Date: October 15, 2014
Our Top 10 Best Airports in Europe certainly offer up some unique features that showcase local culture and a genuine interest in easing the pains of air travel. Thoughtful touches like rest & relaxation zones, art galleries and museums, libraries that offer book rentals and exchanges, baby-beds in family rooms, and a few fitness and spa facilities further help to boost the impressiveness of this list. While many of the airports that appear on this list are consistent annual winners, we are also excited to welcome in a few new smaller airports to this list.
Here are the Top 10 Best Airports in Europe based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in our 2014 Airport Survey:
1. Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands (AMS)
Fresh and cozy, with lots of shops, restaurants, bars and other unusual activities (museum, casino etc.) – a traveller
Travellers praise the airport for being an efficient, comfortable and friendly place. Early voters would in fact go so far as to write they “could move in here” and they “like everything about AMS” – but more recent voters were less delighted. It seems that AMS is currently undergoing a renovation, which has significantly reduced the rest zone seating and comfort. The airport is temporarily a little less sleepable – and we’re not sure how long this will last for. For transit passengers wishing stay active, a number of the terminal’s famed activities and amenities are still available and accessible. This includes unlimited free Wi-Fi, (fewer) rest zones, sleep pods, a casino, a library and the extension of the city’s famous Rijks Museum. We hope that with the end of the construction period, the airport will return to its usually sensational self – so stay tuned!
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges • Free Wi-Fi • Transit Hotel ($) • Sleep Pods ($) • Rest & Relaxation Zones • Casino ($) • City Tours ($) • 24 Hour Food Options ($) • Library • Luggage Storage ($) • Museum • Showers ($) • Movie Theatre ($). Visit our Amsterdam Schiphol Airport Guide for more information.
2. Helsinki International Airport, Finland (HEL)
Handling a big part of the Asian-Europe flights, it guarantees a multicultural yet Finnish look of things, good food & drinks, many shops (my personal favourite being the Moomin shop), and cozy sleeping area… – a traveller
The innovative and transit-friendly Helsinki International Airport excels in terms of comfort, convenience, cleanliness and customer service. Favourite unique features here include the book exchange, relaxation areas, electronic passport kiosks (that virtually eliminate lines), art gallery and, perhaps most importantly, the ergonomic and publicly accessible Kainuu lounge. What really set Helsinki apart this year was the TravelLab series – an airport-led initiative designed to improve the travel experience. Last winter and spring, the airport collected feedback from travellers as to services they’d like to see offered. They then piloted the best ideas over the course of the summer. Highlights included free yoga and pilates classes, pop-up Finnish restaurants and a ‘selfie-wall’ that featured famous national landmarks. We figure, with a few of these pilot projects in full force and the addition of showers for non-lounge users, this airport could become the best in Europe!
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Transit Hotel ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Book Swap • Grocery Store ($) • 24-Hour Food Options. Visit our Helsinki Vantaa Airport Guide for more information.
3. Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)
Free sleeping lounge in Terminal 2 is excellent! It was crowded when we arrived but had plenty of opportunity to nap there during our 11 hour layover. – a traveller
It perhaps comes as no surprise that Germany’s Munich International Airport is well reviewed for its efficiency and ease of navigation. The airport offers up a number of entertaining activities for transit passengers, which range from tours of the airport brewery to mini golf to the Fit & Fly Spa. This year, they even had a temporary in-airport stationary surf station, complete with a grand stand and an artificial palm-fringed beach! Extravagances aside, what really delighted voters this year were the relaxation zones and sleep pods in Terminal 2.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Rest & Relaxation Zones • Hotel connected to the Airport ($) • Sleep Pods ($) • Airport Brewery ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Mini-Golf ($) • 24 Hour Food Options ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers ($) • Spa ($) • Aviation based Cinema. Visit our Munich Airport Guide for more information.
4. Zurich International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)
I am always happy when I have a layover in this airport because it has such a soothing atmosphere. – a traveller
Zurich Airport offers swift, easy connections and clean facilities. Additionally travellers find unique amenities that create a “soothing atmosphere”. Voters appreciate the plethora of armrest-free chairs, and the family centers that are fully equipped with baby beds and parent beds. By contrast, the non-weary travellers on a layover can burn off some steam by renting some sporting equipment (bikes, walking poles, inline skates) and taking a spin outside. The only real downside to ZRH is that prices in the airport are high. Once you exhaust your hour of free Wi-Fi, prepare your wallet for a small amount of damage.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Hotel connected to the Airport ($) • Day rooms inside the airport ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Bicycle, Inline Skating and Walking Pole Rentals ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Rest & Relaxation Zones • Showers ($). Visit our Zurich Airport Guide for more information.
5. Porto Airport, Portugal (OPO)
Extremely clean, quiet, with free shower, sockets… – a traveller
There is something to be said for a small airport that simply focuses on doing ‘small’ well. This is Porto’s first time on our Top 10 list and it came in with a bang! The airport has a number of thoughtful touches that ease domestic travel, including free strollers, free showers, plenty of power sockets and 30-minutes of free Wi-Fi. Furthermore, a rest zone located near gate 34 is furnished with comfortable recliners. This airport wows travellers on each of our four C’s, without offering up the extravagances of the other airports on this Top 10 list.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Free Showers • Luggage Storage ($). Visit our Porto Airport Guide for more information.
6. Tallinn International Airport, Estonia (TLL)
Great design, comfortable and clean. – a traveller
Estonia’s primary airport has positioned itself to be “the Cosiest Airport” in Europe, and is another new addition to our list. Tallinn has outfitted the terminal with plenty of deep leather chairs, a free Skype booth and a library complete with a book borrowing system. There also happens to be a shop that sells local produce! The terminal itself is bright and airy, and kept consistently clean. Staff too are generally helpful and provide a warm welcome to this eastern European country. The only thing with Tallinn is that it is perhaps unlikely to become a major transit hub for world travel in the upcoming years. Its small size keeps this airport quiet and comfortable for those of us who end up there.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Library • Luggage Storage ($). Visit our Tallinn Airport Guide for more information.
7. Prague Václav Havel International Airport, Czech Republic (PRG)
I like the atmosphere, a lot of places for relax and a lot of possibilities to during your stay – cinema, game zone and especially for me rooms for mothers with children with a cot for babies. – a traveller
Prague moved up one spot in our ranking this year, perhaps as a result of last year’s introduction of the Rest and Fun center. This modern (and lime-green) space gives transit passengers the option to rent a private room or relax in the lounges, which are outfitted with TVs, DVDs and Xbox stations. There also happens to be a movie theater and museum nearby. Families also tend to be fans of Prague given the support the airport extends their way. Baby strollers, assistance services and family rooms with baby-sized cots all help relieve the stresses of family-travel. Couple those amenities with the overall reputation for efficiency, friendliness and cleanliness and you’ve got yourself a number 7 spot!
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Airport Tours ($) • 24 Hour Food Options • Luggage Storage ($) • Movies ($) • Museum • Rest & Relaxation Zone • Showers ($). Visit our Prague Airport Guide for more information.
8. Frankfurt International Airport, Germany (FRA)
I had a 24 hour layover at Frankfurt and I ended up sleeping in the C1 section on the first floor. – Cybrie
Frankfurt did a bit of a nosedive in this year’s rankings, dropping down from its former fifth place. Voters expressed a lot of frustration with the elaborate security and transit processes that are enforced in this expansive airport. That said, once you do make it to the gates, there still are a few great attractions and activities to enjoy your time awaiting your flight. Passengers will find rest and relaxation zones, showers, casino, concert venue, spa, oxygen bar, terrace and a few children’s play zones throughout. As for sleeping, you’ll find rest zones, seats without armrest and free unlimited Wi-Fi – there is certainly nothing wrong with that!
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Hotel connected to the Airport ($) • Airport Tours ($) • 24 Hour Food Options ($) • Casino ($) • Showers ($). Visit our Frankfurt Airport Guide for more information.
9. Copenhagen Kastrup International Airport, Denmark (CPH)
When the lounge closed at 8pm we went upstairs to the quiet area with the comfortable looking lounge chairs. – AthenaKolbe
Copenhagen’s Kastrup is a spacious and clean airport. Travellers regard it to be especially user friendly – in part because of its super-fast Wi-Fi. Transit passengers are also big fans of the duty free shopping here, the good variety of restaurants and – perhaps most notably – the Ni’mat Spa in the Hilton Hotel, which offers a saltwater pool, and aroma steam bath and a fish spa. Sleepers appreciate the designated quiet zone, which comes compete with comfortable highback chairs. The only major complaint that comes out of CPH revolves around the cold temperatures – so bring a sweater!
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Quiet Zones • Hotel connected to the Airport ($) • Luggage Storage ($). Visit our Copenhagen Kastrup Airport Guide for more information.
10. Oslo Gardermoen International Airport, Norway (OSL)
I’ve easily found a comfy, padded bench to sleep on near an electrical outlet, and enjoyed the use of fast and free Wi-Fi. – a traveller
Oslo Gardermoen Airport retains its spot on our Top 10 list because travellers say the airport is clean, comfortable and friendly. The two-hours of free Wi-Fi is generally appreciated, and we’re really looking forward to see how this year’s piloted wireless charging stations pan out moving forward.
Airport Services/Facilities To Enjoy Your Layover: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free Wi-Fi • Hotel connected to the Airport • 24 Hour Food Options ($). Visit our Oslo Gardermoen Airport Guide for more information.
Of course it isn’t all sunshine and magic in Europe – this continent also happens to be home to some of our voter’s least favourite airports. Check out the “winners” of the Worst Airports in Europe next!