Travelers spend a lot of time at airports, especially when they travel half way across the globe. So I wanted to look at the best airports for a layover, perhaps swaying myself and others to connect through these cities. We all want a great travel experience, so why not have one at an airport? Trust me, some of these airport amenities will blow you away!
10. Beijing Capital International Airport
This airport has slowly climbed the ranks to become a great airport for a layover. With more traffic than ever before and lots of delays, most of the airport has gone through extensive renovation. Today passengers can enjoy a shopping center, imperial styled gardens, the “global sized kitchen” in terminal 3, children’s play area, city tours of Beijing and the Great Wall, pay lounge, and free wi-fi.
9. London Heathrow International Airport
Yes we have all heard the horror stories from London and the delays that come along with it but if you have a layover in London, Heathrow isn’t too shabby. It has improved with how crowded it feels thanks to an expansion. It also has plenty of shops, restaurants, sleep cabins, an art gallery, museum, as well as runaway views for airplane enthusiast.
8. Vancouver International Airport
The only airport in North America really worth mentioning, Vancouver is a major layover airport, especially with flights to and from Asia. The airport is known for its service and quality as well as free wi-fi, plenty of shops, restaurants, airport tours, help for cruise ship passengers, efficient train service into downtown Vancouver, and relaxation areas.
7. Tokyo Narita International Airport
Yes it would seem that Narita is slightly outdated from the outside but it’s all about the amenities and quality of service Narita offers. There are plenty of restaurants and shops as well as a dentist, clinics, an oxygen bar, showers, famous Japanese size cubical beds, a pet hotel, barber shops and beauty parlors. The express train to downtown Tokyo takes around an hour and is very efficient.
6. Zürich Airport
I would consider it one the leading European airport for a layover because of the airport quality and how efficient the airport is. Plus it sits right in the middle of Europe making it convenient. There are transit rooms, day-rooms if you want to sleep, showers, several airline lounges, daycare centers, as well as a short train ride into downtown Zürich.
5. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
Amsterdam is already a very big connecting city and is one of the premier airports for flights coming from the US and Asia. Luckily the layover amenities are astounding. The airport has a shopping mall, an annex of the famous Rijksmuseum, airport library, large rooftop viewing area, several shops, restaurants, spas and free wi-fi.
4. Hong Kong International Airport
A major airport and an important layover city, Hong Kong decided to build a new airport in the late 90’s from the sea to accommodate. It is a busy airport but has amenities like a shopping mall, a theater, efficient people mover system, business center with lockers and showers, restaurants, bars, a ferry terminal, express train into Hong Kong, and a quiet relaxing lounge where people can pay to get in.
3. Munich Airport
Munich is not Germany’s largest airport but it is a more comfortable airport than the larger Frankfurt. The amenities are what set Munich airport from most other airports. They include quick train rides to the city center, a market open for most of the day, a shopping center, a business center, a recreation center, showers, airport tours, a casino and of course bars and restaurants.
2. Seoul Incheon International Airport
Seoul lies on the eastern end of Asia and is one of the first airports you could layover in coming from the States. And for years Seoul has held many awards for the quality and service. The airport boosts a Korean cultural experience, museum, theater, gardens, spas, free wi-fi, free computers, free showers, an ice rink, plenty of shopping and even a casino.
1. Singapore Changi Airport
Right now Singapore Changi Airport is the airport to beat, with very high standards for passengers in almost every class you can think of. How good? There is a fitness center, pools, sightseeing city tours, music bar, nature trail, rest areas, movie theater, butterfly room, medical offices and of course plenty of restaurants and bars. Truly the top airport, setting the standard high, and one that nobody would mind for a layover.
Why no US airports on the list?
Well I looked into all the airports in the United States and none of them came close to having the layover qualities like these other airports. To be fair Beijing made this list barely but it is an important hub and layover city for million and not a terrible airport to be at. Almost all US airports scored pretty poorly compared to other international airports and lack a lot of the amazing features that these other airports have. USA airports truly need to step it up.
Also there are other airports that are truly great but where not in my top 10 since they aren’t huge for layovers, like Central Japan Airport. I have listed some honorable mentions below that scored pretty high as well. Airports like Beijing and London are huge airports and have some of the lognest delays bringing them down on the list.
Honorable mentions: Helsinki, Auckland, Taiwan, Osaka, Kuala Lumpur, Copenhagen, Brisbane, Sydney