Want to see multiple European cities but don’t have a lot of time or money? Consider booking a flight with a long layover. A long layover does not have to mean a boring day in an airport! Instead, use your layover to explore the history and culture of a new city.
Before my Paris trip last year, a last-minute flight change left me and my friend booking a new return ticket from Paris to NYC with an 8-hour layover in Dusseldorf, Germany. To be honest, I had never heard of Dusseldorf before I booked this flight. However, my layover in Dusseldorf was one of the highlights of my fall semester.
Traveling from Paris, my friend Maddie and I landed in Dusseldorf around 10 AM and quickly hailed a cab down to the city center. When we arrived, we were greeted with the quaint cobblestone streets and mom and pop restaurants of historic Dusseldorf. We wandered through a local bookstore and grabbed a cup of coffee at a local coffeehouse.
For lunch, we wanted to get a taste (literally) of the local culture. So, we headed down to the charming restaurants lining the Rhine river. We tried the bratwurst and took in the views from our table overlooking the river.
After lunch, we walked on the path lining the Rhine river and explored a lush, residential neighborhood in historic Dusseldorf. We took in the views of this quaint neighborhood and watched local ducks waddle into a nearby pond. By now, it was around 1:30 PM so Maddie and I called an Uber to head back to their airport. Our few hours in Dusseldorf was short, yet, it gave us a great experience of the local culture.
I hope this story of my layover in Dusseldorf inspires you to pick a long layover when you are booking your budget flight to Europe!