Long layovers can be a bore, especially when it means trading in precious vacation time for overpriced airport food. But with a bit of extra planning, your hours at the airport can go from achingly dull to utterly delightful. From live music to sleeping pods to refreshing rooftop pools, a visit to any of these amazing airports around the world will soon have you traveling for the layovers alone.
The Singapore Changi Airport
Want to catch up on a few films or revitalize with a rooftop swim? The Singapore Changi Airport has got you covered. Not only does the airport boast an in-house movie theater and a rooftop pool, you’ll also find attractions like serene butterfly gardens and the world’s tallest airport slide. If you have a five-and-a-half hour layover or longer, you can start your adventures early with one of the airport’s free, two-hour city tours. It’s no wonder the Singapore Changi Airport has been awarded the title of World’s Best Airport for the past three years in a row.
The Munich International Airport
Even if you’re only passing through Germany, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to taste the local beer. You’ll find great brews throughout the Munich International Airport, but Airbrau is arguably the best locale for a tasting. The traditional brewery and beer garden is shaded by lovely chestnut trees — visit during one of the numerous live music performances, and you might forget you’re in the airport altogether. Once you’ve savored a couple of beers, enjoy a snooze in the airport’s individual sleeping pods. Equipped with iPhone and USB ports, there’s no better place to recharge both your devices and yourself.
The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
It’s no wonder Skytrax considers this airport one of the best in the United States. The Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky airport oozes Midwestern charm, yet is sleek, modern and comfortable. Be welcomed by a message recorded by Marty Brennaman, the voice of the Cincinnati Red’s Baseball team. Get insider travel tips from the volunteers who work the information counter. Or simply relax with state-of-the-art amenities and high-speed Wi-Fi.
McCarran International Airport
Don’t have time for a complete trip to Las Vegas? Then you’ll be happy to know you don’t even need to leave the McCarran International Airport to get your gambling on. Here you’ll find some 1,300 slot machines located around the airport, including at car rental stations. Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas.
The San Francisco International Airport
Most travelers consider airport food to be overpriced and unhealthy. But foodies will rejoice in Terminal 2 of the San Francisco International Airport. Here, each of the 12 food vendors are required to serve hormone-free dairy products, cage-free eggs and sustainable seafood. Don’t miss the snapper sandwich at Lark Creek Grill as well as the extensive display of local cheese at Napa Farms Market.
The Hong Kong International Airport
One of the best ways to beat jet lag is to go for a walk. If you’re stuck at the Hong Kong Airport, then try stretching your legs at the 9-hole regulation-size golf course conveniently located just outside the airport’s doors. If you prefer a more stimulating activity, then the iSports car racing and basketball simulator is sure to get your blood pumping. But don’t worry — if all that traveling has you completely worn out, you can choose to laze away the afternoon at the world’s first airport IMAX theater.
Long layovers have a bad reputation, but visit any of the airports above and you may never want to leave. Bon voyage!