Friday, 12 December 2014

Rock Your Layover: Frankfurt

Old Frankfurt
Old Frankfurt
creativecommons image by fran001 on Flickr
Have a layover coming up in Frankfurt? Wondering what you could do with your time? Here's a little inspiration.

We've gathered the following resources - tips, stories and layover ideas - to help you get the most out of your time here.

In a nutshell:Frankfurt Skyline In Frankfurt, students rub shoulders with bankers. Set upon the River Main, with some of the tallest highrises in Europe tucked into a fairly small city centre, Frankfurt's skyline has earned it the nickname Mainhattan. Historic Frankfurt boasts wonderful old buildings and numerous museums.
creativecommons image by xingxiyang on Flickr
Free:Frankfurt free alternative walking tour
Frankfurt for Free
Free things to do in Frankfurt
Unique:Geocaching in Frankfurt: A Modern Treasure Hunt
Picks:Frankfurt Layover Private Sightseeing Tour with Round-Trip Airport Transport
Tatort in Frankfurt with 2-Hour Guided Crime Tour
Frankfurt: 1.5-Hour Nostalgia Tour in a Vintage Bus
Group:Have a large group, like a corporate group or sports-team, on a Frankfurt layover? Book the Germany Gourmet Liner for a for a private tour or a transfer with an onboard kitchen.
Shop:What is cheap in Frankfurt?
Frankfurt Shopping Centres and Malls
Frankfurt Shopping Guide: Where to go and what to buy
Luxury Shopping Trip to Wertheim Village from Frankfurt
Frankfurt Full Day Trip to Wurzburg and Wertheim Village Outlet
See:Frankfurt Card
Hop:Frankfurt Hop On Hop Off Bus: 1 Hour or Full-Day 
Do:Frankfurt Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Frankfurt
Eat:Spotted by Locals: Frankfurt Restaurants
Eating Out in Frankfurt: Top 10 Restaurants
Eating Out in Frankfurt - by Hostelworld
Loreley Dinner Tour
Exquisite Frankfurt and Rhine River Valley tour with wine tasting & lunch
Frankfurt City Limousine Tour with Dinner
Tips:Exploring Frankfurt, Germany's Hub - Rick Steves
Watch:YouTube: 5 Things You Will Love & Hate About Visiting Frankfurt
YouTube: Backpacker's Survival Guide: Frankfurt
Look:A View on Cities: Frankfurt Pictures
City Panoramas: Frankfurt Panoramas
Read:Frankfurt on
To/from the airport:Frankfurt International Airport (FRA) transportation guide
Frankfurt Hahn Airport (HHN) transportation guide (don't let the name fool you, it isn't even near Frankfurt!)
Good to know:Frankfurt am Main - Paulsplatz Frankfurt is a pretty safe city, but expect to be approached by panhandlers. The area around the train station can be a bit
daunting at first glance. Just keep your wits about you, especially if you are suffering from jetlag after a long
Be careful in selecting your airport: Frankfurt Hahn, used by low-cost carriers, is a l-o-n-g way from Frankfurt.
creativecommons image by poly-image on Flickr
Tourist info:Frankfurt Tourist Information
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Friday, 5 December 2014

Rock Your Layover: Edinburgh

Edinburgh at a glance
Edinburgh at nightfall
image: creativecommons, Dimitri B on Flickr
Have a layover coming up in Edinburgh? Wondering what you could do with your time? Here's a little inspiration.

We've gathered the following resources - tips, stories and layover ideas - to help you get the most out of your time here.

In a nutshell:
Edinburgh blends ancient and modern in a uniquely Scottish atmosphere. Watched over by the imposing Edinburgh Castle, Scotland's capital plays host to great shops, restaurants and a throbbing nightlife. Check what's on, just in case you find yourself in town during one of the many city festivals throughout the year. 
Free:Free Edinburgh tour
Edinburgh free things to do
Unique:Hadrian's Wall, Roman Britain and the Scottish Borders
Picks:Full-Day Trip to Loch Ness and the Scottish Highlands
Da Vinci Code Small Group Day Trip
Shop:Best of Edinburgh shopping
10 of the best independent shops in Edinburgh
See:Historic Scotland Historic Pass
National Trust for Scotland Discover Sightseeing Pass
Hop:Hop On Hop Off Bus 
Do:Edinburgh Layover Ideas & Stuff to Do in Edinburgh
Eat:Where to Eat and Drink in Edinburgh - Wendy Perrin
No Reservations: London and Edinburgh - Anthony Bourdain
Cheap eats in Edinburgh - WOW 24 7
Edinburgh's Chocolate Walking Tour
Cupcake and Macaron Walking Tour of Edinburgh
Whiskey Tasting and Dinner in Edinburgh
Eat Walk Edinburgh
Tips:Edinburgh budget tips - Nomadic Matt
5 pics and tips for Edinburgh
Plan your Edinburgh and the Lothians vacation - Fodors
Watch:Edinburgh Video Guide
Rick Steves' Europe: Edinburgh episode
Look:Pinterest: Edinburgh
Read:Edinburgh on
To/from the airport:Edinburgh International Airport (EDI)
Good to know:
You can look up your ancestors at the National Archives of Scotland, 2 Princes St (at Waverley Station).
Get connected at the large, independent Mossco Internet Cafe, 18 West Maitland St (near Haymarket Station).
Watch out for a few rough areas (e.c. some local pubs).
Tourist info:Edinburgh Tourist Information
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Sunday, 23 November 2014

Lousy Lagos Airport layover review

Goodbye indeed!
by Todd Romaine

For a country that holds 25% of the continent's population and has the 3rd strongest economy amongst 60 competitor African nations, one would assume that the Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport would be in good working order to leave a decent impression on international travellers heading to Nigeria or transiting to other abodes. However, think again! I was recently in transit and spent 5 hours at this airport and cannot think of one positive thing to say about it.

1. There is no regulatory order at the airport - in other words, no one is around at the information desk nor officials directing incoming traffic to Customs. As a result, people are quite confused where to go in general upon arrival.

2. The walkway escalators appear to be permanently damaged, requiring travellers to walk great distances down a long corridor where flight gates are not indicated on the flight screen. It appears the airport relies on 'word of mouth' for passengers to figure out which gate their flight leaves from. It is up to the passenger to ask other passengers where there flight is leaving from and it appears the locals know which gates flights seem to leave from, most of the time.

3. There are airport lounges but no decent WiFi (virtually non-existent), and very crowded conditions. There is no calling of your flight - it is your job to check the departure times and speculate where your gate may be.

4. There is no such thing as priority boarding - it is literally a free-for-all when boarding your flight.

5. There is very limited seating at your gate and therefore most passengers are standing up for an hour or more waiting to board their flight with little to no air conditioning.

Overall, the Lagos International Airport is a disappointment for any traveler looking for a reprieve between their connecting flights. With so much oil wealth in the country, one would think the Government of Nigeria would do more to make a more attractive impression on the international traveler.

Related resources

Layover ideas for the world's worst airports
Lagos Airport Passenger Reviews and Lagos Airport Customer opinions - Skytrax
Lagos Airport Review - Sleeping in Airports
Lagos Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) transportation guide

Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Roundtrip layover tours from airports - UPDATED

Heungryunsa Temple
Heungryunsa Korean Buddhist Temple, Seoul, South Korea
 Photo taken by a traveller on the Incheon Airport free layover tour
creative commons image sandwichgirl on Flickr
Have a long layover at a major international airport? Before you put together your own layover plan, and spend time figuring out how to get into the city and back again, check to see if there is tour you can take.

You may be surprised to learn that in some cities, there are tours that include roundtrip airport transportation. Some are free - such as the one offered by Singapore's Changi Airport (see below) - while others are packaged, private tours.

So, if you're hankering to get out and see a castle or a volcano, check out our list below:

Bangkok, Thailand

Bangkok Transit Tours from Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

brief stop at Wat Patum
Wat Patum Buddhist temple in Bangkok
creative commons image jasoneppink on Flickr
Transit passengers at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport with a 6-12 hour layover have a choice of in-transit tours they can take: Program A (4-6 hours) includes a Bangkok city orientation (palace, temples, museum) and a boat trip along the river/canals. Program B (7-10 hours) includes all the Program A sights plus shopping, massage/spa and/or after dark options(night life, night market, etc). As this is a private tour, there are lots of opportunities to customize to your particular interests, especially with Program B. Not associated with the airport.

Berlin (Schönefeld or Tegel)

Private Layover Tour: Berlin City Sightseeing with Airport Transport

Have some extra time between your flights at Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) or Berlin Schönefeld Airport (SXF)? Then take a tour of the city. Visit the Berlin Wall, Alexanderplatz, Potsdamer Platz, Checkpoint Charlie, Brandenburg Gate and more on a private 5-hour sightseeing tour, with round-trip airport transport included. Explore museums, do some shopping, grab a popular local snack and tour any attraction you like. This private tour has an itinerary that can be customized to your interests.

Bogota street art, creative commons image 26806851@N00 on Flickr
Bogotá Layover Private City Sightseeing Tour with Round-Trip Airport Transport

While between flights at the Bogotá airport, why not venture into the Colombian capital for some sightseeing while you wait? This five-hour panoramic city tour is specially designed for travelers who come to Bogotá in-transit to other destinations. Your knowledgeable guide will conveniently pick you up curbside and drop you off in time for your next flight. This private half-day tour can be modified according to your schedule, depending on the amount of time you have available during your connection.


Doha Transit Tour from Qatar Airways at Doha Hamad Airport - FREE

The complimentary city tour from Doha Hamad Airport is offered by Qatar Airways and Qatar Tourism to passengers with a layover of 5-12 hours. The tour includes 4 landmarks: The Pearl-Qatar (shops and restaurants), Katara Cultural Village, Souq Waqif (traditional jewellery, spices and handicrafts) and the Museum of Islamic Art (and seaside park). A bottle of mineral water is included.


Frankfurt Layover Private Sightseeing Tour with Round-Trip Airport Transport
4h layover = visit to the city, Frankfurt
Frankfurt layover iphoneography
creative commons image pickybe on Flickr
While on layover in Frankfurt, see the city highlights on a private half-day tour with round-trip airport transport. The airport is approximately 8 miles (13 km) from the city center, making for an easy-to-do layover tour! Your informative local guide will take you by private vehicle to all the main landmarks, with the opportunity to stroll through neighborhoods such as Old Sachsenhausen. The itinerary can be customized by your guide to accommodate your interests.

Hong Kong
Private Hong Kong Layover Tour: City Sightseeing with Round-Trip Airport Transport

While on layover in Hong Kong, get to know Hong Kong Island on a private five-hour tour, including round-trip airport transport by private vehicle. Hong Kong International Airport is approximately 21 miles (34 km) from downtown, making for an easy-to-do layover tour! Whether this is your first visit or you wish to refresh old memories of ever-changing Hong Kong, you’ll enjoy visiting Aberdeen’s fishing community, browsing for souvenirs at Stanley Market, seeing famous landmarks and learning about the island’s history – all with an informative local guide. Tip: in-transit Bangkok tours are also offered by this company.


Istanbul Transit Tour from Turkish Airlines at Istanbul Ataturk Airport - FREE

We had a 12 hour layover in Istanbul so we took a taxi into the city to visit Bethany's sister. Here's Rachael on the European side of the Bosphorus. Asia is in the background.
Stand in Europe with Asia over your shoulder on an Istanbul layover
creative commons image alexazul on Flickr
At Istanbul Ataturk Airport, the transit tour is a free service offered by Turkish Airlines, and is only available to their customers who have an international transit flight through Istanbul. You need a layover time of at least 6 hours, and there are 3 tours to choose from: Tour 1 visits the Blue Mosque, Hippodrome, Serpentine Column, Obelisk of Theodosius and Topkapı Palace. Tour 2 visits Pierre Loti Hill, Eyüp Sultan Mosque & Square, Byzantine City Walls, Ayvansaray Sahaba Tombs, Church of St. Mary, Balat, Patriarchate and more. Tour 3 is a repeat of Tour 2, plus Basilica Cistern and Grand Covered Bazaar. All tours include a meal (breakfast or lunch).

Kuala Lumpur

Private Kuala Lumpur Layover Tour: City Sightseeing with Airport or Hotel Drop-Off

While you’re between flights in Kuala Lumpur, go sightseeing on a private full-day city tour! An informative local guide introduces visitors to old and modern Kuala Lumpur, traveling by private vehicle. Visit top landmarks like Petronas Twin Towers, Royal King’s Palace, the Craft Cultural Complex and National Museum. The airport is approximately 37 miles (59 km) from the city center, making for an easy-to-do layover tour! Your itinerary can be customized to accommodate your private group's interests and requests, with drop-off at the airport or your hotel for an overnight stay.

London (Gatwick or Heathrow)

Independent Layover Tour to Windsor from London Gatwick or Heathrow Airport
04.16.09 Windsor Castle
Yes, you can see Windsor Castle on a London layover!
creative commons image 3460294512 on Flickr
Pass time between flights and visit the Royal town of Windsor on an independent layover tour from London Gatwick Airport (LGW) or London Heathrow Airport (LHR). The tour operates with a flexible itinerary and a private driver, meaning that you can decide where to go! As long as you have at least an 8 hour gap between flights, head out on this tour and enjoy up to four hours in Windsor, getting insider tips for the best sights and shops to check out form your guide. Visit Windsor’s many attractions like Windsor Castle (entry at own expense), the Long Walk or the nearby town of Eton, and then return to the airport for your ongoing flight.


Manila Layover Tour: Overnight City sightseeing with Round-Trip Airport Transfer

Stay overnight in Manila in your choice of standard studio or deluxe accommodation, and explore Makati and Old Manila on a half-day sightseeing tour. Meet your private guide in the morning or afternoon and receive an overview of Philippine history as you travel by air-conditioned vehicle to sites like Fort Santiago and the UNESCO-listed San Agustin Church. With an understanding of Manila’s colonial and modern-day culture under your belt, you can enjoy the flexibility of exploring at your own pace. This semi-independent experience includes breakfast and round-trip airport transfers.

Narita, Japan

Narita Transit Tours from Tokyo Narita Airport - FREE

Narita Temple
Narita-San Shinshoji Temple
creative commons image thoughtandsight on Flickr
Tokyo Narita Airport now offers several tour options for your layover. Rather than going into Tokyo, or killing time at the airport, why not see what the city of Narita has to offer? There are 3 Volunteer Guide Tours to choose from, each 3 hours long (tip: allow 5 hours): Narita city (Narita-san Omotesando, Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple, Narita-san Park) Shibayama Town (tour of Museum of Aeronautical Sciences) or Tako Town (traditional Japanese countryside with a nature walk and a Hydrangea pathway stroll). Alternatively, there are 2 Self Tours: Shisui Premium Outlets or AEON Mall Narita.

Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Salt Lake Transit Tour from Salt Lake City Airport - FREE

Translated Book of Mormon
Learn about Mormon history on a Salt Lake City layover
creative commons image seabird on Flickr
Requiring just a 2 hour layover, if your times coincide, the free Salt Lake City tour from Salt Lake City Airport is an interesting option and a good way to pass the time. The tour takes you directly to historic Temple Square downtown. This 3 block area includes Salt Lake Temple, the Tabernacle, the Family History Library and other attractions related to Mormon pioneer history and genealogy. As far as we know, this is the only layover tour offered by an airport in North America. If you know of another one, please tell us!

San Salvador, El Salvador

Have a layover at El Salvador International Airport (SAL)? If so, there are 4 tours you can take right from the airport:


Seoul Transit Tour from Seoul Incheon Airport - USD 10

Pick from 7 free tours at Seoul Incheon Airport
creative commons image soniat360 on Flickr
Seoul Incheon Airport (ICN) offers free transit tours to in-transit passengers, providing a glimpse of Korea. During the free Transit Tour, you will taste Korean history, culture and daily life with the multi-language speaking guide on bus. There are 7 different tours offered, ranging from 1 hour to 5 hours, all free: Yonggungsa Temple Tour, Incheon Temple Tour, Incheon City Tour, Incheon Culture Tour, Seoul City Tour, Seoul Culture Tour and Seoul Shopping Tour. Plus directions are available if you prefer a self directed tour. There is a nominal USD 10 fee, so we call that pretty close to free.


Singapore Transit Tour from Changi Airport - FREE

Nicely branded ID for the free Singapore tour
creative commons image su-lin on Flickr
Singapore is a dynamic city-state where you will find a harmonious blend of culture, cuisine, arts, people and architecture. Brimming with unbridled energy and bustling with exciting events, countless unique and memorable experiences await your discovery! There are two free tours to choose from: the Heritage Tour (2 hours) and the City Lights Tour (2.5 hours). If you have at least 4 hours to spare (4.5 hours for the City Lights Tour) from the tour start time to your next departure flight, join us in one of our free guided tours, both of which run daily at regular times. Registration for the tour must be made at least 1 hour before the start of the tour and is subject to availability. The Free Singapore Tour is jointly organized by Changi Airport and Singapore Airlines.

Taipei (Taoyuan)

Taipei Transit Tour from Taipei Taoyuan Airport - FREE

LOVE photo opps near entrance to Taipei 101
creative commons image h760127 on Flickr
Taipei Taoyuan Airport offers a choice of 2 free tours. You can take one of the tours if you are an in-transit and transfer passenger, with a 7-24 hour layover. The morning tour visits the Zushi Temple in Sanxia (being restored after extensive World War II damage), Pottery Heaven in Yingge, as well as the Yingge Ceramics Museum (when open). The afternoon tour visits the immense Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, and Taipei 101 - the world-famous observatory atop a 101 story tower. While you may have enough time for 2 tours, you are only permitted to take 1, so if you have a long layover, study up and pick the one you like best.

Taipei Layover Tour: Private City Sightseeing with Round-Trip Airport Transport

See the best of the Taipei on a private layover tour, with round-trip transport from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport! Taipei Taoyuan Airport (TPE) is approximately 24.5 miles (40 km) from Taipei city downtown, making for an easy-to-do layover tour! This customizable half-day tour is ideal for business travelers and short-term visitors – specifically designed for those with limited time to spend sightseeing in Taipei City. A private guide will introduce you to the city’s major historical sites and most captivating landmarks, such as Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial Hall, the Taipei 101 skyscraper, Confucius Temple and Baoan Temple – a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Rock Your Layover: Cusco

Peru , Cusco
Looking out at the rooftops of beautiful Cusco, Peru
(photo: creative commons ianz on Flickr)
Have a layover coming up in Cusco? Wondering what you could do with your time? Here's a little inspiration.

We've gathered the following resources - tips, stories and layover ideas - to help you get the most out of your time here.

In a nutshell:
Peru , Cusco You may find yourself in Cusco (Cuzco) for a few days acclimatizing to the elevation on your way to Machu Picchu, but Cusco is more than a stopping off point - it is a destination in its own right. Located at the site of the historic capital of the Inca Empire, Cusco is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, attracting near 2 million visitors a year.
Free:Free Walking Tour Peru: Cusco
7 things to do for free: Cusco, Peru
Unique:Sacred Valley Community Small Group Tour from Cusco
Runner up: Cusco: Inti Raymi Festival Of The Sun Day Tour (1x/year)
Picks:Archeological Park of Sacsayhuaman Half-Day Tour
Explore the City of Cusco: Guided Walking Tour
Horseback Riding Tour from Cusco
Shop:Cusco Ancient Inca Sites & Markets with a Local
Shopping at the Markets of Cusco
Shopping Secrets of Cusco
See:You'll need a Boleto turistico to see the ruins and sights around Cusco (buy one at the Oficina Ejecutiva del Comité, or OFEC).
Hop:"Combis" are cheap and crowded small buses with names like Batman or Zorro. If you want to get off, yell "Baja!"
Do:Cusco Layover Ideas & Stuff to Do in Cusco
Top 4 leisure activities in Cusco
Top 10 things to do in Cusco (that they won't tell you about in the guidebooks)
Eat:Wandering and eating in Cusco
Chocolate Workshop: from Bean to Bar
Cusco: 3-Hour Peruvian Cooking Class
Cusco Eats
Top 10 Things to Eat in Cusco - National Geographic
Tips:How to survive Cuzco on a budget
What you should know before a trip to Cusco
Watch:YouTube: Cusco, Peru Tour (great tips on getting photos with locals by @denniscallan)
YouTube: A Tourist's Guide to Cusco and Machu Picchu, Peru
Look:Cusco on Pinterest
Read:Cusco on
Books to read before you go to Peru
To/from the airport:Cusco Alejandro Velasco Astete International Airport (CUZ) transportation guide
Good to know:Coca Tea - Casa Cartagena hotel - Cusco To avoid altitude sickness, take time to acclimatize. Take it slow the first day, and stay away from the bars the first night. Drink coca tea, a traditional native remedy for altitude sickness. If you expect to get drug tested upon your return home, skip the coca; drink plenty of water and look into Diamox/Acetazolamide (available at a pharmacy).
Don't even think about drugs in Peru; it is a felony that you "consider to maybe accept" an offer to buy.
Cusco is relatively safe, but use don't wander alone away from the Plaza de Armas late at night.
Tourist info:Cusco Tourist Information
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Thursday, 16 October 2014

Layover ideas for the world's worst airports (2014)

* * Click HERE for 2016 * *


Read below for 2014:

Today, Sleeping in Airports announced the results of their 2014 Worst Airports in the World.

Here, we do our best to weigh in on some options to help you survive a layover at these dismal airports. Be warned, the options can be limited... please feel free to add suggestions in the comments below!

Tip: keep in mind that you may need a transit visa to leave some of the airports listed - or tips assume that you've done your homework on that front.

View of Islamabad from Daman-e-Koh

1. Islamabad Benazir Bhutto International Airport, Pakistan (ISB)

Survey lowlights:
• Uncontrolled crowds
• Pervasive corruption
• Taxi touts

Layover ideas:
• Lok Virsa Museum features 25+ large galleries
Golra Railway Museum has locomotives and rolling stock
• Daman-e-Koh offers hiking, food, music and great city views

Layover resources:
Islamabad Airport Sleeping Guide
Islamabad Airport transportation guide
• Arriving in Islamabad - a taxi tour story

2. Jeddah King Abdulaziz International Airport, Saudi Arabia (JED)

Survey lowlights:
• Rude immigration officers and long queues
• Limited services
• Limited, uncomfortable metal seating, not sleeper-friendly

Layover ideas:
• Souq al-Alawi is located in al-Balad (the old town)
• Naseef House museum has great evening views from the top floor
• Atallah Happy Land Park has rides, skating, bowling, theatres, dining, shopping

Layover resources:
Jeddah Airport Sleeping Guide
Jeddah Airport transportation guide
How to Obtain a Saudi Arabian Transit Visa
• Jeddah, Saudi Arabia - I Am Bound Here

3. Kathmandu Tribhuvan International Airport, Nepal (KTM)

Survey lowlights:
• Disgusting washrooms (bring your own soap)
• No air-conditioning
• Not sleeper friendly

Layover ideas:
Cultural Walking Tour with Nepalese Cooking Lesson
Kathmandu Evening Tour by Rickshaw
• Do anything that will allow you to pee elsewhere!

Layover resources:
Kathmandu Airport Sleeping Guide
Kathmandu Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Kathmandu
A Night in Kathmandu - National Geographic
Kathmandu Layover

4. Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines (MNL)

Survey lowlights:
• Overcrowding
• Lengthy queues (fly airlines that use Terminal 3, vs Terminal 1)
• Not enough seating

Layover ideas:
Overnight Layover Tour with Hotel and Transfers
Manila Old and New Sightseeing Tour
4 Hour Makati City & Museum Tour

Layover resources:
Manila Aquino Airport Sleeping Guide
Manila Aquino Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Manila
17 Hour Layover: Overnight in Manila Airport
How to have a great stopover in Manila

5. Tashkent International Airport, Uzbekistan (TAS)

Survey lowlights:
• Horrific queuing
• Suspect immigration processes
• Sleeping discouraged

Layover ideas:
• Chorsu (Eski Juva) is the oldest bazaar in Central Asia
• Tellya Sheikh Mosque is home to the world's oldest Koran
• Tashkent TV Tower offers great views of the city
Tashkent things to do

Layover resources:
Tashkent Airport Sleeping Guide
Tashkent Airport transportation guide
Tashkent Airport Sleeping Guide
Tourist Visa to Uzbekistan

6. Paris Beauvais-Tille International Airport, France (BVA)

Survey lowlights:
• Poor transportation options to distant airport
• Cramped, rundown, treats people like cargo
• Closes at night (no sleeping!)

Layover ideas:
• Visit Beauvais Cathedral to see the Gothic architecture
Beauvais things to do
• Head into Paris and take an Eiffel Tower, Louvre or Hop On, Hop Off Bus tour
• Take @AirportSleeper's advice and fly into CDG or ORY instead!

Layover resources:
Paris Beauvais Airport Sleeping Guide
Paris Beauvais Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Paris
Beauvais-Paris - more than just a stopover, it's a destination

7. Frankfurt Hahn International Airport, Germany (HHN)

Survey lowlights:
• The 2 hour bus ride to distant airport
• Bleak and bare-boned
• Uncomfortable metallic seats, floor sleeping

Layover ideas:
• Use the advanced bag drop-off and storage lockers to get out of the airport
Go golfing or go-karting nearby
10 Things to do near Frankfurt-Hahn
• Take a Hop On, Hop Off Bus, cruise or guided city tour in Frankfurt

Layover resources:
Frankfurt Hahn Airport Sleeping Guide
Frankfurt Hahn Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Frankfurt


8. Milan Bergamo Orio al Serio International Airport, Italy (BGY)

Survey lowlights:
• Crowded with sleepers, constantly woken up by cleaners
• Lack of WiFi and electrical outlets
• Short-tempered security staff

Layover ideas:
• Take the funicular up to Città Alta, the medieval old town
• Explore the Città Bassa (lower town)
Bergamo Main Sights

Layover resources:
Milan Bergamo Airport Sleeping Guide
Milan Bergamo Airport transportation guide
• Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Milan

9. Berlin Tegel International Airport, Germany (TXL)

Survey lowlights:
• Limited seating, little personal space
• Crowded restaurants
• Especially crummy since it's not even a low-cost carrier airport

Layover ideas:
Private Berlin City Layover Tour with Airport Transport
Third Reich Sites Half-Day Walking Tour
Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour
• Take @AirportSleeper's advice and fly into SXF instead

Layover resources:
Berlin Tegel Airport Sleeping Guide
Berlin Tegel Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in Berlin
Berlin Layover from Tegel Airport


10. New York City LaGuardia International Airport, USA (LGA)

Survey lowlights:
• Security lines, unhelpful staff, services shut down (even when crowded)
• Counterintuitive layout (like the bar on the wrong side of security!)
• Lousy seating, not conducive to sleeping

Layover ideas:
Visit the historic LaGuardia Marine Air Terminal
• Plan ahead to see a show
• See the Manhattan skyline from the Empire State Building
New York Hop On, Hop Off Bus Tour

Layover resources:
New York LaGuardia Airport Sleeping Guide
New York LaGuardia Airport transportation guide
Layover Ideas & Stuff to do in New York 

For more, check out the juicy sublists of 2014 Worst Airports for Africa, Asia, Caribbean, Central & South America, Europe, Middle East, North America and South America.

Too bad there weren't enough votes to produce a Worst Airports in the South Pacific list (there is a Best Airports in the South Pacific list). If you travel this region, be sure to add your 2 cents in the 2015 Best and Worst Airports Survey.

Related resources:

Monday, 6 October 2014

Get Cooking on Your Layover: Europe

Get up close and personal with a country's culture by taking a cooking class abroad!
(Tau Consulting, Flickr, creative commons)

Love food? Wish you could cook those amazing dishes that you eat overseas? Why not take a cooking class during your trip?

While some choose to 'attend' a famous cooking school for an extended period, there are plenty of other short classes you can take for just a few hours, or a day.

In Cooking Classes Abroad: Travel for Taste, @Frommer's contributor Charis Atlas Heelan provides inspiration for expanding your culinary repertoire - along with a mouthwatering slideshow.

"A cooking class abroad brings more pleasure and knowledge than merely sampling traditional cuisine in a restaurant overseas," suggests Bethany Smith for @bootsnall in The Best Travel Souvenir: Cooking Classes Abroad. A veteran of cooking classes around the world, Bethany also suggests you be ready for impromptu lessons (hint: if you like a dish, ask questions of the cook!).

So, let's get cooking! In this, our first in a series, we look at cooking classes in Europe:

Chocolate-making demonstration in Bruges, Belgium
(Jennifer Morrow, Flickr, creative commons)

Brussels: Chocolate Workshop and Tastings

Dubrovnik: Traditional Dalmatian Cooking Class

Czech Republic
Prague: Traditional Czech Cooking Class 

Making vanilla and caramel macaroons!
(Danielle Fenske, Flickr, creative commons)
Avignon: Provençal Cooking Class and Market Tour
Cannes: Hands-On Cooking Classes & Shopping at the Market
Cannes: Authentic French & Mediterranean Finger Foods Class
Nice: Food Market Tour and Cooking Class
Nice: Patisserie Cooking Class
Nice: Provençal Cooking Class
Paris: Free Cooking Lessons in Paris
Paris: Cooking Class - French Christmas Menu
Paris: Cooking Class - Desserts and Pastries
Paris: Cooking Class - Gluten Free and Organic Desserts
Paris: Learn How To Make French Macaroons
Paris: Small Group French Cooking Class
Related resources - Paris
Paris Cooking Classes, Schools, and Wine Tastings - David Lebovitz
Le Cuisine Paris - Cooking Classes Review
The Other Side of Paris - suggestions for celiacs and vegetarians

Express appreciation for your meal in Greece, and you just might get tips from the chef
(Ana Raquel S. Hernandes, Flickr, creative commons)

Athens: Greek Cooking Class in an Athens Tavern
Athens: 3-Hour Cooking Lesson & Dinner
Athens: Cooking Class and Food Tour
Athens: Private 5-Hour Gourmet Greek Cooking Course
Athens: Private Walking Tour & Cooking Classes
Chania: Crete Cooking Class
Heraklion: Private Tour - Greek Cooking Class in Crete
Katakolon: Private Greek Cooking Class (shore excursion)

Tel Aviv: Full-Day Food Tour and Home Cooking Lesson

Pizza in Naples
While you may not have the oven at home, it's still great to learn how to make pizza in Naples, the birthplace of pizza!
Florence: Tuscan Cooking Class and Dinner
Florence: Small Group Italian Cooking Class
Florence: Chianti Semi-Private Cooking Class at a Tuscan Villa
Florence: Cooking Class - Learn How to Make Gelato and Pizza
Florence: Cooking Class - Learn How to Make Tiramisu
Florence: Cooking Course and Local Market Visit
Florence: Handmade Italian Pasta Cooking Course
Lucca: Half-Day Private Cooking Class
Lucignano: Half-Day Private Cooking Class
Milan: Italian Cooking Class
Naples: Learn How to Make Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
Naples: Gelato Class and Tasting in Capri (from Naples)
Padua: Veneto Cuisine - 5-Hour Private Cooking Activity
Padua: Private Cooking Class with Fish and Seafood
Palermo: Half-Day Sicilian Cooking Class
Palermo: Evening Cooking Class with Nonna Lina
Palermo: Sicily 7-Hour Cooking Class and Winery Tour
Piedmont: Private Cooking Class Including Lunch and Wine
Rome: Walking Tour and Cooking Class
Rome: Cooking Class and Dinner with Nonna
Rome: Kid's Pizza Cooking Class
Rome: Artisan Gelato Class
Rome: Half-Day Cooking Class and Walking Tour
Rome: Small Group Cooking Lesson in the Roman Countryside
Taormina: Sicilian Cooking Class
Taormina: Sicilian Cooking Class and Market Tour
Taormina: Half-Day Sicilian Cooking Class & Market Tour
Taormina: Half-Day Pizza Making Class
Siena: Tuscan Cooking Class
Sorrento: Cooking Class at the 'Love is All You Need' Villa
Verona: Italian Cooking Class
Related resources - Italy
Go to Cooking School in Italy - Budget Travel
Cooking Classes in Italy - Karen Brown
Cooking Schools in Italy - Why Go Italy
Cooking Schools, Courses, and Classes in Italy -

Krakow: Polish Home Cooking Class

Lisbon: 4-Hour Cooking Class

Enjoy eating paella? Why not learn how it's made while you are in Spain?
(Tau Consulting, Flickr, creative commons)
Barcelona: Small Group Cooking Class
Barcelona: Private Tour - Cooking Class in Chef's Local Residence
Barcelona: Private Cooking Class and Market Tour
Barcelona: Food Tour and Cooking Class - Catalan Cuisine
Cordoba: Andalucian Cooking Class with Wine Pairing
Granada: Cooking Class - How to Make Paella
Madrid: Cooking Class - Learn How to Make Paella
San Sebastian: Gastronomic Society Cooking Class: Pintxos and Basque-Cuisine
Seville: 3-Hour Andalucían Cooking Class
Seville: Tapas Cooking Course

Stockholm: Swedish Cooking Class

Cappadocia - Private Food and Culture Tour - Ayvali Village Turkish Cooking Class and Wine Caves
Istanbul: Half-Day Turkish Cooking Tour
Istanbul: Authentic Anatolian Cuisine Tour for Groups
Istanbul: Regional Cuisine Tour for Groups

Kiev: 6-Hour Ukrainian Cooking Class

Related resources - cooking classes abroad
Updated periodically with new links.
Have a resource to add? Please leave a comment.

Monday, 29 September 2014

Rock Your Layover: Oslo

Oslo's Parliament buildings
Have a layover coming up in Oslo? Wondering what you could do with your time? Here's a little inspiration.

We've gathered the following resources - tips, stories and layover ideas - to help you get the most out of your time here.

In a nutshell:

Norway's capital city, Oslo, is a hub of Norwegian trade, banking, industry and shipping. Oslo is famous as being one of the most expensive cities in the world. Oslo is home to the Nobel Peace Center, which you can visit. The Munch Museum in Oslo contains the famous work, The Scream, by Edvard Munch. There is a great Viking Ship Museum here.
Free:Free things to Do in Oslo - Visit Norway
Free Things to Do in Oslo, the Most Expensive City in the World
Unique:Oslo Jazz and Blues Cruise
Picks:All-Inclusive Oslo City Tour (Viking Ship Museum, Kon-Tiki)
Full Day Bike Rental in Oslo with Free Mapping Service
2 Hour Oslo,Fjord Sightseeing Tour
Shop:Favorite Oslo Special Shops, Stores and Malls - Spotted by Locals
Best Oslo Shopping - 10 Best
See:Visit Oslo Pass
Hop:Hop On Hop Off Bus <--> Hop On Hop Off Mini-Cruise
Do:Oslo Layover Ideas & Stuff to Do in Oslo
Eat:Nordic Food Walking Tour in Oslo
Food and Drink You Should Try Whilst in Norway
Oslo's 10 Best Cultural Restaurants: Reindeer, Coffee and Local Eats
Cheap Eats Guide to Oslo - Budget Traveller
Tips:13 Budget Tips for Oslo
$100 Weekend in Oslo - Frugal Traveler
Watch:YouTube: Oslo: Lively, Lovely City on the Fjord - Rick Steves' Europe
Look:Pinterest: Noorwegen - Oslo
Read:Oslo on
To/from the airport:Oslo Gardermoen Airport (OSL) - main airport
Oslo Rygge Airport (RYG) - low cost carriers
Oslo Torp Airport (TRF) - low cost carriers
Good to know:

Oslo really is an expensive city, so beware, but don't let this put you off exploring. check the links above for free things to do and cheap eats.
To get around without spending a fortune, make use of the ¨Bysykler¨ bike share program (you'll need an electronic smartcard, pick one up at the local tourist information office, around  EUR 13).
Tourist info:Visit Oslo Tourist Information
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Related resources: