stats Making the Business of Life Easier

   Finance globeinvestor   Careers globecareers.workopolis Subscribe to The Globe
The Globe and Mail /
Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels


  This site         Tips

  The Web Google


  Where to Find It

Breaking News
  Home Page

  Report on Business



Subscribe to The Globe

Shop at our Globe Store

Print Edition
  Front Page

  Report on Business




  Arts & Entertainment



   Headline Index

 Other Sections

  Births & Deaths






  Facts & Arguments




  Real Estate









  Food & Dining




  Online Personals

  TV Listings/News

 Specials & Series
  All Reports...


   Where to Find It
 A quick guide to what's available on the site



  Customer Service

  Help & Contact Us



 Web Site

  E-Mail Newsletters

  Free Headlines

  Globe Store New

  Help & Contact Us

  Make Us Home

  Mobile New

  Press Room

  Privacy Policy

  Terms & Conditions


The world's best stopover cities
Layovers are an exciting opportunity to explore a whole other destination in as little as 24 hours
Special to The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article
Wednesday, July 10, 2019 – Page A12

'Stopover" used to be a dirty word in air travel. It meant you were, gasp ... connecting. Not so today, when people are purposely breaking up their flight plans. Icelandair and the now-defunct WOW Air ushered in the trend - and made Iceland a hot spot in the process - but many other airlines offer attractive airfares and great connections to help you squeeze the most out of your vacation time.

THE STOPOVER: ISTANBUL You could spend weeks getting lost in Istanbul, but there's no shame in filling just a day or two with historic sites, street food and an endless supply of Turkish coffee. Start at the must-see Grand Bazaar, but be prepared for the temptation to load up on spices and Turkish delights. Next, head to Sultanahmet Square. Standing here, which used to be the centre of the Hippodrome and the Byzantine Empire, lets you grasp the significance this city holds.

The Blue Mosque, currently under renovations until 2020 but is still open to the public, is best viewed from the second-floor windows of the nearby Hagia Sophia. If you have 48 hours, up the cool factor with an afternoon ambling on the streets of the trendy Balat neighbourhood.

Charming umbrella-lined alleys, colourful hidden murals, locals enjoying coffee on patios and glass bead-making classes are all gems to discover. Fuel your 24 to 48 hours on Turkish meatballs (kofte), Turkish bagels (simit) and, of course, Turkish coffee.

En route to: Morocco, East Africa and Eastern Europe. Istanbul is a three-hour flight from 41 European destinations.

Spend: 24 to 48 hours.

Stay: With Turkish Airlines' stopover program, economy passengers receive one free night at a four-star hotel in Sultanahmet, while business-class passengers get two free nights at a five-star in the Taksim neighbourhood with a 20-plus hour layover.

THE STOPOVER: AUCKLAND If you're heading to Australia, you may as well make the most of being halfway around the world. Enter a stopover in Auckland with Air New Zealand's program. Tag on three days to enjoy the city with a walking tour, visiting the Sky Tower (and bungee jump off it, if you dare) and the Auckland War Memorial Museum while also exploring the downtown streets.

Brunch is a necessity in Auckland (they love avocado toast as much as the Aussies do) and Winona Forever in Parnell and Chuffed on High Street could not get more Instagrammable. Use your other two days outside the city limits with a ferry ride to Rangitoto Island or Waiheke Island. Be sure to dig your toes into the sand at Mission Bay and make the trek to the top of Mount Eden, a dormant volcano, to complete your short list of must-dos.

En route to: Sydney Spend: Three to four days, unless you can invest a week in New Zealand.

Stay: The SO/ Auckland is a playful, modern hotel that recently opened. A more budgetconscious option is the M Social Auckland.

THE STOPOVER: VIENNA Forty-eight hours in Vienna gives you a hefty dose of European beauty and elegance. Take in a symphony at one of the city's gorgeous concert halls. Visit the Hofburg and Belvedere palaces to brush up on baroque architecture. Fight jet lag with Viennese coffee at traditional cafes, ordering your java a different way each time.

Cruise the Danube river at sunset. Stop by the Museums Quartier complex of museums and art galleries for a culture fix. Sample one of the most famous cakes in the world, the Sacher torte, at the Sacher Hotel. Walk through the vineyards located within the city limits. Phew.

Bonus: This stopover experience is made easy without a prearranged tour thanks to Vienna's tram system - it's only 8 to 14 ($12 to $21) for a one- or two-day pass and will get you to any major point in the city.

En route to: Munich, Budapest, Switzerland Spend: 48 hours. There isn't a specific airline stopover for flights from Canada, but Vienna is a hub for numerous Europe and Asia flights. It's also a train ride away from Budapest, Bratislava and Prague.

Stay: The newly opened Andaz Vienna Am Belvedere is centrally located, making it easy to jump from place to place.

THE STOPOVER: ZURICH Switzerland is a country full of breathtaking vistas, delicious cheeses and outstanding chocolate. It can, however, be daunting for people looking to be budget friendly on their European vacation, making it the ideal stopover.

Choose to transit through Zurich and you'll have a number of options. For an urban experience, you can stay in the city and venture over to Lucerne for a few days, taking in old centres, historic sights and museums. Or explore the countryside for which Switzerland is known with a walk in the picturesque Interlaken region or a train ride to the mountains.

En route to: Almost any European city and Asia.

Spend: One to four days.

Swiss Air offers several tour packages for not only Zurich, but also Lucerne, Montreux, Interlaken, Zermatt and more. Tour packages also include transportation, boat tours, entrances to museums and discounts on mountain trains.

Stay: Each tour package with Swiss Air includes hotels.

THE STOPOVER: THE AZORES Pack a wide-brimmed sun hat for some island time. Lisbon and Porto have been hogging the limelight (it must be all that wine and those scene-stealing custard tarts), but the cluster of nine islands off the coast of Portugal has everything you could ask for.

Need chill-out vibes after a city vacation? Small towns such as Sao Miguel and Terceira will help you slow down and will also offer hiking and birdwatching opportunities.

Craving some water action after being inland? Caving, whale watching and surfing are all possible. And really, is a trip to Portugal truly complete now if you don't stop in the Azores? We think not.

En route to: Lisbon, Porto, Madeira.

Spend: Three to seven days.

SATA or Azores Airlines offers one- to seven-night packages on either flight and you can even split the time.

Stay: Splurge on the White Exclusive Suites & Villas in Sao Miguel, or save by booking an Airbnb with charm.

THE STOPOVER: HOUSTON One of the busiest hubs in North America, Houston is often a gateway for Canadians heading further south. But outside the airport is a multicultural city recently named the most diverse in America.

Consider a visit to the Space Center, especially if you're on a family vacation. The Arts District shows off the up-and-coming arts scene with galleries such as the Silos, a collection of 97 work spaces for 100 artists, and the Alley Mural Project, both located in Sawyer Yards.

What one must do in Houston is visit a barbecue joint, whether it's Triple J's Smokehouse BBQ or Roegels Barbecue Co. If you spend your entire 24 to 48 hours eating in Houston, we won't judge.

En route to: Central America, South America, Mexico.

Spend: 24 to 48 hours. There may not be a specific airline stopover plan here, but Houston is easy to navigate on your own with a little planning.

Stay: Downtown Hotel Alessandra is buzz-worthy, but if you're doing a short visit, an airport area hotel will also fit the bill.

Associated Graphic

On the way to Porto, Lisbon or Madeira, travellers can do a layover in the Azores, a cluster of islands off the coast of Portugal that offers many water-based activities.


Thursday, July 11, 2019
Huh? How did I get here?
Return to Main Brian_Milner Page
Subscribe to
The Globe and Mail

Email this article Print this article

space  Advertisement

Need CPR for your RSP? Check your portfolio’s pulse and lower yours by improving the overall health of your investments. Click here.


7-Day Site Search

Breaking News

Today's Weather


Rick Salutin
Merrily marching
off to war
Roy MacGregor
Duct tape might hold
when panic strikes

Where Manley is going with his first budget



For a columnist's most recent stories, click on their name below.


Roy MacGregor arrow
This Country
Jeffrey Simpson arrow
The Nation
Margaret Wente arrow
Hugh Winsor  arrow
The Power Game

Rob Carrick arrow
Personal Finance
Drew Fagan arrow
The Big Picture
Mathew Ingram arrow
Brent Jang arrow
Business West
Brian Milner arrow
Taking Stock
Eric Reguly arrow
To The Point
Andrew Willis arrow

Stephen Brunt arrow
The Game
Eric Duhatschek arrow
Allan Maki arrow
William Houston arrow
Truth & Rumours
Lorne Rubenstein arrow
 The Arts

John Doyle arrow
John MacLachlan Gray arrow
Gray's Anatomy
David Macfarlane arrow
Cheap Seats
Johanna Schneller arrow

Murray Campbell arrow
Ontario Politics
Lysiane Gagnon arrow
Inside Quebec
Marcus Gee arrow
The World
William Johnson arrow
Pit Bill
Paul Knox arrow
Heather Mallick arrow
As If
Leah McLaren arrow
Generation Why
Rex Murphy arrow
Japes of Wrath
Rick Salutin arrow
On The Other Hand
Paul Sullivan arrow
The West
William Thorsell arrow

Home | Business | National | Int'l | Sports | Columnists | The Arts | Tech | Travel | TV | Wheels

© 2003 Bell Globemedia Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Help & Contact Us | Back to the top of this page