The ranking of the most beautiful airports in the world

Airports are places of transit, not destinations. By definition, indeed, an airport is either a point of departure or arrival, on the way to distant destinations, to be reached for pleasure or business. Yet, there are airports that, because of the boldness of their architecture or the services provided, become attractions per se. But which are the most beautiful airports in the world, attracting every traveller’s attention? Let us discover them together.

The 10 most beautiful airports in the world

Among the most beautiful airports in the world, there are plenty of examples to mention: take for instance Heydar Aliyev airport in Baku, Azerbaijan, with its distinctive wood and stone structures; or the thatched-roof airport with open terminals in Koh Samui, in Thailand; or  Adolfo Suárez airport in Madrid, Spain, with its new Terminal 4 covered by a bamboo ceiling. Selecting the most beautiful airports in the world, as you can imagine, was not easy: here are our top 10.

1 – Changi International Airport, Singapore

It is among the most famous airports at a global level and is widely regarded as the most beautiful airport in the world. It is Changi International Airport in Singapore, and this airport cannot fail to appear at the top of our list. One is struck by so many aspects when arriving at this place that is constantly crowded with travellers. One cannot fail to mention, for example, the Jewel Changi Airport, the visionary hub designed by architect Moshe Safdie: a grandiose steel and glass structure linking three of the airport’s four terminals and including gardens, amenities and various attractions. Visitors are also amazed by the natural locations located within the airport, from the Arrival Garden to the Cactus Garden and the Tropical Rainforest Viviarium. Also noteworthy, in the T1 area of Singapore Airport, is the sculpture named “Kinetic Rain”, which took about 20 months to create. Also not to be missed is the Butterfly Garden, home to more than 1,000 butterflies, not to mention the Birds in Flight sculpture in the T3 area.

2 – Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar

Awarded several times as the best airport in the world, Doha’s Hamad International Airport is used by those travelling to Qatar as well as those catching Qatar Airways flights to cities in East Asia or Australia. Here architects and designers wanted to create a luxurious and futuristic environment, starting with the glass domes. Moreover, it is worth noting that there is a swimming pool, wellness centre and fitness room inside the airport. Those who have time on their hands can also make the most of their stopover with a quick city tour leaving and returning to the airport in just three hours, without the need to apply for a visa.

3 – Narita Airport in Tokyo, Japan

A very popular stopover on the way to Tokyo,  and much appreciated for the Zen experience offered to passengers. What makes the difference here are the details, from luggage storage to cloakrooms, not forgetting the many places where you can taste typical Japanese products, from sushi to ramen. All three terminals are connected by free and fast shuttles, while at a short distance from Tokyo Narita Airport is the fantastic Buddhist temple of Naritasan Shinsho-ji, with its characteristic pagoda roofs.

4 – Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan

Let us stay a little bit longer in Japan with Kansai airport, for which a gigantic 4-square-kilometre artificial island was built in the Osaka Bay. In Terminal 1, the Italian starchitect Renzo Piano‘s signature style is evident in the elegantly curved structures. The same terminal – the longest in the world stretching 1,700 metres – provides travellers with a monorail for fast and effortless mobility.

5 – Charles de Gaulle Airport, Paris, France

Some of the most beautiful airports in the world are located in Europe: in this case we are in Paris, at Charles de Gaulle airport. The main attraction here are the large shopping centres, primarily showcasing the products of major national brands. Not to be missed, for those who have time on their hands, is the museum area in Terminal 2E, which houses works borrowed from the major museums of the French capital.

6 – Istanbul International Airport, Turkey

Between Europe and Asia, the huge Istanbul Airport is immediately recognisable by its very high ceilings, prominent arcades and tree-shaped colonnades. Here travellers who want to rest can make use of the comfortable Sleep Pods, capsules in which they can rest, for example, during stopovers between flights.

7 – Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea

We move on to South Korea with Seoul‘s Incheon International Airport, which offers travellers the most diverse ways to pass the time between flights. These range from ice-skating and golf to cinemas. But that is not all, as Seoul Airport also offers travellers facing long waiting times the chance to take a shower free of charge. Those wishing to discover more about Korean culture can do so by walking down Korean Kultural Street, which replicates the local architecture.

8 – Marrakech-Menara Airport, Morocco

Some of the world’s most beautiful airports are also located in Africa. Marrakech Airport, which is the second largest in Morocco (after Casablanca Airport) is located 4 kilometres away from the city. Special features of the airport are the fascinating recurring patterns: just think about the arabesque windows that create a drawing with natural light on the floors, but also the patterns on the floors themselves, as well as the rich wall decorations.

9 – Munich Airport, Germany

Returning to Europe with the ten most beautiful airports in the world, we are now in Germany, this time in Munich: the airport of the main Bavarian city stands out for the various activities that can be enjoyed inside, starting for example with a microbrewery opened right inside the airport at the end of the 1990s, complete with an open-air tree garden. There are also areas for sleeping while waiting for flights, wellness centres, shoeshine areas, barber shops as well as a Christmas market – at the right time of the year.

10 – Zurich Airport, Switzerland

Zurich airport has some very special areas and rounds off our ranking of the world’s most beautiful airports. Think for example of the observation deck specially designed to offer a generous view of the aircraft cabins, to see the pilots at work; or the miniature airport, perfect for entertaining the little ones. And what about the adults? Those who have to wait several hours can rent bikes, roller skates or hiking poles to explore the area around the airport.