Written by Barnaby Taylor. Published on .
Does the prospect of a stopover stop you looking forward to your trip?
In fact, long haul flights, especially for business travel, can be far more pleasurable if you get the chance to snatch a break mid-journey. Especially if that transforms a mundane stopover into a mini-adventure, sampling the delights of a new country.
Even business class flights can be exhausting and tedious, especially if you fly frequently. Spending a few hours cramped up in a noisy airport lounge during changeovers makes the whole experience even worse.
Imagine instead spending a day or even a couple of nights in one of the five top stopover cities.
Los Angeles is a long layover option for various flight paths into and across the USA, including flying with Air New Zealand to Auckland.
Is there any other city in the world with as many facets and fascinating features? LA has the potential to be a “supersize stopover”!
Concentrated primarily on Malibu, Hollywood and Beverly Hills, LA’s vast tourism industry means transport is abundant. Cabs and the Metro system can get you efficiently from LAX to many attractions in under 60 minutes.
This includes glorious stretches of sand and beach communities, to soak up the year-round sunshine. Santa Monica is definitely worth a visit, with its quirky beachside restaurants and cafes, and iconic pier.
The City of Angels is also the city of celebrities and movie legends. If you’ve never been before, this is a chance to get up close to the Hollywood sign, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre and 2,500 brass plates and hand prints that make up the world-famous Walk of Fame. You could also take one of the entertaining bus tours or a guided cab ride to see the homes of the rich and famous.
On an overnight stopover in Los Angeles, head for Hollywood’s Sunset Strip. It comes alive in the evenings, with friendly and fun restaurants, bars and nightclubs. Check out the events schedule for the Hollywood Bowl too. The massive natural outdoor amphitheatre provides an unforgettable experience.
The shopping opportunities in LA are incredible, especially along Rodeo Drive. Then of course there are LA’s theme and water parks, clustered in the Anaheim area, including Disney and Universal Studios. Culture vultures may prefer the Getty centre, for its mind-blowing art collection, or the beautifully situated Long Beach Museum of Art. The Griffith Observatory is the place to go for breathtaking city views.
Singapore Airlines naturally provides long layover options in their home city-state, when you travel to or from the East or around Asia Pacific. If you can linger awhile, this is definitely the place to do it! Be warned, it is such a vibrant and lively city you may not want to continue with your journey.
In fact, as Singapore’s Changi airport is universally acknowledged as the best in the world you may not even want to leave the airport!
Aesthetically fascinating, Changi has a market hall, swimming pool, nature trail and cinema, as well as beguiling beauty and reflexology services and children’s play areas.
If you do venture outside, the highly efficient MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) system, buses, taxis and water taxis get you quickly to the heart of this stunning island. Unmissable features of a Singapore stopover include soaking up the contemporary architecture, especially Marina Bay Sands and Sands Sky Park. Nicknamed the “celestial surfboard”, it offers unforgettable city views from the infinity pool on the roof.
Singapore is home to some of the world’s best chefs so eating out will be an adventure in its own right! If time allows, venture further afield to the glorious beaches with their abundant water sports and pockets of utter solitude. Or, go island hopping to see “the land that time forgot”.
Flying to and from Australia, Asia and around the Far East – particularly with Emirates – could put you in Dubai to change planes.
This is another stopover that can be a joy, even if you don’t get a chance to leave the airport. No expense has been spared on making this pivotal air hub easy and enjoyable for connections. If you can only stay in Dubai International Airport, check out the Zen Garden for quality meditation time.
However, if you can add in a short break, the list of things to do there is extensive and could well tempt you back for a much longer stay. A taxi can take you to the heart of this wonderful city in under an hour. Expect a warm welcome not just from year-round high temperatures but also outstanding customer service.
You could be looking up a lot; not least at the 828m high Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. Leave plenty of time for looking around Dubai Mall too, the world’s biggest shopping centre.
If you can stay a couple of nights in Dubai, both the old centre and the marina offer fascinating walks and glorious dining experiences. Hotels on the coast of Dubai provide a level of luxury that could make you regret having to carry on with the next leg of your journey!
Carriers such as Malaysia Airlines could put you in Kuala Lumpur to change planes on your way to South East Asia. This is a cause for celebration if you can slot in a short stay there.
Kuala Lumpur has much to offer and is easier to navigate around (and more peaceful) than places like Hong Kong and Bangkok.
(If the layover is in Penang, take a trip out to Georgetown, for its rich heritage and to get a unique window into Malaysian culture.)
Trains, taxis and Uber can whisk you from Kuala Lumpur International Airport to the centre of the city in less than 60 minutes. Once there, this is an amazing city to walk around, taking in sights such as Petaling Street Market in Chinatown, and the country’s oldest and most elaborate Hindu temple – Sri Mahamariamman.
Kuala Lumpur is a retail paradise and one of the world’s best cities to eat out in; though expect spices to feature heavily in most dishes.
Iconic tourist attractions include the beautiful KLCC park and the Petronas Towers. A 170m trip up to the Skybridge and Observation Deck provides awe-inspiring city views.
For long layovers in Kuala Lumpur, your to-do list could include the Batu Caves – which along with their resident monkeys and 42m-high gold statue of a Hindu deity appears on countless images of Malaysia.
Hong Kong has earned its status as one of the world’s most unforgettable stopover destinations for a million different reasons. Whether your layover is hours or days, be prepared to have a wealth of adventurous options.
Various airlines offer Hong Kong as a stopover on multi-stop flight itineraries, and Cathay Pacific are among those who use it as a changeover option.
From the magnificent Hong Kong International Airport, taxis, trains and the Airport Express take you to the city centre in around 20 minutes.
If your stopover is a matter of hours one of the best options is the timelessly popular Po Lin Monastery on Hong Kong’s largest island, Lantau. It’s splendid enough, but also features the largest sitting Buddha statue in the world.
Another of the things to do in Hong Kong when time is short (or for longer stays of course) is a trip up Victoria Peak. “The Peak” soars above the city skyline, providing incredible views of the iconic high-rise buildings and the glittering Victoria Bay.
As you would expect, an overnight stay in Hong Kong opens the way to abundant nightlife and fine dining, or bustling and delicious street food markets. In fact, Hong Kong’s markets are one of its biggest attractions any time of day, including ones specialising in everything from art and flowers to goldfish!
The first thing you need from one of the top stopover cities in the world is a well-placed and welcoming airport. Preferably one that puts you up close to plenty of new experiences, great sights and abundant adventures. This ensures you can “love your layover”, without feeling rushed or stressed.
If you are lucky enough to be able to book one or two night’s stopover accommodation with your business class flights, the fabulous five listed above are likely to make any trip exciting!
For an amazing business class stopover experience, contact us today on 020 8417 1366 or enquire online.
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