark airport for a 6hour layover till next flight to houston. I’m an American with passport. Will I have time to take subway and go into New York for a few hours and get back? Or maybe to Hoboken?
February 7, 2019 @ 10:24 am
Hi Kara! When you land in Newark, you’ll have to go through immigration and customs, as well as claim and recheck your luggage. That could easily take an hour or more. You’ll also need to be back at the airport at least an hour before your flight to Houston and go through security. It looks like the train from the airport to NYC Penn Station takes about 30 minutes (Hoboken timing looks really similar if you get the right train route), plus however long it takes to get to the airport train station…looks like you’d have to take the free airport train to get to the actual train station, and I can’t find an exact timing on that. But let’s say you need 45 minutes in each direction, even if your timing works out perfectly to where you don’t have to wait long for the next train, you’re looking at 3.5 to 4 hours just to get through customs, get in and out of NYC, and the hour ahead of your flight. So you might have 2 hours in NYC if you’re lucky. If your timing doesn’t work out so perfectly, you might have an hour. I’m not sure that’s worth it. I know 6 hours is an annoyingly long time to spend in an airport on a layover, but with all the transit time to get into and back out of NYC or Hoboken, it seems like a lot of stress and not a lot of room for error. Here’s some info on transport options to/from Newark Airport: https://www.toandfromtheairport.com/newark.php
January 24, 2019 @ 1:28 am
Hi, i’m flying from USA to Pakistan and i have a layover of 15 hour in Paris, can i leave airport and go to France and take a quick selfie with Eiffel Tower. I check and it’s just 30 mins drive from my airport, my question is that, will i need a visa? i have Pakistani passport currently.
January 25, 2019 @ 5:35 pm
Hi, I’m not a visa expert, but certain nationalities need a visa to visit any countries in the Schengen Zone (which France is a part of) or even if you’re just transiting. Pakistan is on the list here https://www.schengenvisainfo.com/who-needs-schengen-visa/ but there’s also a list of exceptions. One of the exceptions they list is if you have a valid visa for visiting the US, so I assume you have that since you will be flying from there. However, it sounds like this list of exceptions only applies to transit passengers, not anyone leaving the airport. I suggest reading through that website I linked and seeing what the requirements are for getting a visa and verifying whether or not you need one to transit. I hope you’re able to work something out to be able to go explore the city for a bit because 15 hours is a long layover!
January 16, 2019 @ 4:09 pm
Hi ! Thank you for this help.
I’m gonna USA on march 2019 I have tourist visa and my layover is in france and UK I’m not allow to visit this countries without visa. This is first flight with loyvers I don’t have any idea if can leave Air and airport and if can I skip custmus and immigration I have 5 hours in layover. Tell me if can I leave airport in UK and FR without permission of custmus and control and if I came back what should I do. No problem if that illegal but I like to do that.
January 17, 2019 @ 11:53 am
Hi Erike! If you are not allowed to go to France or the UK without a visa, you will not be able to leave either airport during your layover…unless you have a visa. You can’t get to the exit doors without first passing through immigration and customs, and the immigration officers will check you for a visa. You can’t skip customs and immigration AND leave the airport, it’s physically impossible because of how airports are set up to prevent you from getting to the outside without first going through customs and immigration. In most airports, if you’re just transiting, you can bypass customs and immigration by following the signs that say “transit” or “transfer” or “connecting flights” and then you would continue on to your next gate, plus usually you’ll have to go through security.
Also, I highly recommend that you check the embassy websites for the UK and Schengen Zone (border control organization for the group of countries that includes France) ahead of your flight to see if you are required to have a transit visa for either. I am NOT a visa expert, but some countries require certain nationalities to have a transit visa.
January 12, 2019 @ 2:35 am
Good evening Ali. I will be traveling from Jamaica to Poland via Canada. I will layover in Canada for 21 hours. Do airlines ever put up passengers for the time period?
January 12, 2019 @ 12:07 pm
Hi Pamela! I’m actually working on a post about this right now, but it’s not finished yet. Occasionally airlines will provide a hotel for passengers with long layovers, but there are usually some guidelines. I’m not sure which airline you’re flying, but I’m going to guess Air Canada. Check out their stopover program details and see if it’s something you can do: https://www.aircanada.com/us/en/aco/home/book/travels/hotels/stopover.html. (Also, I LOVE Poland, I hope you have a great trip!)
January 11, 2019 @ 11:52 pm
I’m from the Philippines and will be travelling to Honduras. My connecting flights are in Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Houston. I won’t be leaving the airports during my layovers because my visa is only for Honduras.
Do I need to get visas for the countries on the connecting flights?
Thanks in advance!
January 12, 2019 @ 12:03 pm
Hi Fae, that’s a lot of layovers! I’m not a visa expert, but I’ll try to help. The US requires everyone to get a visa, even if you’re just transiting. And in your case, you’re actually switching to a domestic flight for LAX to Houston. I don’t know what the visa requirements are for citizens of the Philippines, so you’ll have to check the US embassy website for more details. I’d also recommend checking the Japan embassy website to see what their requirements are. I’ve flown through Tokyo on a connecting flight before and I only had to go through security, not customs and immigration, since I was just transiting, but it’s always good to check just in case.
January 11, 2019 @ 6:13 pm
My son is a Canadian citizen and will be flying home from Florence via Lisbon on TAP air. His flight lands in Lisbon at 9 pm on the Monday and then there is a 20 hour layover with his next flight not leaving until 5 pm the next day. Can he leave the airport and stay at a nearby hotel?
What time would you recommend he be back at the airport on the Tuesday?
Thanks so much for your help,
January 12, 2019 @ 11:44 am
Hi Caroline! Yes, he can leave the airport during his layover, and it sounds like a great option for such a long layover in Lisbon! If his flight out of Lisbon is at 5pm, he should probably aim to get there about 2 or so hours ahead of time. He should basically treat the Lisbon to Canada flight as if it was the first flight of the itinerary, since he’ll still have several steps to get through. Sometimes with long layovers, the airline isn’t able to print the second boarding pass because it’s too far ahead of time, so if that’s the case for him, he’ll need to go to the check-in counter in Lisbon. Then he’ll need to go through exiting passport control where he will be stamped out of the Schengen Zone. (Italy and Portugal are both in Schengen, which is why he won’t go through passport control when leaving Florence.) And he’ll have to go through security. The airline also might not be able to transfer his checked luggage from the first flight to the second flight with such a long layover, so he should verify that with TAP. If he has to claim his luggage in Lisbon, tell him to ask the hotel to hold it for him the next day after he checks out so he can go see the city for a few hours. Just means he’ll need to stop by the hotel before going back to the airport. BUT there is a chance the airline will transfer his luggage, so make sure he has everything he’ll need for his overnight in Lisbon in his carry on bag. I hope this helps, and I hope your son enjoys his short stay in Lisbon!
January 8, 2019 @ 12:11 am
Hi, I am travelling to Vancouver Island from the UK, connecting via Seattle. We have a 10 hr layover built in. On my ESTA application it asked if I was transitting to another country which I stated I was. With this route can I recheck my bags after immigration then take the train over to main terminal and exit the airport leaving my bags at Seattle airport?
January 8, 2019 @ 4:19 pm
Hi Paul! I don’t know a lot about the ESTA rules since I’m a US citizen, but I’m not sure how they could stop you from leaving the airport after you clear customs. The US makes everyone go through customs and immigration, and then you’d have to go through security to get to your next gate. So if you have a 10 hour layover, it seems reasonable to me for you to leave the airport for a few hours. I’d recommend doing a little more research about the exact rules of the ESTA thing though to be sure. I don’t know if they have worthwhile customer service on the website? I really think what you want to do is fine, but I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction as I am not a visa expert.
January 8, 2019 @ 10:03 pm
Thanks for coming back to me. Seatac customer experience said that I would be able to leave the airport with or without my bags.
January 9, 2019 @ 2:25 pm
That’s great! That’s what I figured, but it’s always good to be certain.
January 4, 2019 @ 10:41 pm
I’m a Canadian citizen and for my returning flight from Taipei, there will be a 10 hour layover (approx) in Vancouver before I head to Calgary for another 12 hour layover (approx).
Do you think I’ll have enough time to briefly explore both cities?
and would you happen to know if it’ll be easy/ quick for me to re-enter the airports since I’ll only be travelling domestically?
January 5, 2019 @ 2:54 pm
Yikes, TWO long layovers?! Yes, I think both are long enough to go into the city. When you land in Vancouver, you’ll go through customs and immigration. It’s possible you’ll have to claim and recheck your luggage, but verify that with the airline. It’s also possible that you won’t be able to get your Vancouver-Calgary or Calgary-wherever boarding passes when you check in for the Taipei-Vancouver flight – sometimes the airlines can’t print a boarding pass if the flight is more than 24 hours ahead. This just means when you get to Vancouver, after customs and immigration, you’ll have to basically check in again, but hopefully you can use a machine, which will be faster. Just give yourself enough time on the way back to the airport to deal with that piece, plus you’ll also have to go through security again before proceeding to your next gate. But both Vancouver-Calgary and Calgary-wherever will be domestic flights, so there’s nothing really special about it, just make sure you have your boarding pass and go through security. You probably want to verify that your luggage will be transferred to the last flight since the layover is a long one, but I expect it will be fine. Enjoy your layovers, and probably some strong coffee to stay awake through it all!
January 4, 2019 @ 9:31 pm
Hey Ali,am Nelson and will be flying from Lagos to Bahamas and had 3 stop over and the last one in Toronto for 7hrs,can I go out of the airport to see how it looks in Toronto during my layover
January 5, 2019 @ 2:45 pm
Hi Nelson! I feel like 7 hours should be enough time for a quick visit into the city, but remember that you’ll have to deal with customs and immigration, which can take some time. You may or may not have to claim and recheck your luggage in Toronto, but the airport’s website has a good tool for figuring out what you need to do for a connecting flight, check it out here: https://www.torontopearson.com/Connecting.aspx#. Here’s a good place to look for your transport options: https://www.toandfromtheairport.com/toronto.php. And make sure you know whether you’ll need a visa, based on your nationality. I am not a visa expert, so I can’t really help there, but look at the Canadian embassy website for info. And if you do decide to leave the airport, make sure you allow for plenty of time to get back. You’ll have to go through exiting passport control and security in the Toronto airport. I hope this helps!
December 28, 2018 @ 9:55 pm
I’m looking at flights from the US to Kenya and there is one with a 21 hour layover in London, that should be plenty of time to go out and see some things right? How many hours in advance would I need to plan to be back in the airport to catch my flight to Kenya?
December 30, 2018 @ 5:24 pm
Hi Sarah! I’m going to assume you’re a US citizen, since you’re talking about flying from the US. This means you don’t need a visa to visit the UK, which means you can leave the airport in London during your layover. (If you aren’t a US citizen, check out the UK embassy website to see if you are required to have a visa.) And yes, 21 hours is great! So what’ll happen is you will have to go through UK immigration and customs to get stamped into the country. Then you are free to go enjoy the city, get a hotel if you want, whatever. When you come back, think of it like you’re just starting your journey. You might have to check in for the next flight because it’s very possible your airline can’t print your London-Kenya boarding pass with such a long layover in between the flights. Which also means you might have to recheck your luggage. This is something you should verify with the airline to see how they will handle your luggage during the layover. You’ll also need to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out of the UK, and you’ll need to go through security. Like most international flights, it’s probably worth getting there 2 to 3 hours ahead of your flight time. And leave yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport. There are train and/or Tube options to both Gatwick and Heathrow, and depending on the time of day, that might be better than a taxi because of traffic. I hope this helps, and enjoy your trip!
December 27, 2018 @ 8:18 pm
we wish to travel from Knock airport to Orlando via Manchester airport. There is a 30 hour layover in Manchester and we want to leave the airport to go and see friends. The first flight is with Flybe and the second flight is with Virgin. Will we be allowed to leave the airport- we have Irish passports, so I do not think that is an issue. Will there be an issue when we try to check back in? How will the airline know where we have gone- I assume if we were to stay in the airport we would be in a transit lounge.
December 28, 2018 @ 11:59 am
Hi Marie! Yes, you can leave the airport on your layover in Manchester. You’ll have to go through UK immigration and customs to get stamped into the country, and then you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out before your flight to Orlando, so make sure you leave time for that. Often on such long layovers, the airline can’t print your next boarding pass because it’s still more than 24 hours ahead, which means they probably can’t tag your checked luggage for your final destination either. If you booked both flights all on one itinerary, ask Flybe when you check in if they’ll be able to tag your checked luggage to get transferred from the first flight to the second flight. If they can’t, or if the flights were booked separately, you’ll have to claim your luggage before leaving the airport and recheck your luggage before the second flight. If you don’t want to lug it with you during your layover, look for luggage lockers or a left luggage service.
December 26, 2018 @ 3:43 pm
I am from Pakistan studying in china ,i have Chinese residence permit. In winter holiday i am going to Indonesia through Singapore i want transit in Singapore for 24 hours or more but i don’t know how to get the transit. ….
December 27, 2018 @ 10:07 am
Hi Hanif! You’ll need to check with the Singapore embassy to see if you are required to get a visa to visit or transit through Singapore.
November 29, 2018 @ 8:56 pm
My boyfriend and I are traveling to Italy but have a 11 hour lay over in London. We land at 9AM and our flight isn’t until 11:25PM. Do you think that’s enough time to go look around? Thank you!
November 30, 2018 @ 8:22 pm
Hi Kaitlyn! If you land at 9am and your next flight leaves at 11:25pm, you have almost 14 1/2 hours between flights, so probably about 9-10 hours once you subtract out transport time, customs and immigration time on both ends, and time back at the airport ahead of your flight. Sounds like a wonderful opportunity to leave the airport and explore London! I once did a long layover in London with less time.
You’ll have to go through UK immigration and customs to get stamped into the country, and then I’d recommend public transport to get into the city. Both Gatwick and Heathrow have trains, look here for info about how to get into the city from whichever airport you’re landing in. Keep track of how long it takes to get from the airport into the city, and make sure you know the schedule for getting back. You probably still want to get back to the airport at least 2 hours ahead of your flight, if not more, because you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out and through security. It could be a breeze, but you never know when the lines will get backed up.
I’d recommend doing some research about what specific things you want to see or do, or what neighborhoods you want to explore. That way you won’t lose time trying to figure things out when you’re there with limited time. Enjoy!
Oh, and if you need any Italy tips, I have an itinerary post here!
Divjot Singh Dhunna
November 13, 2018 @ 11:22 am
Hi Ali, I’ll be traveling from Madagascar to USA, in Jan 2019. I have a layover at Addia Ababa for 16 hours. I am indian passport holder. Dose this time period allow me to go out of airport? Thanks.
November 14, 2018 @ 5:40 pm
Yes, I think 16 hours is plenty of time to leave the airport, do a little sightseeing, and maybe even get a hotel to sleep depending on the timing of your layover. BUT please check to make sure you don’t need a visa for Ethiopia, I am NOT a visa expert.
October 29, 2018 @ 11:03 am
Hello, my wife and I will be returning to Ecuador from Athens with our luggage being transferred through the layovers with the airline. Will we have enough time to sightsee in Italy with a 10 hour layover and get a bite to eat in Madrid with a 6 hour layover? Also, my would it be wise to leave the airport with my wife’s Venezuelan passport having only 4 months left before expiring?
November 1, 2018 @ 10:31 am
Hi Michael! I’m not a visa expert, but I found some info about citizens of Venezuela entering the Schengen Zone (which Italy and Spain are both a part of) and it doesn’t seem like your wife would have a problem with having only 4 months left on her passport. There are apparently some new rules going into effect in 2021 for citizens of certain countries, including Venezuela, and that will include needing at least 3 months validity on the passport. You can read more here and here. This one also says you need 3 months validity past the date you’re leaving the Schengen Zone. Generally it’s recommended to have at least 6 months left on your passport, but I think you’ll be fine in this case. I can’t make guarantees, but considering how many websites say 3 months, I wouldn’t worry. Plus you will already be in the Schengen Zone since Greece is also part of Schengen. If you haven’t started this trip yet, here’s more info about the Schengen Zone, and whichever country you land in first is the one that will check your passports. Then you won’t get checked again until exiting the Schengen Zone, which would be in Madrid since that’s where your flight departs for Ecuador.
As for exploring on your layovers, I’m not sure where in Italy you’re landing, but 10 hours should be fine for whatever city it is. Remember you’ll need time to get off the plane and through the airport, plus however long it takes to get into the city, and then the time to get back to the airport, and you should still be back to the airport about an hour or so before your next flight. Give yourself lots of time in case of traffic or transport delays. If you’re connecting in Rome, there’s a train that connects the airport to Rome Termini station and it takes about 30 minutes. From there you can get the metro to other parts of the city, but you probably only have time for one major sight. In Madrid, there’s a metro line that connects the airport into the city, and that’ll take you anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes depending on where you want to go. So with a 6 hour layover, I think you’ll only have 2 or 3 hours tops to actually explore, but that should be plenty of time to have a meal. I’d suggest researching where you want to eat ahead of time so you don’t lose time while you’re there.
October 7, 2018 @ 11:58 am
Hello there, my friend and I will be on a 18 hour stop at (DXB) Dubai from a flight from Stockholm to Singapore and I am a Singaporean while he is a Korean. We were wondering if we could leave the airport to have a look around. Would that be possible? If so, what precautions must we take note of and are there any other limitations?
October 17, 2018 @ 3:10 pm
Hi Adam! I recommend checking the United Arab Emirates embassy website for info about visa requirements. Some citizens require a visa to enter, while others do not. I’m not a visa expert, and I don’t know about Singapore and Korea specifically. But if you don’t need visas, you’ll just have to go through immigration/passport control and get stamped into the country, and then you can go explore Dubai. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport before your next flight because you’ll have to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out, plus security. Also, check with your airline about any checked luggage you might have. Usually it’s tagged to go to your final destination, but occasionally with a long layover like this, they might make you claim it during the layover.
October 1, 2018 @ 7:37 pm
My husband and I are flying from Prague to Orlando with a 6.5 hour layover in Copenhagen. If we want to leave the Copenhagen airport during our layover – do we do through Customs/Immigration before leaving the airport? Or because Prague and Denmark are Schengen countries – we are exempt?
October 2, 2018 @ 6:23 am
Hi Allison! Since Czech Republic and Denmark are both Schengen countries, you’ll go through exiting customs in Copenhagen before your flight to Orlando. The Prague to Copenhagen flight will be very similar to a domestic flight within the US. So as soon as you land in Copenhagen, you can head for a taxi or train and go into the city for a bit. But you’ll have to go through exiting passport control and security in Copenhagen before your flight to Orlando, so you’ll still need plenty of time at the airport ahead of your flight. Keep that in mind when calculating how much time you have to spend in the city, and make sure you check how long it takes to get in and out of the city from the airport. I found the train/subway pretty easy but I did it a few years ago and I don’t remember how long it took.
October 1, 2018 @ 7:04 pm
I’m a USA green card holder . I’m traveling from Washington DC to the Gambia and I have a 21hrs layover in London, my question is . Can I leave the airport and come back for my connecting flight. Thank
October 2, 2018 @ 6:20 am
Hi Dean! I’d recommend checking the website for the UK embassy to see what their requirements are for visas. I’ve seen a few countries that don’t require tourist visas for US green card holders, but I’m not sure if the UK is one of them. If they don’t require a visa, you shouldn’t have a problem leaving the airport for your layover. If they do require a visa, you’ll have to decide if it’s worth the cost and hassle.
September 29, 2018 @ 2:39 pm
Hi, I’m a British citizen and I’m looking to go to Kuwait in December with KLM. On the way back there’s an 8 hour transit in Amsterdam so I’d like to leave the airport and have a look around. Do you think I have enough time? And would I have to take my luggage with me?
October 2, 2018 @ 6:16 am
Hi Sarah! Yes, I think 8 hours is enough time. You’ll have to go through immigration, but in my experience, it’s usually pretty fast in Amsterdam. There’s a train from the airport into the city that takes about 20 or 30 minutes. You’ll have to check with the airline about your checked bags, but usually they’re tagged to your final destination. If you don’t want to carry your carry-on around the city, there are luggage lockers at the Amsterdam Central train station. There used to be ones in the airport, but the ones I know of were all covered up/not in service when I went through there a couple of weeks ago. Just make sure you give yourself plenty of time coming back to the airport because you’ll need to go through exiting passport control to get stamped out before your flight to the UK.
December 8, 2018 @ 1:30 pm
hey can you give like an approximation of how long ahead we should arrive to get through immigration for Amsterdam if we left in a layover around the next few weeks
December 9, 2018 @ 5:44 pm
You’re talking about leaving the airport during your layover, right? So the last few times I’ve flown through Amsterdam, immigration/passport control has only taken about 20 minutes max in either direction. But December is holiday season and there could be more passengers going through, so lines could be longer. Plus it’s a big airport, and immigration is just one piece. If it were me, I’d still plan on getting back to the airport about 2 hours ahead of my next flight just in case. Simply walking through the airport to the international section could take 20 minutes or so, and you’ll have to deal with security too. The good thing is, if you end up with extra time in the airport, Amsterdam is a great one to be in. There are lots of food options, lots of comfy places to sit, and the international section (once you go through immigration and get stamped out of Schengen) has lots of stuff too. I hope this helps!
September 25, 2018 @ 7:15 pm
Hi! I’m Thai but living in Sweden. I have a question can I visit a country during travelling from Sweden to Thailand with about 6 hr layover in New Delhi. Can I leave the airport to visit the country and come back to check in again.
October 2, 2018 @ 6:12 am
You’d have to check with the India embassy to see if you require a visa to visit India as a Thai citizen. If they do require a visa, it’s probably not worth it because of the cost. I’d also recommend looking at how long it takes to realistically get from the airport into the city and back, plus you’d have to go through customs and immigration to get into India and then exiting passport control to get out before your flight to Thailand, so you’d probably want to be back at the airport 2 hours minimum before your flight. I can’t imagine you’d have more than an hour or two to spare. I know 6 hours is a long time to be in an airport, but I’m not sure this one is worth it.
September 15, 2018 @ 12:10 am
I’m a Canadian citizen travelling from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Toronto, Canada with a 17hr layover in Frankfurt, Germany. Can I leave the Frankfurt airport to go to a hotel for the night? Thanks
September 16, 2018 @ 7:35 pm
Hi Lynda! Canadian citizens don’t need a visa to enter the Schengen zone, so yes, you can leave the airport in Frankfurt and go to a hotel. You’ll have to go through passport control to get stamped in, and then the next day, you’ll go back through to get stamped out. Check with the airline to find out if your checked luggage will be transferred to the next flight or if you’ll have to pick it up on your layover. Give yourself plenty of time when coming back for your flight to Croatia because sometimes the passport control lines at Frankfurt are really long. And then Croatia is not in Schengen, so you’ll get stamped in there when you arrive. Have a great trip!
August 28, 2018 @ 6:59 am
Hi, I am traveling from London to Santorini with Lufthansa airline on a Schengen visa. I have a 16 hr layover in Frankfurt 11pm – 3pm. Can I go into Frankfurt to get a hotel and come back later before my flight?
August 29, 2018 @ 11:10 am
Hi Francis! Yes, you can leave the airport. In Frankfurt, you’ll have to go through customs and passport control to get stamped into the Schengen Zone, even if you weren’t leaving the airport. Germany and Greece are both in Schengen, so Frankfurt is your point of entry. You should check with the airline about your checked luggage though, usually they’ll still transfer it to your next flight, but with such a long layover, sometimes they don’t transfer your bags. If they do transfer your luggage, make sure you have everything you need for an overnight in a hotel in your carry-on.