Trip Author

Sofie Fraser

5 cool stopovers in North America

Los Angeles, CA, USAPanama Canal, PanamaToronto, ON, CanadaMexico City, CDMX, MexicoAtlanta, GA, USA

Make a long and tiring layover into a fun and great stopover. This list gives you 5 cool stopovers in North America with plenty of ideas on what to do and where to stay in each place! Not only will you get to see more places when you include stopovers, but you also tend to save money!


Los Angeles


It’s no secret that the USA has some of the biggest airlines in the world - and some of the major airport hubs as well! Atlanta, New York, Chicago... And the list goes on! However, Los Angeles is the second busiest airport in the States, but one of the best cities to explore, if you ask me. 

With its mixtures of American and Hispanic culture, Los Angeles has a cool vibe and many things to sightsee! (and great food to eat!) 

Where to stay:

Los Angeles is a big city, and many different parts of it would be a great place to spend a night or two. It all depends on what kind of vibe you like. I would recommend staying near Venice Beach, but if you prefer to be closer to the city center, Downtown LA or Hollywood are also great places to stay. Though staying in LA is expensive, so if money is an issue, you might want to look at staying near the airport, like the hotel below. 

How to get into the city:

If you’re staying Downtown, you can take a taxi, which is a 30-minute drive, or you can just get the FlyAway bus, which is also a 30-minute ride. It’s cheaper, though, and they take the same amount of time. If you’re staying in Venice Beach, you’ll be really close to the airport, and can just grab an UBER

Getting around in LA can be tedious, and transportation can be slow. Make sure that you travel outside of rush-hour. 

What to do:

A better question would be - what not to do?! In Los Angeles, you can do pretty much anything your heart desires. You’ve got plenty of options to choose from. 

Start off by doing a free walking tour of Downtown LA, and then head to Hollywood for the famous “Hollywood Walk of Fame” and the Hollywood sign. Afterward, head to Venice Beach and Santa Monica Pier and enjoy the pleasant vibe and many restaurants. 

Depending on how much time you’ve got, you can also visit one of the many amusement parks such as Disneyland, Six Flags, or Universal Studious! 

Panama City


Panama City serves as a major hub between North America and South America, so if you are heading this way, Panama City might be on your flight ticket as a stop. It's by far the airport in Central America with most people transiting through. Still, instead of just being in transit, you should go out and explore Panama. 

Where to stay:

Even though Panama is a modern city, I would recommend staying in Casco Viejo - the old part of Panama. Casco Viejo has beautiful old buildings, and it's a more enjoyable place to be (if you ask me). However, accommodation in Casco Viejo is limited and more expensive. Still, I've managed to find a good hotel that's not too expensive, and it's in Casco Viejo. 

How to get into the city:

The cheapest way to get into the city is on the local bus. Unfortunately, you'll need a fare card, and these are not sold on the bus nor the airport - so it can be a bit tricky getting the bus. However, you can always take a taxi, and it's only a short 30-minute ride without traffic. 

What to do:

You've probably heard of the Panama Canal, right? Well, here it is! The Panama Canal is a famous landmark that you definitely need to explore. And while you are there, go explore the museum, and wait for a ship to pass the canal. It's a remarkable memory to have experienced this. 

Spend some time strolling the streets of Casco Viejo and enjoy the Latin American vibe. You should also enjoy the food - and definitely buy an Empanada from one of the street vendors. 

Suppose you're visiting Panama for several days. In that case, a day-trip to the San Blas island is definitely worth the money. 



Toronto Airport is the largest and busiest airport in Canada and is the primary hub for Air Canada. Air Canada flies to 6 continents, so it's well connected. This means that if you are traveling with Air Canada from Europe to North/Central/South America or Vice versa, you'll most likely stopover in Toronto. 

Toronto has been named "the best place to live in" numerous times, and if you're stopping over here, you should definitely take the time to explore this city!

Where to stay:

Even though Toronto is not the capital of Canada, it is, however, the largest city. Luckily it's still easy to get around Toronto thanks to the transport system. This means that you can stay wherever you want, just as long as you're close to the bus/subway/streetcar stop. If you prefer to be without transportation, you should look into staying near Old Toronto, like the hotel below is located. 

How to get into the city:

Like always, you can grab a taxi. It's the most convenient way but will take you around 40 mins. The quickest way to get from the airport to the City Center would be to take the train. It's only a 25 min train ride. If you are on a low budget, you can also opt for the bus, but it will take well over an hour. 

What to do:

Have you ever seen the skyline of Toronto and wondered what that tall building sticking out is? Now is your chance to find out - and actually visit the building! (Hint: You can enjoy EdgeWalk (if you dare) or a visit to the SkyPod) 

Afterward, visit St. Lawrence Market. This is also a great place to grab a cheap lunch! And if you're in the mood for further shopping, Toronto is also a great place to do that. Head to Eaton Centre or Yonge-Dundas Square!

Niagara Falls is less than a 1.5-hour drive away, so if you've got the time, this is a must-see! 

Mexico City


Based on international tourist arrivals, Mexico ranks as the 7th most visited in the world. Besides this, numerous people transit through Mexico City to go to Central or South America. So if you're heading to Mexico or the rest of America, you might have a stopover in Mexico. 

Instead of just hanging around in the airport, you should head out and explore this vibrant capital - and of course, taste the fantastic food! 

Where to stay:

Mexico City is the capital of Mexico, and it's enormous! Choosing where to stay can be difficult, and it all depends on what you want to see and do. I would recommend staying in Centro Historico or Roma. It's cheaper to stay in Centro Historico, so the hotel I've found below is in this area. The metro is the most inexpensive way to get around the city, but you can also take a taxi/uber. 

How to get into the city:

The quickest way would be to take a taxi. This only takes around 20 minutes, depending on your hotel's location, but it's also more expensive. A cheaper option is the bus, which only takes 30 min, so this is a good solution. 

What to do:

Stroll around Centro Historico. Make sure to pass by Zócalo, Palacio de Bellas Artes and Templo Mayor Museum

There are also many museums in Mexico, so if you want to know more about Mexican history, art, and culture, you're in the right place. 

Mexico is also a good place for shopping. If you wish to purchase some local produce, you should pay Mercado de Artesanías La Ciudadela a visit. 

If you've got the time, take a tour to visit the Teotihuacan, and get to experience the culture of the Mayan people. Another cultural thing of Mexico is Tequila and Wrestling, so why not taste a shot of Tequila and enjoy a Wrestling show?

Mexican Food Cooking Class with Food Market



Atlanta Airport is the busiest airport in the world. Because of its location, it's a convenient stop for many airlines. Besides this, Delta Airlines also has Atlanta as its main hub, so it's no wonder this airport is the busiest in the world. 

If you travel a lot, you'll most likely have a stopover here at one point in your life. Head out and explore the birth city of Coca Cola (Yes, Atlanta is where Coca Cola was once founded, and you can actually experience "The world of Coca Cola")

Where to stay:

If you're only thinking of having one night's stopover in Atlanta, then staying near the airport could be a good idea. This way you'll be close to your next flight and save a bit of money on accommodation. I've found two hotels. One in Downtown, and one near the airport, so it's up to you to choose which one suits you the most. 

How to get into the city:

The cheapest and quickest option to get to Downtown Atlanta is the train. The train only takes 18 min. You can also take a 20-minute taxi ride, but this is a more expensive option. 

If you are staying near the hotel, then check out if your hotel offers an airport shuttle. 

What to do:

As you already know, Atlanta is home to Coca-Cola and the "World of Coca Cola." So, of course, you'll have to visit this attraction when you're in Atlanta! And just next to "World of Coca-Cola" is the Georgia Aquarium and the Centennial Olympic Park, which both are worth a visit. Georgia Aquarium is the largest aquarium in the US, and you'll be able to see Whale Sharks here, which is kinda a rare sight. 

There are also many sightseeing tours of Atlanta that you can join! Segway, Electric car, bike - and walking tours are all possible.