Airports are often the places where a traveler gets their first impression of a country. Delicious dining options are remembered fondly, for example. The not-so-delicious ones, on the other hand, can make for a tough beginning (or end) to a trip. That’s why our readers’ ranking of the best airports in the world is so valuable — it lists out the destinations where you’re practically guaranteed to start off on the right foot.
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Readers cast their votes for their favorite hubs across the world, rating airports on access, check-in/security, restaurants/bars, shopping, and design.
Related: The World's Best Awards 2019
Hong Kong International Airport, voted No. 5 this year, is beloved for its shopping. With brands like Chanel, Versace, Prada, and Burberry, it’s no wonder one reader remarked: “This is a mall with an airport. Shopaholics would go crazy here.” On top of stores, there’s also a spa, an indoor golf club, and an Aviation Discovery Centre that chronicles the history of aviation in Hong Kong.
Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, meanwhile, is known for its nap cabins. The No. 8 pick was one of the first airports to install them. “A lot of nooks to take naps and charge electronics on long layovers,” one fan wrote. Readers also didn’t hesitate to deem Dubai International airport No. 3 once again. The U.A.E. airport is gigantic, yet impeccably well designed. “This behemoth functions beautifully,” a reader gushed. Another called it the “Taj Mahal of airports.”
Curious to see what No. 1 could be? Read on to find out and peruse the full list of the world’s top international airports.
10. Zurich Airport
More information: zurich-airport.com
9. Kansai International Airport, Osaka, Japan
More information: kansai-airport.or.jp
8. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
More information: schiphol.nl
7. Tokyo International Airport (Haneda)
More information: haneda-airport.jp
6. Abu Dhabi International Airport
More information: abudhabiairport.ae
5. Hong Kong International Airport
More information: hongkongairport.com
4. Incheon International Airport, Seoul
More information: airport.kr/ap/en/index.do
3. Dubai International
More information: dubai-international-airport.com
2. Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar
More information: dohahamadairport.com
1. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore
More information: changiairport.com
Singapore Changi Airport is the reigning No. 1 champion — seven years in a row. As if a butterfly garden, movie theaters, and swimming pool weren’t enough, the Singapore airport debuted the 10-story “Jewel,” a massive entertainment complex anchored by the world’s largest indoor waterfall. Lush greenery and abundant natural light make it a dreamy spot for a layover. Or, as one reader put it, a forever home: “You could live at this airport,” they wrote. “It has everything you need.” Another praised its wide-open spaces, calling it the “most advanced, artistically beautiful, futuristic, amazing-serviced airport I've ever been in.”
See all of our readers' favorite hotels, cities, airlines, cruise lines, and more in the World's Best Awards for 2019.