Philadelphia Airport Layover Ideas: What to do if you Have Many Hours - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Philadelphia Airport Layover Ideas: What to do if you Have Many Hours

The Holiday season is that time of the year when a majority of people schedule their travel plans. So, the chances are higher that you may plan a layover while flying around the world. But have you thought about what you would do during a long layover? You can plan a fun trip to explore the tourist spots in the city. 

Philadelphia Airport is one of the biggest Airports in the US, you can find plenty of options to kill some extra time. But there are plenty of options for you to explore if you step out of the airport premises. It’s totally up to you which one works best for you. 

If You Don’t Have Time To Leave The Airport

The Philadelphia Airport has a total of seven terminals including A East, A West, B, C, D, E, and F. The international traffic is mainly handled by the Terminals, the commuter traffic is handled by the F Terminal. The fact that all terminals at the PHL airport are connected, you don’t need a monorail to walk through all of them. 

However, some of you may not feel like walking through the terminals. If so, you can always take a shuttle service that runs every 5 minutes from Terminals F to A-East and C respectively. Those who take the shuttle will not have to go through the screening process all over again. 

If you don’t have time to leave the airport during a layover at PHL Airport, here is what you can do on a layover at Philadelphia Airport:

1. Check out the food court

There is a good chance that you may be craving your favorite food in case of a long layover at the Philadelphia Airport. You will find a variety of kiosks, cafes, fancier and casual restaurants. There you can find the best food to satisfy your cravings. 

There are plenty of cuisine options, so it’s up to you if you want seafood, Mexican, Mediterranean, or something else. Don’t forget to try the following:

  1. Pizza and pasta from Aldo Lamberti Trattoria

  2. Made-to-order sushi from Noobar

  3. Cheesesteak from Geno’s Steaks

  4. Crab fries from Chickie & Pete

2. Relax in a lounge

The Airport lounges are the best place to spend time and relax until your next flight. Those who are flying with United or American Airlines need to pay a fee to stay in their lounges. You don’t need to be a First Class or Business passenger to enter the lounge. 

The best thing about the airport lounges is that you can get access to numerous facilities at the same place. Passengers pay a single fee to get a comfortable place, drinks, and food. You can either pay at the door or use your lounge membership program to get access to the lounge.

3. Go shopping

Philadelphia Airport is one of the best airports for shopping. You can browse through a lot of shops to purchase some necessary goods. Travelers can spend their time exploring sports like technology boutiques, bookshops, convenience stores, and Duty-Free areas. Women must be interested to try the free samples available at the Body Shop, L’Occitane, and Kiehl’s. You can also find some popular brands like Brookstone, Victoria’s Secret, and Gap. 

Each Terminal has kiosks, but you must stop by the shopping area located at the B/C Connector.  It’s an avenue that is filled with light and joins the two terminals. There you can find some big brands like Sunglass Hut, Tumi, Swarovski, and L’Occitane. Besides, head over to the F Terminal to visit the Sound Balance branch, Kiehl’s along with a green-tech boutique.

4. Visit the library

Those who love traveling often love to read on a plane. However, it is the best way to kill the waiting time too. You can use the virtual library to download new additions for your eReader. Consider downloading a classic title to read while waiting for your next flight. Moreover, if you sign up for a free library card, even better.   

5. Pamper yourself

Who doesn’t need to pamper themselves? The layover time is a good opportunity for you to spend some time to relax. You can get facials, pedicures, massages, and manicures at XpresSpa.

6. Browse the art

If you are an art lover, we have a piece of good news for you. There are dozens of artists working in this area. So, Philadelphia Airport promotes its artwork by arranging regular exhibitions.  So, you can ask the information desk to know about any such exhibitions.

7. Free WiFi

There are thousands of people who can’t stay without the internet. So, the free WiFi facility available at the airport so that you can kill off the time by using social media.

9. Take a nap

If your layover is a bit long, it is more likely that you would want to enjoy a sound sleep. If so, just head over to Terminal C to get access to the comfortable rest areas inside security. Moreover, consider moving towards the International Arrivals Hall or the walkways of Terminal A in case you are pre-security. 

Also, we have heard that the information desk staff (at Terminal C & F) helped some people by providing free sleep kits (including a pillow and a blanket). If you have got some extra money, you can always rest out a room at Minute Suites. You will find this hotel between Terminals A and B. 

Those who are looking for an alternative option can head over to Terminal B to reach the Marriott hotel on the airport premises. Many other airports are located within 15 – 20 minutes drive from the airport. Notably, a free shuttle service runs to pick up and drop the passengers at the airport.  

Best Ways to Spend a Long Layover in Philadelphia

This guide has been designed for those who are either affected by a delayed flight or planned a layover in Philadelphia. They have multiple options to spend their spare time to make it memorable.  You can either walk around the city or take a mode of public transport to explore the Center City. 

How to get out of the airport?

It is better to opt for an expensive cab ride if you have a couple to hours to explore the city. However, a budget option would be to ride a train that costs only $16 for a round trip. People who have some extra money can even book a car to go through multiple stops within a short duration of time. 

How To Handle Your Luggage?

It would be impossible for you to leave without your luggage. Thus, you need to ensure that your luggage has already been checked through your upcoming flight. However, if it doesn’t happen, you will probably have to carry everything with you. It’s because the luggage storage facility is not available at the airport. 

In addition, those of you who decide to stay at the airport need to plan everything. The entertainment, transportation, entertainment, and dining costs should remain under budget. Some people managed to get the train and checked one bag by spending $55. 

Three Hours Layover Plan

If you have three hours, you can get to Center City by hopping on SEPTA’s Regional Rail Airport line. You need to get off at the Jefferson Station, take the Market-Frankford line to reach and explore the Old City. 

It is one of the best places to explore historical sites. Some worth seeing sites would be Independence Hall and Liberty Bell. Moreover, you can also observe the landscape by resting in any of the parks. Ice cream lovers should stop by Franklin Fountain to grab a cone. But before you get back to the Airport, don’t forget to try the super-fresh sandwich available at United by Blue. 

Five Hours Layover Plan

Those who have five hours can get off at Jefferson Station. It’s a great place to take a food tour, especially for foodies. Consider exploring the stalls by stopping at the Reading Terminal Market. However, don’t focus on a single dish because there are many other places to explore just a few blocks away.  

Travelers can find some good restaurant options in Midtown Village. You can try everything from traditional Spanish tapas, wood-fired pizzas, and vegan tacos. Besides, you can check out the cocktail bars, beer, and wine. But do check out the Dilworth Plaza and the beautiful City Hall before you get back to the Airport. 

Seven Hours Layover Plan

If you have planned a seven hours layover plan can take the train to the Suburban Station stop. From there, you can go to the Rittenhouse to find some interesting store and restaurant options. 

Once you explore the place, head over to the Benjamin Franklin Parkway to reach the Philadelphia Museum of Art by walking through Logan Circle and Eakins Oval. It’s fine if you are running short of time to explore the whole museum. It would be great to see and get inspired by its structure. Now it’s time to step towards the Suburban Station. 

Overnight Layover Plan

Many of you may be departing early in the morning or arriving late. It is suggested that you should consider staying at hotels including Marriott’s Category 7, Sheraton’ Suites, and Hilton’s DoubleTree. 

Tips for spending a long layover in Philadelphia

Rent A Car

Those of you who are interested in sightseeing should rent out a car first. Although it’s a bit pricey option a rented car will make it easier for you to cover more locations within a short duration of time. 

Catch A Cab

If you can’t afford to rent a car, there are some alternatives as well. You can either take the rail or catch a cab such as Lyft or Uber. However, keep this in your mind that you won’t be able to find luggage storage at the airport. So, the carry-on luggage is going to be with you. 

Take A Power Nap

If you are feeling tired, consider taking a power nap to stay fresh. There are many hotels at the airport where you can comfortably sleep. 

Reserve Your Tickets

Whether you have a short layover or a long one, it is better to reserve your Independence Hall free timed-entry tickets. This technique would work for those who are unsure about reaching the visitor center early in the morning (08:30 AM). 

Engage Your Kids

Those people who are traveling with younger kids (5-10 years old) should head towards the visitor center to grab a copy of the Junior Ranger booklet. This is a good way to keep engaging your kids with learning activities. 


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