We usually think of airports as no more than a necessary stop on the way to your ultimate destination, but these airports are so well designed, so visually stunning, that you’ll be tempted to miss your flight just so you can have more time to explore.
Without further ado, here are the most beautiful airports in the world in no particular order:
1. Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
The second busiest airport in Canada, YVR gives you a crash course on the culture of Canada’s west coast before you’ve even left the terminal. Alongside the usual duty-free shops and restaurants, this airport also has aquariums filled with local sea life, and enough works of First Nations art that would rival a museum.
2. Marrakech Menara Airport (RAK)
One of the most popular destinations in Morocco, the airport sees millions of people come through its doors every year. The architecture of the airport melds traditional Moroccan motifs with angular modern design beautifully. The hole-punched walls and ceiling even filter the natural light into nice patterns.
3. Denver International Airport (DIA)
DIA is so distinctive that it’s sparked numerous conspiracy theories involving everything from aliens to secret nazi groups. Conspiracies aside, it features some colorful murals, a giant blue horse statue, and terminals housed under swooping white tents.
4. Singapore Changi Airport (SIN)
Changi brings the outdoors in with full gardens throughout the airport. Instead of the clinical atmosphere that a lot airports have, SIN feels more like a greenhouse, and it perfectly sets the scene for your trip in Singapore. It was also ranked as the Best Airport in the World in this year’s Skytrax Airport Awards.
5. Munich Airport (MUC)
Munich also ranked high in the Skytrax airport awards, winning the number one spot for Europe. The airport has many amazing restaurants including a brewery, and regularly hosts events, including Europe’s longest-lasting Christmas market. If that’s not enough, in February they piloted an adorable AI robot guide named Josie Pepper.
6. Heydar Aliyev International Airport (GYD)
In Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital, the major airport is host to enormous cup-like structures with oak finishes. The mix of a natural, cosy texture with the ultra-modern massive windows, geometric tiles, and semi-transparent roof make for a calming atmosphere you won’t find anywhere else.
7. Dubai International Airport (DXB)
Dubai doesn’t do anything halfway, and the international airport is no exception. DXB is the third largest airport in the world (Beijing is second, which you’ll see next) and both the interior and exterior project the futuristic opulence that Dubai is known for. They even have Snooze Cubes in two of the terminals, which are like mini hotel rooms you can book by the hour to get some sleep. For more information on how you can make the most of your time here, take a look at some things to do at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
8. Beijing Capital International Airport (PEK)
Beijing’s major airport might look purely modern on the surface, but it takes its design cues from traditional Chinese culture. For example, one of the terminals is inspired by chinese dragons, and there is a garden that is based on the Old Summer Palace area in the imperial gardens. With a second international airport currently under construction in Beijing, time will tell if PEK’s design will still reign supreme.
9. Wellington International Airport (WLG)
In part because it’s smaller than most capital cities’ airports, the one in Wellington, New Zealand barely feels like an airport. With wood accents throughout, but most notably in “The Rock”, a terminal opened in 2010, it almost feels like you’re in the waiting room of a spa. Well, until you find yourself standing below a giant sculpture of Gollum from The Lord of the Rings.
10. Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD)
Madrid’s main airport has an organic-looking flowing wooden roof with skylights that is supported by colorful beams. The rainbow of support posts makes MAD much more playful and cheery than most airports. The corridors lined with a grid of multicolored glass is sure to put a smile on your face even after the longest of flights.
The next time you find yourself at one of these beautiful airports, book a Blacklane airport transfer in advance and let us take the stress out of the last leg of your journey.