Date: October 17, 2015
Meet the world’s ten most sensational airports! Ranked the best in the world by voters in our 2015 Airport Survey, these chart-topping terminals go above and beyond when it comes to providing a clean and comfortable travel experience, complete with services and facilities you might not even imagine. Spending time here truly is an experience in and of itself given that airports practically bring the host city to you! With indoor jungles, aquariums, IMAX theatres, spas and an endless number of shops and restaurants, travellers repeatedly talk about being sad to hear the boarding call for their flight. Enjoy!
These are the Top 10 Best Airports in the World based on overall airport experience as determined by voters in our 2015 Airport Survey:
1. Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN)
You will not get bored even if you have 12 hrs waiting transit. Fully equipped with first class facilities. Very comfy and relaxing. – a traveller
For nearly two decades, Singapore Changi has firmly held onto its spot as both the best airport in Asia – and the world! It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to describing the airport’s strengths. Perhaps, it’s the extreme efficiency experienced when moving from the airplane to the city centre? Or maybe it’s the luxurious layover indulgences, which include a fish spa, a sauna, a butterfly garden, showers and a koi pond? Other’s might argue that it’s the fitness and entertainment activities – which include a multi-story slide, a gym, a free movie theatre and the free city tours. We can’t be sure! Voters are quick to liken time spent here to a five-star hotel that they are sad to leave, even after 22 hours inside it. No matter which way you look at it, Singapore Changi offers a soothing and entertaining environment within an impeccably clean airport that is staffed by some of the world’s most pleasant people. See also Best Airports in Asia and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Free City Tour • Free Movies • Napping Rooms ($) • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Swimming Pool ($) • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Gardens • Rest Zones • Spa ($) • Cultural Activities. For more information, visit our Singapore Changi Airport Guide.
2. Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea (ICN)
Rest and relaxation area was a quiet haven and respite from the departure area below. – a traveller
Perpetually hot on Singapore Changi’s heels is Seoul Incheon – a consistent second place winner on our best airports list. The airport earns adoration from travellers by offering up free showers, ultra-fast free Wi-Fi, plenty of comfortable seating (think: recliners, beanbag chairs, relaxation areas, etc.) and impeccable service. It also provides a number of unique locally-inspired activities, like the Korean Cultural Street, indoor gardens, (reasonably priced) local cuisine, cultural performances and free tours of the city for transit passengers! One traveller summed it up perfectly in saying that the saddest part of their time at ICN was realizing that their gate was open and that it was time to leave. A great layover option, Seoul Incheon is practically loved by all! See also Best Airports in Asia and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options • Gardens • Cultural Activities • Luggage Storage ($) • Free Showers • Skating Rink ($) • Transit Tour ($). For more information, visit our Seoul Incheon Airport Guide.
3. Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Japan (HND)
Very good access by train, monorail and bus. Fast and quick for immigration. Sushi bar is available at departure terminal. – a traveller
Tokyo Haneda is admired by travellers for being tidy, efficient, modern and generally just really pleasant. Connected to the city centre in roughly 45 minutes by public transport, HND is far preferred to Tokyo’s other airport: Narita, which is located 2+ hours away. Activities within the airport do tend to be a little scarce, but this is all but made up for by the outstanding food and the attached hotels – one of which is for humans and the other, for pets. For those who would rather not splurge for the hotel, the terminals are also reviewed to be good for sleepers. Because all shops and services shut down at night, sleepers are left undisturbed in relative darkness. See also Best Airports in Asia and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Tokyo Haneda Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of kurosawagram on Instagram
4. Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan (TPE)
A very comfortable airport to relax in for those lengthy transfers. There’s also a museum to visit for travelers who feel like killing time. – a traveller
Taipei’s primary airport first snags traveller attention with a series of creatively themed gates that pay tribute to Hello Kitty, tea, Taiwan music, and the Asian Oscars. Themed chairs, a red carpet and a free travel library keep passengers entertained as they explore each gate, eventually finding their own. TPE also provides a number of more practical perks, including unlimited free Wi-Fi, a transit hotel, private lounges, free 15-minute showers (complete with free Kiehls shower kit), and a number of art and museum exhibits. The duty free shops are mentioned for liberally giving out free samples, and the staff are reputed to be particularly friendly. See also Best Airports in Asia and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge • Free WiFi • Free 15-minute Showers • Transit Hotel ($) • Cultural Activities • Library • Luggage Storage • Museum • Rest Zones. For more information, visit our Taipei Taoyuan Airport Guide.
5. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong (HKG)
Large airport with a lot of facilities : good food , good duty free shopping , large area for walking and waiting – a traveller
Hong Kong International Airport is allegedly kept so clean that you can eat off the floor without worry – though we’re not sure we’ll actually try this. That, and in spite of being gigantic, it is easy to navigate. The terminals provide all of the standard-yet-extravagant Asian airport amenities, including gardens, sleep rooms, spas and showers within a naturally light and airy space. And, HKG happens to be home to the nation’s largest IMAX theatre, which plays a combination of national and international films throughout the day. Sleep-wise, travellers love the availability of armrest-free chairs, the ultra-friendly staff and the abundance of 24-hour restaurant options. See also Best Airports in Asia and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • IMAX Theatre ($) • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Hong Kong Airport Guide.
Photo courtesy of cynthiawxb on Instagram
6. Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)
I was really happy to find a FREE coffee machine around door 38. I don’t know if it was a promotion or it’s always there – a traveller
Unsurprisingly, Munich International Airport is run with true German precision. Efficient, speedy and impressively organized, layovers through MUC are delightfully straightforward and reliable. These precise terminals are not without their comfort and frills either. Free coffee near gate 38 and the free relaxation zones are both welcomed by the budget-conscious, while those willing to splurge delight at the Terminal 2 NapCabs, the airport brewery and the Fit & Fly Spa. Free and unlimited Wi-Fi is happy addition to all passengers, and the casino, cinema and on-site mini golf and surfing competitions give a unique flair to this German travel hub. See also Best Airports in Europe and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • 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.
7. Helsinki Airport, Finland (HEL)
There are new sleeping pods available between terminals 1 and 2. Some of those are free to use, others $10 per hour. (Yikes!) – a traveller
The innovative and transit-friendly Helsinki International Airport continued to impress travellers, this year it was their introduction of sleep pods in March, which generated the most positive feedback. Though there were some complaints about crowded gates and armrests, voters really appreciated the ample charging points for plugs and USBs, the free book swap, and of course the free and unlimited Wi-Fi. All these great features are hosted in clean, fresh, modern and easy to navigate terminals that are peppered with friendly and helpful staff. Other treats within these Nordic terminals include art galleries, a spa, work stations and loads of eateries and shops. Though none of the inventive TravelLab installations like the yoga studio or the sleep rooms have become permanent fixtures just yet, we suspect this airport will continue to impress in the years to come. See also Best Airports in Europe and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Free (and Paid) Sleep Pods ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Book Swap • 24-Hour Food Options • Luggage Storage ($) • Rest Zone • Workstations. For more information, visit our Helsinki Airport Guide.
8. Vancouver International Airport, Canada (YVR)
this airport is so welcoming, well laid out, easy on the eyes, and comfortable by airport standards. – a traveller
Ultra-welcoming, thoughtfully designed, extremely comfortable and fantastically friendly, YVR topped our North American charts for another year running. Highlights at Vancouver International Airport include the giant aquarium in the international departures lounge, dozens of art and museum exhibits, plenty of local First Nation’s inspiration, self-guided tours and a peasant variety of shops and restaurants. Logistically-speaking, other perks include the unlimited free Wi-Fi, the good signage, the rest zones, the luggage storage and the showers. What’s more, all terminals are kept impeccably clean by a team of friendly staff, making time spent here feel, as one voter put it, far less institutional. We couldn’t agree more with another voter who described it as a “hell of a welcome to Canada”! Also, did we mention how efficiently the Canada Line gets you into the city centre? Vancouver for the win! See also Best Airports in North America and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • Free WiFi • Aquarium • Rest Zones • 24-Hour Food Options ($) • Self-Guided Tour • Showers ($) • Luggage Storage ($). For more information, visit our Vancouver Airport Guide.
9. Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (KUL)
The airport is exotic, yet with all the creature comforts and looks of a 5 star hotel. – a traveller
Kuala Lumpur’s main terminal continues to amaze travellers with its indoor rainforest, complete with wooden walkways along the forest floor and through the canopy. Looking more broadly, the main terminal is well-reviewed for being clean, spacious, comfortable and organized. Restaurant options cater well to all types of travellers, and there is enough shopping and free Wi-Fi to keep you going for a few hours. That said, the airport’s KLIA2 Terminal drops the airport’s overall score by a number of points. Noisy, cold and uncomfortable, this terminal is a far less impressive counterpart to the main terminal. Complaints aside, some improvements have been made. There is now a movie lounge and sleeping area that are decent for catching some shuteye, and there are a number of F and G plugs installed that suit most European devices. See also Best Airports in Asia and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounges ($) • 3 hours Free WiFi • Napping Rooms ($) • Transit Hotel ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Rest Zones • Showers ($) • Spa. For more information, visit our Kuala Lumpur Airport Guide.
10. Zurich Kloten International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)
Earplugs was also not necessary, as it was completely quiet (without any announcements) from 11PM – a traveller
Similar to Munich, Zurich’s International airport is precise, efficient and tidy. The low lighting and impeccably clean surroundings make this a calm and soothing place to navigate. Those who sleep here are treated to relative darkness and quiet until 4 or 5am, where they can tuck away on couches and armrest-free benches with plenty of plugs around. That said, voters do hold onto a few warranted frustrations at ZRH – the biggest of which is the high prices. Though there are plenty of good shops, restaurants and a transit hotel, they all demand a hefty number of Swiss Francs for their goodies. And, Wi-Fi is limited to 60 free minutes. The frugal can find reprieve at the landside grocery stores, where sandwiches and snacks are sold at a digestible price. See also Best Airports in Europe and Best Airports for Sleeping.
Airport Services/Facilities: Pay-per-use Lounge ($) • 60 minutes Free WiFi • Transit Hotel ($) • Airport Tours ($) • Bicycle, Inline Skates and Nordic Walking Pole Rentals ($) • Luggage Storage ($) • Showers ($). For more information, visit our Zurich Airport Guide.
Top 30 Best Airports in the World
We are often asked how other airports ranked in the survey, so below you will find a list of the Top 30 Best Airports in the World as voted by travellers in our 2015 Airport Survey. Ratings are based on the average traveller scores.
- Singapore Changi International Airport, Singapore (SIN)
- Seoul Incheon International Airport, South Korea (ICN)
- Tokyo Haneda International Airport, Japan (HND)
- Taipei Taoyuan International Airport, Taiwan (TPE)
- Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong (HKG)
- Munich International Airport, Germany (MUC)
- Helsinki International Airport, Finland (HEL)
- Vancouver International Airport, Canada (YVR)
- Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia (KUL)
- Zurich Kloten International Airport, Switzerland (ZRH)
- Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, Portugal (OPO)
- Tallinn International Airport, Estonia (TLL)
- Tampa International Airport, USA (TPA)
- Portland International Airport, USA (PDX)
- Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport, USA (MSP)
- Wellington International Airport, New Zealand (WLG)
- Osaka Kansai International Airport, Japan (KIX)
- New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport, India (DEL)
- Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, India (HYD)
- Amsterdam Schiphol International Airport, Netherlands (AMS)
- Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, India (BOM)
- Athens Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Greece (ATH)
- Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates (DXB)
- Stockholm Arlanda International Airport, Sweden (ARN)
- Vienna International Airport, Austria (VIE)
- Cape Town International Airport, South Africa (CPT)
- Doha Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)
- San Francisco International Airport, USA (SFO)
- Adelaide International Airport, Australia (ADL)
- Auckland International Airport, New Zealand (AKL)