How to Visit Extra Countries for No Cost: Stopover Explained

Stopover Explained: How to Visit Extra Countries at No Cost

By Kateryna Kirian

Is a stopover the same as a layover? But don’t you hate layovers? All of us at least once had to plan a long air trip with an unpleasant break between flights. Uncomfortable chairs, unsteady Wi-Fi connection, snacks from the vending machine and who knows what else… brr. Many opt out for the quickest flights then, which often turn out to be the most expensive ones, too. But what if the layover’s inescapable? Well, if the airport is close enough to the city center, you don’t have much baggage, and time allows, you may risk doing a quick tour downtown. However, you’ll be most probably accompanied by an annoying companion - stress. So, what do you do when you are faced with time pressure or an unbearable alternative of spending quite a few hours in the airport losing all the sanity there’s left?

What you do is you plan it ahead, and you turn those intolerable layovers into stopovers, and we’ll tell you how. Wait, there’s more to it. Did you know you can actually take more flights, visit more countries and still pay less than for a one-way ticket? Let us guide you through this amazing travel hack by covering all the stopover essentials:

What is a stopover?

Stopover is a great way to break up a long-haul flight into two or more stops, which turn into bonus destinations. Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? You can easily make two or three trips out of one!

Booking stopovers is one of the easiest ways of checking several destinations off your travel must-do list. The thing is that you can usually book a few flights with stopovers either for free or with a tiny bit more money than you would have paid for the long-haul flight. Sometimes breaking up a single air journey into various destinations actually costs less!

Say no to difficult travel choices. Say YES to more adventures

So if you were having a hard time choosing between cycling on the streets of Amsterdam (mind you, the city has more bikes than people) or taking a picture in front of the Queen’s Guard in London, there is a better solution. You can have both. Thanks to booking stopovers, you won’t have to decide – you can explore the Dutch canals and indulge your craving for English breakfast in one go. To get you started in creating spectacular flight combinations and enjoying amazing locations at low or no cost, here are top 20 stopovers to create the cheapest flights.

Say YES to more adventures
Picture Photo by Doran Erickson on Unsplash

Stopovers vs. layovers

The first thing you should know is that a stopover is NOT a layover :)

Layover explained

Layover is the connection between flights which lasts less than 24 hours. It’s more of an unavoidable technical stop, typically for a few hours or so, just to wait for the next available connecting flight.

Stopover explained

Stopover is often a much longer break, lasting for 24 hours or more. It’s a part of the route and usually includes a city that’s “on the way” to your final destination. Depending on the flight combinations you selected, a stopover may have no extra cost. If you don’t yet feel comfortable selecting flight combos on your own to make space for some extra breathtaking destinations in your itinerary, let Airwander all the hard work for you.

The ultimate stopover flight search

The co-founders of Airwander, fellow-travelers Ela and Douglas designed the ultimate stopover flight search to spare you loads of hours of monitoring flights and combining flights. All you need to do is to choose the dates, select your origin and destination, and click the nice big red button with a “plus,” which will pop up in-between. This is where all the magic happens.

Just have a look at what we’ve got here.

The ultimate stopover flight search
Book stopovers with Airwander

Bonus destinations at no cost

Instead of spending hours at the airports on your long way from Warsaw, Poland to Washington, US, you can chill for a few most exciting days on Palma de Mallorca...and save $304. Alternatively, you can decide on Oslo in Norway, Barcelona in Spain or Manchester in the UK and still save more than $200. These are just the first 4 bonus destinations Airwander suggests as a must-try for your stopovers. There’s much more to it, I bet you can spot at least a couple of places from your travel bucket list for any flight you search on Airwander. Just give it a try!

Pros and cons of stopovers

Why is not everybody booking stopovers? You must have asked. Naturally, stopovers have both advantages and downsides. So if you are having doubts, have a look at the following arguments.

Advantages of a stopover

#1 Book a stopover to explore a new city

You may be surprised, but sometimes travelers discover more on a 24-hour trip than in a few days of sightseeing. If you do some good travel planning and optimize your schedule, you suddenly realize extra hours appear out of nowhere, hurrah! Pack your bag and be sure you took all the must-haves you’ll need for your trip. Be creative and open to new destinations. You’ve always been dreaming about visiting ancient temples for finding your own harmony or relaxing on splendid Goa beaches? There’s nothing easier than that! Look how our co-founders managed to visit 3 destinations in India in one go.

#2 Go local

Find a local guide to give you a tour. It can be your Couchsurfing or Airbnb host, or you can look around for Free Tours, which are gaining in popularity and are now available in both small towns and big cities. Local people are your best chance to gain unparalleled insights into the foreign culture. Icelandair even used to have a “stopover buddy” to show you around during your break in Iceland.

With a help of a local, it’ll be easier to reach destinations off the beaten path and fully immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the country’s culture, food and people. A local can put your surroundings into a perspective, so you can live through history and explore the culture through the eyes of a local. Moreover, you’ll feel safer in the company of a person who knows the locations inside out.

go local on your stopover
Photo by kyran low on Unsplash

#3 Break up a long flight

This benefit is the most obvious one. Booking a stopover allows you to cut the long hours of waiting throughout your journey. Instead of wandering around the airport and exploring its vending machines, you can extend your trip a bit and use the additional time for discovering new places. It’s a chance to get off the plane for a proper stretch, hydration and a breath of fresh air. Just think that you can have a tasty meal, get a good night’s sleep, and come back to the airport fresh and well-rested for the next leg of your trip.

Break up a long flight
Photo by Mitsuo Komoriya on Unsplash

#4 Avoid health issues

Probably each of us has experienced enormous tiredness, headaches or other symptoms after a long flight. Sometimes travelling by plane may turn out to be a challenge for our body, in both physical and psychological sense. Dividing your journey into more manageable parts flight legs is a chance to give yourself a break and recharge your batteries. 

So you get two in one: a good rest for your body and lots of pleasures for your inner traveling monkey. A stopover allows you to schedule your morning/evening physical activities and get eight hours of sleep at night. You will arrive at your final destination bursting with energy and newly acquired memories rather than irritated and frustrated. After all,

It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.
Ursula K Le Guin

If there is no way to break up the trip and you already know that there is a long-haul flight in front of you, check the recommendations on how to get over the jet lag, so that it doesn’t ruin the trip.

#5 Manage your work schedule

Business trips abroad quite often involve a packed itinerary, and it’s a real challenge to find some free time just for yourself. It helps to plan the majority of activities ahead not to lose time on the move. In the end, however, we are not robots and sometimes we would all love to just escape all the hustle and bustle.

Stopovers make you more productive

Bonus time between the flight legs of your business trip helps you refocus and put things into the perspective. Additionally, a stopover gives you time to rest in a comfortable hotel room with a workspace, where you are able to get prepared for the forthcoming conference or meetings. Use stopovers to get away from the intense activities and hard work, clear your head and calmly organize your thoughts.

Naturally, there are also some aspects of a stopover that might prove problematic.

Things to keep in mind when booking stopovers

#1 Extra time in the trip

While stopovers allow to avoid the rush, enjoy an extra destination, take your time with exploring and save some money, an absolute prerequisite for being able to take advantage of stopovers is time. If you have no time to spare, you’ll be better off with direct flights. However, even for those with no time, stopovers may actually be of value. If you spend your vacation once or twice a year in just one country, and it gets boring closer to the end, imagine what it would be like to have visited 3 in the same amount of time? You don’t need ages, a week will suffice for a few amazing city-breaks.

#2 Risk of in-transit delays

Naturally, the more flight legs you have, the greater the chance that at least one of them will be delayed. Weather, technical issues, an outbreak of the pandemic and a lot of other things may affect the timetable of the flights. Unfortunately, you can’t predict such changes, let alone influence them in any way. However, delays and cancellations happen to everybody, no matter if there’s a stopover or not. So all you can do is just be mentally prepared to deal with any unplanned changes and it wouldn’t hurt to make yourself familiar with the airlines’ and OTAs’ cancellation policy. As they say, hope for the best, but prepare for the worst ;). After all, if you have a great company around, no delay can scare you!

#3 Stress management

Forthcoming flights may be the source of nightmares. We are afraid of missing a flight, coming too late to the airport, forgetting the documents, waiting in long check-in lines or choosing the wrong gate. If that’s the case, every additional flight probably means just more stress to you. But from a different perspective, the more flights you take, the more experienced you become and the calmer you deal within all the unexpected obstacles during your next flights. You see, you can turn this downside into an opportunity to improve your travel skills.

We are those who choose to wander

There isn’t such thing as an ideal trip or ideal means of travelling. Everybody chooses what’s best for them. Stopovers may sometimes be tricky and unexpected, but where there’s unexpectedness, there’re often adventures, too. If you choose to wander, stopovers will definitely brighten up your trip.

How to book a stopover?

If you’ve decided to book a stopover, check out our travel hacks to amplify your stopover experience. While it’s not at all difficult to book a stopover, it might take some time and mental effort to select the best flight connections. Remember that airlines will not provide you with stopovers by default – you have to choose them on your own and include in your itinerary. The following steps will help you out.

Stopover travel hacks

1. Use a proper flight meta search engine

Indeed, there’s no easier way to find a great offer than choosing the proper meta search engine which specializes in stopovers. It’ll give you the most attractive and interesting connections in a few seconds. Imagine doing the same on your own, but for at least a few hours! You’ll be surprised by a plethora of options that appear in the search results. I bet you didn’t realize that there’s such a diverse choice of destinations for a stopover. Don’t miss out on the amazing opportunity to discover something new and bewildering on the way to your final destination. 

2. Do the research

If you decide on planning a trip on your own, check which cities have good connections with your origin or destination airports. Also, go through the websites and social media profiles of the airlines you are going to fly with, to see if they have recently opened any new routes (which often turn out to be both exciting and cheap). What’s more, some low-cost airlines offer a reasonably priced annual membership, which will pay off as soon as you’ve completed just a few flights. However, take notice of visa requirements. In some countries, you may not be allowed to leave the airport based on your citizenship or current restrictions, so check twice.

Based on all the information above, you’ll be able to book a perfect stopover. For instance, if you’re heading from Helsinki to Amsterdam, why not have a stopover in Copenhagen? If you’re looking for more places to visit in Denmark, here’re 9 reasons for a stopover in Copenhagen.

3. Choose multiple destinations

If you’re in for a real adventure, you can select a multi-city trip instead of a round trip. Then, add as many cities as your heart desires and...for each flight leg, you can book a stopover! Remember though, if you have checked baggage, you’ll have to check it in every time you board the flight. Thus, you may opt out for the carry-on baggage, as it will save you enormous amounts of time. Still, the baggage check-in (if you have any) is probably the only major downside, so as soon as you get it over with, you can enjoy your bonus destinations to the full extent.

4. Use frequent flier miles

You are a loyal user of the airline company with a mileage plan? Try not to overlook the bonuses and opportunities you already have! With some frequent fliers’ advantages, you’ll be able to book stopovers at almost no cost. For example, Alaska Airlines has a good policy of booking stopovers, which will allow you to both use your miles and enjoy a bonus destination.

Summing up

If you don’t yet feel comfortable selecting flight connections on your own to make space for some extra breathtaking destinations in your itinerary, let Airwander do all the hard work for you.


Top 20 Stopovers to Create the Cheapest Flights [infographic]

By Lauren

Are you addicted to travel?

Is your aim to see as much of the world as possible?

Do you have the flexibility to add an extra destination to your next trip?

Then read on!

For those of us who like a travel hack that will save us money and add some oomph to our travel experiences, there’s a spanking new way to explore the world.

“Really?” I hear you cry. Yes there is.

All you need to do is create a series of one-way flights to multiple destinations to reach your final one. This may sound like a lot of work, but that’s what Airwander is here for! We put in all the hard graft to find flights from multiple airlines to get you to your destination cheaper, but with extra bang for your buck!

London to New York via Reykjavik? No problem. Rome to Bangkok via Delhi? Go for it.

The world is your oyster!

Not sure where to stop off on your next flight?

How about our top 20 intercontinental stopover cities?

These cities are in our top 20 not only because they’re awesome, full of culture and fun things to do, but because they were chosen by our users as the best destinations to stop on their way across the world. And there's more! Out of those most popular we selected the ones that allowed for cheapest flight connections.

Try adding those stopovers to your next trip, you may be able visit a new city for free and save on your flight!

See to Full Infographic

Top Stopovers Map

See the Top Stopovers Between

USA and Europe Australia and Europe
Europe and Asia Within Europe

Travelling between the USA and Europe?

Our top five stopovers are...

St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Photo by: Steve Jurvetson St. Basil’s Cathedral in Moscow. Photo by: Steve Jurvetson

Moscow

Well-heeled, elitist and chaotic, Moscow is a tumultuous ride that assaults both your body and soul. It’s a layover that has some serious kicks for any culture buff – Kremlin, Red Square, Sanduny Baths, Bolshoi Theatre – the list is endless. Oh, and there’s good vodka too.

Copenhagen

Full to the brim with cool individuals and a pumping bar scene, Copenhagen is fringed with classic Scandi architecture and stuffed with nine centuries of history. Spend an afternoon wandering around Christiania, Copenhagen’s very own anarchistic community or hire a bike to glide from museum to gallery to gig. Copenhagen is the jewel in Scandinavia’s already glittering crown and one not to be missed on any stopover! 

Stockholm

Something of a fairy tale destination, Stockholm glistens with snow and sparkles with tinkle-lights in the winter and is reminiscent of something out of a child’s picture book in the summer. Rows and rows of saffron coloured buildings bow in on cobbled streets and blue seas and even bluer skies hug the city’s skyline year round.

New York

Times Square, the Empire State Building, Rockefeller Centre, Statue of Liberty, Staten Island Ferry, Coney Island, Brooklyn, Williamsburg Bridge, Soho, Chelsea Markets, the High Line. What better way to spend a stopover?

Reykjavik

Reykjavik is not only the world’s most northerly capital but it sits on the edge of what could be Europe’s answer to the final frontier. Isolated mountains and steaming geysers, crashing waterfalls and the Aurora Borealis herself. I rest my case.

Flying between Australia and Europe?

Stopover here

Singapore Marina Bay in Singapore. Photo by Mac Qin.

Singapore

Singapore has a habit of surprising you around every corner – you can go from the heavily scented streets of Little India to secret cocktail dens in the blink of an eye, from ancient, monkey swinging rainforests to cosmo central, to sleepy banana farms. The whole world exists on this tiny metropolis – make some room in your busy schedule.

Hong Kong

One of the world’s largest financial hubs, Hong Kong has a reputation for chasing wealth and striving for eternal success. Despite this, it hides a traditional streak that needs to be explored. Whether you want to shop or explore the mountains and coast – there’s something for everyone on a stopover to HK.

Beijing

Beijing is all about the food – the Chinese are obsessed with the stuff, and you should be too if you choose to spend a day or two here on your way to Europe or Australia. Restaurants pile on top of each other and there are so many local dishes to pick from that you’ll just opt to eat them all.

Rome

Italy’s capital and cultural beating heart, Rome should be at the top of everybody’s bucket list. It’s bursting with history and dripping with fresh gelato. It’s a city that continues to surprise, time and time again, no matter how many times you return.

Kuala Lumpur

Your boots were made for walking in KL, as this city is best discovered by foot. Get caught up in the frustrating traffic jams, feel tiny next to the erupting sky scrapers and tingle your nostrils strolling through alleys of wafting street food before getting back on a plane to the other side of the world.

Stopover between Europe and Asia?

We recommend these top cities

Yonca Evren Hagia Sophia in Istanbul. Photo by: Yonca Evren

Istanbul

Istanbul is the ultimate offbeat destination – the coming together of two continents in one glorious city means that there is a fusion of cultures and food, architecture and religion. Stroll past the city walls and gaze at the towering minarets before hopping back on a plane.

Tel Aviv

Miss out on a visit to Tel Aviv and you miss out on an exceptional strip of the world. Israel’s second largest city is a slice of coastline that bathes in fresh coffee and lives life outdoors and to the max. It’s easy to get into the swing of Tel Aviv and be totally drawn in by the innovative vibe – you’d be totally forgiven if you missed your next flight outta there.

Dubai

A city that seems like it’s always in a constant state of flux, Dubai has an energy that builds with the time. From the Burj Al Arab to shopping in the Gold Souk, there is a healthy mix of both modern and traditional Arab culture. The perfect stopover for anyone, even the beach bums.

Delhi

Despite the traffic and the pollution and the intense population, there is something so overwhelmingly addictive about India. The food and the people and the enormity of the chaos just begs to drag you back, gagging for more. Delhi is no exception to this rule. Take the time to explore the unknown corners of Delhi, the time to eat in the places where there are only locals, the time to talk to the women ambling down the road in a sari, and you’ll be rewarded with the greatest, unexpected few days on a stopover you could ever get.

Doha

With extravagant shopping malls, sandy beaches and a skyline to rival New York, Doha is arguably the Middle East’s best place to stop on your way from one corner of the earth to the other. Qatar is a relaxing entry to the Arab world and will reward visitors with a deep heritage, rolling sand dunes and opulent wealth.

Multi City Europe Trip?

Visit these places

Park Guëll in Barcelona. Photo by: John Purvis Park Guëll in Barcelona. Photo by: John Purvis

Barcelona

Barcelona is a city that has it all – you can go from the beach to the Picasso Museum in five minutes, be on top of the world in the Sagrada Familia or bathe in the shade of Park Guell. Spend your evenings in the city sipping rich red wine in the wonderful Catalonian sun before wandering around the Gothic Quarter at dusk.

London

Whether the weather be good or whether the weather be bad, there is always something to do and something to see in England’s capital. Go for cocktails along the South Bank or visit the Imperial War Museum, people watch in Shoreditch or stuff your face in Camden. Buckingham Palace and Westminster Abbey, The Shard and Tower Bridge; it’s impossible to get bored.

Prague

Magical, ancient and budget friendly. Prague is a city that demands to be explored – the winding alleys and river paths will all lead you to an unknown bar or seedy club that will make you put those dancing shoes on. Charles Bridge is, of course, the centre piece of Prague, but don’t let it overshadow the rest of this gorgeous city.

Warsaw

Poland’s answer to culture, action and all-out energy, Warsaw has built itself from the ground up to be a blend of old and new. The city is booming with industrial activity and is throwing itself towards the sky faster than Beijing. There’s a busy nightlife schedule of music festivals and gallery openings, not to mention Poland’s best museums. Warsaw doesn’t cater to all tastes, but to those who are open to a positive, contagious vibe, it’s worth your time.

Oslo

Oslo is Norway’s perfect answer to its perfect landscape, mirrored by natural architecture and stunning art installations, it’s obvious that Mother Nature herself inspired this beautiful city. Just minutes out of the heart of town are woodlands and hills, fjords and beaches – it’s an outdoor lover’s dream location. Within the city is a thriving bar and foodie culture, as well as some of Europe’s best museums.

Alternative Stopover Cities

None of these take your fancy? Our new multi-city flight booking tool lets you choose the stopover of your choice. QuestOrganizer will automatically provide you with a list of the best stopovers you can choose for your flight but you can add any location you want!

The locations we recommend to you are rated from the cheapest, so the top one will always be your best option if you’re solely looking to get more for less, or even to just save some dollah on flights so you can spend more on having fun when you arrive.

General rule of thumb? The more flexible you can be with your travels, the more cash you’ll save! Found a layover that cut your costs? Let us know in the comments below!

Read more


9 Reasons For a Stopover in Copenhagen

By Saana

Is Copenhagen on your list of dream destinations?

If not, you should add it there immediately. Keep on reading, I will give you plenty of reasons why, including tips and tricks for what to do and see.

In case you are wondering what would be the easiest, and cheapest, way to fly to the capital city of Denmark, one great way is to customize your multi city trip and have a free stopover in Copenhagen. Adding Copenhagen as a stopover can significantly reduce the price of flight for example from New York or Los Angeles to Paris, Rome or Athens.

Copenhagen is a great city for a stopover, not only because of the central location and good flight connections, but because of the beautiful setting, attractions and fascinating history. There is one extremely important fact you need to know before having a stopover in Copenhagen between your multi city flights: make sure you will stay at least for three days!

How to plan a three-day holiday in a city that has so much to offer? Here are some tips to help you out!

1. Go to Nyhavn. It's the place to be

The name Nyhavn refers to 'a new harbour', but the picturesque Nyhavn with its' colourful buildings is actually the oldest part of the Copenhagen harbour. Nyhavn dates back to the 17th century. The oldest building in Nyhavn is house number 9, which was built in 1681.

Numerous little bistros and restaurants have their terraces open around the year. I feel I could just sit there forever, sipping my coffee or maybe a pint of Carlsberg, the world famous Danish beer, watching the boats and the people passing by.

Nyhavn from boat Nyhavn

And I'm not the only one. Also Hans Christian Andersen, the man behind the Little Mermaid and many other fairy tales, used to live in Nyhavn for 18 years and got inspiration for quite a few stories from this lovely old harbour.

Here's the very last fact that you should definitely know about Nyhavn: it’s most probably the cutest harbour you’ll ever visit!

2. Take a boat tour. It's the thing to do

While you're in Nyhavn, hop on the boat and take an hour-long boat tour to see the best of the city from a little bit of a different perspective – from the sea. The tickets are inexpensive and you can also get a combined boat tour and hop on/off bus ticket, which is the ultimate option for those who don’t fancy the idea of walking.

During the boat trip you'll have a chance to see things you wouldn't even know of, like Holmen, the naval station of the Royal Danish Navy.
During the boat trip you'll get to see attractions you wouldn't even know of, like Holmen, the naval station of the Royal Danish Navy.
Beautiful Georg Stage was built in 1934. The ship is doing one sailing tour a year, from April to September, and has done so since the first tour in 1935 (excluding World War II).
Beautiful Georg Stage was built in 1934. The ship is doing one sailing tour a year, from April to September, and has done so since the first tour in 1935 (excluding World War II).

Make sure to take the boat tour on the first day of your stopover in Copenhagen. It's the perfect way of getting an idea of the most interesting and important attractions in Copenhagen, and it will help you to plan the rest of your city break based on the points of interest that you are most fascinated by.

Going under the old, beautiful and narrow bridges of Copenhagen is an exciting experience.
Going under the old, beautiful and narrow bridges of Copenhagen is an exciting experience.

The tour guide will tell you some interesting facts about the city, in English of course. In case there’s no headphones available, you might want to choose your place on the boat rather in front than back. On the slow parts of the tour you can hear the tour guide perfectly, but when the boat is going a little faster, the sound of the motor is disturbing quite badly. In case of rainy weather, it’s fine to sit inside, you can open the windows whenever needed.

3. Leave your message on the #Happywall

The #Happywall is located at the end of the shopping street, right next to Nyhavn, at the square called Kongens Nytorv (King’s New Square). The wall consists of nearly 2 000 wooden boards that you can flip over. The boards are black on one side and coloured on the other side. By flipping the boards anyone can leave their message of happiness to the world.

Happy Wall

SJ_DK HappyWall
SJ and DK visited the #Happywall.

The Happy Wall was conceived and executed by Danish musician Thomas Dambo. The Happy Wall is built from the remnants of the Tuborg Cinema stage at Roskilde Festival 2013. Since then, Dambo has created another Happy Wall in Las Vegas. He thinks every city in the whole world should have one. I think so too!

There are thousands of pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #Happywall. Remember to spread the happiness by creating your own message during your stopover in Copenhagen!

4. Have a walk along Strøget

Strøget, located right in the centre of Copenhagen, is the longest car free shopping street in the whole of Europe. When you look at the map, you can’t find a street called Strøget, no matter how hard you try. What on earth?

stroget2

Here's an interesting fact for you: the longest pedestrian shopping street in Europe is not actually a street! In reality Strøget is a name for a few different streets that are joining each other.

Either or, Strøget is a real paradise for shopaholics.

5. Go on the top of the Round Tower

While wandering along Strøget you will come across with one of the most famous attractions in Copenhagen, the Round Tower. And when you do, make sure to go in. Let me tell you why.

The Round Tower is 34.8 meters high and going up is quite a fun experience. Instead of stairs you'll walk up along the unique Spiral Ramp. You go around... and around... and around... until you reach the top where you can find the only stairs you need to climb, the staircase to the sightseeing platform.

livenowdreamlater
The unique Spiral Ramp takes you on top of the Round Tower in Copenhagen.
Copenhagen panorama
The panorama mode bent the handrail of the Round Tower sightseeing platform.

Do not miss the platform, as from there you can have an overall view over the whole city, in all directions. The Round Tower was built in 1637 to be an astronomical observatory, and it still functions as an observatory today.

Besides the views and the spinning climbing experience, in the Round Tower you can also find an art café and gallery with exhibitions, souvenir shop, planetarium and a spooky Bell Loft, where the bells of the neighbouring Trinity Church are hanging.

And in case the Spiral Ramp didn’t yet get your head spinning enough, don’t forget to peek into the heart of the tower — the hollow core 25 meters above the ground.

roundtowercph

6. Visit the Little Mermaid statue

Everyone loves the Little Mermaid, the world famous fairy tale written by Danish author Hans Christian Andersen. The Little Mermaid statue is the symbol of the city of Copenhagen. Would you believe that Denmark’s most photographed beauty is already over 100 years old?

littlemermaid

Being a celebrity is never easy, not even for a statue. This poor lady has lost her head three times. The first time her head was sawed off in 1964. The missing head was never found, so they needed to cast a whole new head for the mermaid. She ended up headless also in 1990 and 1998.

Today she is sitting in the Copenhagen harbour looking very pretty, and most importantly, in one piece.

littlemermaidpanorama

Here's an interesting question: A legend states that The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen might not be the real thing. There is a rumour about the original statue being hidden by the sculptor Edvard Eriksen’s heirs. True or false, I wonder?

7. Enjoy the green areas of the city

Do you think you are travelling to a concrete jungle? Don't worry, you're not! There are a huge number of beautiful gardens and parks in Copenhagen, so don't forget to enjoy the green. King's Garden and Rosenborg Castle, Botanical Garden, The Citadel, Frederiksberg Gardens... the list goes on and on.

King's Garden and Rosenborg Castle in March. Just imagine how green it will be during the summer!
King's Garden and Rosenborg Castle in March. Just imagine how green it will be during the summer!

Sit down for a picnic or a refreshing drink and enjoy the nature in the middle of the city. You will need a relaxing break, as during your stopover in Copenhagen you also should...

8. Spend a day in Tivoli

Tivoli Gardens in Copenhagen opened its’ doors in 1843, which makes it the second oldest amusement park in the whole world. Besides Legoland, Tivoli is for sure one of the most famous attractions in the whole of Denmark. Tivoli Gardens was actually a great inspiration for Walt Disney when he was dreaming of Disneyworld. Walt Disney visited Tivoli on 1951 and loved it.

As stated, Tivoli is the second oldest amusement park in the world, but do you know where is the oldest one? It's not very far!

The world’s oldest amusement park is located about 10 kilometers from Copenhagen. Dyrehavsbakken, better known as Bakken, was opened in 1583.

You could say that the whole amusement park culture was born in the Copenhagen area.

9. Don't miss the Freetown Christiania

One of the reasons for giving out all these tips is to help you avoiding the mistakes I made when I visited Copenhagen myself. Do you want to know what was the greatest mistake of all? I missed the Freetown Christiania!

Located in Christianshavn, the Freetown Christiania is an autonomous 'hippie neighbourhood' and definitely a must see when visiting Copenhagen. Christiania is much more than its' famous landmark, Pusher Street. Besides the shops, the graffitis, the colourful people and history, Christiania is housing markets and free outdoor concerts.

Isn't it a bit ironic that in a place called 'Freetown' there are quite many restrictions you should be aware of? Inside Christiania it's forbidden to run, talk on the mobile and take photographs or video. Read more about Christiania and the Do's and Don'ts.

Before booking your next flights with a stopover in Copenhagen, I need to correct another mistake I made at the start of this post: three days in Copenhagen clearly is not enough, make it at least four!


How to visit 3 destinations in India in one trip

By Ela Bader

Visit 3 awesome places in India while travelling on budget with this multi city flight

India is a fascinating place. This country is so diverse that it's worth to visit several cities to get the full taste for it. The best time to visit is between late October and mid-March due to the monsoon season which happens in India from June to September. I looked at top 25 destinations in India and decided that Chennai, Goa and Mumbai will be the most interesting to visit. With above top cities and the best time to visit in mind I tried to create a perfect multi city trip to India.

This is what I came up with:

Multi city flight from Rome to Chennai, Goa and Mumbai

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With this trip you can visit some the the most interesting sights in India:

Chennai

Chennai is the fourth largest city in India and one of the most prosperous of the country. The city has its own unique character and a rich tradition along with modern amenities and technology. There is such a diversity that you will be amazed while visiting Chennai. The picturesque city includes beautifully carved temples, serene beaches, colonial monuments and much more. Apart of the city itself there are numerous attractions in the area which would make your stay in Chennai even more memorable.

Kapaleeshwar Temple in Mylapore

This ancient temple was once submerged under the sea and the current temple structure is a later construction.  There are many Sannidhis dedicated to various gods inside the temple. The presiding deity of this temple is a form of Shiva called Kapaleeshwarar. According to the legend Lord Shiva have pinched off one of the heads of Brahma (god of creation). In penance, Brahma installed a temple in this place, now known as Kapaleeshwarar.

Thousands of devotees visit the temple during the Mylapore Festival in March - April. They participate in the 10-day festivity in honor of the 63 Nayanmars. The bronze statues are carried on large platforms in a colorful procession through the streets of Mylapore. This festival has become a part of the local community life.

 

 

 Meenakshi Temple in Madurai

Once in Chennai it may be worth an 8 hours bus ride to see this incredible Hindu temple.  It's a  stunning architectural marvel with 33 thousand sculptures.  The temple is dedicated to the Hindu goddess of love - Parvati. The temple is the heart and the lifeline of the city of Madurai as well as drives the economy of the town for ages. The temple was mentioned in Tamil literature back in 7th century. The present structure was built between 1623 and 1655 CE. It is presumed that the temple was originally constructed by Lord Indra and was destroyed couple of times over a period of thousands of years. The temple attracts 15,000 visitors a day and receives an annual revenue of sixty million rupees.  The annual 10-day Meenakshi Tirukalyanam festival, celebrated during April and May, attracts 1 million visitors.

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Meenakshi Temple in Madurai is a stunning architectural marvel with 33 thousand sculptures.

 

Goa

Many travelers head to Goa each year for its splendid beaches, places of worship and extraordinary architecture. Goa is known by the laid-back atmosphere, but there's far more to discover than white sands. It has rich flora and fauna and is classified as a biodiversity hotspot.  It's history is captivating as well. Goa was conquered by Portuguese in 1510 and it stayed within their territory until it was annexed by India in 1961. The historic city of Margao reveals the influence of the Portuguse who occupied it for about 450 years. Another historic place is Old Goa. There, you can visit Basilica of Bom Jesus which is a great example of  baroque architecture combined with simplicity.

One of the pristine beaches in Goa. Photo by K.F. Fernandes
One of the pristine beaches in Goa. Photo by K.F. Fernandes

Mumbai

The city was originally formed from seven islands that were home to fishing communities and grew to be the second most populous city in India. Although this metropolis can feel chaotic and crowded, many inspiring places can be visited in the city and surrounding area. You can visit Film City and experience Bollywood movie shooting. Good news if you like cricket! It is a national sport in India, and in Mumbai you can watch the cricket match on the beach or street for free. There are also some great places to visit in the area:

Siddhivinayak Temple

This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Shri Ganes. It evolved from a tiny place of worship to the Grand Temple that it is today. It is often visited by politicians as well as Bollywood film stars which spread its popularity.

Global Vipassana Pagoda

This Meditation Hall serves as a monument of peace and harmony. It was built out of gratitude to the Buddha and as the gratefulness to community of monks practicing his teaching. Its design is based on traditional Burmese design and it contains the world's largest stone dome built without any supporting pillars. The Pagoda dome contains relics of Buddha, there's also meditation centre and museum depicting life of the Buddha.

The Global Vipassana Pagoda honours Buddha and explains his Teaching. Photo by: I for Detail
The Global Vipassana Pagoda honors Buddha and explains his Teaching. Photo by: I for Detail

Hope this will help you plan an awesome trip to India! If you have any tips on the best way to visit several places in India share it in the comments

Featured photo by: P.Thirumalaisamy