If airport travel makes you a horrible person – you’re not alone.
There’s nothing fun about waiting in line, waiting in another line, waiting in another line (wait, didn’t we just do that?), and flashbacks of the principal’s office whenever you have to answer to officials.
Oh, and don’t even get us started on the screaming children.
But these seven international airports go so far above and beyond the regular experience that they could almost end up being the best part of your trip…
1. Singapore Changi Airport
Complete with koi ponds and butterfly gardens, Singapore’s Changi Airport is like a vacation in itself. Seriously, with perks like full spa facilities, ample napping areas, live music, rooftop bars, free movie theatres, fine dining, shopping, a rooftop swimming pool (seriously) and – the best part – a four-story slide, you might want to actually miss a flight or two.
2. Hong Kong International Airport
As the world’s second busiest airport, Hong Kong International Airport sounds more like an amusement park than a transportation hub. This means highlights that include a 4D Extreme Cinema, flight simulators at the Aviation Discovery Centre, free Playstation, a golf course, and in-house magicians. The more mature traveller will also find fine dining options and frequent art exhibitions as well.
3. Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport
The airport alone offers another reason to visit the notorious party city of Amsterdam. With layover options like a casino, cool espresso bars, Irish pubs, and ample wining and dining (and post-Cafe visit snacking), you can keep your vacation going until the very last minute. Or, if you partied too hard, the airport also has a massage lounge, a library, and a museum that includes original works of art from some of the Dutch masters.
4. Seoul Incheon, Seoul, Korea
We kind of want to hit Seoul just for the Seoul Incheon airport experience – after all, it offers almost as much culture as the city itself. With its Pine Tree and Wildflower gardens, amenities like private sleeping rooms, free showers, 24-hour spa facilities, an array of internet lounges, a golf course, and an ice skating rink (apparently a new trend), as well as traditional Korean music performances, acrobatic shows, and a Korean Culture Museum, we don’t really know what else we could ask for.
5. Vancouver International Airport
One of the world’s coolest airports is our very own YVR. What makes it so notable is its ample water supply, which makes up for all the stuffy airplane air that brought you there. And when we say ample water supply, we mean an aquarium that’s home to over 800 marine animals, a functional indoor creek with flowing streams, and no shortage of Cafes. You won’t find too many disgruntled employees here either – the airport’s known for its stellar staff, including the ‘green coat ambassador’ volunteers to get the directionally-challenged from point A to B.
6. China’s Bao’an International Airport
Though it doesn’t have slides or circus performers, China’s Bao’an International Airport is notable for its architecture and environmental initiatives. Designed by Rome-based architect Studio Fuksas, it’s designed to resemble a giant white airplane and is covered in a honeycomb-like metal and glass shell that admits maximum sunlight to reduce energy consumption, making it China’s first airport with its very own 10-megawatt solar power plant. Just so you understand how big a deal that is –that amount of energy could power 10,000 US homes for an entire month. At the same time, rainwater is recycled in toilets and used to water the variety of calming indoor plants.
7. Munich Airport
If you’re travelling with children (good luck with that), Germany’s Munich Airport will put them in good spirits before their flight with things like a free kids show at the theatre or a walk through the visitors’ park. Or, if you’re travelling with the guys, girls, or significant others, skip the bar altogether and ‘settle’ for playing 18 holes on the airport golf course.
Cover image from: istock.com/egdigital