Airports these days offer so much more than just shopping and food. From giant slides to miniature terminals, not to mention priceless works of art, here’s our rundown on eight of the world’s most unusual airport terminals.
Most travellers are used to browsing duty free to kill time at the airport, but admiring van Gogh? You can do exactly that at Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, which has a small museum managed by the Rijksmuseum. It’s free to visit, and exhibitions change all the time. Previous shows have covered Rembrandt, Henry Moore and van Gogh, as well as Asian works such as a collection of Japanese prints. The museum is in the process of being relocated to Holland Boulevard within the airport, and will reopen in mid-2015.
Anyone who has ever driven around an airport car park trying to find a space within walking distance of the terminal will understand the frustration it causes. This is what makes Eindhoven, the Netherlands’ second-largest airport, so different. They allocated some prime parking spots right outside the entrance for their Facebook fans. Like the airport on Facebook and you could win the right to park in the blue spaces, complete with fast track security clearance and free meals.
Gone are the days of airport food being limited to pre-packaged sandwiches and weak coffee. Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsey’s latest airport venture, Plane Food, offers delights such as short rib burgers to passengers at London’s Heathrow. Other Michelin-rated chefs at airports include Top Air by Claudio Urru at Stuttgart, Altitude by Gilles Dupont, Thomas Byrne, Fabien Legon at Geneva, and La Moraga by Dani Garcia at Malaga.
Most travellers are relieved to get off the plane, but if you really haven’t got your fill then Jumbo Stay, located next to Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport, is for you. Billed as the world’s first hotel in a jumbo jet, the property is a converted 747 complete with café, conference rooms and sleeping facilities for eight. The luxury suite (in the cockpit of course) comes complete with panoramic views and the plane’s controls. For a layover to remember, Jumbo Stay may be hard to beat.
And finally… living in Singapore it’s easy to forget just how special Changi Airport is. The free city tours for transit passengers might not appeal to those of us fortunate enough to live here, but with a butterfly garden, giant indoor slide and free movie theatre, there’s plenty to do for the whole family. And if you do find yourself with time to spare, where else in the world can you take a rooftop swim while waiting for your flight?
Travel delays at these airports? Lots to keep you occupied! Do be sure you are protected too.