The Best Airports Around the World for Dining, Shopping, and Lounging

Not all airports are created equal

Frequent travelers spend much of their time waiting in airports. While this is certainly not the highlight of anyone’s trip, some airports are attempting to make the travel experience more enjoyable by introducing more and more options for dining, shopping and entertainment. The new Louis Armstrong airport in New Orleans will even have a spa! Here’s a list of some of the best airports around the world in terms of restaurants, lounges, shopping and more. 

The best airport for dining

Most of the top airports in the world are located throughout Asia, including the top airports for dining. Hong Kong, Singapore Changi, Tokyo Narita, and Seoul airports are all in the top five. Hong Kong, ranked at the top of the list, has asian restaurants, bakeries and dessert, fast food, vegetarian restaurant, western style food, and more.

As far as best airport restaurants in the United States, Conde Nast Traveler has rounded up a great list by asking their network of trusted travelers and broke each restaurant down by airport. A few of the restaurants that made the list include Legal Sea Foods at Boston Logan, Fung Lum in San Francisco, La Carreta in Miami, and Bisoux at LaGuardia in New York.

The best airport for shopping

London Heathrow Airport is unanimously understood to be the best airport to shop with its more than 420,000 square feet of retail space throughout its terminals. Cheap Flights shared: “You’ll find perfumes, skin care products, alcohol and chocolates in all terminals, but, if you want designer gear, Terminal 3 is where you’ll find brands such as Burberry, Dior, Gucci and Cartier. Terminal 5 aims to showcase the best of British to departing passengers. Mulberry, Paul Smith, Links of London, and Smythson fly the flag for British design and craftsmanship.”

The best airport lounge

Photo  by  TravellingOtter  via flickr.

Photo by TravellingOtter via flickr.

Hong Kong doesn’t just have the best airport food, it also has the best lounge for first class travelers. According to Skytrax in 2016, the Cathay Pacific Airways First Class lounge is the best of the best. There are two Cathay Pacific first class lounges at the Hong Kong airport, The Wing and The Pier, with amenities ranging from customized massages to elaborate dining spreads.

“Experience our First Class lounge, The Pier, where every considered detail evokes a feeling of care and tranquility,” shared Cathay Pacific. “At The Retreat, our elegant in-house spa, you’ll enjoy bespoke service and soothing massages—while at The Bar, you’ll be treated to exquisite cocktails unique to The Pier.”

For business class travelers, the Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class at Doha Airport is at the top of the list.

Photo  by  Steve Lacey  via flickr.

Photo by Steve Lacey via flickr.

The overall best airport

Each year, the World Airport Awards, run by Skytrax, names the top airports around the world. The Singapore Changi International Airport has been named the world’s best airport in 2018 for the sixth year in a row.

 “The Singaporean airport has received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and dining and shopping options,” wrote Business Insider. “Flyers passing through are treated to movie theaters, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.” 

Author: Julia Ballard

Julia was the first member of the Astrid Solo Travel Advisor team, and has helped shape our unique approach to travel writing which focuses on affordable, luxury ideas for the solo traveler. She is on top of all the cutting-edge in everything from technology to travel, and works to share her insights with our audience. To read more about her and each one of our Solo Travel Advisors, head over to the  About page!

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