Six stopover city tours that are completely free

Roshina Jowaheer

Airport stopovers can be a drag. Most of us opt for direct flights to our long-haul holiday destinations just to avoid the dreaded, long layovers, but we've finally found a reason for you to fly indirect - city tours courtesy of your airline or arrival airport. And they're completely free!

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A great way to add an extra day trip to your holiday and make the most of your free time before the next leg of your journey, these complimentary tours allow you to take in some of the world's major cities and offer perfect tasters of places you've never visited, with the likes of Singapore, Salt Lake City and Doha providing trips into town.

We've picked seven of the best free city tours to make your stopover a more enjoyable experience....

Salt Lake City

If you're landing at Salt Lake City International Airport for a layover of two or more hours, you can register at the airport information desk in Terminal 1 or 2 for the free shuttle to take you into Utah's capital city for a tour of Downtown's Temple Square. The tours leave every hour between 11am and 4pm, taking you to the beautifully landscaped 10-acre site where you can see highlights including Assembly Hall, Beehive House, Joseph Smith Memorial Building, Salt Lake Temple and the Tabernacle. Visa requirements for UK transit passengers: ESTA.


Transit passengers at Changi Airport can explore Singapore's sights and sounds on the Free Singapore Tour. If you have at least 5.5 hours to spare before your connecting flight, you can join the 2.5-hour guided Heritage Tour, which runs four times a day, or the two-times daily City Sights Tour if you have at least 6 hours before your next flight. The Heritage Tour takes you through Singapore's past and present, visiting the colonial and cultural districts of Chinatown, Little India and Kampong Glam, while the City Sights Tour showcases modern Singapore, with a short stopover at Merlion Park and Gardens by the Bay. Visa requirements for UK transit passengers: None.



Flying into Narita Airport is a treat if you have a few hours to spare before your next flight. The Narita Transit Program offers several options for visitors to experience the beauty of Japan, as well as some culture, history and shopping. Choose from Volunteer Guide Tours or Self Tours. The three-hour Volunteer Tours are run by local guides who take you to Narita City to visit the famous Narita-san Shinsho-ji Temple, the town of Shibayama to discover aeronautical science history and an aircraft pilot experience, or on an exploration of Japanese country life in Tako. The Self Tours take in the Shisui Premium Outlets or the AEON Mall Narita. Visa requirements for UK transit passengers: None.


Qatar Airways passengers who have connections of more than five hours can receive a complimentary tour of Doha to take in some of the city's most famous sights. There are four tours during the day - simply look for the Doha City Tour on arrival at the start of Concourse B. The tour takes two hours and 45 minutes and visits the Museum of Islamic Art, Katara Cultural Centre, the Pearl-Qatar and Souq Waqif. The tours are available on a first-come, first-served basis and cannot be booked. Visa requirements for UK transit passengers: Free Transit Visa with Qatar Airways.

Topkapi Palace before Marmara sea, Istanbul, Turkey
Topkapi Palace before Marmara sea, Istanbul, Turkey


Turkish Airline passengers with a waiting time of at least six hours in Istanbul can visit historical places and beautiful restaurants on the free TourIstanbul from Ataturk Airport. Simply visit the Hotel Desk 30 minutes before the start of one of the three-times daily city tours, which even include entry to museums and meals. Some of the sites on the schedule include Topkapi Palace, Obelisk of Theodosius, Blue Mosque, Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts and the Grand Bazaar. Visa requirements for UK transit passengers: e-Visa

South Korea

Have a few hours' waiting time at Incheon International Airport? There's a taste of local culture to be had on the exciting transit tours which take in the popular sights and sounds of Korea. The Free Transit Tours are for passengers with as little as one hour to spare or even five. Choices include the Incheon City Tour, Seoul City Tour, Temple Tour and more. Each tour is accompanied by an English-speaking guide and visits a wide range of sights, from Korea's historical treasures to shopping in the trendiest districts. Visa requirements for UK transit passengers: None.

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