Airports are often an after-thought; a place to waste time while you wait for your plane to arrive. But, what if your airport was so nice that it almost seemed like a mini-vacation? It may not get rid of your frustration the next time your plane is delayed, but it may make your wait a little less painful. While some make the list because of added luxuries, others make it because of their unique locations or thrilling landings. Here’s a list of ten airports that are guaranteed to thrill.
1. Singapore Changi Airport
The airport has everything a traveler could desire — from a synthetic ice skating rink to a historical museum. According to the Washington Post, Singapore Changi Airport received the world’s best airport award, as well as an award for being the best airport in Asia and best airport for leisure amenities. The airport has more than 100 international airlines flying to 220 cities in about 60 countries and territories worldwide. “Besides the ice-skating rink, Changi also has wellness centers, more than 300 retail outlets, and a butterfly garden,” the Washington Post writes.
2. Hong Kong International Airport
This business-focused airport provides numerous passenger lounges, restaurants, and business center facilities. In 2012, 56.5 million passengers used the airport, according to Economic Times. Hong Kong International is ranked in the top five for dining, shopping, cleanliness and leisure amenities. Killing some time in between flights? Enjoy the airport’s nine-hole golf course.
3. Eagle County Regional Airport
The airport in Vail, Colorado, is ranked as one of the most thrilling airports, according to Airfare Watchdog. The weather and surrounding conditions make this airport one of the more exciting ones in the world — for both travelers and workers. Pilot David Cenciotti says “poor weather, high approach, and high surrounding terrain make this airport a bit challenging. Westward departures have high clearance altitudes due to nearby mountains.”
4. Amsterdam Schiphol
While travelers wait for their flight, they can enjoy a massage, visit the airport library, or play a game of poker at the casino. Schiphol also provides its 51 million passengers per year great dining and shopping options, according to Business Insider.
5. Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport
The Caribbean Island airport makes the list for its thrilling landings. “The Juancho E. Yrausquin Airport allows no room for pilot error: If he or she goes even a little bit too far when trying to land, the plane will end up in the ocean below,” according to Airfare Watchdog. “The windy, mountainous terrain makes for a hard-to-accomplish landing.”
6. Zurich Airport
Zurich is ranked as a top airport for baggage delivery, according to Business Insider. The airport ranks as the largest in Switzerland and provides guests with an underground, automated train. Don’t want to deal with luggage? This airport lets travelers pay a fee to have their bags picked up from anywhere in the airport and have them delivered to their final destination.
7. Incheon International Airport
“Incheon International boasts a museum, many shops an observation deck and at least five gardens,” according to the Washington Post. “The airport also received awards for having the best staff service in Asia and for being the best international transit airport.” The airport is the largest in South Korea and also has a huge selection of restaurants and shopping outlets.
8. Gibraltar Airport
The airport in the British territory of Gibraltar makes the list for its runway that runs close to a major highway. “You might feel like you’re at a railroad crossing when traveling through Gibraltar Airport,” writes Airfare Watchdog. “The peninsula’s only runway is perpendicular to a major highway leading into Spain.”
9. Tokyo International Airport
This rapidly growing airport has won awards for terminal cleanliness and best domestic airport, and took second place for best immigration service, according to Business Insider. This major airport provides hotel rooms for travelers, a banquet hall, rental conference rooms and plenty of restaurants and shopping.
10. Heathrow Airport
Have you been hoping to fit in some time at the spa? This London airport contains day spas as well as a restaurant that was opened by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay, the Washington Post writes. This airport recently underwent an $8.6 billion renovation and provides dazzling architecture and scenery to the many visitors it sees each day.