10 Great Airports To Hang Out When You Have A Layover

Killing time

The worst has happened -- you're stuck at the airport with a long delay. Sitting at the gate is not an option, so check out the unique and fun things you can do at 10 global airports.

  • 01 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of Changi Airport

    Singapore's commercial airport is such a wondrous place I could actually move in and never leave. There are so many wonderful distractions, including a pool, a butterfly garden, a movie theater and a spa, to name a few. But if you have at least a five-hour layover, the airport offers a free 2.5 hour guided tour of Singapore. All you have to do is register with a passport and boarding pass at the Free Singapore Tours booths at least an hour before any tour starts. 

  • 02 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of San Francisco International Airport

    Travel these days is stressful enought. If you have time to kill at this airport, you have free access to yoga studios in Terminals 2 and 3. The studios have yoga mats available, but are quiet zones, with no cell phones allowed.

  • 03 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of Amsterdam Schiphol Airport

    There's plenty of things to do in this airport, which boasts world-class shopping and great food. Another way to kill time is to step into the airport's Holland Casino, where gamblers have access to games including roulette, black jack and slot machines.

  • 04 of 10
    ••• Taylor Swift performs at JFK Terminal 5. Image courtesy of JetBlue

    I could wax poetic about JetBlue's flagship terminal at JFK, which features world-class restaurants. But what makes this terminal a great place to kill time is the center of the terminal, just past security, where the airline's signature Live from T5 program is held. Live brings in artists like Taylor Swift, James Blunt, Robyn, Jason Derulo and Raphael Saadiq, who play free concerts for travelers.

    Continue to 5 of 10 below.
  • 05 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of Munich Airport

     The aviation geek in me is always looking to find great views of airplanes when hanging out in airports.  Munich Airport has built a 9,000 square-foot viewing terrace on the roof of Terminal 2 with spectacular views of the apron, the handling activities and the runways. Access the terrace by taking the Skywalk, a glass tunnel that rises through the terminal from Level 5.

  • 06 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of Plaza Premium Lounge

    Sometimes all you want to do is just sit in an airport lounge away from the masses. And if you're like me, without status to access an airline lounge, Vancouver is an airport with three outlets of the Plaza Premium Lounge. You can get in with an American Express Platinum Card or pay between $30 and $53, depending on how long you want to stay. Once inside, you have access to amenities including hot and cold food, barista service with specialty coffees and teas, VIP rooms to rent, a business centre, free Wi-Fi, magazines, newspapers, televisions, nap rooms, along with washrooms and shower facilities.

  • 07 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of Korea.net

     This is another airport I could spend hours in. This facility allows you to tap your inner Dorothy Hamill by offering travelers access to the Ice Forest ice skating rink. Located in the airport's Transportation Center Area 1B, the rink uses a plastic-like substance that mimics ice. This allows travelers to skate to their heart's content without worrying about falling on the ice and getting wet. 

  • 08 of 10
    ••• The Carybé Murals in Miami's South Terminal H. Photo courtesy of Miami International Airport

    I'm a big fan of art in airports, which I covered in this post. And one of my favorite airports for at is Miami, which is home to MIA Galleries, Art in Public Places, Community Art and a Children's Gallery. Exhibits include R.F. Buckley's "Forging Aluminum," ARTIculation Text As Art, and Jason Hackenwerth's Lagoon, a series of multifaceted sculptures hovering above the balcony of the 4th floor mezzanine of South Terminal Gallery. 

    Continue to 9 of 10 below.
  • 09 of 10
    ••• A napping room at Hamad International Airport. Photo by Benet J. Wilson

    Sometimes when you have a layover, all you want to do is be still for awhile. Doha. Qatar's flagship airport features several quiet rooms, where travelers can relax, read or take a nap. These rooms offer tranquility, with a calm and softly-lit ambience and comfortable recliners.

  • 10 of 10
    ••• Image courtesy of Helsinki Airport

    I'm a book lover and one of my favorite ways to pass time is to get lost in a good book. Finland's main airport offers travelers a free book swap in its Kainuu Lounge, where anyone can pick up a book or drop one off for others to take.