Jetting off into the sunset is rarely as simple as it sounds. For most of us, what seems like a spontaneous trip is actually prefigured by a complex packing process, long car journey, and extended stay at the airport. The resting ground of so many of our travel fantasies, the airport is a place that is strongly linked to our sense of travel, and yet so few of us stop to think of the building when we’re planning our dream journeys. In reality, our holidays start with the places from which we jet off. Now contemporary airports have started to up their game, helping us to slip into that holiday feeling before we’ve even left the country. But which are the best? Hold on to your holiday hats; these international airports will give you a reason to travel, no further trekking required.
If you’re looking for a terminal that’s more luxurious than any place you will likely ever visit, you need to take a trip to Hamad International. Opening its doors onto Qatar’s capital, Doha, Hamad International is currently only one terminal large, but don’t let that fool you. Despite its compact size, the airport can house as many as 30 million passengers per year, offering travelers every kind of commodity they need in order to feel right at home. Better yet, the airport has been lauded for its architectural complexity, showcasing a number of different graphic and geometric styles both in and outside the terminal building.
With all of the efficiency of a Swiss-made watch, Zurich airport is exactly what you would expect from the country’s leading terminal. There’s more to the building than just clean lines and enviable efficiency, too; located in a separate airport hangar lies one of the worst-kept travel secrets around the world. Runway 34 is a restaurant, bar, and cigar lounge that is nestled beneath a huge Soviet airplane at the end of the runway. Offering a great view of the planes coming and going, this spot is the prime position from which to anticipate your next journey.
Central Japan International Airport
Most airports are located a few miles from a city center, offering quick land transport routes to help travelers carry on their way. For Central Japan International Airport, however, it’s a different story. Located on an artificial island, the airport is surrounded by azure blue waters, offering some of the best terminal views in the world. Inside it’s a similar story and from any of the gaping airport lounges, passengers can enjoy unspoiled sunset views beyond the miniature Ise Bay.
For many, travel is the most stressful part of going on holiday, a necessary but unpleasant reality of following the sun. Not so for Incheon International. South Korea’s international airport is one of the most well-equipped in the world, offering passengers the chance to try their luck at the casino, relax at a spa, take to the ice on a rink, or take a nap in a private sleeping room. As if that wasn’t enough, the airport boasts a whopping seven internal gardens, allowing stressed passengers the chance to unwind with mother nature before they’ve even taken flight.
International travel is fast becoming the most popular commodity for the modern generation and as a result, the airport community has begun to really step up its game. Offering one of a kind architectural treats, international airports are now starting to overtake their city rivals and soon, who knows – they might become the reason that we travel!