These are the 15 coolest things at airports around the world

DUBAI, UAE - FEB 1: The newer Terminal 3 (Emirates) at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports, on Feb 1, 2014. It is the single largest building in the world by floor space.

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DUBAI, UAE – FEB 1: The newer Terminal 3 (Emirates) at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports, on Feb 1, 2014. It is the single largest building in the world by floor space.
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shutterstock/Ritu Manoj Jethani

  • Passengers can do more than just wait for their plane at airports; they can watch IMAX movies, explore jungles, check out aquariums, and even relax at a pool.
  • Here are a collection of the coolest attractions found at airports around the world in countries such as Germany, Hong Kong, South Korea, and Singapore.

International air travel is normally a pretty stressful affair. We hustle just to get to the airport. Then we stand through long lines in both security and passport check. We are usually charged fee after fee just to board the plane and get our bags through; and to top it off, the seats are usually crammed. Good luck keeping your head on straight if there’s a layover, as that can leave you stuck in an airport for hours on end.

But there are some airports out there that you may never want to leave.

For instance, there’s a 25-meter lap pool at the Hamad International Airport in Qatar. There’s also a giant aquarium inside Vancouver International Airport. And Hong Kong International Airport features not just an Imax and virtual golf course, but also has an aromatherapy spa, and over fifty shops and restaurants inside the terminals.

These airports were built to impress travelers, not just to shuttle them around the world. They were constructed to the tune of many millions (if not billions) of dollars to impress and inspire world travelers on a grand scale of what their host countries are capable of accomplishing.

Let’s take a look at some of the coolest attractions at airports around the world.


1. Hamad International Airport (Qatar) — Swimming pool

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Swimming Pool in Qatar Airport
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shutterstock/Danny Iacob

Opened in 2014, the Hamad International Airport features a 25 meter, temperature-controlled indoor lap pool. It is open to the public and for only $35 one can take advantage of the pool, gym and Jacuzzi.


2. Munich International Airport (Germany) — Ice rink

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Christmas and Winter Market with ice rink in the Munich Airport.
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shutterstock/MikhailMarkovskiy

There is no other airport in the world that supplies its travelers with both a brewery and giant ice rink. During Christmas the airport holds a winter market where travelers can skate around and then try various brews.


3. Incheon International Airport (South Korea) — Indoor Garden

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Incheon International Airport
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shutterstock/kiraziku2u

Since opening in 2001, this has been rated one of the top airports in the world. Incheon International includes fascinating architecture and various gardens sprinkled throughout its terminals.


4. Vancouver International Airport (Canada) — Aquarium

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Pacific Northwest Native Indian totem design, aquarium and artificial rock lake in the airport in Vancouver
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shutterstock/MichaelWarwick

One of the coolest airports in Canada, Vancouver International features a flowing creek leading to an impressive aquarium. There are also pieces of aboriginal art native to Canada scattered throughout the airport.


5. Kuala Lumpur International Airport (Malaysia) — Jungle boardwalk

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Flickr/eGuide Travel

One of the world’s busiest airports since it opened in 1998, travelers are often amazed at the Jungle Boardwalk and the palm trees inside the Satellite Terminal gardens, which are encased in circular glass.


6. San Francisco International Airport, International Terminal (U.S.A.) — Yoga Room

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Interior view of San Francisco International Airport. SFO is one of the busiest airports in the U.S.
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Reuters/LucyNicholson

San Francisco International Airport’s international terminal features a yoga room to offer its travelers a way to relax after a long overnight flight. There is also the SFO Library and Museum in the International Terminal that has exhibits and books on hand.


7. Dubai International Airport (United Arab Emirates) — Interactive kids zone

DUBAI, UAE - FEB 1: The newer Terminal 3 (Emirates) at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports, on Feb 1, 2014. It is the single largest building in the world by floor space.

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The newer Terminal 3 (Emirates) at Dubai International Airport, one of the busiest airports, on Feb 1, 2014. It is the single largest building in the world by floor space.
source
shutterstock/Ritu Manoj Jethani

Dubai International Airport is nothing short of palatial. It’s Terminal 3 building alone is 18 million square feet and was the largest building in the world (by floor space) upon its completion in 2008.

For passengers, that means there are going to a slew of available shopping, restaurants, spas, and even sleep pods. For the young ones, there’s a dedicated kids zone complete with interactive games, family-friendly entertainment, and a climbing area.


8. Hong Kong International Airport (Hong Kong SAR, China) — Aviation Museum

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Interior view of the busy Hong Kong International Airport (HKG),
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shutterstock/EQroy

Where do we begin with the Hong Kong International Airport? There’s an IMAX, virtual golf course, aromatherapy spa, and tons of shops inside. Oh, there’s also a small aviation museum complete with flight simulators called the Aviation Discovery Centre.


9. Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (Spain)— Unique architecture

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Check-in hall of Barajas Airport in April 26, 2013 in Madrid, Spain. Interior of Terminal 4, designed by Antonio Lamela and Richard Rogers
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shutterstock/Iakov Filimonov

One of the two largest airports in Europe based on sheer size, Terminal 4 at Madrid-Barajas is the crown jewel. With angular architecture, flowing dome roofs, circular ceiling windows, and giant cross beams, Terminal 4 is a modern wonder.


10. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore) — Everything

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Trong Nguyen/Shutterstock

One of the central travel hubs in Asia, Singapore’s Changi Airport is generally considered the best airport in the world. Travelers are often amazed by its cleanliness, great service, and dramatic interior design. But there’s much more.


11. Highlights include a four-story tall slide…

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Changi Airport

12. …A rooftop pool,…

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Changi Airport

13. Several ponds stocked with fish.

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Inside of Singapore Changi Airport.
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shutterstock/sorbis

14. A butterfly garden, and…

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Photo courtesy of Singapore Changi Airport

15. …Sunflower garden.

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Photo courtesy of Singapore Changi Airport