Traveling can be stressful, but airports are stepping up amenities to make long journeys more manageable and enjoyable. Nowadays, many airports offer spa services and hair salons to help you unwind after a long flight.
Some have luxury retail stores. For example, London’s Heathrow Airport has Harrods department store, and other airports have fitness centers to get your blood pumping after sitting for hours. But the fun doesn’t stop there. Some airports now offer spectacular amenities that might make you wish you had more time between flights.
Here are a few airports with particularly notable amenities:
Hong Kong International Airport (HKG), which had 50.9 million visitors pass through in 2010, is home to Asia’s largest 4D theater screen with over 300 seats. Additionally, Asia Hollywood is an interactive film center for those who would rather star in the movies themselves. The simulation arcade i-Sports allows you to play soccer or go skiing without ever leaving the terminal. If golf is your thing, you are in luck. The SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course is located outdoors near Terminal 2.
San Francisco International Airport (SFO) has its own aquarium and a museum that displays different exhibits and was the first museum in an airport to be accredited by the American Association of Museums.
Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) is a destination in and of itself. The airport has a swimming pool and nature trail with orchid and butterfly gardens, as well as a koi pond. It also has a four-story slide, a multimedia-filled entertainment deck and a movie theater.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) opened an in-transit e-library in March. The airport, which is located outside of Taipei, allows you to borrow an iPad or e-book reader while you wait in the terminal. Each reader holds about 400 books in English and Chinese. The library is also home to about 2,000 books, newspapers and magazines if you prefer the traditional reading experience
Zurich Airport (ZRH) gives you the option to rent sports equipment like bicycles, inline skates and walking poles so you can explore the area yourself. There are nature conservation areas between runways and adjacent to the airport so you can get some fresh air.