As more countries re-open to tourism, people are flocking back to the airports.
So, with that in mind, we decided to take a look at some of the best airports in the world, where connections and layovers are less of a hassle.
In fact, some of them may have better amenities and entertainment than your final destination!
There’s a reason Singapore’s Changi airport has sat atop the best airport list for 8 years running. At this point, it’s practically an amusement park with all the attractions and amenities it offers, from butterfly gardens to cinemas to gaming rooms.
But they haven’t rested on their laurels. In 2019, they opened an expansion called Jewel, where you’ll find the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, along with trampolines, mirror mazes, and a hedge maze. All set within beautiful gardens.
Tokyo Haneda & Narita, Centrair Nagoya, Kansai
This entry is actually four airports, all of which are in Japan – and all of which are in the official SKYTRAX top 10. So, rather than spend half the article going on about how great Japan’s airports are, we grouped them together.
But what exactly makes them so good?
It’s a combination of excellent, modern facilities, great shopping and dining, top-notch service, and tons of flights, both domestic and international. Plus, they’re almost always on time.
Qatar knows a thing or two about luxury, and their international airport, Doha Hamad, is no exception.
It can’t compete with some of the entertainment options found in the other airports on the list, but it makes up for it in design. As the newest airport of the bunch by a wide margin, it’s sleek, it’s architecturally striking, and it’s peppered with contemporary art exhibits, the most famous of which being ‘Lamp Bear’.
While Seoul Incheon Airport is only number 4 on SKYTRAX’s current list, it’s dominated the top spot on Airports Council International’s rankings in the past.
And one of the things that makes it unique – other than the robots that will answer your questions and show you around – is how many of its amenities are completely free. Free transit tours, free performances, free lounges, and even free showers, on top of the typical free wifi.
As we make our way to Europe, our first stop is Munich. Despite being only the second-largest airport in Germany, Munich Airport is considered its best.
Highlights include Airbräu, the airport’s brewery. Yes, even the airports in Germany have their own beer. There’s also an ice skating rink, miniature golf course, casinos, and lots of restaurants, whether it’s sausage and sauerkraut or something else that you’re craving.
Hong Kong International is the busiest cargo airport in the world. But it’s no slouch when it comes to human cargo either.
Not only does it have 5-star facilities and services across the board, it’s got some cool ways to kill time during a layover, whether you’re on a business trip or backpacking. There’s a par 3, nine hole golf course where you can practice your swing, and it one ups Changi’s theaters with an IMAX screen, the biggest in Hong Kong.
And the aviation museum is an interesting way to learn more about this niche part of Hong Kong’s history.
Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport comes in at #9 in the official rankings, but it’s the first 4-star airport on the list. That might place it a tier below the top dogs, but it’s still a darn good airport – and the best in Western Europe.
It’s also got a bit of intellectual flair, with the world’s first airport library, where you can rent free books by Dutch authors in over 40 languages, play the grand piano, or fiddle with the iPads. And then there’s the art museum, where you’ll find a rotation of some of the best paintings of the Dutch masters, on loan from the Rijksmuseum.
Switzerland has long been a sort of geographical and political midway point of Western Europe, so it kind of makes sense that its largest airport is such an important hub.
Not only does the Zurich airport have tons of flights, well-maintained facilities, and lots of shopping, they offer airport tours that show you what goes on behind the scenes. Plus, there’s a large observation deck with binoculars where you can watch planes take off and land.
London Heathrow is consistently one of the busiest airports in the world, and ranked #3 in 2020 for international passengers.
And when you can handle that many people with any sort of efficiency, then well, you deserve a spot near the top of the list. The tons of flights they have available to destinations all over the world doesn’t hurt either.
It’s unfortunate we had to make it this far down the list to get to a North American airport, but here we are. Not only has Vancouver Airport been named the best on the continent by SKYTRAX for 10 years in a row, it’s not even close. The next North American airport, Houston, isn’t until #31!
So, what sets Vancouver apart from the competition?
It’s comfortable, clean, and beautifully designed, with lots of places to lounge between flights. And there are even two aquariums for you to check out airside.
The second German ‘port on the list, Frankfurt is actually a little busier than Munich – but not quite as highly rated.
Don’t let that discourage you though. After all, it’s still a top 15 airport, with lots to do, from Movie World to airport tours. And it was previously voted the best airport for wellness because of the plethora relaxation spaces, yoga rooms, and other amenities dedicated to the physical and mental health of passengers.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories