It’s all about the journey, not the destination.
We’ve already looked at the best airport-to-city rides inside the U.S., but what about elsewhere in the world? When you sit and think about it, you realize it’s a great question that sadly many travelers, especially business travelers, don’t have an answer for because they don’t spend time looking out the car window when heading to or from the airport. Instead, many just have their noses buried deep in their smartphone, trying to catch up on emails, or making phone calls to colleagues.
My favorite airport-to-city ride outside the U.S. has to be Rome, London, or Paris. The first part of these rides aren’t anything special, but once you get into the city center, my jaw just starts to drop.
It never gets old seeing that European architecture, especially famous landmarks like the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, and Buckingham Palace just to name a few. And each always seems to be different every time because of the weather, lighting, or the route. Seeing them always makes me pumped to be in the city and alive.
I reached out to some frequent travelers who crisscross the country and world regularly to get their input. Here are their picks for the most scenic airport-to-city rides outside of the U.S.
“For me, the most scenic international airport-to-city ride is the one from Keflavík International Airport to Reykjavik in Iceland. The Icelandic landscape is otherworldly and looks like the surface of the moon. It’s amazing to take in the dramatic views on the way from the airport to the capital.”
Julie Falconer, A Lady in London
“I think a lot of folks take the train these days when they head from Hong Kong Airport on Lantau Island to Kowloon or Hong Kong Central, but I still enjoy the drive in a car, mostly because you really appreciate the size and power of this place. The endless, faceless tankers loading and unloading crates of cargo are hugely impressive, and there’s row upon row of apartment buildings that reach into the sky. I don’t know if it’s still there, but I remember there used to be a giant golf driving range perched among a huge development of towers high above the street (or so I recall). Pretty soon, you’re under Hong Kong Harbour, emerging into one of the great cities of the world. Not necessarily a scenic drive, but an imposing and impressive one.”
Jim Byers, Jim Byers Travel
“Instead of highlighting the drive from Copenhagen Airport to the city center, I want to feature the drive to nearby Malmo, Sweden. An easy 45-minute drive will take you from one Scandinavian country to the next, but the real star is crossing the Øresund Bridge. The bridge runs for seven miles as you travel across the Øresund strait between Sweden and Denmark and is the perfect first look at this gorgeous part of the world.”
Matthew Long, LandLopers
“It’s always so special to take a boat from Venice airport into the city. If you’ve got lots of luggage, it’s wise to spring for a private speedboat; otherwise, you can take the public vaporetto. The views of the city provide the perfect welcome.”
Ramsey Qubein, Daily Travel Tips
“The airport landing in Bagan, Myanmar is one of the most unique landings in the world. From above, you can see thousands of pagodas littering the small city. The drive from the airport to Old Bagan will give you a glimpse of the captivating pagodas as you come into town on the short drive. While you drive into town, you will see entire families piled onto a single motorbike, horse-drawn carts, and tourists biking around.”
Valerie Joy Wilson, Trusted Travel Girl
“I love the desert, so the drive from Los Cabos International Airport through mountains and desert before finally reaching the beautiful coast is a real thrill each time I go down there.”
Lee Abbamonte, LeeAbbamonte.com