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Warsaw or Zagreb for 14-16 hour layover

I wasn't sure where exactly to post this question, so I hope this works . . . need quick responses, if possible.

I'm traveling with my wife and daughter on June 5 or 6 - have an option of layover in Warsaw or Zagreb. We'd get into Warsaw at 5:00pm (depart next morning at 9:40); into Zagreb at 7:00pm (depart at 9:10).

Haven't traveled to these areas, or tried to do something like this, but I'm wondering what suggestions might be as to which place might be the best to visit for the night, given we'd need to get from the airport, get a room, etc. I'm leaning toward Warsaw, as we get in earlier and leave a little later.

We will have been visiting Croatia for several days before these flights, and I aslo have the option to spend another night in Split and depart the next morning at 7:00am - that time is awfully early for my wife and daughter . . . thus considering the departure on the 5th at a later time, which makes the layover possible.

Thanks in advance for your responses. - Johnny J

Posted by
22008 posts

I like your logic. They are both very interesting cities with attractive historic areas you can wander through. I took a look at Google Maps and found that Warsaw-Chopin Airport is just a bit closer to the city than the Zagreb airport is, so you should have a bit more time in Warsaw than you would in Zagreb.

Note that Warsaw is about twice the size of Zagreb, so the location of your lodging vis-à-vis the area where you decide to spend your evening is especially important if you choose Warsaw.

Posted by
5926 posts

Honestly, I really don't enjoy layovers like that. It takes some time to get out of the airport, into the city, checked into your hotel, eat a meal, etc. You end up not really having any time to see the place, and still have to get up painfully early to get back out to the airport. It's really inefficient.

If it were me, I'd try to do one of the following - either:

Catch a later flight out of Warsaw or Zagreb - one that gave you at least a few hours in the daylight to explore the city. I don't think most people get much out of a exploring a foreign city for a couple hours after dinner Or...

Just stay at the airport (in the airport itself if there's a decent transit hotel, or adjacent). Skip the trip into town and back, enjoy a good night's sleep before your long flight home. Or...

Just take that 7 am departure and bite the bullet. A 7 am departure isn't that awful, and getting up at Oh Dark Thirty will put you all in the mood to try to actually get some sleep on the flight home, which is the best way to pass time on a long flight.