Have you even been stuck at an airport for more than 10 hours?
That is what happened to me last weekend: 14 hours at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
Of course I wasn’t really looking forward to that since in the end we all just want to get to where we are going. But, it turned out to be one of my best layovers!
What I have decided is to think of layovers as an additions to my travels. A layover allows you to get out and explore, even if you only see the inside of the airport. Look at it as a positive experience, one that allows you to meet new people and see new things.
I have met some very interesting people (and even made friends) during my layovers, I have tasted some great local food and really enjoyed the facilities of certain airports.
These are my recommendations for making the most of your layover at Stockholm Arlanda Airport:
1 Get out: explore Stockholm!
If your layover is long enough, leave the airport! Arlanda Airport is only 20 minutes by train from the center of Stockholm. Take the Arlanda Express, a special train going from the airport to Stockholm Central Station, which runs roughly every 15 minutes from around 5AM until around 1AM (check Arlandaexpress.com for exact times for when you are traveling).
Arriving at Stockholm Central Station puts you right in the heart of the city. And if, like me, you really only have a few hours in Stockholm then make sure you at least explore Gamla Stan, which is within easy walking distance from the train station. Gamla Stan is Stockholm’s oldest district and one of the best-preserved medieval city centers in the world. Walk through the winding streets lined with stores full of handicrafts, antiques and art galleries. Stop at a cozy cafe for a cup of coffee or a nice lunch or pop into one of the bakeries for a quick snack. The Royal Palace and Stockholm Cathedral are also in Gamla Stan and worth a visit.
If you have more time in Stockholm you might want to take a sightseeing tour by boat or a guided walking tour to really get to know the city.
For more information about what to see and do in Stockholm visit Stockholm’s official tourism website: Visitstockholm.com
TIP: Arlanda Express offers a discounted round trip ticket if you return within 6 hours. These tickets cannot be booked online. Buy them at the Arlanda Express counter at the airport. You will find signs throughout the airport directing you to Arlanda Express.
2. Stay in: shop, dine & relax at SkyCity
Arlanda Airport offers great facilities. SkyCity, located between terminal 4 and 5, is a shopping and dining area located before airport security and therefore also accessible if you haven’t been able to check in yet. It offers a great number of restaurants, some nice shops and airport hotels.
After airport security there are numerous additional shops and restaurant, comfortable places to sit and relax, free wifi (unfortunately only free for up to 3 hours) and enough sockets to recharge your phone, laptop, etc.
For more information about what Arlanda Airport has to offer visit the airport’s website.
3. Sleep: Stay at Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport
The best thing I did was check in to the Clarion airport hotel. I have spent enough time sleeping on uncomfortable airport benches to appreciate a good rest in between long flights!
Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport is listed number 1 on Tripadvisor for hotels at or around the airport so I had to check it out for myself.
My conclusion: A very comfortable and perfectly located hotel with beds so comfortable I wish I could buy one for my home and a very extensive breakfast buffet.
The hotel is located in SkyCity so you are literally only minutes away from your gate which is great when you have an early flight to catch or if, like me, you arrive late at night and all you want to do is go to sleep.
Quick Hotel Facts
- 414 Luxury hotel rooms
- 2 Restaurants
- 44 Meeting rooms
- Heated outdoor pool
- Sun terrace
- Gym & sauna
- Free wifi
- Sky Bar
- Breakfast from 5AM
- 24 Hour front desk
My hotel room was very spacious, contemporary and well maintained. Apart from having the best bed I have slept in for a while, the room offered a very comfortable bathroom, a flat screen tv, a desk, a good sized wardrobe and a great view on top of that.
The hotel room offers all the comforts you need when you have to spend time at the airport. And if you really want to spoil yourself you can even order breakfast in bed!
The breakfast is definitely worth mentioning first here. From a good range of breads, cereals, fruit and pastries to a wide selection of hot dishes and an omelet station offering eggs made to order; there is an extremely wide choice here! Breakfast is served in a spacious yet very cozy breakfast area and is offered from as early as 5AM. If your flight leaves even earlier than that you can order a basic breakfast from 4AM.
The hotel has a contemporary and comfortable feel throughout with a large lounge next to reception, a beautiful restaurant on the 12th floor and the SkyBar with a great view. Their gym is larger and better equipped than I have seen in other similar quality hotels and the heated pool, although small, is a nice extra!
What I enjoyed most though was the feeling of comfort and relaxation throughout the hotel. Whether you want to relax in the lounge, sit and read in the restaurant or just get some rest in your room, the look and feel of the hotel just makes you relax.
Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport might not be a hotel for the budget traveler but if you are looking for convenience and comfort I highly recommend staying here. With its friendly and extremely helpful staff and its location right in the center of the airport it doesn’t get much more convenient.
For more information about Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport and to book online visit their website
The Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport is part of Nordic Choice Hotels with 187 hotels in 5 countries. For more information: Nordicchoicehotels.com
Stockholm is the capital and largest city of Sweden. It is a cosmopolitan place with both classical and modern architecture, and a captivating Old Town, Gamla Stan. The inner city is made up of 14 islands across Lake Mälaren and three streams into the brackish Baltic Sea. Over 30% of the city area is made up of waterways, and another 30% is made up of green areas. Air and water quality are said to be among the best of European cities.
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I was offered a complimentary stay at Clarion Hotel Arlanda Airport. This however in no way affects my opinions. I would never recommend anything I didn’t enjoy myself and only share my honest opinion.