When I made my travel arrangements, I knew my flight from Marrakech to the Netherlands (Amsterdam) would arrive around 2 am.  This would mean an overnight layover with my next flight leaving around 5 am.

I just couldn’t handle sitting around or sleeping in an airport for 3 hours overnight by myself.   Furthermore, there is one of thing I don’t do — is sleep in an airport. That is a big NO!  So I extended my layover to about 15 hours and so this is how it all panned out.

Accommodation

I found a hotel adjacent to the airport for a reasonable price. citizenM is a boutique hotel that targets travelers with long layovers. citizenM says:

Always stay in a hotel as nice as your home (unless you live in a tent).

We realise that when you’re at home, you mostly use the bedroom for sleeping in and hang out in the living room and kitchen instead. So, we cunningly designed our rooms around sleeping, our lobby to feel like a living room and our canteen to be all homely and, er, kitcheny. Clever, eh?

I love their sayings and when I arrived I felt like I was in the 23rd century. The rooms were like pods and I was literally in heaven for 5 hours. Oh! Did I sleep!

After leaving my pod, I checked my bag and decided to explore another area of Netherlands (Utrecht) before my flight to Brussels.  This past December, I visited Amsterdam and Haarlam.

Utrecht

So you are probably wondering how did I pick Utrecht. Well, I chose the city due to the proximity to the airport (about a 30-minute train ride) and the city centre.

Utrecht is located in the central Netherlands and the fourth largest city that has been a religious center for centuries. It has a medieval old town, canals, Christian monuments and a historic university.

I guess I picked the right city to explore for several hours. So are you ready for the visual walk?

When you think of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is the main city that comes to mind. However, the surrounding areas have so much to offer and to explore. Make sure to watch out for the bicyclist. They are danger on two wheels ?

Lastly, make sure to enjoy lunch by the canal.

  1. What a fun time! I would’ve totally stayed for a day layover too. Though sadly, I’ve had to sleep in an airport twice in my life… It’s no fun at all, and the next day is usually pretty shot. So glad you got to go to a hotel instead. 🙂 And then see all the beauty that is Utrecht. The architecture, bikes, and canals? Jealous! Love love love your photos. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow! I’ll hopefully travel to Amsterdam by the end of the year, I find your guide quite helpful! This place has the perfect balance between culture and party! Thanks

  3. I definitely have to start making more out of my layovers! I usually have them in very unpractical times, they’re not long enough or then I simply just have too much stuff with me to be able to enjoy about it. I’m flying to Scotland tomorrow and had a chance of doing 22 hour layover in Copenhagen which would have been absolutely great but as I’m sorta moving I got way too much stuff to drag around 🙁 Utrecht looks beautiful, I’ve been wanting to visit it for ages!

  4. Fun! I need to try and make more of my layovers, for sure. I had a 45 minute layover in Amsterdam (gasp!) and had to go through customs on my way to Prague. Not the type of itinerary I’d recommend. Love the pictures and yes, cyclists are everywhere!!

  5. Well planned your time during the layover.This hotel looks really good and good for a comfortable stay.Photos from Utrecht are wonderful and I like such a visit around small towns watching the monuments and historical buildings!

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