7 Airports with FREE City Tours for Travellers on A Layover!

7 Airports with FREE City Tours for Travellers on A Layover!

If you happen to be waiting for a transit flight in any of these seven airports offering free city tours, consider yourself lucky!

Long layovers can be a boring affair, but not always. There are, in fact, a few airports around the world where you should deliberately choose to have a long layover. Why? Because they offer FREE city tours for passengers in transit.

1. Incheon International Airport (Seoul, South Korea)

free city tours

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There are a variety of tours that you can embark on when you’re a transit passenger at Seoul’s Incheon International Airport! These tours require you to have at least three hours of layover time so that you’ll have ample time to explore without having to rush through the tour. Visit the famous Gyeongbokgung Palace, or go shopping at Dongdaemun Market – it’s entirely up to you!

Sign up for the tours at the Tour Registration Desk located on the first floor of the main terminal building (desk number 41 and 42). The last tour leaves at 3pm daily, but sign-ups are open until 6pm!

2. Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (Taipei, Taiwan)

free city tours

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Taoyuan International Airport offers two tours, a Morning Tour and an Afternoon Tour. Both are half-day tours, so only passengers with seven- to 24-hour layovers would be allowed to participate. The Morning Tour will bring you to Sanxia and Yingge, while the Afternoon Tour will feature Taipei 101, Longshan Temple and Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall.

Each tour session has 18 spots, and passengers can only go on one tour during their stopover. As the tours run on a first-come-first-served basis, you might want to make an advanced reservation (within 14 to 30 days prior to your arrival) to ensure that you secure a spot! Otherwise, you can always register for the tour on-site – just head to the Tourist Service Center at either terminal.

3. Narita International Airport (Tokyo, Japan)

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At Narita International Airport, you get to decide whether you want to be your own tour guide (Self Tours) or if you’d like to follow a local volunteer around on a guided tour (Volunteer Guide Tours). There are a total of eight different tours for you to choose from, so there’s definitely something for everyone. For those of you shopaholics out there, we recommend that you go on any of the shopping-themed Self Tours because that way, you’ll have more time to shop!

These tours will take about two and a half to three hours. Interested passengers can make their way to Narita Transit Program Counter to make their arrangements after arrival.

4. Changi International Airport (Singapore)

free city tours

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Singapore’s Changi Airport hasn’t been voted the World’s Best Airport five years in a row for no reason. With an abundance of amenities to ensure the comfort and entertainment of visitors (think: themed gardens, movie theatres and lounge areas), having a layover here is like heaven – just ask anyone who has experienced it! But for those of you who are itching to leave the airport to do some exploring, the airport does offer two guided tours: the Heritage Tour and the City Sights Tour.

Passengers who would like to go on the Heritage Tour need to have a layover of at least five and a half hours, while those keen on the City Sights Tour would need to have a layover of six hours or longer. Slots on the tours are on a first-come-first-served basis and interested passengers can register for either of these tours in the Transit Area (level 2) of Terminal 2 or Terminal 3.

5. Hamad International Airport (Doha, Qatar)

free city tours

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If you’re flying by Qatar Airways and you find yourself stuck with a long layover in Doha’s Hamad International Airport, there’s no need to despair! As a Qatar Airways passenger, you are entitled to a complimentary city tour that’ll take you to four of Doha’s key landmarks: The Pearl-Qatar, Katara Cultural Village, Souq Waqif and the Museum of Islamic Art.

While the entire tour will last approximately two hours and forty-five minutes, passengers need to have a transit time of five to twelve hours to be eligible for this tour. Each session can take up to 33 passengers and tours cannot be pre-booked! Head to the Doha City Tour desk when you arrive to get your spot.

6. Istanbul Ataturk Airport (Istanbul, Turkey)

free city tours

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Flying through Istanbul and have a layover of six hours or more? Take part in Istanbul Ataturk Airport’s special Touristanbul tour! This tour will take you on a journey around Istanbul, featuring notable historical sites like Topkapi Palace, Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) and the Grand Bazaar.

There are five tours that run during different times of the day, and each one takes on a different route. To sign up for any one of the tours, just proceed to the Hotel Desk right next to Starbucks in the International Arrival Hall. No bookings are required to join these tours, but you’ll have to be flying with Turkish Airlines in order to be eligible, though!

7. Salt Lake City International Airport (Utah, USA)

free city tours

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The next time you find yourself in Utah’s Salt Lake City Airport waiting for your connecting flight, ditch those plans to kill time inside the airport. Make your time in Salt Lake City a little more interesting by going on the free airport shuttle bus that’ll bring you to tour the heart of city – Temple Square. As long as you have a layover of at least two hours, you’re more than welcome to go on this tour!

Just head over to the airport information desks in Terminal 1 or Terminal 2 to ask for the tour schedules for that day and you’ll be well on your way to explore Temple Square in no time. Buses depart the airport and Temple Square every 30 minutes to an hour, so feel free to take your time exploring!

So the next time you’ve got a long layover, don’t be quick to groan! Even if your layover isn’t in any of these airports, be on the lookout for other interesting things you can do that will make your wait for the next flight more fun. Remember, layovers don’t always have to be boring!

About Author

Brenda Poh
Brenda Poh

Brenda loves to travel and explore. She wishes to travel the world and experience living like a local as much as she can. New experiences and unfamiliar places excite her, and writing about them gives her great joy. When she’s not going on an adventure or daydreaming about exploring the world, she enjoys binge-watching Taiwan dramas, reading, going to gigs and jamming out to punk rock music.


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