15 airports where you’ll actually want to have a long layover

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Play on slot machines at Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport.
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Shutterstock/Tupungato

Having a long layover while waiting for your next flight at the airport is often an unpleasant experience, but some airports are adding a variety of entertainment features to make your wait as enjoyable as possible.

These airports have everything from IMAX movie theaters to golf courses and rooftop pools.

From an on-site brewery with live music at the Munich Airport to over 1,000 slot machines in Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport, here are 15 airports where you won’t mind having a long layover.

Talia Avakian contributed reporting to a previous version of this article.


Singapore’s Changi Airport has a two-story butterfly garden with a 27-foot waterfall, a garden with around 40 species of cacti, and orchid and sunflower gardens. It also hosts a rooftop pool, several in-terminal hotels, one of the world’s tallest airport slides at 4 stories high, and a Fish Spa that offers treatments like hot stone massages, fish pedicures, and ear candling. There’s a reason it’s regularly ranked the No. 1 airport in the world.

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Photo courtesy of Singapore Changi Airport

Source: Fodor’s Travel


The Amsterdam Schiphol Airport hosts a branch of the Riijkmuseum where you can discover Dutch music, literature, and art; a 6XD Theater, where you can sit on a five-minute film ride with special effects; and a Back to Life oxygen bar, where oxygen infused with lavender and eucalyptus helps you relax before your flight.

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tahini / Flickr

Source: Fodor’s Travel, Forbes


Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport has around 1,300 slot machines located in terminals 1 and 2. At the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum (in terminal 1), you can see a collection of 30 display cases showcasing Southern Nevada’s aviation history, and take your kids to the aviation-themed play area.

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Shutterstock/Tupungato

Source: McCarran International Airport


Dubai International Airport is home to the world’s biggest duty-free store, which measures a staggering 58,000 square feet. You can also head to their G-Force Gym, where you’ll find a swimming pool, shower, and massages, or try out the fern Zen gardens for some relaxation.

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Shutterstock/Sorbis

Source: Fodor’s Travel


At the San Francisco International Airport, you can peruse the rare gems of its Aviation Museum and Library, check out its aquarium, or head to Terminal 2, where you’ll find organic bites, the world’s first airport yoga room, and the Freshen Up! Store, where you can take a shower for $15.

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Flickr/Ed Bierman

Source: Fodor’s Travel


In Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, travelers can gaze at millions of stars that light the Starry Cafe planetarium, or sample traditional sushi, ramen, kushiage, tonkatsu, and sukiyaki in its vibrant Edo Marketplace.

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Shutterstock/cowardlion

Source: CNN Travel


In Munich’s airport, you can sample German beers at the Airbräu brewery, which houses a beer garden with live music, or test your surfing skills at its Surf & Style event. It runs from July to August and offers the world’s biggest artificial standing wave.

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Facebook/Flughafen München

Learn more about Surf & Style »

Source: CNN Travel


The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, hosts live music concerts every week, so you can catch shows featuring everything from jazz to swing.

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Facebook.com/abia

Source: CNN Travel


Athens International Airport comes with its own mini-museum, which showcases archaeological artifacts dating as far back as the Byzantine era.

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Dimitris Kamaras / Flickr

Source: Athens Airport


Seoul’s Incheon Airport has two movie theaters, an ice skating rink, 18-hole putting course, and seven gardens. You’ll also find live music and dance performances at its culture center.

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Shutterstock/Nuk2013

Source: CNN Travel


Vancouver International Airport showcases works by native artists like Bill Reid. At the Vancouver Aquarium satellite exhibits, you can see more than 5,000 marine creatures.

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JamesZ_Flickr / Flickr

Source: CNN Travel


Taoyuan International Airport in Taipei, Taiwan, has an e-book library where you can rent an iPad or e-reader with around 400 books. There’s also an additional array of regular books, newspapers, and magazines that all come in English and Chinese.

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Nadja C. / Yelp

Source: CNN Travel


London Heathrow Airport offers everything from complimentary personal shoppers at its Terminal 5 Heathrow Boutique to an 11,000 square-foot Harrods store and a gallery featuring artwork from contemporary British artists. If you’re hungry, you can also grab a bite at Gordon Ramsay’s Plane Food restaurant.

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Yasser M. / Foursquare

Source: Travel + Leisure


At Hong Kong International Airport, you can enjoy a round on its nine-hole golf course, catch a flick on the country’s largest IMAX screen, take your children to the Dream Come True Education Park (which offers a mini-version of a nursery, hospital, spaceship, fire station, and airport), or play the latest games at the PlayStation Gateway gaming area.

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Facebook/Dream Come True 童夢城通識學園

Source: Fodor’s Travel


At Zurich Airport in Switzerland, you can rent sports bikes, inline skates, and Nordic walking poles to explore the area outside the airport during long layovers.

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eguidetravel / Flickr

Source: CNN Travel