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Best Airports in Europe 2016

Date: October 15, 2016

best airports europe 2016In our annual survey, we asked travellers to rate airports in Europe based on their overall airport experience. They ranked their experiences on these factors:

  • Comfort (Rest Zones & Gate Seating
  • Services, Facilities & Things to do
  • Food Options
  • Immigration/Security
  • Customer Service
  • Cleanliness

The airports that earn the title of Best Airports in Europe are those that are as efficient as they are enjoyable. They make sure they get the basics of navigation and comfort down to a science, and then they add on extra amenities like libraries, lounges and seasonal attractions. Tallinn and Porto prove that tiny airports are just as good as the glitzy behemoths, while Zurich, Vienna, Munich and Helsinki show that a well-placed affordable grocery store is an inevitable crowd pleaser. All in all, this year's best airports offer a good range of terminals and we hope they’ll inspire the rest of the continent!

Here are the Top 10 Best Airports in Europe based on overall airport experience, as determined by voters in our 2016 Airport Survey.

1. Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)

munich airport by amcc919 / Instagram

The airport layout makes it easy to get from gate to gate. The airport is the most efficiently run airport I know of. - survey respondent

For the second year in a row, Munich International Airport has claimed the title of Best Airport in Europe. The terminal has the essentials - cleanliness, customer service and overall organization - down to a science. However, it’s things like the free morning coffee and excellent food (at restaurants and grocery stores) that begin to take it a step above the rest. Nap zones and free Wi-Fi are other treasures, though nothing quite compares to the brewery, mini-golf course, ice rink, surfing and the seasonal Christkindl market. All in all, MUC is the perfect combination of travel essentials and unique extras. ( Photo courtesy of amcc919 / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Sleep Pods ($) • Airport Brewery ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Casino ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Rest Zones • Showers ($) • Cinema • Mini-Golf ($). For more information, visit our Munich Airport Guide.

See also: Best Airports in the World   •   Best Airports for Sleeping   •   Best Airports for Layovers

» Vote

2. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland (HEL)

helsinki airport by sankakel / Instagram

Everything goes smoothly. Everything works. Clean, cosy, friendly and efficient! - survey respondent

Lovely architecture and pleasant staff set the backdrop for this Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, which is adored equally by short term and long term visitors. The sleep pods are by far one of the most unique (and treasured) features of the terminal, though the free Wi-Fi and the 24-hour food options don’t hurt HEL’s ranking either. While sometimes the security lineups can get a bit bogged down, the availability of charging points and spaces to get away from it all make this airport a regional fan favourite. ( Photo courtesy of sankakel / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Free (and Paid) Sleep Pods ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Book Swap • 24-Hour Food Options • Luggage Storage ($) • Rest Zone • Showers ($) • Workstations. For more information, visit our Helsinki Airport Guide.

See also: Best Airports in the World   •   Best Airports for Sleeping   •   Best Airports for Layovers

» Vote

3. Tallinn International Airport, Estonia (TLL)

tallinn airport by webharvey / Instagram

It is really cozy, you feel like the plane is leaving behind your own house. - survey respondent

Tallinn Airport’s continued climb on our list of Best Airports in Europe is proof that good things come in small packages. Extremely comfortable and clean, and very well organized, TLL makes travellers feel truly at home. The easy layout, modern facilities, cafes, comfortable chairs, free sleep pods, free Wi-Fi and short queues combine to make this one of Europe’s best airports. Many travellers also love Tallinn Airport’s unique features, like the library and the public announcements performed by jazz and opera singers. All this is made even better when you realize you can move through the entire airport in as little time as 10 minutes! Because of its size, late-night departures and long layovers are limited, so its facilities for overnight or layover passengers likely don’t compare to other top European airports. But travellers love it just the same! ( Photo courtesy of robmen61 / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge ($) • Free WiFi • Free Sleep Pods • Library • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Tallinn Airport Guide.

See also: Best Airports in the World   •   Best Airports for Sleeping

» Vote

4. Zurich Kloten International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)

zurich airport by ozgurguzay / Instagram

I always feel like home at this airport. Its cozy and luxurious at the same time. Its a must visit. - survey respondent

Unsurprisingly, the Swiss continue to operate a supremely efficient, organized and tidy airport in Zurich. Excellent signage makes it a breeze for passengers looking for either their next gate or the flawless national rail system. Clean floors and armrest-free benches delight those in need of some shuteye, as does the generally dim lighting and the hour of free Wi-Fi. The drawback to ZRH? The prices continue to be particularly high. Restaurants and shops are often out of reach for the budget travellers who participated in the survey. However, they do find affordable sustenance at the grocery store in the basement. ( Photo courtesy of ozgurguzay / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge ($) • Free WiFi (2 hours) • Transit Hotel ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Bicycle, Inline Skates and Nordic Walking Pole Rentals ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Zurich Airport Guide.

See also: Best Airports in the World   •   Best Airports for Layovers

» Vote

5. Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal (OPO)

Porto airport by nunocamposmoreira / Instagram

Simply lovely... it is a small airport but has a lot of natural light, large and quiet and pleasant spaces to rest and waiting flight time. - survey respondent

Porto Airport, like Tallinn, is further proof that decadence and extravagance don’t necessarily make for the best airport. OPO appears on our list of Best Airports in Europe year after year because it is simple, functional and clean. It offers a number of free services to passengers, including unlimited Wi-Fi and showers. Couple that with wide open spaces and plenty of natural light, and you’ve got a very reasonable place to wait for upcoming flights. Other perks here include the range of quality food, the easy connections to the city centre, and the numerous armrest-free benches that aptly accommodate sleepers. Simple as that! ( Photo courtesy of nunocamposmoreira / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Unlimited Free WiFi • Free Showers • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Porto Airport Guide.

» Vote

6. Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, Denmark (CPH)

copenhagen kastrup airport by nichamon89 / Instagram

Overall a great airport. Lots of places to eat and shop. Rather clean (depends on the gate and terminal). Large and lots of room to move, which is good. - survey respondent

Copenhagen Kastrup Airport joined our list of Best Airports in Europe this year, thanks to some stunning and modern architecture, with plenty of natural light. But don’t be fooled, CPH is more than just a pretty-face. Impeccably clean facilities, quick immigration, free Wi-Fi and a great range of dining and shopping options give this airport both substance and glamour. And, some great couches with low overnight light make this place pretty sleep-worthy too! Travellers also wrote in with praise for the multitude of bathrooms and the array of charging points, making this a new regional fan favourite! ( Photo courtesy of nichamon89 / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • 24-Hour Food options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Spa ($). For more information, visit our Copenhagen Kastrup Airport Guide.

» Vote

7. Vienna International Airport, Austria (VIE)

vienna airport by gabry_barto / Instagram

Vienna International Airport has become a very comfortable airport. It is a "secret" among business travelers. - survey respondent

At Vienna International Airport, voters are especially thrilled by the array of excellent seating options. Whether you go for the comfortable business cubicle, the oversized couches in terminals G and F, or the reclining lounge chairs, you’re likely to find a place to relax between flights. Other favourite features at VIE include the multitude of grocery stores and the free Wi-Fi, both of which are housed in architecturally-beautiful buildings that are easy to find your way through. ( Photo courtesy of gabry_barto / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Rest Zones. For more information, visit our Vienna Airport Guide.

» Vote

8. Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Greece (ATH)

athens airport by daskalucky / Instagram

Very friendly and the live music on weekends was awesome! I started dancing with my wife. - survey respondent

Athens Eleftherios Airport hangs onto its title of one of Europe’s Best Airports thanks to being reliably clean with a pleasant ambiance. This reasonably sized terminal is easy to navigate and has a good number of 24-hour restaurants and coffee shops. The upstairs museum provides a glimpse into Grecian history, and the airport staff are particularly pleasant. While live music on weekends is very appreciated by travellers, the terminal’s music more broadly is contentious. While it’s supposed to be soothing, it is apparently played just loud enough to discourage rest and relaxation. ( Photo courtesy of daskalucky / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi (45 minutes) • 24-Hour Food Options • Luggage Storage ($) • Museum. For more information, visit our Athens Airport Guide.

» Vote

9. Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands (AMS)

amsterdam airport by faisne / Instagram

Lots of relax areas, lots of things to do and see (even a museum!), a mini spa that is affordable. I particularly like the resting zones, with sleeping chairs, choice of room with forest or see sounds and the pods where you can climb into your own comfort zone with your own music - survey respondent

Though Amsterdam Schiphol Airport was once a global leader for airports, it has again fallen further from grace with this year's survey participants. Highlights here include the free Wi-Fi, a library, rest zones, showers and a museum. However, AMS was under construction for much of this year, which temporarily disrupted some of the terminal’s best services like the YotelAIR transit hotel and the sleeping chairs. It also made navigation in general much more confusing and lengthy than normal. While the terminal continued to offer some plush surfaces for sleeping, travellers complain that the bright lights, cold temperatures and noise limit you from actually dozing off. That said, in July 2016 AMS unveiled the new Departure Lounge 2, built with transit passengers in mind. We have a hunch that the themed waiting areas, which revolve around ideas of “Modern Dutch”, “Care and Wellness” and “Family”, might resuscitate this terminal’s global status next year. ( Photo courtesy of faisne / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • Casino ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Library • Luggage Storage ($) • Museum • Rest Zones • Showers ($) • Spa ($). For more information, visit our Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Guide.

» Vote

10. Dublin International Airport, Ireland (DUB)

dublin airport by cateseithel / Instagram

Plenty of food options, plugs aren't hard to find, amazing rest zone, great airport bars with outdoor patio, brilliant customer service from all who work there, tonnes of food options.. the list is endless! - survey respondent

Dublin snags the title of 10th Best Airport in Europe this year thanks to unlimited free Wi-Fi, comfortable and quiet rest zones, a multitude of charging points and “The Loop”. This shopping centre has a great variety of restaurants, cafes and shops that keep travellers well fed and well entertained for a manageable price. And, on a nice day, you can even find a restaurant there with fresh air! The downside at DUB is that the cleanliness in certain areas sometimes leaves something to be desired. ( Photo courtesy of cateseithel / Instagram )

Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Unlimited WiFi • Showers ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Dublin Airport Guide.

» Vote

Top 40 Best Airports in Europe

Below is a list of the Top 40 Best Airports in Europe as voted by travellers in our 2016 Airport Survey:

  1. Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)
  2. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland (HEL)
  3. Tallinn International Airport, Estonia (TLL)
  4. Zurich Kloten International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)
  5. Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal (OPO)
  6. Copenhagen Kastrup Airport, Denmark (CPH)
  7. Vienna International Airport, Austria (VIE)
  8. Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Greece (ATH)
  9. Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands (AMS)
  10. Dublin International Airport, Ireland (DUB)
  11. Warsaw Chopin Airport, Poland (WAW)
  12. Prague Václav Havel Airport, Czech Republic (PRG)
  13. Stockholm Arlanda Airport, Sweden (ARN)
  14. Lisbon Portela Airport, Portugal (LIS)
  15. Oslo Gardermoen Airport, Norway (OSL)
  16. Brussels Zaventem Airport, Belgium (BEL)
  17. Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain (MAD)
  18. London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom (LHR)
  19. Düsseldorf Airport, Germany (DUS)
  20. Frankfurt am Main Airport, Germany (FRA)
  21. St. Petersburg Pulkovo International Airport, Russia (LED)
  22. Alicante–Elche Airport, Spain (ALC)
  23. Wroclaw Copernicus Airport, Poland (WRO)
  24. Rzeszów–Jasionka Airport, Poland (RZE)
  25. Las Palmas Gran Canaria Airport, Spain (LPA)
  26. Toulouse–Blagnac Airport, France (TLS)
  27. Malta International Airport, Malta (MLA)
  28. Tirana Nënë Tereza International Airport, Albania (TIA)
  29. Naples International Airport, Italy (NAP)
  30. Cork Airport, Ireland (ORK)
  31. Nice Côte d'Azur International Airport, France (NCE)
  32. Riga International Airport, Latvia (RIX)
  33. Glasgow International Airport, United Kingdom (GLA)
  34. Moscow Vnukovo International Airport, Russia (VKO)
  35. Tbilisi International Airport, Georgia (TBS)
  36. Bratislava Airport, Slovakia (BTS)
  37. Vilnius International Airport, Lithuania (VNO)
  38. Göteborg Landvetter Airport, Sweden (GOT)
  39. Lyon–Saint-Exupéry Airport, France (LYS)
  40. Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, Turkey (ADB)

While Europe is home to some of the world’s favourite airports, it is also home to a number of truly terrible ones. Read on to learn about the Worst Airports in Europe.

Do you agree or disagree with these results? Tell us about your airport experiences by participating in our 2017 Airport Survey!

Explore more of our survey results:

OVERALL AIRPORT EXPERIENCE
» Best Airports in the World » Worst Airports in the World
» Best Airports in Africa » Worst Airports in Africa
» Best Airports in Asia » Worst Airports in Asia
» Best Airports in the Caribbean & Central America » Worst Airports in the Caribbean & Central America
» Best Airports in Europe » Worst Airports in Europe
» Best Airports in the Middle East » Worst Airports in the Middle East
» Best Airports in North America » Worst Airports in North America
» Best Airports in South America » Worst Airports in South America
» Best Airports in the South Pacific » Worst Airports in the South Pacific
LAYOVERS  
» Best Airports for Layovers » Worst Airports for Layovers
SLEEP-ABILITY  
» Best Airports for Sleeping » Worst Airports for Sleeping

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