By Linsy Hilton
Have you booked a bargain airfare with a 19 hour layover? Delayed flight? Hanging out in an airport for hours can quickly kill those holiday vibes! But with modern airports stepping up their game, there’s plenty to be excited about.
Whether an avid shopper, food lover, keen golfer, travelling on a budget or ready to splurge, there’s an airport that’s sure to appeal to you. If I had to choose, here are the airports I’d happily be stranded in:
Changi Airport, Singapore
Taking home the Skytrax World’s Best Airport award for the sixth year in a row, it’s obvious why Singapore’s Changi Airport takes the cake. With first class facilities, great food, city tours, indoor gardens, gaming stations, cinemas, and kid’s play areas–Changi Airport has all their bases covered.
And the best part is that most of it is free!
Here’s where you’ll find me on a long layover at Changi:
Tour of Singapore. If you have at least 5.5 hours to spare, jump on one of the free 2.5 hour guided tours. There are two to choose from, The Heritage, and The City Sights tour. Cost: Free.
Movie Theatre. Not enough energy to wander about? Kick back and watch a movie on the big screen while waiting for your flight. Changi boasts a theatre in terminals 2 and 3, with a selection of films and genres to suit all ages. Cost: Free.
If the desert’s more your style, head to the rooftop cactus garden, and quench your thirst at the bar. With over 100 species of cacti and arid plants to check out, there’ll be plenty of time for another round of drinks. Cost: Free to meander (unfortunately not to drink!).
Munich Airport, Germany
Is it an airport or an adventurer’s playground? Home to the world’s biggest standing wave in 2016 for the annual Surf & Style event, and host of the 2019 Southern German Skateboarding Championships, Europe’s top airport certainly makes waves in the fun category. If that isn’t reason enough to have you searching for flights with stopovers in the Munich Airport, perhaps the airport’s award-winning in-house brewery will?
But if drinking isn’t your thing, there is a plethora of other activities and delights that Munich airport has to offer:
Napcabs. Trouble sleeping in those budget airline seats? For about €10 Euros per hour, you can set up camp in a Napcab. With a bed, desk, and music; these can be found at three locations in the airport. Cost: Starting from €10 Euros.
Visitor’s Park. This action packed part of the airport has hours of fun for big and little kids. The park is home to a free playground, giant slide, mini golf, 28-metre high conservation deck, interactive airport stations, and tours of historical aircrafts. Cost: Entrance fee from €1 to 3.50 Euros.
MAC Forum. Host to Munich’s annual Christmas market, the airport creates a winter wonderland of culinary delights, local music, and stunning exhibitions.
However, if you land yourself here outside of the festive season, don’t worry, Munich Airport packs it’s calendar with plenty of exciting food, innovation, and extreme sport events.
Incheon Airport, South Korea
Incheon Airport–you had me at “free shower!” At last, an airport that caters to the needs of the budget weathered traveller. If you’re looking to rest your weary head or want to burn some energy, Incheon Airport delivers. Wash away that jet lag, then nap on a comfy reclinable chair in one of the free dedicated low-lit nap areas.
Feeling fresh? Treat yourself to some pampering at the spa before jumping on a free shuttle to the Paradise City Casino to test your holiday luck. Full of beans and looking for some action? There’s plenty to keep you occupied:
Digital Gyms. For a quick energy boost head to the gym for a fun, virtual workout. There are two digital gyms in terminal 2, both are open from 6am to 10pm. Cost: Unknown
SKY 72 Golf. Tee off for a round of golf, or practice your swing at the driving range. With two courses to choose from you might be praying to the airline gods for another delay! The SKY72 green fee’s range from $123 USD to $223 USD.
Traditional Korean Culture. Being on airport lockdown doesn’t mean you need to miss out on the local culture. With a variety of traditional experiences, including craft and music, as well as performances, you can immerse yourself without stepping foot from the airport. Cost is free for all foreign travellers.
This list is only a taster– with international travel on the rise– airports all over the world have been busy creating a new level of experience and comfort for travellers.
So, next time you find yourself cursing the powers that be for a delayed flight, or kicking yourself for booking one with a monster layover, why not start your adventure early, and explore what’s offered? You might be pleasantly surprised!