The airport is the first thing you see when you come to a new country, and there’s plenty to see right away. Modern airports aren’t just helping you get from A to B: they often offer a wide selection of cheap or even free entertainment for passengers.
Masr would like to share with you several useful features of airports from around the world — and give some useful advice as well. Be sure to read to the end!
Hong Kong International Airport
The airport boasts a selection of free temporary exhibitions that take place at different periods and offers interactive tours for both children and adults. But the main feature is the UA IMAX Theatre. This cinema has the biggest screen in Hong Kong and a 350-seat hall, showing movies in both 2D and 3D. The tickets cost about $10.
Kloten Airport, Zurich
Kloten Airport is one of the busiest hubs in Europe, and it gives travelers an opportunity to see air trips from another angle. Its guided tours will let you see all the airport facilities up close. Besides, experienced guides will take you to “secret” places of the Kloten and tell you how the Swiss manage such a huge business. The cost of a tour is CHF 10, with substantial discounts for groups, and no charge for children.
Changi International Airport, Singapore
Changi is at the top of the list of the best airports in the world. You can see the unique nature of the region: there’s a botanical garden, sunflower, cactus, and orchid gardens, as well as a pond with exotic fish and a butterfly garden. On the roof, there’s a swimming pool and bubble bath with a spectacular view. Two terminals have free cinemas. The airport’s website has a convenient guide with activities for any time of stay.
Incheon International Airport, Seoul
One of the most exotic airports in the world offers many kinds of entertainment for passengers. You can become familiar with the local culture even if you’re only connecting and aren’t visiting South Korea proper. There are traditional crafts to learn, local music to listen to, and Korean rituals to see — and all of it for free. And to top it off, there’s a skating rink for the whole family.
Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam
A book is any traveler’s best friend, and in Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport it’s as obvious as ever. Here you’ll find a complete library with thousands of books, a catalog, and a cozy reading hall. Take a warm quilt, make yourself comfortable, and have a good read.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
Apart from the standard set of services, the largest airport of Taiwan offers something really unique. For one thing, there are constant unusual classes for tourists, from calligraphy lessons to tasting local foods. But the main feature of the place and an attraction for kids from all over the world is a Hello Kitty pavilion.
Franz Josef Strauss Airport, Munich
Munich is Germany, Germany is beer, and beer is…Munich. If you have a spare couple of hours at Munich airport, be sure to visit its Airbrau brewery. It doesn’t just brew but also gives tours. Even teenagers are allowed, although they won’t get a taste. The price is about $8-$10. Another interesting entertainment here is a real surf festival with surfing lessons. Just watch the dates.
Vancouver International Airport
Vancouver Airport is frequently on the list of the best airports in the world. It’s the best place to start your tour across North America. Here, you can see works of art inspired by the First Nations’ culture, the most impressive among them being a carved 36-feet-long canoe. But the pinnacle is, by all means, the 114,000-liter aquarium in the international terminal atrium. It’s a branch of Vancouver Aquarium that imitates the ocean life of British Columbia in miniature.
Dubai International Airport
This is one of the biggest connection hubs in the world and the center of Asia, and it’s a place where you just can’t be bored. The main feature is, perhaps, the sheer number of duty-free stores: they take up 18,000 square yards (15,000 sq m). It’s a veritable shopaholic’s paradise. Even without buying anything, you can delve into the world of Arabic luxury and get to know the locals. And if you have a spare $27-$138, you can test your luck and take part in regular lotteries for a chance to win an awesome motorcycle or a sports car.
Some advice on airport behavior
It’s no secret that airport security checks can be quite an unpleasant procedure, especially when security guards take their liberty to search you head to toe. To avoid too much stressand reduce the hold-up time at security, follow these simple recommendations:
- Try not to book your flight on a weekend, when airports are busiest.
- Check in your baggage at home, or travel with hand luggage only.
- Make sure your bags comply with size/weight restrictions and safety regulations of both the country of departure and the country of arrival.