Airports are the gateway to a city or country, and often the first impression you’ll get of a new place. For that reason, every city wants one of the world’s best airports. While all airports are designed to get us from A to B, some simply do it better than others. Key factors include amenities, restaurants, shopping, and comfort to make any airport a true success. It’s super important that cities get their airports right in order to cast the right impression. Here’s a guide to the world’s best airports to make any layover a joy.
Singapore Changi Airport
This unlikely comes as a surprise thanks to the phenomenal press about the incredible features of Singapore Changi Airport. Each year, the airport accommodates for over 65 million passengers. It aims to go above and beyond your typical airport with an array of amazing features. In fact, it’s pretty much a destination in itself. There are over twenty lounges, two round the clock movie theatres, and a rooftop swimming pool. It’s beautiful also, even boasting an onsite sunflower garden. The perfect insight into a stay in impressive Singapore itself. You may have recently heard about its latest addition – the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. The airport also has a plan to install Jewel. This is a billion dollar development with dining and retail across ten floors. Efficiency, beauty, and pleasure, all in one – this is why Changi is one of the world’s best airports.
London Heathrow Airport
If you’re looking to shop in an airport, look no further than London Heathrow. There’s an incredible amount of shops, from day to day convenience stores through to high end luxury. This glorified shopping mall serves a whopping 80 million air passengers each year. Therefore, it certainly does its job in providing great retail therapy. As an added touch, passengers can indulge in pre-flight personal shopping and reserve products online for airport pickup. Heathrow really goes above and beyond when it comes to offering a wonderful passenger experience. There’s a lot to be said for its dining opportunities too. You’ll find a wide selection of restaurants from European cafes to old fashioned pubs, to dine-in eateries.
Proudly standing as one of Europe’s best airports, Munich Airport impressively has its own brewery. Say hello to the Airbrau. Here, guests can enjoy sauerkraut, sausage, and live entertainment along with their beer. Other attractions include the world’s largest artificial standing wave, even hosting a contest for professionals. There’s a Visitors Park with a playground and mini golf course. In the winter, you’ll also find an authentic Christmas market with an ice rink and hundreds of Christmas trees to celebrate the season. It’s one of the world’s best airports thanks to its impressive punctuality rate for flights taking off.
Vancouver is well renowned for its stunning outdoor beauty. Its international airport truly capitalizes on this. Passengers arrive into fountains, native art, and nature displays that give an immediate insight into British Columbia’s beauty. It’s essentially a gallery that displays the rich history and culture of the Canadian province. Passengers can witness its giant marine exhibits, including a giant aquarium that’s home to native creatures. Here, you can spot sea urchins, jellyfish, corals, and more. Don’t miss the huge jade sculpture in departures, ‘The Spirit of Haida Gwaii. It’s an ornate sculpture which tells the story of BC’s myth and legend.
Qatar Hamad Airport
Often proclaimed to be one of the world’s best airports, it’s not a surprise when you see the awesome facilities of Qatar’s Hamad International Airport. Oozing luxury, you may want to get there long before the obligatory two hours pre-departure. Firstly, you’ll find some outlandish artwork, with sculptures including the unique Lamp Bear. Next, perhaps, you may want to book yourself in to the top notch airport gym. There’s a state of the art twenty five metre length pool, squash courts, hydrotherapy and even spa treatments to indulge in. In addition, there’s a restaurant for fine dining from four-course menus paired with fine wines, and even a private cinema for catching a movie afterwards. It’s a beautiful and luxurious airport that will make your travel time fly by.
Seoul Incheon Airport
It’s a true story that some people even plan their flights around a layover at an airport. As Seoul’s Incheon Airport is frequently considered one of the world’s best airports, why not? Often praised for its service, facilities, and efficiency, it has a lot going for it. Firstly, grab a bite from one of the many international restaurants. Alternatively, you can go authentic with a tasty bibimbap, kimchi stew, or tasty Korean street food. For entertainment, get some retail therapy by snapping up Korean beauty products, or check out the unique cultural entertainment zones. Here, you can craft your own Korean goods like fans, try on a hanbok, as well as look at historical relics. There’s also a digital gym, a relaxing spa, and a public sleeping area for catching some rest.
Kuala Lumpur Airport
The shining attraction of Malaysia’s Kuala Lumpur Airport is its unique rainforest. Take a stroll along the Jungle Boardwalk for a contained version of the Malaysian jungle. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a break from any travel stress you may be encountering on your journey. For those seeking a little more retail therapy, look no further than the Gateway Mall in KLIA2. Here, there’s everything from your day to day convenience to dozens of luxury boutiques to shop in. For a little R and R, you can grab some rest, or head for a massage or some reflexology. There’s also an observation deck where you can watch planes come and go, especially at night with the twinkling lights. Afterwards, you can catch a film at the movie lounge for some pre-flight relaxation.
Hong Kong Airport
With a location that’s within five hours of half of the world’s population, it’s little surprise that Hong Kong Airport is one of the world’s best airports. Firstly, there’s an impressive IMAX theatre where passengers can catch a movie in full glory. Then, if you’re looking for a little more action, you can even take on eighteen holes at the indoor golf club, GreenLive Air. There’s an impressive Aviation Discovery Centre. For free, you can learn more about aviation in an interactive way, and there’s even a flight simulator to try out. Afterwards, grab a tasty bite of local cuisine in Chep Lak Kok by tucking in to roast goose and Hong Kong style wonton noodles.
That’s my round up of the world’s best airports. Which is your favourite airport to spend a layover, and why?