The Coolest Feature From Each of the World's Top 10 Airports
PHOTO: The ice skating rink inside Seoul's Incheon International Airport, via YouTube.
What makes an airport so good that it is named one of the world’s best?
Well, our expectations are modest – we’re just happy if we’re not in a cattle call, can get through security swiftly, arrive at our gate in time, and have a Starbucks somewhere nearby.
But, seriously, some airports are teeming with amenities and features that seem so out of place yet are so serene and beautiful.
Here’s a quick look at the Skytrax Top 10 best airports, and just one reason why they all got to that point.
1. Singapore Changi Airport: The pool is great. Seriously, the ability to take a swim pre- or post-flight is amazing. But so is this: more than 1,000 bronze rain droplets form one of the most stunning displays you will ever see.
2. Incheon International Airport: One of the cooler features about the airport is that it will loan you a laptop during your stay in the terminal to get some work done, along with free Wi-Fi. But the coolest feature is literally that – cool. Incheon Airport in Seoul has an ice skating rink. Yes, in the airport. No need to pack skates, either; they’ll rent them to you.
3. Munich Airport: You might not even need a flight to want to go to this airport for Airbräu, a microbrewery inside Munich Airport. Just because it’s in an unlikely location, though, don’t think it isn’t awesome. It brews its beers in keeping to Germany’s Purity Decree – standards that were set, oh, almost 500 years ago in 1516.
4. Hong Kong International Airport: Oh goodness, this is a little slice (pardon the pun) of heaven. Honk Kong’s airport has a golf course. It’s a nine-hole businessman’s special, but it’s USGA-approved and sits right behind Terminal 2.
5. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda): Pools, skating rinks, golf courses … they’re all nice. But if you don’t have time for all that; you need to stay fresh for business, Haneda has what is arguably one of the best – if not the best – capsule hotel on site. Just, uh, don’t call it a capsule. Here, they are called cabins and they will afford you a great night’s rest for an early-morning flight or late-night arrival.
6. Zurich Airport: Traveling with children is … how shall we say this … an experience. Any parent would automatically vote Zurich Airport as one of the world’s best after finding out it has fully stocked playrooms for the youngsters in departure areas A and E.
7. Central Japan International Airport: Also known as Chubu Airport in Nagoya, it is Japan’s fourth-largest airport. If you thought some of the above attractions and amenities seemed out of place at an airport, just know that Hu No Yu is the only bathhouse in Japan where you can watch planes take off and land.
8. London Heathrow Airport: One word. Harrods. There’s an outpost of the world’s greatest department store right in the airport.
9. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport: You can do a dozen different things at the airport to try to relax and de-stress, but few offer the quiet solitude of a meditation center like Amsterdam Schiphol Airport. It’s a little oasis in the middle of chaos.
10. Beijing Capital International Airport: In the Arrivals Hall at Gate B there is a stop that every parent needs to make. For you, access to 12 recliners. For the kids, a mini-basketball court right next to a McDonald’s.
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