It actually wouldn’t suck if you had to stay overnight.
Traveling can either be a dream come true or a total nightmare—especially if you have to stay a lengthy amount of time at the airport due to weather or some random “unforeseen circumstance.” But not all airports are like purgatory. In fact, we rounded up 9 spots you’d want to hang out at even if you didn’t have a flight. Here’s to hoping you have a layover in one of these destinations.
1. Denver International Airport (Denver, Colorado)
With a rotating art exhibition and about 140 different food and shopping retailers, you’ll never get the exact same experience twice when you visit this western airport. It’s basically like touring a small town within one gigantic building. Don’t forget to stop at the “Wish You Were Here” photo booth so you can make all your friends and family super jelly.
2. Orlando International Airport (Orlando, FL)
In case you didn’t get your fun fix at Disney World or Universal Studios, there’s always the Orlando airport—especially if you have kids. Forgot to pick up souvenirs because you were too busy taking snaps with Mickey Mouse? No sweat. There’s a licensed Walt Disney World store stocked with Disney pins, toys and other memorabilia.
3. Vancouver International Airport (British Columbia, Canada)
Vancouver’s home to the number one airport in North America because the staff is friendly, there’s easy access to downtown, and it’s extremely easy to navigate. On top of that, it’s almost like a mini-museum, complete with sculptures, books and artwork depicting the Aboriginal people and their heritage.
4. Heathrow Airport (London, England)
The largest airport in Europe, Heathrow has amenities that are guaranteed to impress even the most well-traveled jet-setter. Shop at upscale retailers like Burberry, Bottega Veneta and Tiffany & Co.; check out the impressive art displays; or take a load off at one of the relaxing spas on-site. And if you’re looking to treat yourself to something other than the golden arches, there’s always Seafood Bar Caviar House and Prunier.
5. Cape Town International Airport (Cape Town, South Africa)
Cape Town International Airport may look like any other airport, but it’s actually very rich in local culture. Along with satisfying your South African souvenir needs, you can also experience “the official restaurant of the South African family.” The airport is home to the largest Spur restaurant, a Native American-themed steak house with origins in the area. Diners can enjoy their ribeye while gazing out a huge glass window sitting about three plane stories above ground.
6. Hong Kong International Airport (Hong Kong, China)
When you think of going to an IMAX theater, a nine-hole golf course, a fancy restaurant, and an iSports car-racing simulator, it sounds like a really great weekend at home, right? Well, all that and more can be found within the environs of the Hong Kong airport. If you’re not into all of the fancy attractions, you can take a shower and relax at one of the cushy traveler’s lounges.
7. Incheon International Airport (Incheon, South Korea)
It’s almost impossible to become bored at South Korea’s Incheon International Airport when you can watch the latest Hollywood blockbusters at a movie theater, master 18 holes of putt-putt golf or go ice skating. If you’re more in the mood to chill, stroll through one of the seven gardens, make paper crafts while listening to live music or just go get a massage. The airport also offers free showers and wifi for those who don’t want to drop any Won.
8. Zürich Airport (Zürich, Switzerland)
It’s easy to make this airport into a second home. Plug your phone into one of the charging lockers, send the kids to the play area, and take a power snooze in one of the nap rooms after a long shower. Once you’re rested, soak in the gorgeous environs from the rooftop terrace, rent skates to explore the airport, dine at an upscale eatery, and nibble on fine chocolates while you wait for your flight. Kinda sounds like a date on “The Bachelor,” no?
9. Changi International Airport (Changi, Singapore)
Changi International Airport has been named the best airport in the world—and for good reason. It’s always constantly expanding with new ways to impress guests. Aside from an impressive luxury retail lineup, some crowing features include a rooftop pool, a kinetic playground, and free movie theater. Um, when’s my flight again?
What’s your favorite airport to hang out in during a long layover or delayed flight? Let us know!