• Arrivals

Long Layover at San Francisco International Airport? Here are a Few Ways to Spend the Time

Sfo international

Nothing is as frustrating as having to endure a long airport layover while traveling. When you have a particularly long layover, however, you can often find ways to use the time to explore rather than being trapped at the airport. Below are some ideas for those who have a layover at San Francisco International Airport that will last at least eight hours.

Downtown San Francisco is only a few miles from the airport and is very easily accessible using the city's public transportation called Bay Area Rapid Transit or BART. You should figure that you will need about 45 minutes of travel time each way. Of course, you should also allow a bit of leeway, so just to be safe assume one hour each way. If you have an eight hour layover, that still gives you about six hours of time to explore downtown San Francisco. Here are a few of the things you could do.

Alcatraz is one of the most well-known former prisons in the country. You can visit the prison and stand inside the cells and walk the halls that some of the most famous criminals in history, such as Al Capone and Robert Stroud, AKA the Birdman of Alcatraz, walked.

Academy of Sciences
This San Francisco attraction features exhibits that will appeal to all ages. You'll find a planetarium, aquarium, natural history museum and more.

Asian Art Museum
This is just one of the many art museums located in downtown San Francisco. With both permanent and temporary exhibits, you'll see something new each time you visit.

Cable Cars
Take a ride on the cable cars that have been transporting passengers since the middle of the 19th century.

USS Pampanito
This World War II submarine sank several Japanese ships during her time in the Pacific. The submarine, which is now a museum, is open to the public for tours.

In the Airport
If you have a shorter layover, or just don't feel comfortable leaving the airport, you will find some ways to kill time right at the facility. The International Terminal has a spa where you can get a little pampering. Showers are also located in that terminal. A number of shopping and dining options are available throughout the airport. You can also visit Underwater Planet: Learning About Fishes of the World. This aquarium features three exhibits highlighting various types of underwater environments. Instead of suffering through a layover, use the tips above to enjoy it!

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