5 Ideas for Layover City Day Trips

The next time you’re booking a flight for vacation or business, consider scheduling a longer layover so you have time to explore a new or old favorite city on a day trip. Layover day trips can be an easy, inexpensive way to break up a long flight, see a friend living there, or discover a place you’ve always wanted to visit. The perfect day trip itinerary in our opinion? Walking, visiting one or two touristic sites, trying some good food, and doing a little shopping. Here are 5 ideas for common layover city day trips!



If you have at least a five-hour layover, consider leaving the Tokyo Narita International Airport and taking a quick day trip to darling Narita. It’s only 10-15 minutes away by train and boasts a pedestrian-only shopping street, Narita-san Omotesando, great restaurants, and the sprawling Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple complex to explore. Narita is a charming little taste of Japanese culture. If you happen to land in the morning, the airport offers a free tour guide program if you want to be shown around. Have more time on your Tokyo layover? We also love Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa and going to a traditional Japanese tea ceremony.

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Stephanie grew up road-tripping across the U.S., but her first flight was to Australia, and she’s been hooked ever since. She lived abroad in Thailand, where she met Meagan, and in Ghana with Peace Corps and has been to over 30 countries on 6 continents. She travels for the adventure, the stories, and nature.

Travel Tips for Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a Euro-visit mainstay, and with summer approaching, we know it appears in many a traveler’s plan. Here are a few tips to make the most of your stay in this romantic, historic, artistic, and beautiful city.

Anne Frank House

If you’re planning on visiting the Anne Frank Huis, buy tickets in advance online or  try to get to the ticket booth when it opens in the morning. I waited in line for hours in the rain so trust me on this one! It was impactful to see what I had read about in The Diary of Anne Frank as an adolescent when I was about the same age as Anne. Visiting the Secret Annex and seeing how the Franks had to live in order to hide from the Nazis made it all very real. I remember acting out a play version of the diary in middle school, so visiting the house that serves as the setting of the true story was a must-see on my list.

Amsterdam- www.afriendafar.com #amsterdam #thenetherlands

“I want to see the world and do all kinds of exciting things.” Anne Frank


Amsterdam- www.afriendafar.com #amsterdam #thenetherlands

Cycling paths are everywhere in Amsterdam, and bikes are truly a part of the city’s  charm. If you want to explore more of the city than being on foot will allow, rent a bike and become part of the Dutch biking culture. Wander off from the main canals to explore lesser visited parts of town. If you’re an early bird or suffering from jet lag, then make sure you go for a morning ride or walk to see the city while it’s still waking up.

Canal Boat Tour

Amsterdam- www.afriendafar.com #amsterdam #thenetherlands

A fabulous way to see more of the city is to take a popular canal boat tour. The offerings from most of the boat tour companies are very similar unless you’re looking for something a little nicer. Canal offers a hop on, hop off tour if you want to combine the boat tour with sightseeing. Also, the city is charming at night!

Van Gogh Museum

Amsterdam- www.afriendafar.com #amsterdam #thenetherlands

The Van Gogh Museum was another must-see sight for me. Highlights included seeing Sunflowers, The Bedroom, and some of Van Gogh’s self portraits. I bought my ticket ahead of time at the hostel I stayed in, but you can also order tickets online . If you’re going to multiple museums and plan to use public transportation, consider getting the I amsterdam City Card. [Note that it does not include admission to the Anne Frank House.]


Amsterdam- www.afriendafar.com #amsterdam #thenetherlands

If you have multiple days in Amsterdam and wanted to see a smaller town, Haarlem makes an easy, fun day trip. Trains frequently run between Amsterdam Centraal Station and Haarlem. I enjoyed walking around Haarlem and exploring side streets that took me to residential areas, the main square with the church Grote Kerk, canals, and seeing their windmill.


Amsterdam- www.afriendafar.com #amsterdam #thenetherlands

If you need some media to accompany your trip, check out the Imagine Dragon’s song “Just By the Side of Amsterdam.” Also books worth reading include Anne Frank, Diary of a Young Girl (of course), The Fault in our Stars (this one made me lose it on the plane to Amsterdam), and The Hiding Place.

Meagan grew up in the North Georgia Mountains and spent her first trip abroad in Italy. She’s been traveling all over the world ever since, learning Spanish, Japanese, and Thai. She travels for the food, the culture, and the history.