The world’s top seven airports
There are few things more exciting than heading off on that next luxury getaway, whether you’re going in search of sunshine, culture or something in between. From pristine beaches to opulet hotels, there are plenty of ways to ensure a lavish experience from start to finish – not forgetting the First Class air travel in between.
One thing that can put a dampener on any long haul trip, however, is waiting around in the airport for your connecting flight, and with hours to pass and not much to do, it can make for a tedious interlude to an otherwise thrilling break. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way, and some of the world’s finest airports have upped their games in recent years to ensure optimum comfort for travellers. Pick the right place for your stopover, and it can be as an enjoyable experience as the rest of your trip.
If you’re heading to Asia soon, then you may well be in luck, with many – though not all – of the world’s most impressive airports located on this thrilling continent. However, the Middle East and Europe are not far behind, offering some impressive facilities and entertainment to help you while away the hours.
To help you plan your next long-haul adventure to ensure you get the best, airport taxi travel company UPTRANSFERS, which provides a superior airport transfer service across Europe, has handpicked the world’s top five airports to save you the hassle of hunting around – all you have to do is sit back, relax, and enjoy!
Voted the World’s Best Airport six times and counting, Singapore Changi International is truly the most incredible you are ever likely to come across. Connecting customers to over 200 destinations worldwide, with 5000 arrivals and departures a week by 80 international airlines., the airport celebrated a key milestone in 2017, serving 60 million passengers from close to 100 countries around the world.
At Changi, it’s all about luxury and relaxation, and this lavish airport is world-renowned for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation and range of opulent amenities. It even has its own sunflower garden, featuring numerous varieties of sunflowers grown in their very own nursery.
From free movies to butterfly gardens, the entertainment options help you easily while away hours in transit, and a selection of high-end eateries will ensure you never go hungry. From muscle-soothing massages to poolside cocktails and gourmet burgers, there is something for everyone at Changi. Sip a (free) Singapore Sling at the Long Bar by Raffles inside the DFS Duplex, Indulge in a massage or facial at the Shilla Beauty Loft, head to the rooftop bar to enjoy panoramic rooftop views over a drink, or shop up a storm at the airport’s numerous luxury designer boutiques. Don’t forget to visit the unique butterfly garden, either – it truly is one of a kind.
Home to a both domestic and international terminals, Tokyo International Airport Haneda plays a n integral role when it comes to furthering Japan’s development as a tourism-oriented nation. Voted the World’s Cleanest Airport and the World Best Domestic Airport earlier this year, there is a lot to love about Tokyo Haneda – which with over 60 million passengers per year overall, is by far Japan’s busiest airport and one of the five busiest on the world.
There’s plenty to keep passing visitors entertained during a stopover here; plane enthusiasts can head up to the vast flight observation deck on level 5 of the international terminal, while just inside, along the Tiat Sky Road on level 5, aspiring pilots will find flight simulators in which they can put their skills to the test. If you have at least three hours to kill, then the Tokyo sightseeing loop will set you back just US$1.80 – well worth the spend and will give you a good overview of the city.
Raffine Relaxation Space, on levels 4 and 5 of the international terminal, offer rest and relaxation for those who are tired after a long flight, with a variety of massages and treatments to get you feeling back to your best. With plenty of opportunities for shopping, some great places to eat and even showers in which to refresh yourself after a tiring journey, this is one airport that has all bases covered.
Hong Kong International
Serving over 100 airlines operating flights to more than 180 locations worldwide, Hong Kong International is a former multiple winner of the Airport of the Year title at the World Airport Awards.
Previously voted the World’s Best Transit Airport, as well as the Best Airport for Dining, there is no shortage of entertainment to keep you occupied between flights. Head to Hong Kong’s largest IMAX cinema to watch a movie, visit the airport’s opulent and extensive spa, wake up with a refreshing shower, or do some shopping at one of the countless designer boutiques.
Sports enthusiasts can immerse themselves in simulations at the i-Sports center, while airplane enthusiasts can head to the Aviation Discovery Centre to learn about the history of Hong Kong’s aviation through themed exhibits and attractions, including SkyDeck. The airport offers a variety of activities such as tea-making demonstrations and Chinese Medicinal Workshops, and you can even play 9-hole or 18-hole golf indoors at GreenLive AIR indoor golf simulator.
Doha Hamad, Qatar
Hamad International Airport is the international airport for Doha, the capital city of Qatar. Accommodating up to 30 million passengers annually, it has often been described as the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world, as well as being the most luxurious.
Voted the Best Airport in the Middle East 2018, Doha Hamad offers plenty of shopping with a mall-like atmosphere, offering a dozen or so dining options – many of which are airside – to keep passing visitors well fed.
The Vitality Wellbeing & Fitness Centre offers a swimming pool, hydrotherapy tub, gym, showers and two squash courts, while the airport’s Quiet Rooms provide comfortable recliners, with separates facilities for men and women, for those in need of a place to rest.
Here, you can even go to an art museum without leaving the airport! Local and international works of art are on display throughout the terminal, courtesy of Qatar Museums, and a museum gift shop and cafe are also available onsite.
Munich Airport, Germany
Voted the best airport in Europe by Skytrax in 2017, Munich Airport is located northeast of Munich city centre. One of the busiest airports in Europe and the second-busiest in Germany, after Frankfurt, it serves as a major hub for Air Berlin, Lufthansa, and Condor, and boasts minimalistic, glass-heavy architecture and a nearby visitors park featuring mini golf and a display of historic aircraft.
Offering a barbershop, showers and acupressure massage, visitors can also head to Airbräu – the world’s first airport brewery – where seven different kind of beers are brewed. Find out what happens at the airport during a behind-the-scenes airport tour. After leaving the public area and passing through security screening, the 12 kilometer route covers the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 aprons, passing both runways and the two fire stations. And, if you’re feeling lucky, then why not make your way to one of the airport’s two casinos, where you can try your hand at video slots and games? Wherever you’re travelling to, opt for the right stopover city and you’re guaranteed a luxury experience from start to finish.
Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain
Madrid-Barajas is one of largest Europe’s busiest airports, and an oasis for designer shoppers and duty free enthusiasts, who will find themselves spoilt for choice thanks to the range of high-end boutiques and eateries that are just perfect for passing the time between flights. The main international airport serving Spain’s capital city, it has five terminals, and in 2017 was used by over 53.4 million air travellers.
Since opening in 1928, the airport has grown to be one of the most important aviation centres of Europe, and although it doesn’t quite match up to its Asian counterparts in terms of the glamour and luxury on offer, it is still a trendy and attractive place. Located just 6 miles from the city’s financial district, and 8 miles from its historic centre, book a Madrid Airport Shuttle to get you to your hotel in minutes.
Rome Fiumicino, Italy
It’s never a chore to stop over in Rome, and not just thanks to the city’s unrivalled history and incredible food. Rome Fiumicino is an international airport, and the major airport in Italy – and with 41.7 million passengers served in 2016, it is also one of the busiest airports in Europe by passenger traffic.
The airport offers a range of mouth-watering dining options, many of which serve up classic Italian cuisine – and it’s only right to wash it all down with a glass of wine or two at one of the delightful wine bars. For those in search of a little respite after a tiring city break, book a Rome Airport Transfer straight from your hotel, then head to the Be Spa for a massage prior to your flight. Or, if you’re just passing through after a long-haul, then head to the showers to rinse the remains of the day away.