Sleeping in Airports
Singapore Changi Airport
Photo courtesy of Changi Airport Group

Fly Into Christmas at the 9 Best Decorated Airports of 2023

For many, Christmas means wrapping presents by a roaring fire, drinking hot cocoa, and spending time with family and friends. But nowadays, you may need to travel far and wide to spend the holidays with your loved ones. This involves travelling across countries and continents and undoubtedly spending a lot of time in airports. To brighten up your travel-filled holiday season, you should know the best-decorated airports this Christmas. Sleeping in Airports brings you this list of the airports you won’t mind kicking off the 2023 holiday season in.

During the Christmas season, airports around the world are decked out in their festive fare. Whether travelling around the USA, Europe, or Asia, you’ll see some of the most incredible in-transit decorations.

Changi Airport Singapore (SIN)

Every Christmas, Singapore’s Changi Airport goes all out for the festive season. As one of Asia’s largest and most frequented airports, it remains busy throughout the holiday season. From Pokémon themed decorations to Super Mario Kart, you can always count on this airport to provide the best pre-flight entertainment. The theme for 2023 is Candy Wonderland.

This whimsical theme is fun for all the family this holiday season and is complete with rides and attractions to help pass the time before your flight! Christmas at Changi Airport is undoubtedly one of the most fun airports to spend some time before your next long-haul flight.

Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

Step into the setting of a Christmas movie when you’re on a layover at Chicago O’Hare Airport. This airport is famous for its unparalleled Christmas decorations. The main atrium of Terminal 3 is decked out with giant red bows, thousands of sparkling white lights, and hundreds of illuminated doves.

This festive splendour ignites the spirit of the season in all who pass through. The decorations t are there from before Thanksgiving into the New Year. If you’re flying through here any time soon, don’t forget to bring your camera and snap a few pics!

London Heathrow Airport (LHR)

It’s not just the arrivals gate at Heathrow Airport that’s filled with the love of Christmas. The festive spirit is carried throughout the airport, with this year offering an elegant spin on a classic winter wonderland scene.

If you’re passing through LHR this Christmas, keep your elf ears open for festive choirs, providing the backing track to your emotional reunions and live ballet performances performing an intricately choreographed dance.

When the performers take a break, you can marvel at Heathrow’s incredible 22ft green and purple Christmas tree before your flight. There are 47 Christmas trees spread out across terminals 2, 3, 4 & 5 – how many can you spot during your layover?

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)

Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport never fails to impress with its incredible festive decorations every year. With over 1,300 metres of garlands, more than 10,000 Christmas baubles, and 30 Christmas trees displayed across the airport, there is plenty for festive travellers to enjoy this season!

If you’re travelling with children this Christmas, they will love spotting the festive elves wandering around airport lounges. They’ll even be handing out presents you can take home for yourself or gift to a loved one!

Denver International Airport (DEN)

Travelling over the festive season can be a drag, especially if your flight is delayed or cancelled due to weather warnings. If that happens at Denver Airport, you’ll have plenty to keep you entertained this festive season!

Most excitingly, there is an ice rink on the outdoor plaza at DEN Airport, between the terminal and the Westin Hotel. Passengers can get their skates on and head out onto the ice for free while they wait to board their flight!

The ice rink will be available daily from 11 am to 7 pm until January 1st.

Orlando International Airport (MCO)

If you’re travelling to escape the cold northern winters this year, Orlando may be on your list. The fun begins at the airport this Christmas season, with decorations igniting your festive spirit!

When you arrive, you won’t struggle to spot the 40 ft Christmas tree intricately decorated with sparkling fairy lights and glistening baubles. Get your camera ready to snap an iconic photo and begin your holiday full of Christmas joy.

Zurich Airport (ZRH)

Zurich Airport epitomizes the European festive spirit every Christmas! This year, they are bringing back the Christmas Village. Daily from 11 am to 8:30 pm (Nov 23rd – Dec 24th), you can wander around the market stalls fringing the magnificent twinkling Christmas tree. Buy last-minute Christmas gifts for your loved ones or sample traditional Christmas market fare, like raclette, mulled wine, or festive macaroni and cheese.

Once you’ve had your fill of tasty Christmas food, head to one of the chalets for a rest before your flight!

Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)

This year, Hong Kong International Airport partnered with Dior to create the festive activation Atelier of Dreams. The festive decorations include elegant Christmas trees and pop-up shops where travellers can purchase luxurious last-minute gifts for their loved ones.

When travelling through HKG Airport this Christmas, keep your eyes peeled for the illuminated golden tree that depicts the stunning Gardens of Tuileries. These decorations provide the perfect backdrop to your sophisticated festive snaps.

Photo Credit: Hong Kong International Airport

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Vancouver Airport gets into the festive spirit every year with incredible gift-giving opportunities for travellers. This year, YVR has prepared 1500 hampers during its annual Holiday Hamper Drive.

Passengers can help fill up hampers to help fight against food insecurity this holiday season. In addition to supporting local families, passengers can enjoy a visit from Santa and festive Christmas cookie decorating!

Have you travelled through any of these airports at Christmas? Let us know about your experience in the comments! Or, if any airports are missing from this list but wow-ed you with their holiday decorations, share your recommendations with us!

Sleeping in Airports wishes you a holiday season filled with joy, love, and on-time departures!

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