We all want to avoid layovers, which are typically uncomfortable and annoying experiences. But not at those with the best airport attractions. For reasons explained below, some of the best airports for layovers provide a good experience, including airports in Tampa, Munich, Amsterdam, Atlanta, Vancouver, Dubai, Las Vegas and across Florida.
In some cases, these airports just provide well thought-out and pleasant amenities. In others, you can gamble, look at art and even see a jellyfish.
So, if you book a trip that requires a layover, don’t fret. Just try to make it in one of the airports listed below.
Tampa International Airport
Tampa International Airport ranks in the top tier of best airports for layovers because of its design, amenities and overall cleanliness and order. One of the busiest airports for business people and tourists from around the world, TIA has a convenient spoke-and-wheel design for its terminals, 24-hour food choices, free WiFi and the option of pay-for-use lounges. Friendly staff, too.
Munich International Airport
Germans are known for creating orderly and clean transportation, and the Munich International Airport provides a stellar example of that approach. A major hub for people flying into Europe, the airport provides nap cabins, free tea and coffee stalls, and a Bavarian brewery. It even has a mini golf course and an ice rink.
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta ranks as the busiest airport in the world. If you have time to kill waiting for your next flight, you can get great exercise by walking the miles of tunnels that connect all the terminals. The airport also has more than 200 restaurants and retailers and live music in the food court.
Vancouver International Airport
If you have a layover in Vancouver International Airport, then you must check out the permanent exhibit run by the Vancouver Aquarium in the international terminal. This 114,000-liter aquarium has more than 5,000 animals, including wolf eels, Red Irish Lord fish, giant plumose anemone, and an armored sea cucumber. It’s easy to see how this one ranks among the best airports for layovers – what other airport has an armored sea cucumber?
Dubai International Airport
Dubai International Airport in the United Arab Emirates is one of the best airports for a layover for the same reason so much in the UAE makes other “best of” lists: A lot of money has been spent building it. This airport has an in-airport hotel health spa, fantastic jewelry stores and beautiful design. If you have time to leave the airport, there are dune buggy and camel rides not far away.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
There is truly no other airport like Amsterdam Airport Schiphol. This airport is the only one in the world that has an art museum attached. The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam Schiphol features paintings from Van Gogh and other masters. If art isn’t your thing, you can also go to the Holland Casino between gates E and F in departure Hall 2. Talk about your extremes in entertainment options!
Speaking of gambling, you can certainly do that in Las Vegas McCarran International Airport. The Las Vegas airport made a recent list of U.S. airports with the highest level of customer satisfaction, making it among the best airports for layovers.
Florida, another place with many tourists and visitors, also placed many airports on the list, including Orlando International Airport, Jacksonville International Airport, Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, Fla., and Palm Beach International Airport.
Other U.S. airports on the list included:
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport/World
- Portland (Ore.) International Airport
- Dallas Love Field
- Indianapolis International Airport
These best airports for layovers can turn a long trip into something that is at least pleasant and sometimes memorable. Keep them in mind when you need to book a trip and it requires more than one flight and a long layover.