Can You Leave the Airport During a Layover

Can You Leave the Airport During a Layover?

In January 25, 2018

The idea of a long layover sounds like a nightmare to most people. No one wants to spend unnecessary time at an airport waiting to get to their vacation destination. But, what if you found out there was a way to turn a long layover into the start of your vacation? If you’ve ever thought to yourself “Can you leave the airport during a layover?” but weren’t sure, you’ll be happy to find out that you can in most major cities. As long as you have enough time during your layover, leaving the airport can be a great way to explore a city you may not have otherwise gotten a chance to see.


Planning trips with long layovers has a few benefits – you can see an additional city during your vacation and most flights with a long connection are more affordable. You’ll find that popular connection cities such as Chicago, Toronto, Sydney, Seoul, Amsterdam, Dublin, Reykjavik, and many others will have flights with long layovers. And some of these cities even offer free tours to travelers with long layovers! Here are some tips on how you can book a flight with a long layover.


  • When searching for flights, be sure you filter down to flights with one or more stops. Alternatively, make sure “nonstop” isn’t automatically checked off as a search parameter.
  • Look for flights that offer a minimum of a six-hour layover so you have time to leave the airport, see the city, and still have at least two hours left to get through security to catch your connection. If you are traveling internationally, you may also need to go through customs, which can tack on a few minutes or even a few hours to the security process.
  • Research the best time to explore your layover city and plan your flight accordingly.
  • Research whether or not you are required to have visa to enter the country you wish to explore during your layover.


Once you’ve found your flight, it’s time to create an itinerary for yourself. These can be loose guidelines, but having an idea of where everything is and how long it will take to explore will help you avoid a missed flight. There are plenty of ways to explore your layover city, however a free tour is the best option for anyone on a tighter budget. Here is a list of cities that offer layover tours which range from free to a small cost. Another great tour idea is to book your own food tour of the city to get a taste of the cuisine and culture. If seeing the biggest tourist attractions is number one on your list, check out transportation options directly from the airport. Whether there is a subway, bus, or cab service that can get you to your destination, remember that the most direct way there and back is probably the best option. Last but not least, don’t forget to explore deal sites like Groupon, LivingSocial, or Gilt for any last minute adventures available in your layover city. Apps available for download on your smartphone make it easy to purchase and store tickets or coupons so you don’t worry about losing them.


So, do you think you can leave the airport during a layover the next time you plan a vacation? These helpful tips and planning can all go a long way! During your research, don’t forget to determine if you’ll need a visa or a passport. If you do need these important travel documents, you can count on VitalChek to help you obtain the vital records you’ll need to apply for them. Visit us at to learn more about our online vital records ordering process.

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