We tend to think of airports as little more than a crush of humanity, endless security queues, and exorbitant prices. But thankfully, not all airports fit that impression. Some are actually quite calming, well planned and a genuine pleasure to spend a few hours in.
Conde Nast Traveler recently asked its readers to pick the best airports in the world, and these are the results. If you’re planning a trip somewhere soon, you might want to include one of these airports in your itinerary.
1 / 10
10. Zurich, Switzerland (ZRH)
Switzerland's main airport is a popular one with business travellers. There are five VIP lounges, numerous comfy bars and restaurants and more than 80 shops to choose from. There's even a grocery store, notes Conde Nast Traveler.
2 / 10
9. Helsinki, Finland (HEL)
According to Conde Nast Traveler, HEL is anything but. It has fast transfer times, and if you want to overnight on a long journey, you can get a good deal on hotel rates in the Finnish capital. It's not a big airport, but it offers some things most don't: like spas and saunas!
3 / 10
8. Tokyo Haneda, Japan (HND)
Tokyo Haneda one big advantage over the better known Narita Airport: it's closer to the city — just 13 minutes via a rail link to the Tokyo subway. Conde Nast Traveler compares that to nearly two-hours to get to Narita. Many airlines now offer direct service. Plus there's a transit hotel in the international terminal meaning you don't have to clear customs to have a snooze.
4 / 10
7. Copenhagen, Denmark (CPH)
Located close to both Copenhagen and Malmo, Sweden and with quick rail links, CPH is a comfortable, well-designed airport. Visitors will find a duty free shopping centre to explore. If you're transiting through Copenhagen and have a few hours to kill, the aforementioned rail links make it easy to get to town for a walkabout.
5 / 10
6. Hong Kong International (HKG)
Hong Kong's huge international airport is the hub for Cathay Pacific and consistently receives high marks from passengers and airport rating organizations. The city centre is just 24 minutes away via an express link. HKG is a gateway to the rest of China and if you've got a long stopover, you can rent a nap room for a few hours or catch a movie in the IMAX Theatre.
6 / 10
5. Dubai International, UAE (DXB)
A couple of Middle Eastern airports make the Top 10. Dubai's international airport is one of the busiest in the world, says Conde Nast Traveler. It has a massive duty-free shopping centre and is the hub for Emirates.
7 / 10
4. Billy Bishop Toronto City (YTZ)
Surprisingly, there is only one Canadian airport in the Top 10. Not surprisingly it's Toronto's super-handy Billy Bishop Airport. It's even easier to access from downtown thanks to a new tunnel to the Toronto Island terminal. Unfortunately, while the airport serves small, regional flights with ease it can't handle large aircraft because of its size.
8 / 10
3. Hamad International, Qatar (DOH)
The second Middle Eastern airport in the Top 10 is Qatar's Hamad International in Doha. According to Conde Nast, the sprawling airport has eight premium lounges and several entertainment zones. Shopping is big at DOH with 80 luxury shoppes ready to take your money.
9 / 10
2. Seoul-Incheon, Korea (ICN)
ICN is only 15-years-old but is constantly expanding. A new terminal opens in 2020, reports Conde Nast. The airport offers travellers a variety of ways to pass the time from lounging in a spa to going for a skate on an indoor rink. It's also lauded for its food offerings and convenient rail link to downtown Seoul.
10 / 10
1. Singapore Changi (SIN)
Singapore's Changi Airport takes the top spot on the best airports list. Conde Nast readers pointed to the airport's many amenities including, in no particular order: a free movie theatre, a swimming pool, free city tours, an indoor waterfall, a slew of restaurants and a butterfly garden. Why leave the airport?