Doctor's Review: Medicine on the Move

December 15, 2017
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Long layover? Make a day of it

Everyone hates languishing for hours waiting for their next flight. How long can duty-free shopping and sudoku be fun? If you have five hours to spare, consider one of these quick jaunts into the city centre.

Amsterdam

Dutch Railways (NS) trains leave every 10 minutes from Schipol Airport. Time to Amsterdam Centraal Station: 15 to 20 minutes. Round-trip fare from the airport is €6.90.

From Centraal Station, take Tram 2 or 5 to the Van Baerlestraat stop and admire the vibrant work at the Van Gogh Museum (vangoghmuseum.nl). Buy your ticket (€14) online and you'll skip the lineups. Two tram rides cost €4.80.

Dublin

Aircoach buses run every 10 minutes (6AM to 8PM). Time to City Centre-Trinity College on Grafton Street: 40 minutes. Round-trip fare from the airport is €12.

Head to the Old Library at Trinity College for a glimpse at the 1200-year-old illuminated Book of Kells (www.bookofkells.ie), before making the rounds of the Temple Bar neighbourhood and stopping for a pint at the Victorian-era Stag's Head Pub.

Frankfurt

S-Bahn rapid transit system runs every 10 minutes from Frankfurt am Main Airport. Time to Hauptbahnhof rail station: 11 to 15 minutes. (Delays are frequent, allow an extra 30 minutes for your return.) Round-trip fare from the airport is €9.

From Hauptbahnhof, take the U-Bahn (subway) one stop to Domrömer and explore the stately Old Town, including the Römerberg a 12th-century square with stunning half-timbered houses. Two trips on the U-Bahn cost €3.

London

Heathrow Express trains run every 15 minutes. (No stop at T4.) Time to London Paddington station: 15 to 20 minutes. Heathrow Connect trains run every 30 to 60 minutes. (No stop at T5.) Time to London Paddington station: 25-30 minutes.

Heathrow Express is £32 round trip. Heathrow Connect is £15.80 roundtrip.

From Paddington, ride the Tube (subway) five stops to South Kensington and take in the free art and design collections at the Victoria & Albert Museum (vam.ac.uk) before strolling in nearby Hyde Park. Two trips on the Underground cost £6.

Paris

RER Line B trains leave Charles-de-Gaulle Terminals 1 and 2 every 10 minutes. Time to Châtelet-Les Halles station: 45 minutes. (Check your return train carefully; not all northbound trains stop at the airport stations.) A round-trip RER ticket is €17.

From Châtelet-Les Halles, transfer to Métro line 1 for two stops to St-Paul.Wander the narrow streets of the Marais, one of Paris' oldest and now hippest neighbourhoods, and discover the city's history at the free Musée Carnavalet (carnavalet.paris.fr). Two Métro rides cost €3.20.

This article was accurate when it was published. Please confirm rates and details directly with the companies in question.

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