15 Coolest Airports In The World That Are Great Holiday Destinations In Themselves

Airports are small towns in themselves. With millions of people passing through its gates every year, it is important to make these places a little more creative than just metal terminals and lazy lounges. There are several of these travel terminals around the world where you will find the amalgamation of natural beauty and ultra-modern man-made structures. Be it the striking architecture of Incheon International Airport or the artistic creativity of Singapore Changi Airport, here are the coolest airports in the world that you must visit. If the airports are so spectacular, who would mind the crazy layovers?

1. Singapore Changi Airport - Singapore

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Visiting Singapore Changi Airport is the easiest way to find art and entertainment along with shopping and nature. No wonder it has won 26 ‘Best Airport’ awards in 2017 and more than 550 awards since its opening! 

- Visit the ‘Whiskey House’ to try more than 100 complimentary tastings. 

- Do not forget about its butterfly garden! It is the first airport-based garden dedicated to butterflies. 

- Catch a latest movie for free at the on-premises theater. 

2. Vancouver International Airport - Richmond, Canada

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Vancouver International Airport has cleverly combined the natural light with vibrant shades of green and blue. It is the proud winner of the ‘Skytrax Best North American Airport’ award for 9 consecutive years from 2010 to 2018.

- Explore the native artworks from Pacific Northwest Coast that adorn the area. 

- Take a walk through the miniature forests. 

- Stop to look at the huge aquarium.

3. Kuala Lumpur International Airport - Selangor, Malaysia

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Kuala Lumpur International Airport sprawls over 25,000 acres and make no mistake, every corner is as stunning as it can get. It was no surprise when it won 2 prizes at Routes Asia Marketing Awards.  

- Palm trees and a jungle boardwalk define this exotic airport. 

- A waterfall along this walkway is definitely impressive.

- Treat yourself to retail therapy at the shopping mall with more than 200 retail stores. 

4. Incheon International Airport - Incheon, South Korea

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Incheon International Airport, the biggest airport in South Korea, has much to offer. The Airports Council International has awarded it as the ‘Best Airport Worldwide’ for 11 continuous years.

- Learn to make traditional Korean crafts and see music and dance performances. 

- Be it a winter or a summer, go ice-skating at the on-site rink.

- Go to Korean Culture Museum and explore different exhibits. 

5. Dubai International Airport - Dubai, UAE

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Dubai International Airport is a destination in itself. This exotic airport is the proud award-receiver of ‘Best Airport for Retail Environment’ by Millennials.

- Its zen garden is perfect to find some peace amidst all the hustle-bustle. 

- Take your kids to an interesting interactive play area.  

- Its vast duty-free shopping area is love! 

6. Wellington International Airport - Wellington, New Zealand

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Wellington International Airport is among the unique airports in the world. It is known for its quirky ‘Lord of the Rings’ themed installations. 

- A giant statue of Gollum welcomes you to the food court.

- Smug - the terrifying dragon keeps an eye on travelers at the check-in counter

- With numerous eateries around, itl pampers your taste buds with different cuisines.

7. Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport - Madrid, Spain

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Madrid–Barajas Airport is one of the largest airports in Europe. Even amidst all the travel madness, this award-winning airport will make sure that you have a great layover.  

- Its artistic dome-shaped roof is a visual treat.

- The interior is designed in such a way that it evokes a sense of peace and calm. 

- Its different breweries make sure you have a relaxing layover. 

8. Munich Airport - Munich, Germany

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Munich Airport rightly celebrates the German culture. It was awarded as ‘Europe’s first five-star airport’ by Skytrax setting it apart from the other travel terminals.

- Make the most of your time in the unique beer garden. 

- Have fun at the ice-rink. 

- Stop by the mini-golf course and step on the historic aircraft. 

9. Heydar Aliyev International Airport - Baku, Azerbaijan

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Heydar Aliyev International Airport is marked by the use of natural materials including stone and wood. No doubt it was awarded five-star airport ratings by Skytrax.

- The cocoon-like structure envelops you with a warmth that is hard to find at modern airports. 

- Your children will love different kids’ play areas. 

- It has a spa on the premises to pamper you. 

10.  Denver International Airport - Denver, USA

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Denver International Airport is known for its majestic tent-shaped roof that represents the snow-capped Rocky Mountain. It was voted as the ‘Best Airport in North America’ for 6 years by the readers of Business Traveler Magazine.

- It has therapy dogs to de-stress you. Lovely, isn’t it?

- The underground tunnel system to move baggage is extraordinary. 

- The 30-foot-tall statue of Blue Mustang dominates the area. 

11.  Kansai International Airport - Tajiri, Japan

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The artificial island of Kenseya in Osaka Bay is home to Kansai International Airport. The award-winning Italian architect Renzo Piano did a spectacular job of building this ‘Civil Engineering Monument of the Millennium’, awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers.

- The structure can survive the frequent earthquakes that occur in Japan. 

- You will love catching the view from its sky-view observation deck. 

- Do not forget to try authentic Japanese cuisine at the food court. 

12.  Hong Kong International Airport - Chek Lap Kok, Hong Kong

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Hong Kong International Airport is established on the artificial island of Chek Lap Kok. with numerous world-class restaurants on the premises, it was declared as the ‘World's Best Airport for Dining’ by Skytrax. 

- Watch the movie at the biggest Imax theater in Hong Kong

- The SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course is the best thing here! 

- It has a fascinating exhibition space where you can learn about the local culture. 

13.  Haneda Airport - Tokyo, Japan

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Haneda Airport, which is also known as Tokyo International Airport, is continuously being expanded to make it better and greater. It was proved when Skytrax awarded it as one of the ‘Best Domestic Airport in the world. 

- Wander around at the food street and have a look at the cute stores. 

- Take a tour where a mini-robot is your guide. 

- Visit the specially-designed zones where everything anime and manga can be found. 

14.  O'Hare International Airport – Illinois, USA

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O'Hare International Airport is one of the beautiful airports around the world. They have a yoga room for you and play zones for kids. Who wouldn’t love that, right?

- It is home to an apiary in order to contribute to the environment protection.

- Its aeroponic garden is another thing that is environment-friendly.

- The tunnel installed with neon lights has become the identity of the fascinating airport.

15.  Tenzing–Hillary Airport - Chaurikharka, Nepal

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The breath-taking backdrop of the Himalayas makes this small airport aesthetic. But, high winds, constant rains, and dense cloud-cover also make it one of the dangerous airports around the world.

- The cliff-top runway is only for the adventure-lovers. 

- The base-camp for the Mount Everest is right beside this airport. 

- If you are not interested in hiking, you can enjoy the spectacular view. 

We know there are many such airports that are loved by travellers. Tell us your favourite airport and why you love it in the comment section!

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dhruvalakshmi, who believes that her Patronus would be a cat, loves day-dreaming and writing. But, she gets very uncomfortable when it comes to writing third person introductions like this one ...

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