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7 of the most luxurious airports in Europe to spend time in

The top airports of today offer up a variety of different forms of entertainment and provide the kinds of amenities that are typically seen in top level hotels.

By LLM Reporters  |  June 30, 2022
munich airport
Image Credit: Servickuz/Bigstock.com

When it comes to booking that lavish getaway, we’re often focused on the destination – those long days lounging or exploring, followed by extended evenings watching the sun set with a cocktail in hand and dining on local delicacies. What we often gloss over is the travelling itself and, of course, the airports that we pass through on the way.

Airports are like a launchpad for new journeys, they’re there to send you off happily to your next adventure and though there may be some occasional stress relating to delays or baggage, there’s actually a lot going on that’s designed to set you off on your next adventure more excited than when you arrived at the terminal.  

The top airports of today offer up a variety of different forms of entertainment and provide the kinds of amenities that are typically seen in top level hotels. Some are similar to large retail malls, while others are more like little cities filled with various activities and luxurious amenities. Here, we take a look at a selection of luxurious European airports that will leave you delighted and heading off on your travels with great enthusiasm.

Munich Airport (MUC), Germany 

As one of Europe’s most aesthetically pleasing and opulent airports, Munich Airport consistently ranks at or near the top of traveller surveys. Cleanliness, amenities, and service are top priorities at this upscale airport, which is always a pleasure to go through.

Gucci store munich airport
Expect to find designer stores and fine dining at these luxurious airports, such as this Gucci store in Munich. Image credit: Tupungato/Bigstock.com

Why is it on top of the list?

It’s a breeze to get around, and the layovers are usually short. It’s only a 40-minute train trip from Munich, making it highly accessible and visitors can expect some great shopping, dining, and bakery options abound in this area. This airport also stands out with its playground, mini-golf, free Wi-Fi, a heritage aircraft, a brewery, and NapCabs (high-tech sleeping accommodations).

London Heathrow Airport (LHR), United Kingdom

Heathrow is the busiest of London’s five primary airports and is the third busiest airport in the world, meaning it’s constantly being upgraded, for example, the entire Terminal 2 building was renovated as part of a significant restoration. The best airport terminal in the world, according to Skytrax in 2018, is Terminal 2, while Terminal 5, which also happens to be the UK’s largest free-standing facility, is the fourth best terminal in the world.

How luxurious is it?

In Terminal 5, you can hire a personal shopper to assist you with your shopping needs. Many of the airport’s 105 restaurants are run by well-known chefs, thus, the food is undoubtedly exceptional. Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food, for example, has a menu that consists of only food that has been prepared on planes.

Zurich Airport (ZRH), Switzerland

The contemporary, peaceful and comfortable airport in Zurich, just ten minutes from the city centre, is a terrific spot to spend time in before or after your trip. It’s one of Europe’s best airports for various reasons, including its massive chocolate shops, plush lounges, low incidence of delays, and friendly staff.

Health focused and family friendly airport

Families traveling with children will appreciate the ‘Family Services’ rooms, which provide areas for youngsters to play, rest, or sleep peacefully. If you’ve ever spent time at Zurich Airport, you’ll understand why it’s a health-friendly airport – spinning courses and weight training are available at the airport’s gym, and don’t forget about those stunning Swiss Alps views as you land and take off.

copenhagen airport
There are plenty of trees and soft seats to make passengers feel right at home in the light and airy terminal in Copenhagen. Image credit: Sorbis/Bigstock.com

Frankfurt Airport (FRA), Germany

Located in the heart of Europe, this contemporary, world-class airport is one of the world’s busiest transportation hubs. In terms of both efficiency and cleanliness, it’s a model. The staff is friendly and helpful, and the passage between terminals is smooth and straightforward, and those who come to shop or eat can do so at various establishments.

How is it different?

The airport’s food and shopping offerings add to its luxurious vibe. Lufthansa’s First Class Terminal offers a white-linen restaurant, cigar room, lounges, valet parking, and bubble spas. There are frequent trains to Frankfurt Central Station and every step of the way, it’s a technologically advanced airport.

Copenhagen Airport (CPH), Denmark

There are plenty of trees and soft seats to make passengers feel right at home in the light and airy terminal, which is open and welcoming. It is one of Europe’s most fabulous airports because of its beautiful modern architecture, well-planned layout, speedy security check, and friendly employees. Shopping, dining, snacking, and an Irish pub are available and upon exiting the airport, you’ll find that many of the city’s most exciting attractions are right there for the taking.

Sophistication as its finest

Airline customers rave about how well-run the airport is. More than 120 stores sell high-end goods, and 28 restaurants to choose from are available at this airport. There is also a mermaid statue just past the customs area, so don’t forget to take a look next time you’re there.

heathrow airport restaurant
Many of Heathrow Airport’s 105 restaurants are run by well-known chefs. Image credit: michaelpuche/Bigstock.com

Helsinki Airport (HEL), Finland

This clean and user-friendly airport has an intuitive design to ensure that you arrive at your boarding gates as quickly as possible. Comfortable chairs and sofas abound, as does pleasant service from the employees (the sleeping booths in the Finnair lounge are worth a mention). In addition, it has a wide range of retail and dining alternatives, from high-end to low-cost.

Artistic innovations in the airport

How many of Europe’s airports could claim to have an art gallery? Well, Helsinki has that and many other ways to pass the time, such as a museum dedicated to aviation, a place where people can trade books, and a picturesque terrace.

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS), Netherlands

This is one of the most charming airports in Europe, and it also happens to be one of the most well-designed airports in Europe in terms of passenger comfort. During lengthy layovers, you will have the opportunity to doze off on the plush couches and chairs as well as relax in the wonderful lounges. The airport is not very large, but it is simple to get around thanks to the excellent graphic signage and there are plenty of places to dine while there.

Worry less, travel more

Indeed, these luxurious airports certainly have the ability to level up the travel experience, but that doesn’t mean occasional hassle is erased in this experience.

Delayed flights, mainly, can ruin the travel mood, but there are ways in which you can turn this around, one way or another. In such cases, airlines offer compensation for these delays, one example would be TUI flight delay compensation with the help of AirAdvisor – not something you wish to happen, but it’s always good to know there’s a solution if you need it.

With the proper flight preparation and a good itinerary, your travel experience will no doubt be hassle-free and much more enjoyable.