A major cruise ship port and university city, Southampton is also the gateway to southern England. It has one airport, which mainly serves domestic routes, but also connects the city to a range of popular European destinations. The airport has excellent rail connections to both Southampton itself and London, and buses run to plenty of southern cities as well.
There is only one airport in the Southampton area: Southampton Airport, the site of the first test flight of the Spitfire fighter plane. The airport is located near Eastleigh and the center of Southampton is around four miles away. Transfers to various parts of Southampton or the cruise ship port rarely take longer than 20-25 minutes.
Southampton isn't a large airport, but it has become a major hub for the budget airline Flybe. Flybe offers a wide range of connections to Southampton from UK cities like Glasgow, Leeds, Edinburgh, and Newcastle, as well as European cities like Malaga and Faro. Aurigny also offers regular connections from Jersey and Guernsey, which are handy for those coming from the Channel Islands.
Flying to Southampton offers plenty of advantages for those coming from the USA. Visitors can easily transfer by air from Paris, Glasgow, Manchester, or Amsterdam, all of which are common arrival points for flights to Europe. While rail services from Glasgow or Manchester have to run through London, and buses tend to be much slower, flights require no changes. Southampton also offers easy access to popular tourist destinations like Brighton, the Isle of Wight, the New Forest, and Dorset so it's a handy place to touch down when exploring England's southern coast.
When getting around Southampton, it helps to get hold of a PlusBus ticket. This essential purchase provides unlimited bus journeys in the urban area, making it easy to reach Southampton FC football matches, visit friends at the university, or generally tour the city center. When visitors explore, there are some attractions that shouldn't be missed. Solent Sky is a must-visit for aviation fans, with its collection of vintage planes. Going even further back in time, the Medieval Merchant's House on French Street is like a little time capsule, painstakingly recreating a 14th-century home.