Is it just us, or is there something special about airports? We’re not just talking about the amazing architecture or the fact they’re where your holiday often begins, but the range of emotions they evoke.
When you think of your favourite airports, it transports you back to that feeling of anticipation and excitement. Airports are the gateway between one world and another. The portal to your next adventure.
When passing through an airport, you exist in a kind of alternate universe. A time out of time where anything can happen.
Today’s airports are places of endless possibilities. No need to sit around twiddling your thumbs while you wait for your flight! You can visit an exhibition, go for a swim and even get a massage before you board. No wonder so many travellers call airports their happy place.
The best airports transform what would otherwise be dead transit time into a memorable travel experience. A time of learning, fun, relaxation and even wonder. So of the thousands found across the globe, which are the best ones?
We’ve taken the top performers from Skytrax’s World’s Best Airports survey and found out some curious facts about each of them. We hope this sparks those magical feelings of wanderlust!
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- 1 Discover More About the Top 10 Airports
- 2 Cascades and Cocktails at Singapore Changi
- 3 Creature Comforts at Tokyo Haneda
- 4 Doha Hamad International – An Oasis in the Desert
- 5 Flying Tour of Korean History at Seoul Incheon International
- 6 Make Merry at Munich Airport
- 7 Hope You’re Hungry at Hong Kong International
- 8 Toilet Trivia at Tokyo Narita
- 9 Chubu Centrair Nagoya – the Floating Airport
- 10 Amsterdam Schiphol Across the Ages
- 11 Experience Expert Engineering at Kansai International
- 12 Which Airport Gets Your Vote?
Discover More About the Top 10 Airports
Want to know more about these incredible airports? We’ve done some research on what makes each of them unique. Brace yourself and prepare to have your mind blown.
Cascades and Cocktails at Singapore Changi
First up is Singapore Changi.
Have you ever wondered how it would feel to watch planes take off from the comfort of a relaxing jacuzzi? Well, you can find out at the Aerotel located in Terminal 1! There is also a poolside bar so you can sip on a Singapore sling while you wait for your flight.
And this is not all. The airport is also home to the world’s tallest indoor waterfall!
Part of the jaw-dropping Forest Valley garden, the “Rain Vortex” is a force to be reckoned with. Standing at 40 metres high, it pumps 500,000 litres of recycled rainwater through the roof of the Jewel Building. You won’t believe your eyes as you watch the water seemingly drop from the sky!
Creature Comforts at Tokyo Haneda
Does your pet deserve a bit of R&R? Well you can check them into the Pet Hotel if you’re flying into Tokyo Haneda!
This animal hotel gives your furry friend the VIP treatment. They accept not only dogs and cats but other small animals like hamsters, rabbits and guinea pigs as well as parakeets.
They offer a variety of creature comforts for your loyal companion, and you can choose the perfect room for them based on your animal’s size and personality.
Check them into the VIP space to receive photo updates of your pet from the team throughout their stay. The only thing you need to worry about is your pet having a better time than you on holiday!
Doha Hamad International – An Oasis in the Desert
Consider yourself a bit of an art aficionado? This stylish airport curates a cultural experience for passengers with its immersive collection.
With more than 20 permanent art installations, it is a cultural oasis featuring sculptures, murals and more. There are contemporary artworks from local Qatari artists as well as international ones.
Don’t miss the Lamp Bear sculpture by Swiss artist Urs Fischer right in the centre of the airport. It is 7 metres high, made out of cast bronze and weighs a monumental 35,000 pounds.
Think you’ve seen the bear somewhere before? The sculpture was previously in front of the Seagram Building on New York City’s Park Avenue.
Flying Tour of Korean History at Seoul Incheon International
Want to get a final fix of Korean culture before you fly home? Delve into the history of this 5,000- year-old empire at the airport’s very own Museum of Korean Culture!
Located in concourse 4F, some highlights from the exhibits include the world’s oldest wooden slab print and traditional Korean instruments like the Janggu drum and the Daegeum flute.
More of a casino than a culture person? Take a chance on the slots at the airport’s Paradise Casino.
Not only does the airport have tons to keep you entertained, but it has also been voted the world’s cleanest airport!
Make Merry at Munich Airport
Germany is the go-to destination for Christmas markets, and Bavaria has some of the best in the country. Munich’s Christkindlmarkt is one of the oldest in Europe. But did you know that the city’s airport has its own too?
Each holiday season, Munich Airport comes alive with festive cheer. The airport’s Christmas market has over 40 stands, live Christmas trees and even an ice rink!
But this transport hub is awesome at other times of the year too. It is home to the world’s only airport-based brewery, Airbräu! Enjoy hearty Bavarian delights like pork and dumplings with a stein of local beer as you wait for your flight.
If all that food and beer tires you out, the napcabs sleep beds are ideal to grab forty winks before your departure!
Hope You’re Hungry at Hong Kong International
The famous Hong Kong dish of sweet and sour pork has made its way onto menus across the globe. This is a region that takes pride in its food and so does its main airport!
Experience a ceramic food banquet in Level 6 of Terminal 1. A dozen exhibits that previously appeared in the Hong Kong Heritage Museum’s “More than just food exhibition” are on display.
If that gives you an appetite, you can sample the airport’s varied culinary offerings, which range from comfort food to caviar!
As well as this, HK also has the world’s best immigration service, so you won’t have any trouble getting your eVisa checked at this busy gateway airport to China!
Toilet Trivia at Tokyo Narita
Japan’s state-of-the-art toilets fascinate many visitors to the country.
Not sure how you feel about a loo with a seat warmer? Tokyo Narita has a gallery devoted to toilets in Terminal 2 which gives visitors a chance to learn more about this curious part of Japanese culture.
The gallery was designed by TOTO, the world’s largest toilet manufacturer, so that foreigners touching down in Tokyo can familiarise themselves with the different types of loo in a fun, interactive way. The engaging exhibition space has 10 rooms, each with a different toilet and theme.
If you get tired of all the toilet humour, you can have a quick nap in the airport’s capsule hotel.
Chubu Centrair Nagoya – the Floating Airport
Chubu Centrair is located 22 miles south of Nagoya, Central Japan on an artificial island in Ise Bay. Like to make waves when you travel? You can take a high-speed boat to this floating airport!
Once you arrive, you can admire the cutting edge T-shaped terminal design that minimises walking distance. It serves both domestic and international flights.
Want to relax after a long journey? Continue the water theme at ‘Fu No Yu’ in the relaxation plaza. It is the only bathhouse in Japan where you can watch the planes land and take off!
Unwind and surrender to the calming waters as you watch the sunset over the Ise Bay. The plaza also has a spa offering body care and reflexology treatments. Dreamy!
Amsterdam Schiphol Across the Ages
Airports are such an intrinsic part of cities today that it is hard to imagine what was there before. Well, in the case of Amsterdam Airport, once upon a time, the site was a lake!
The Haarlemmer Lake was drained in 1852 and Schiphol technically lies on the bottom of it, more than 4 metres below sea level. This makes it the lowest lying airport in the world!
Many things have changed at Schiphol over the years. They now have exercise bikes that charge your phone as you pedal, a Heineken bar and even a library with iPads and touch screens! There are also polar bears at Schiphol (the workers that drive snowplows in the winter months!).
One thing that hasn’t changed, though, is the site the airport occupies. Schiphol is the oldest airport to occupy the same location. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!
Experience Expert Engineering at Kansai International
Building Kansai in Western Japan back in the early 90s was no mean feat! This international hub was the world’s first ocean airport. Situated on an artificial island in Osaka Bay which was specifically built for the project, it is cited as one of the greatest engineering achievements of the 20th century.
The design had to meet strict earthquake and tsunami safety regulations to contend with the tempestuous climate. A 3750-metre bridge was built to connect the airport’s island to the mainland. This remains the world’s longest double-decked truss bridge.
Many airports may have been built since, but few can rival Kansai International in terms of innovative design!
Which Airport Gets Your Vote?
We hope you enjoyed our fun facts about 10 of the world’s greatest airports! If you have any other facts to share about them, feel free to message us on our Facebook page.