Minimum layover time for a city visit

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leadman

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A few posts recently have mentioned minimum times between flights for a city run/visit during layovers. I thought i would give it a go on this trip in FRA and gather some facts/thoughts.

Scheduled to arrive from TXL at 10:05 and out to BKK at 14:45 so, in theory, 4:40 was seatbelt off > seatbelt on. One thing going for me was i had a stay at FRA SHG so i could dump all my luggage there, so no finding the luggage storage site. Secondly, as never being a car driver i know many of the worlds public transport systems well, FRA being one.

How it went;

Seatbeat off was 10:23 and at baggage claim at 10:35 > time remaining 4:10
Bag out of conveyor, then to SHG at 10:49 > 3:56
down to station, bought ticket on platform at 10:58 > 3:47
Train into Fra and off at Hauptwache 11:23 > 3:22
Walk the main mall and buy whats needed 11:44 > 3:01
First of 2 wiesse beers at the Romer take in some sites back at station 12:26 > 2:19
Back on train, get bags and check in at TG 12:57 > 1:48
Through customs and into LH lounge 13:28 > 1:17

Conclusion; a tight run and unless you had to do something urgent, you need at least 5 hours for the pro and 7-8 for the novice. Nothing went wrong that day, fortunately, but i knew where the taxi's were. But will i do it again? maybe if i need something to buy, but otherwise no. You had to drink the beer too fast!!!!! And i don't think you have time to enjoy the ambiance of a city, the public transport maybe!!!

Some thoughts for others (apologies if some are Dorothy Dix's to some);

- only do it if the city is close by i.e. SIN, FRA, SYD
- Have somewhere ready to store your bags quickly, the line was long in storage at FRA and would kill time
- Know where you want to go exactly, not "i would like to go"
- Know the public transport system, backwards!
- Stay close to public transport hubs i.e. stations
- If things start consuming time before you leave the airport forget it!
- Dont panic

I will do one in SIN soon, as i have 4 hours to kill.
 

JessicaTam

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Nice run. Thanks for sharing it.

What was your average heart rate whilst you were landside? :)
 

Simo

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SIN is good for a few hours... I landed middle of the night went to some bars with some locals and then back on flight around 6am... Tired and hungry but overall was a good night.
 

defurax

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4 hours is my limit I think. I did it twice in HEL to have a few drinks with a mate who lives there, the Finnair bus to the city runs every 20 minutes and the trip takes 30 minutes. HEL has express security for status and J/F PAX which is also great for these short city excursions.
 

peakhour

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I've done a sunlight stopover in Singapore many many times on the way through. Land between 3-3:30pm, through immigration, taxi to Clarke Quay. Back to Changi T2 by 7:30pm with plenty of time to spare for 8:25pm departure. All SQ on a single ticket of course. Bit of sunshine and is a welcome respite during a 20 hour transit door to door. Short answer yes 5 hours is a good amount of time to try in a familiar place.
 

kermatu

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Thanks for taking the time to test and report back.

Six hours would be my minimum and I'd need to know the place OR be confident everything was in English. I've been caught up in too many delays and staff strikes / go-slows (including in HEL which saw me queue up once for 50 minutes to get into the country despite being 9th in line!) to take too great a risk.
 
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Himeno

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I've done 6ish hour connection trips into Tokyo from NRT a few times before, but I know the trains and what I wanted to do. I also didn't leave the area around Nippori/Ueno/Tokyo Stations.
 

daft009

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I'm toying with doing a similar thing at SIN in a couple of weeks.
Heading down to Little India for some nice south indian food and coming back, shower in the lounge and board my flight
 

leadman

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SIN is probably the easiest due to the ease getting to the city. I'm in at 21:50 then out at 01:50 so a neat four hours which means at best 90 minutes. i have done it a few times down to Clarke quay but once ran into a bit of trouble getting taxis back. There is going to be one time that things really do stuff up!

I'm starting to have a rethink as it will be a Saturday night downtown and taxis can be hard. Will depend on the inward flight and the queue at customs.
 
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