Lengthy airport layovers are not only a total brain drain, but a wasted opportunity to explore. Some airports offer tours and other great distractions such as in-airport movie theatres, museums, musical performances, and tropical gardens. The best part? These are available for FREE, and no visa is required as you’re considered an “in transit” passenger.
Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)
The Changi Airport was named World’s Best Airport, according to Skytrax, in 2019. There are so many things to see and do at Changi Airport, you risk missing your flight because you’re having so much fun at the airport.
- Take a garden walk
- Free movies
- Slip down the world’s tallest slide.
- Sleep – In Changi’s free rest areas between flights at no charge
- DIY art – In Changi’s cultural centre where you can try out woodblock rubbing, a once popular artform in the 50’s and 60’s.
Seoul, Korea (Incheon Intl Airport)
The Incheon International Airport is proud of its national identity. You don’t even have to leave the terminal, to get a feel for Korean culture for free.
- Gardens: Pine, cacti, and rock gardens are just some of the 7 gardens to explore.
- Korean Cultural Museum: with an array of art spanning 5,000 years, this small but impressive collection of ancient relics is a great way to pass the time. Location: Transfer Lounge (Level 4F). Hours: 07:00-22:00.
- Traditional Korean Cultural Experience: make your own handicrafts such as traditional Korean paper (Hanji) or fans. You can even listen to traditional Korean musical performances and 12-string harp recitals
- View Korean art in the Traditional Cultural Centre, open 24 hours a day for your viewing pleasure and sometimes offering craft sessions.
Taipei, Taiwan (Taoyuan Intl Airport)
Taipei is a hidden gem. Its glimmering skyline, delectable eats and streets of old are irresistibly charming and accessible via airport tours.
Tokyo, Japan (Tokyo Narita Airport)
A tour here will provide snippet peaks of ancient temples, a neon city, and intriguing museums.
Dubai International Airport (DXB)
Dubai Airport takes the city state’s luxury extremes to even further heights. Visit the many shops at Dubai International Airport; all the usual duty-free goods are there. If you want a fancy dinner, you can eat at the Moet Le Lounge or the Seafood Bar Caviar House.
- Visit the G-Force health club inside the five-star Dubai International Airport hotel. It has a swimming pool, jacuzzi and a steam room for afterward. If you want to get pampered, you can head to the spa. There are three options: Xpress Spa, Be Relax, and the Timeless Spa (in the Dubai International Hotel). Book a treatment to make sure you look perfect when you arrive at your next destination.
- Take a refreshing break in the airport’s Zen Garden with its fish ponds, shrubs, bushes, and palm trees. The natural surroundings are perfect for seeking a bit of peace before you board your next flight. Or have a nap at the Snooze Cubes in Terminals 1 and 3, they allow you to book a mini-hotel room consisting of a sound-proof cubicle with a bed, TV, storage, and Wi-Fi.
The above are some airports which will make you wish you could stay longer. Do something – anything – productive. Walk through the airports to make memories and to have great experiences.