Top 8 city stopovers

Top 8 city stopovers

Adding a stopover not only breaks up your flight, it allows you to see more of the world in one trip. Whether you want to combine two iconic cities or stopover on your way to an idyllic beach retreat, here are our top 8 city stopovers.

1. Bangkok

Bangkok is possibly the best city in the world to get a relaxing massage either on the high street or secluded in a spa retreat. The herb-scented intense Thai massage is the perfect antidote to being cooped up in your aeroplane. 

Indulge in a four-hand massage, or if you are looking for a quick de-stress head for a chair massage that will de-knot your pain points, or go for some luxury spa treatments at Como Shambala. If you would like to do some sightseeing and massage, the massage pavilions at Wat Pho are great. You can even do a short Thai massage training and show off your skills to your friends when you get back home! Taste the delicious Thai food, cruise the Chao Phraya river, visit the many temples that can be found in Bangkok.

More: The Grand Palace and Wat Arun, night markets and shopping malls, rooftop bars and a ferry ride on the Chao Phraya River.

Relax:  Shangri La Hotel

Where to next: For an extended stay at any of the Asian destinations Bangkok is fun and relaxing stopover. 

2. Dubai

Dubai is the perfect place for a 2-3 day stopover while heading to the destination of your choice. It has more to it than just great shopping! It's a great connecting hub for many destinations and also has a number of activities that will get the adrenaline surging. 

To get rid of the jet lag do some active sports like four-wheel dune bashing, dune surfing, sailing, windsurfing water-skiing and scuba-diving; or head to the Dubai Mall for some scuba diving with the tiger sharks and rays in the giant aquarium. If you are travelling with the kids the Wild Wadi waterpark is the perfect destination for them to have a fun-filled break. If you are bored of the city go out to the desert, for an early morning hot air balloon ride or a night under the stars in the dunes.

More: Giant shopping malls, world's tallest building Burj Khalifa with views of the city and the sea, spice and gold markets near The Creek and the 19th-century Al-Fahidi Fort.

Relax: Jumeirah Al Naseem

Where to next:  Travel to India, the ultra-luxe Maldives, or the Asian beauties like Thailand, Japan, China etc. It's also a great place to break your journey if you are heading to Australasia and Emirates is very competitive on these routes, so you can get some good deals! 


3. Singapore:

Though many people associate this city with shopping only, Singapore is a sparkling sci-fi garden city blending past traditions with stunning architecture offset by botanical gardens, temples and fascinating districts such as Chinatown and Little India. This little island is also great for family-friendly animal attractions too.

Explore the Universal studios and aquarium on Sentosa Island, which you can get to on a cable car, or start your day with a jungle breakfast with the orang-utans in the zoo. The Jurong Bird Park has an exciting walk through the aviary, and you can go for walking trails in the Bukit Timah Nature Reserve through million-year-old rainforest abuzz with butterflies. This is also a great place to explore street food from countries all over Asia in the hawker centres

More: The bustling Chinatown and Little India, the National Gallery of Singapore for south-east Asian arts; Marina Bay.

Relax: Marina Bay Sands

Where to next: This is an ideal stopover on your way to anywhere in Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean Islands


4. Cape Town 

Colourful and culturally fascinating, Cape Town is where you can get the finest wines and fine dining on the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Enjoy a cable car ride to the top of Table Mountain or take a tour to Robben Island to learn about Nelson Mandela. If you are travelling with family a day trip to Cape Peninsula will be great, with lovely views and the famous penguins of Boulders Beach, it is sure to keep everyone happy. In the evenings browse the local Hout Bay market for a spot of shopping, great food and music. Cape Tows is also a great base to explore the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens and the Winelands of Constancia.

More: 

Relax: Table Bay Hotel

Where to next: Botswana, or explore the Victoria Falls or a safari holiday at the Kruger National Park

5. Doha

Doha connects to a network of about 150 destinations around the world. If you are flying between Europe and Asia on Qatar Airways, you can enjoy a stopover with them. 

Qatar is one of the wealthiest states in the world and is a mix of the wealth and Arabic modernism. With a great deal from Qatar Airways which offers you stopover's with free hotel nights etc, this city is perfect as a stopover. As a destination, Doha has lot to offer introducing visitors to Arabian culture in modern settings. Explore the Museum of Islamic Art's impressive collection and designed by Louvre designer IM Pei . Stroll along the Corniche or head to the buzzing Souq Waqif, the city’s main marketplace, filled with stalls stacked high with barrels of chillies, dried limes, coffee beans and rose petals. In the evening explore the city skyline from a traditional dhow as you cruise in the bay. If you have a few days get out of Doha and head to the desert to explore the UNESCO Heritage site of Al Zubarah Fort. 

More: Desert safaris, dune bashing, Katara Cultural Village, island-bound luxury district The Pearl, the Corniche for great city views and more, camel riding, sandboarding & Bedouin barbecue

Where to next: Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, Sri Lanka, India, Japan and China

6. Delhi

Delhi is a city of contrasts with the old and the new with a vibrant burst of colour and people. Explore Old Delhi's famous market Chandini Chowk, a melee of shops, temples, stalls, and colourful clouds of all kinds of people. Head to the nearby flea market [Chor Bazaar] for some souvenir shopping and some weird and wonderful experiences. For some of the old school colonial charm of Delhi head to Connaught Place and the Rashtrapati Bhavan, and the beautiful gardens and ruins of Lodhi Gardens.

More: Red Fort, Rajpath for British-era, monumental Delhi, Jama Masjid, 12th-century Qutab Minar tower; 18th-century astronomical observatory Jantar Mantar

Relax: Maidens Hotel

Where to next: South East Asia

7. Hong Kong 

If you are flying out via Hong Kong, then you are stopping over in a city full of some of the world's best hotels, restaurants and shopping. Enjoy the skyline of Hong Kong from Victoria Harbor, visit the Tian Tan Buddha & the Po Lin Monastery in the Ngong Ping village on Lantau island in a cable car, spot the celebrities on the Chinese Walk of Fame, or enjoy a horse race in Happy Valley as you see the cruise ships dock at the ocean terminal. Take the Peak Tram to the top of Victoria Peak for some stunning skyline views of Hong Kong once you get to Kowloon. With over 11,000 restaurants Hong Kong is also a foodie paradise and is the perfect place to explore foods of the world.

MoreTheme parks Disneyland and Ocean Park; street markets, Symphony of Lights

Relax: The Langham

Where to next: Bali & China


8. Kuala Lumpur 

Stopover in Kuala Lumpur for a fix of great food and some great sites. The hawker stalls are the best place to try out a dizzying array of food options. Madras Lane, Jalan Sayur, Jalan Sultan, Jalan Tun HS Lee, are all great places for some mount watering street food. For a bit of culture walk through the old colonial buildings, visit the oldest mosque in the city - Masjid Jamek, or just a short train ride from the city are the Batu Caves. If you are in KL you can obviously not miss the Petronas Twin Towers, offering beautiful views of the city, and for a skyline and twin towers view, head to the observation deck of the KL tower. The KL tower stands at the top of the 26-acre Bukit Nanas Forest Reserve which is another great place to explore.

More: Thean Hou Buddhist Temple, Perdana Botanical Garden, Lake Gardens, Taoist Guandi Temple, Little India

Relax: The Majestic Hotel

Where to next: Borneo & Australia


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