I had a very long layover in Stockholm last weekend: 14 hours I was going to be “stuck” at Stockholm Arlanda Airport.
Have you ever been stuck at an airport for more than 10 hours?
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 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.
So, I made the most of my 14-hour layover in Stockholm!
These Are My Recommendations for What to Do on a Layover in Stockholm, Arlanda Airport:
1 Get Out: Explore Stockholm!
If your layover in Stockholm 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. If 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 a longer layover in Stockholm you might want to take a sightseeing tour by boat, a guided bike tour (Stockholm is a great city for cycling!) to really get to know the city or what about a sightseeing tour by segway?
TIP: Planning to spend only 6 hours in Stockholm or less? 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’ll find signs throughout the airport directing you to Arlanda Express.
2. Stay In: Shop, Dine & Relax at Skycity
If you’ve returned to Arlanda airport after exploring Stockholm or if your layover in Stockholm isn’t long enough to go into the city, the airport itself also has plenty to offer.
Arlanda Airport has some 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
Since I had an overnight layover in Stockholm, I decided to 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 to start your day.
The hotel is located inside Arlanda Airport, at 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 a long layover in Stockholm. 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 the 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 click here.
Tip: if you are looking for cheaper hotels, Radisson Blu has a hotel inside Arlanda Airport as well, which is a slightly cheaper option. Alternatively, check out this list of hotels close to Arlanda Airport, which include several budget options and a hostel.
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.
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