Trip Author

Alyssa Jones

5 cool stopovers in Europe

Amsterdam, NetherlandsReykjavík, IcelandLondon, UKParis, Franceİstanbul, Turkey

Make a long and tiring layover into a fun and great stopover. This list gives you 5 cool stopovers in Europe! These cities all have a lot of fun things to offer, and are ideal for short trips! When you add stopovers to your trip you tend to save money on airfares as well as experiencing an extra destination!

Weekend Getaway
Urban Exploration



KLM is a huge airline in Europe, and it's the flag carrier airline of the Netherlands. So if you're going from Europe to Asia, Africa, or America or vice versa with KLM, you'll find yourself having a stopover in Amsterdam. 

Amsterdam is also the capital of the Netherlands, and a vibrant city to explore! It's known for its many bicycles and the canals. 

Where to stay:

Amsterdam is a walkable city. As long as you stay within 2km of Amsterdam Centraal, you'll be in a central area. However, Amsterdam also has a good transport system, so this will also be an option for you if you're staying further away. You can often find cheap accommodation near the airport, so if you're just staying 1 night, this might be a good option for you.

If you're staying longer, then the hotel below is a good choice! It's central, comfortable - and cheap!

How to get into the city:

It's super easy going from the airport to the city center, as the train departs the airport station and in 20 minutes, you'll be in the center of Amsterdam. I would definitely recommend this way, but you can take a taxi as well. A taxi is more expensive though, but it only takes around 15-20 minutes depending on the traffic. 

What to do:

You have got a lot of options - everything depends on what you like to do! Start off with a sightseeing cruise on Amsterdam's canals. Amsterdam is also pretty famous for their bikes, so why not rent a bike and explore Amsterdam like a local? Head to the charming neighborhood of Jordaan or the famous Red Light District. 

If you like history and museums, then you're in the right spot. Amsterdam has plenty of museums such as Anne Franks House, Rijksmuseum, and the Van Gogh Museum. 

Catch the free ferry to the other side of Amsterdam Centraal, and visit the ADAM lookout point. You can also try their swing, where you can encounter adventure while seeing an amazing view of Amsterdam. 

If you're in Amsterdam for a couple of days, you can also go on a day-trip and explore the famous windmills of the Netherlands - and the tulips! 


Schiphol | By train from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
A'DAM Lookout - Amsterdam Observatory & Sensational Swing
Home | Anne Frank House
Van Gogh Museum - The Museum about Vincent van Gogh in Amsterdam



Paris is similar to Amsterdam. If you fly from Europe to Africa, Asia, or America - but with Air France, you’ll most probably have a stopover in Pairs. 

Paris is known as the city of love - one of Europe’s most iconic and romantic capitals, if not the world. If you haven’t been to Paris yet, then you better hurry up and book a flight with Air France, so you can have a stopover here. However, there’s enough to do in Paris and its surroundings for an entire week!

Where to stay:

The sights in Paris are spread throughout all of the city, and there’s no specific “downtown”. Just be sure to stay near a Metro Station, so you can take the metro to the part of Paris you wish to explore. 

The hotel I’ve found below is a short walk away from the Louvre Museum and Notre Dame. It’s also basically just above a Metro Station, as there’s only a 1-minute walk here. 

How to get into the city:

The quickest and easiest way to get into the city center is to take a taxi. This takes around 40 min depending on traffic, but it’s also a pricy transport method. 

You can also take the train from CDG Airport to the city center. It’s cheap, and it only takes 50 min. 

What to do:

Paris is a big city. You’ll probably need public transportation to get around, as Paris also has many iconic buildings, museums, and sights. 

The most famous one is The Eiffel Tower - and you can’t really go to Paris without going here as well. Afterward, head to Arc de Triomphe and then go for a walk down Champs Elysees. You can also join several tours to take you to the most famous landmarks, such as Sacre Coeur, Notre Dame, and those mentioned above. 

You’ve probably heard of Mona Lisa - and the Louvre? Well, it’s located in Paris, and now is your chance to actually see it!

Besides all of the iconic buildings and landmarks, Paris also has fantastic cuisine and great shopping!

How to reach Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport - Paris Aéroport
The OFFICIAL Eiffel Tower website: tickets, news, info...
Paris Sightseeing Guided Bike Tour Like a Parisian with a Local Guide 2020
La Basilique du Sacré Cœur de Montmartre
Notre-Dame de Paris Cathedral - Notre-Dame de Paris
Louvre Museum Official Website



London is one of the most significant capital in Europe, and is a major transportation hub. There are 6 airports surrounding London, and many airlines fly into London. With British Airways using Heathrow and Gatwick Airport as a hub, and Ryanair using Stansted Airport as a hub, many travelers find themselves with a stopover in London. However, London should be on your bucket list, and if you’ve got a stopover here, go explore the city instead of the airport!

Where to stay:

London is huge and has different city parts. Choosing where to stay can be really tricky. Luckily, London has a straightforward underground system - more commonly known as “The Tube”. Just be sure to stay near an underground station, and you can easily find your way around. 

The hotel below is close to the Tower of London. It will give you the possibility of walking to many nearby sights - and then taking the tube to other parts of London as well. 

How to get into the city:

It all depends on which airline you’re flying with and which airport you fly into! Most of them are connected with either train or the tube. You can also take the bus. It will take a longer time, but be a lot cheaper. 

What to do:

It really depends on how much time you’ve got! London has so much to offer within the city and many excellent day trips, where you can venture outside of the London area. 

Start your stay by exploring Londons famous attractions such as The London Eye, Madama Tussauds, London Bridge, Big Ben, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey - and the list goes on! There are so many attractions in London, so going on a tour could be a good option. Just make sure that you go to Buckingham Palace and see the changing of the guards. 

If you are a Harry Potter fan, you should definitely take a tour of the movie set. And if you’re a big fan, you should see Harry Potter the Play. If you’re not a fan, I would still recommend seeing a musical at one of the many Theatres. 

London is also a good place for shopping, so head to Covent Garden, Oxford Circus or the more expensive Harrods. And afterward, enjoy the concept of Afternoon Tea! 

London Harry Potter Tour of Warner Bros. Studio with Admission 2020
The London Eye: The Official Tickets Website
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One of London's Top Tourist Attractions - Madame Tussauds™
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Harrods — Challenge
Welcome to Shakespeare's Globe | London
Borough Market



This might not be your typical idea of a European getaway, but Istanbul is actually both on the European and the Asian continent - and that's why it's on this trip list. Turkish Airlines is the airline that serves the most countries in the world. Of course, this means that Istanbul is a major hub for people traveling - well, in pretty much any direction. The airport is not fully completed yet, but it will be the world's largest airport once it is. 

Istanbul is the most populous city in Turkey, and it's an exciting city to explore! Even though it's partly in Europe, the culture is very different, so remember to be respectful of this. 

Tip: The cool thing about flying with Turkis Airlines is that they offer a free stopover in Istanbul! Check out the link below for more information. 

Where to stay:

Istanbul is huge. The city is divided by the Bosphorus Strait with one part of Istanbul on the European continent and the other on the Asian Continent. Most of the historical sights are on the European continent, so I would recommend staying in the Sultanahmet Area or near Taksim Square. 

The hotel I've found below is in the Sultanahmet Area and is really close to the Blue Mosque. So you can have your breakfast while enjoying the lovely view of the Blue Mosque. 

How to get into the city:

Getting from Istanbul Airport to the city center with public transportation can be a pretty tricky - and tiresome! The only way is to catch the bus into the city center, but depending on which part of Istanbul you're staying in, you might have to switch busses/metro. Even though it is cheaper with the bus, a better way to reach the city center would be to grab a taxi or book a shuttle. It should take less than an hour this way. 

What to do:

In Istanbul, you'll definitely have to see the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia. Both mosques have stunning interior and beautiful architecture. You can join a tour, where you'll get a more in-depth explanation of the buildings, but also visit other attractions. 

Be sure to visit the Grand Bazaar and the Mısır Çarşısı. Both places are great for shopping for local products (and spices!). 

See a traditional Turkish belly dancing show - and taste the delicious food as well. Another cultural thing to do in Istanbul is the Turkish baths. It's called Hamman, and it's a traditional bath that dates back to the time of the Ottoman Empire

Turkish Airlines - Free stopover
90-Minute Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise, Free Refreshment and Audio Guide App 2020
Turkish Bath Package in Istanbul at Aga Hamami 2020
2 Days 1 Night Cappadocia Tour from Istanbul by Plane With Optional Balloon Ride 2020
Istanbul Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off One Day Sightseeing Tour 2020



Reykjavik - the capital of Iceland - is the most northern capital in the world. Okay, so not really a major stopover, but if you're traveling from Scandinavia to North America, then it's a perfect reason to explore Reykjavik as well. 

Where to stay:

Reykjavik is small, and as long as you find a hotel in the city, you'll be within walking distance from most attractions. However, you can also take the bus if you stay outside of the town. 

I've found a hotel/apartment, which is right in Reykjavik's center, and it also comes with a kitchen! So you can cook your own meals if dining out is too expensive. And yes, Iceland is quite expensive! Check out the hotel in the link below. 

How to get into the city:

Many companies offer airport shuttles. It will take around 45 min, and it's one of the best options to get to Reykjavik. You can also take a public bus, but schedules are limited, and it will take a longer time as well. 

I wouldn't recommend taking a taxi, as this is really expensive. If you want to drive around Iceland and your stopover is longer than a couple of days, you can rent a car. 

What to do:

Reykjavik is a small city, so you can easily explore it in a day. Visit the Hallgrimskirkja, a modern church, Perlan, and the Sun Voyager. Afterward, spend some time exploring the streets of Reykjavik, such as Laugavegur. 

However, even though Reykjavik is small, Iceland still has so much to offer, and you can do many exciting day trips! 

If you've always dreamed of seeing the Northern Lights, then Iceland is the perfect place to see it. You can find many tours, which have a guarantee for seeing the Northern Lights, including the one I found below. 

A visit to the Blue Lagoon is also a must-do, and there are direct shuttles and tours from the airport if you're only in Iceland for a short time. 


Perlan Wonders of Iceland – Ice Cave & Planetarium 2020 - Reykjavik
Golden Circle Day Trip with Kerid Volcanic Crater from Reykjavik 2020
Welcome To Blue Lagoon Iceland Resort & Spa | Blue Lagoon Iceland
Hallgrímskirkja – þjóðarhelgidómur á Skólavörðuholtinu
Official Sun Voyager Website | Buy Replicas | Reykjavik Attractions