Preparing for a 10 Hour Layover

skyline of Frankfurt at Hauptwache
The layover hits almost right in the middle of my 40 hours of travel to Cape Town, South Africa. 40 hours? Yes, 40 hours, 10 of it in Frankfurt, Germany.

I can choose the very conservative option of playing it safe and hang at the airport. It may be less stressful, but I think sitting for ten hours in preparation for my 11 hour flight to Johannesburg would drive me crazy.

The other option is to take the train from the airport into downtown Frankfurt to visit a few of the sights and to have an early dinner that includes anything other than airport food. The ability to get my body moving and my blood pumping sounds great. While I’ll be careful about what I plan so that I’m back in the airport in plenty of time for my next flight, I can still take a few hours to see a very small part of Frankfurt. It’s a beautiful city in the country of my ancestors and I don’t want to miss out.

Here is how I’ve prepared:

  1. Reviewed and printed the map for the Frankfurt airport
  2. The train to downtown actually leaves from the terminal where I’ll be and there is an information booth nearby where I can get the scoop prior to leaving
  3. Checked out possible places I want to visit on Trip Advisor and other tourism sites
  4. Discovered I can leave my carry on luggage at airport storage so I can travel light
  5. Made sure my travel outfit will include comfortable shoes and a jacket

I’m looking forward to this part of my trip almost as much as the rest. It will be good to get out an walk for a few hours. I have a few surprises planned and will be posting photos.

Do you play it safe on long layovers or go experience new adventures while you are on the ground?


I’ve never had a 10 hour layover, if I did I would certainly do as you did and plan a little outing to pass the time.. I would want to tire myself out so I could sleep during the next long jaunt..


Emelyn, I’m excited about even this brief visit. Who knows? Maybe I’ll be planning a longer return trip. 🙂


Holly, I would stay at the airport, too, if I was traveling with kids. They would add a different level of complexity to the process.


Ten hours of sitting around in the middle of long flights where I’m sitting would push me over the edge, Kathy. I hope you have time for a brief, but fun, adventure in Mexico City. Enjoy your trip!


That’s my plan. I don’t want to be wide awake for the next flight of 11 hours. Plus, I get to see another amazing city. Win/win I’d say. 🙂

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