Do you remember the movie “The Terminal” starring Tom Hanks? His character gets stuck at the JFK airport in New York. He tries to entertain himself, even starts to do some minor renovations around the airport. But what if the airport had its own ways to entertain the travellers? Today we will rank up the best airports from around the World to get stuck on.
Last week we touched upon some of the things you can do during stopovers. We mentioned having a stroll around the airport as one of the ways to deal with them. But some airports actually take it upon themselves to make your stay as pleasurable and fun as possible.
Singapore Changi Airport
The airport that has been winning in each ranking for years is the Singapore Changi Airport. Many people claim that they could live there and have everything a person may ever need.
For all the tech geeks, there is an Entertainment Deck, with Xbox and Kinect stations as well as a movie theatre.
For the nature lovers, there are many indoor gardens, such as the Cactus Garden, Water Lily Garden with water lilies in a natural aquatic environment, the Orchid Garden, especially important since orchid is the Singapore’s national flower and even Sunflower Garden. The most impressive of them all, however, is the Enchanted Garden. This interactive garden made out of glass and sculptures respond to movement and creates an out-of-this-world experience. Another artistic masterpiece is the Kinetic Rain, where 1,216 polished copper raindrops make an incredible spectacle.
And if you just want to relax? There is a swimming pool with jacuzzi waiting for you inside the airport. And if the shopping therapy is your way of calming down, there are hundreds of shops there as well.
It is simply the perfect airport.
Tokyo Haneda International Airport
Another amazing airport is the Tokyo Haneda International Airport. What’s so special about it is how it connects everything modern with tradition. On one hand, you can have a stroll through the Edo-koji. There you can choose one of the 21 Edo-inspired restaurants serving traditional Japanese food, or find souvenirs in one of its 18 shops. You can also walk through a replica of the Haneda Nihonbashi bridge, erected across the Nihonbashi River in 1911.
And you want to have a taste of the modern Japan, you will also not be disappointed. You can get a glimpse at the Japanese pop culture in the Tokyo Pop Town. It is divided into a Hot Zone and Cool Zone, where you can find a variety of manga and anime characters as well as pop culture references straight from the Land of the Rising Sun. What’s even more amazing, is that you can actually rent a robot at the Haneda Airport. A Robohon, little interactive robot designed to answer your travel or airport-related questions is the perfect guide for any traveller. It can even serve as a Wi-Fi router. And if you feel tired and need a rest, you can always rent a cabin at the capsule hotel.
And did we mention that Haneda has its own craft beer? The Haneda Sky Ale is only available at the airport and can be a great treat while you wait for that next flight.
Vancouver International Airport
When you think about pampering you surely don’t imagine an airport. Usually, we associate them with the times when we were tired and felt rather unpretty. But the Vancouver International Airport took it upon itself to make sure all of the travellers at it can feel perfectly fresh and more than relaxed. Its Absolute Spa offers many anti-jetlag treatments as well as manicure and pedicure services, and even waxing and full-body massage. The perfect way to spend your time in between the flights.
Since the airport is actually located on an island (called Sea Island), it is the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. Even the airport itself suggests grabbing a blanket and enjoying a picnic with your travel companion as one of the ways to spend your time at the YVR. It even allows you to grab a bike and have a ride around the airport!
And for the art lovers, the Vancouver International Airport has one of the biggest publicly displayed collections of West Coast First Nations art in the World.
Hong Kong International Airport
Not all the airports are particularly entertaining, but the Hong Kong International Airport most definitely is. This airport has an indoor golf club called GreenLive Air as well as an Imax with the biggest cinema screen in all Hong Kong. You can learn more about airplanes in the Aviation Discovery Centre, eat local cuisine in one of its restaurants or enjoy a relaxing spa session without even leaving the airport. And if you have some extra money to spend, you can buy a place at the Plaza Premium Lounge, where you can eat some of the best dishes, enjoy a nice nap or even take a shower.
One of the airports that take stopovers very seriously is the Munich Airport. It even has its own Stopover Guide brochure. It suggests a variety of options, depending on the length of your layover. One of the great ways to pass time is to simply watch the planes. You can easily reach the 800 sqm visitors terrace via the Skywalk, a glass tunnel. It provides a great view of the runways. There is also a Visitors Park, where you can learn more about aviation, as well as the Boeing 737NG flight simulator. Furthermore, many leisure opportunities await you at the airport, including Kempinski Fit & Fly Spa with indoor pool, sauna and even steam bath and the Cosmetic Institute, that offers cosmetic facials and body treatments. You can also enjoy the Recreation Areas where you can either relax or work. Parents with children will find great facilities, including Kiddieland kid’s corners perfect for passing time with the little ones.
Hamad International Airport
Another great airport for parents with children is the Hamad International Airport in Qatar. It has gorgeous copper playgrounds created by Tom Otterness scattered all around, providing play space for the little ones. The playgrounds are not the only art pieces at the airport. The famous Lamp Bear by Urs Fischer is an extraordinary view you simply cannot miss (literally since it is 7 meters high!). It is also yet another airport with a swimming pool. But this time, you can actually observe planes from the pool. It creates an unusual experience. There are also many amazing lounge areas around the airport. They give you space to relax, grab a drink, eat something delicious and even play table football and video games. It is also one of the best airports for shopping and dining, with some of the best restaurants and most luxurious shops located around its terminals.
Some airports not only make it easy to deal with the stopovers but they actually make it hard to leave them.
Read more about stopovers: