While most travellers prefer to fly direct, the team at DL welcomes layover’s in these 7 amazing airports. From aquariums, gardens and pools to global cuisine and cultural dining we uncover the unmissable layover experiences you must try between your next flights.
By Annabel Fuller
Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
You won’t want to leave the transit area of Singapore’s Changi Airport which features art installations, a rooftop garden, a lily pond and a swimming pool; amongst a cinema, butterfly garden and the world’s tallest airport slide where you can plunge four stories for fun. The airport also offers traditional Asian stores selling local jewellery, embroidery and cuisine. If none of those activities takes your fancy the airport offers a free city tour lasting 2.5 hours that takes transiting passengers to all of the cities must-see locations.
Dubai International Airport (DXB)
Dubai hosts travellers from across the globe making it no wonder it has an activity for all types of transistors. The airport is renowned for its expansive and grandiose setup – from luxe shopping to fancy in-airport hotel health club, the airport centres around luxury. If you’re seeking a more relaxed layover the airport also features a Zen Garden and napping pods and for the kids, a miniature in-airport trampoline park can be found in terminal 3.
Munich International Airport (MUC)
If you’re feeling festive, Munich is an ideal layover to boost your Christmas spirit. Starting in late November the airport transforms into a winter wonderland with the open-air atrium between terminals 1 and 2 becoming a traditional German Christmas market, featuring handmade crafts, mulled wine, an ice rink and even a carousel.
Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)
From sushi and shopping to the Shibuya crossing, regardless if you have an hour or a day this airport is bustling with activities. For those with shorter layovers, we recommend staying within the airport and heading up to the vast flight observation deck on level 5 of the international terminal. Here you can view all the flight traffic and even take your hand at flying your own way home, with flight simulators available to hire. If you have a longer layover, why not explore Tokyo. HND is only 15 minutes from the city centre with the Kyu Shiba Rikya Garden reflection ponds only a three-minute walk from the World Trade Centre monorail stop. If you’re feeling hungry the Tsukiji fish market a 20-minute walk from the Gardens, however, it is said to have some of Japan’s best sushi but don’t have too much fun exploring you’ve got to get back to catch your connection.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
In addition to an in-terminal airport, massage salon and spa, YVR is home to over 20,000 marine plants and animals. In a unique partnership with the Vancouver Aquarium, this airport runs two exhibits showcasing wolf eels, anemones, sea stars, kelp greenlings, sea urchins and jellyfish amongst other indigenous sea animals all for free for transiting passengers.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
Transiting can be stressful so SFO came up with a way to combat your travel woes. The airport has enlisted a Wag Brigade of 20+ trained dogs who stroll the airport to help de-stress travellers. If you notice a dog wearing a vest saying, “Pet me!” feel free to approach the dog and feel the stress melt away.
Plus, another bonus of SFO is it is the first zero-waste airport in the world, so don’t forget to pack a water bottle because you won’t find one in this terminal.
Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (NBO)
You don’t need much time in Nairobi to join an African Safari. Just 10 minutes from the airport is the Nairobi National Park, which allows visitors to get face to face with safari favourites like lions, giraffes, zebra, antelopes, rhinos and hippos. 4 hours is recommended to cover the 116 square Km park, however, you could still see plenty of animals in less time.