What do you do when you have an eight hour layover in an airport overnight? Would you get yourself an airport hotel that you’re conceivably going to only use for six hours?
Those of us on a budget might consider sleeping in the terminal, as while the airport itself is closed, often at least one terminal is left open. I have done this before at Los Angeles and it was not particularly fun, but my experience in Stockholm was different.
Overnight at Stockholm Arlanda Airport
Sleeping In Airports is a web site dedicated to those who decide to stay overnight between flights. Before travel, I checked out the page on Stockholm Arlanda Airport and found it was thought to be a decent place to crash. We landed just before 11pm, and check-in was to open around 5am for my onward connection.
After collecting my baggage, I hoofed it from Terminal 2 to the 24 hour 7-11 in Terminal 5 to pick up some water. From there I went to Sky City, the shopping area between terminals and found myself a bench.
Sitting down, I managed to doze off for a little while, before becoming wide awake around 2am. It was a little chilly so I put on a hoodie and went for a walk. Quite a number of people were stretched out on benches, or sitting at tables talking to pass the time.
Heading back to my bench, I put on some music and bopped away, much to the bemusement of some workers in the nearby McDonald’s and probably those watching on CCTV too! Eventually around 4:45am I headed back to Terminal 2, checked in and went to the lounge.
Surprisingly the time passed extremely quickly, unlike my LAX experience where seven hours felt like forever. The reason is that Stockholm Arlanda is brightly lit, feels fairly warm and is a welcoming place to stay.
Cleaning people periodically passed through on motorised equipment and security staff walked through regularly. They didn’t bat an eyelid at me chilling on my bench, so common is it for people to do this.
An eyemask and ear plugs would have made for the total sleep experience, and others were sleeping, using carry on luggage as pillows. All in all it turned out to be a lovely experience and I saved €60 on a hostel room. I’d certainly recommend doing it!
Have you ever stayed overnight at an airport when it was closed when between flights? What was your experience like? Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below.