Phoenix Layover Guide (PHX)

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Tours/To do | Relax/Sleep | Internet/SIM | Transport | Storage | Money

Phoenix Airport (PHX), also known as Sky Harbor, is one of the most famous civil-military public airports in Maricopa county, Arizona, United States. It is located 4.8 km (2.6 mi) east of downtown Phoenix in Arizona. It is among Arizona’s largest international airports and is famous as the hub of American Airlines. It was first opened in 1928. Phoenix is an amazing city that has mountainous desert terrain perfect for hiking and other activities.

Can you leave Phoenix Airport (PHX) airport during a layover? Do you need a visa?
It's possible for travelers to visit Phoenix during a layover but some visitors will require a visa depending on nationality. (more info).

Tours, Things to do, Sightseeing

Phoenix Organized Tours

Phoenix Zoo

The Phoenix Zoo is a magical site of inquiry, imagination, and discovery, nestled on 125 acres within the gorgeous Papago Park. The zoo is one of the country’s largest non-profit zoos, with over 3,000 animals representing approximately 400 species, including many threatened and endangered species. It includes Bornean Orangutans, Asian Elephants, Sumatran Tigers, Komodo Dragons, Masai Giraffes, and other creatures. It’s an excellent location for making lifelong memories. The zoo’s 2.5-mile walking paths are organized into four sections: Arizona, Africa, Tropics, and Children’s trails. The Africa and Tropics Trails usually take an hour to complete, while the Arizona and Children’s Trails take about half an hour. » book this tour

Grand Canyon National Park Tour

This guided tour will take you around the Grand Canyon National Park. Discover the ancient route in Williams, the final town to be traversed by I-40. You can purchase lunch in Williams or the Grand Canyon while exploring this famous location. Spend about 3 hours admiring the Grand Canyon’s natural splendor within the National Park. In Grand Canyon Village, don’t miss the famous El Tovar Lodge and Hopi House. Take in the stunning views from the South Rim, which are fantastic for photographers. Stop by the shop or relax with the best seat in the house while eating your lunch. » book this tour

Off Road Segway Tour in the Sonoran Desert

This off-road Segway Tour across the Sonoran Desert in Arizona is the most exhilarating excursion in the Scottsdale Area! The perfect retreat is created by warm temps, blue skies, and breathtaking surroundings; you’ll be glad you came out. Your tour takes place off the main road on gorgeous desert trails near the Verde River at the base of Four Peaks Mountain and is operated by a special permit within the Fort McDowell Native American Reservation. The Sonoran Desert’s topography and laidback ambiance are ideal for the Segway. It allows you to get up close and personal with the desert while also providing the ultimate wind-in-your-hair adventure to share with friends and family. » book this tour

Phoenix Things to do / Sightseeing

Camelback Mountain

Camelback Mountain, one of Phoenix’s tallest peaks, is one of the city’s most scenic hiking destinations. Camelback’s top, at more than 2,700 feet in height, offers amazing vistas of Phoenix and Scottsdale and is accessible by the 1.2-mile (very steep) Echo Canyon Trail. If you want a little easier hike, the 1.5-mile Cholla Trail on the mountain’s east side has a more moderate rise, at least until you get close to the peak. The Bobby’s Rock Trail, for example, is one of the numerous beginner-friendly trails that circle Camelback’s base. Camelback Mountain hiking is best done early in the morning or late in the afternoon, when the desert heat is less oppressive.

Time required: 2 hours to half day.

Airport to here: 16 minutes via private transport.

Phoenix Art Meseum

One of the largest art museums in the Southwest is housed within an outstanding example of contemporary architecture (with more than 18,000 works of art, some of them dating as far back as the Renaissance). The Phoenix Art Museum’s permanent collection includes works by Diego Rivera, Frederic Remington, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Frida Kahlo, and it frequently hosts top-notch traveling exhibits. Check out the popular Thorne Miniature Collection, and if you’re traveling with children, don’t miss out on the museum’s youth-oriented programs. The museum’s size and layout, as well as its capacity to appeal to a wide range of age groups, have been lauded by recent visitors. The on-site restaurant and gift shop were also praised by guests.

Time required: 2 hours to half day.

Airport to here: 6 minutes via private transport.

Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright adored the Sonoran Desert, and he placed his winter home and school on here 600 acres at the foot of the McDowell Mountains. Wright built apartments, studios, and theatres with the help of his art and architecture students, using local materials to help the camp blend in with its environment. This National Historic Landmark is still being used as a classroom for aspiring painters and architects. Recent visitors commended both the attraction’s appeal and tour guides, calling it an “architectural gem” in the middle of the desert. Visitors were quick to point out that, because of the entertaining guides and magnificent settings, you don’t need to be an architecture enthusiast to enjoy a tour here.

Time required: 2 hours to half day.

Airport to here: 24 minutes via private transport.

Phoenix Golf Cources

With so many possibilities, finding the appropriate course may be a challenge in and of itself. Follow in the footsteps of movie stars and politicians and visit the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club for a real Phoenician golf experience. The Arizona Biltmore, which opened in 1928 and is recognized as “the granddaddy” of Phoenix country clubs, has two 18-hole PGA Championship courses, a driving range, a putting green, a pro shop, and a full-service restaurant. Because of its notoriety, golf times should be reserved well in advance, and tee times should be scheduled early in the morning or late in the evening to avoid the Arizona heat.

Time required: Half day to Full day.

Airport to here: 9 minutes.

Chase Field

According to recent visitors, watching the Arizona Diamondbacks play at Chase Field is a rewarding experience even if you aren’t a die-hard baseball fan. The park’s unusual features, such as the lifeguard-staffed pool and hot tub located 415 feet from home plate, were praised by reviewers, as were the kid-friendly ambiance, air conditioning, and retractable roof. Even if you aren’t in town for a game, you may take a tour of the ballpark, which is offered three times a day Monday through Saturday all year. After that, stop into Chase Field’s beer garden for a bite to eat or a cold one. In the downtown area, Chase Field is one block south of the Arizona Science Center.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 8 minutes via private transport.

Musical Instrument Meseum

The Musical Instrument Museum, about 20 miles north of Phoenix, welcomes tourists to view its collection of over 6,000 instruments from around the world. Instruments, concert footage, notable artists’ attire, and more may be found on the museum’s first floor. In the first-floor Conservation Lab, visitors may see how instruments are conserved and restored before playing them in the Experience Gallery, which is also on the first level. Rooms are arranged by geographic region on the upper floor, with each showcasing a unique assortment of instruments. Instruments are accompanied by streaming audio and video of the instruments being played in each part to help put them in perspective culturally. The museum also hosts roughly 200 live music performances each year.

Time required: 2 hours to Half day.

Airport to here: 19 minutes via private transport.


Consider a day spent wrapped in seaweed or soaking in mud if hiking and golf aren’t your thing. Phoenix is noted for its superb day and resort spas, which are generally placed within breathtaking desert settings, in addition to its lush green golf courses. Many tired tourists go to the Valley of the Sun for hot rock massages and salt washes when winter arrives or ordinary life gets too much. A visit to the spa can also be informative as well as relaxing because many spas include Native American customs and herbs drawn from the Sonoran Desert in their treatments.

Time required: Half day to Full day.

Airport to here: 10 minutes via private transport.

Pueblo Grand Museum and Central Park

History and archaeology fans should put a visit to Pueblo Grande, a National Historic Landmark and Phoenix’s biggest preserved archaeological site, on their bucket list. This site contains the ruins of an old Hohokam settlement, which once housed roughly 1,000 people and inexplicably vanished around A.D. 1450. A short, accessible walk leads you through what’s left of residences, storage buildings, play spaces, and cemeteries. A tiny on-site museum houses artifacts discovered during the excavation of the site. It is known as a “hidden gem,” with visitors praising the well-kept grounds and small museum. Reviewers recommend giving the attraction at least an hour of your time, however, some have reported spending more than two hours.

Time required: 1 to 2 hours.

Airport to here: 4 minutes via private transport.

Things to Do in Phoenix Airport (PHX)

Relaxing and Sleeping

Airport Lounges and Relaxing
At the Phoenix Airport (PHX), such as "Escape Lounge" located at terminal 4 , "Delta Sky Club", located at the Terminal 3, however "United Club" is soon to launch at the terminal 3. » view all lounges or buy a lounge pass or membership online

Hotel and Sleeping
Many hotels are located around the Phoenix Airport (PHX), to/from the airport shuttle service is free.» view all or book an airport hotel online

Rest Area and Sleeping in Airport
There is no designated rest or sleeping area inside the Phoenix Airport (PHX.

WIFI/Internet and SIM Card

WIFI/Internet: Unlimited free WiFi is available throughout Sky Harbor Airport. Connect to the “Free PHX Boingo WiFi” network.

SIM Card: There are several shops within the airport that sell SIM cards. » buy a global sim card for Phoenix, United States that you can use for other countries as well!

Transportation to/from airport

Taxi: Taxis are readily available 24 hours a day at Terminal 2 (ground level east, door 8), Terminal 3 (ground level north, door 7 and south, door 6), and Terminal 4 (Level 1 north, door 7 and south, door 6). Only Apache Taxi, AAA/Yellow Cab, and Mayflower Cab are authorized to pick up passengers at the airport.

Train: The PHX Sky Train is a free 24-hour automated train that runs between the Terminals 3 and 4, East Economy Parking, and the Valley Metro Rail station on 44th Street and Washington Ave. (more info).

Bus: Valley Metro city bus route 13 travels between 75th Ave/Buckeye Rd (West Phoenix) and the airport. (more info).

Shuttle: At the Phoenix Airport (PHX), Aloft Phoenix Airport, Best Western Airport Inn, Courtyard Phoenix Airport, and Crowne Plaza Phoenix Airport are some of the shuttles which are offering the best services.

Car rentals: The Rental Car Shuttle runs continuously between the airport and the Rental Car Center, stopping to retrieve passengers at the baggage claim level of every terminal. Some of are Budget Dollar, Enterprise, EZ Rental, Fox , Hertz. view available cars or rent a car now online

Parking: Parking depends on the type of vehicle and the duration you have to park.

Luggage Storage & Lockers

There is no facility of Luggage storage & Lockers at the Phoenix Airport. » book a luggage storage or locker at Phoenix Airport (PHX) online (subject to availability).

Money Exchange and Withdrawal

- Phoenix Airport (PHX) ATMs, currency exchanges and banks