The Best Airport in the World 2023
Get ready to know the world's Top 10 airports of 2023 voted by customers from across the world in the 2022-2023 World Airport Survey.
The assumption that all airports are the same fades away when you encounter one that disappoints. (I already wrote about the worst airports of this season, so I’ll better stop going into the details). However, a well-equipped airport with strategically placed amenities, a diverse range of shopping options, ample dining choices, and various leisure or entertainment facilities can genuinely elevate your airport experience from enduring to truly enjoyable. Listen up folks, there is a possibility that you’ll want to have a longer layover in one of those brilliant airports.
1.CHANGI AIRPORT, SINGAPORE
Let me tell you about Singapore Changi Airport, or simply Changi Airport, which has been crowned the World's Best Airport by Skytrax for an impressive 12 years in a row! This airport might not boast flashy architecture, and sure, the interiors may have a bit of a 90s vibe with vintage carpets here and there. But let me tell you, it's the airport's amazing global connectivity, flawless efficiency (they're famous for their on-time performance), and exceptional service that make it an all-time favorite among travelers.
Each terminal at Changi has something special to offer. Terminal 2 is a hit among those looking for leisure with a 24-hour cinema and a fantastic children's playground. If you're into relaxation, head to Terminal 1, where you'll find a rooftop pool and a spa that's open round-the-clock!
Terminal 3 is a nature lover's paradise. With its natural skylight and gardens featuring over 200 species of foliage and butterflies, it's a refreshing oasis in the midst of your journey. And wait, there's more! Changi's Jewel complex is a treasure trove with more than 280 restaurants and shops. It even boasts Singapore's largest indoor garden, topped by a breathtaking light and sound show featuring a breathtaking 40-meter-tall (approximately 130 feet) towering rain vortex. It's like a world of its own!
2. DOHA HAMAD AIRPORT, QATAR
Opened in 2014, Hamad International Airport, located next to the vibrant city of Doha and the sparkling Arabian Gulf, stands as a true architectural marvel and a haven of luxury. Welcoming over 360,000 flights and 30 million passengers annually, it has earned its reputation as one of the most remarkable public spaces worldwide. It stands at the second place on the list of the best airports in the world 2023.
While boasting a contemporary design that mirrors Qatar's progressive growth, the airport also pays homage to the nation's rich cultural heritage and stunning natural environment. The gracefully curving silhouette of the building beautifully echoes the ocean waves and sand dunes, projecting a captivating image as Qatar's gateway to the world.
Hamad International Airport prides itself on providing passengers with a seamless travel experience. Inside, you'll find an extensive array of retail and restaurant outlets, along with lush tropical indoor gardens that create a serene atmosphere. For those seeking relaxation and convenience, the airport offers a 100-room hotel complete with squash courts, a health spa, and a swimming pool.
If you happen to fly with Qatar Airways, you're in for a treat! The airport houses some of the world's finest Business and First Class lounges, ensuring utmost comfort and luxury during your journey. But that's not all – Hamad International Airport also showcases internationally renowned works of art. Among them is the famous 7-meter-tall, canary yellow teddy bear created by Swiss artist Urs Fischer, which takes center stage in the grand foyer of the departures hall. This masterpiece alone is worth a visit!
3.TOKYO HANEDA AIRPORT, JAPAN
As one of the two major international airports serving the Tokyo area, Haneda Airport stands out as a top choice for travelers. Unlike Narita International Airport, which is located over two hours away, Haneda is conveniently connected to the heart of the Japanese capital in just about 45 minutes by public transport.
Being the primary base of Japan's major airlines, Japan Airlines and All Nippon Airways, Haneda Airport has become a preferred port of entry for both business travelers and tourists alike. In 2019, the airport proudly welcomed a record-breaking 80 million passengers, earning its place as the third-busiest airport in Asia and the fifth-busiest in the world.
Haneda Airport has been continuously upgrading its facilities over the past decade, especially in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics. As a result, travelers now enjoy exceptional convenience, modern comfort, and the renowned functionality that Japanese infrastructure is known for.
4.SEOUL INCHEON AIRPORT, SOUTH KOREA
The airport is located on an island just outside of the South Korean capital and serves as a bustling hub for Korean Air and Asiana Airlines, connecting travelers to destinations worldwide. As you arrive at this bright and impeccably clean airport, you'll be amazed by the array of amenities it offers. From a golf course and two movie theaters to private sleeping rooms, an ice skating rink, and even a casino just a short distance away at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, there's no shortage of entertainment options.
In addition to its leisure facilities, Incheon International Airport embraces nature with no less than seven indoor gardens, creating a refreshing and calming atmosphere for travelers. You can also explore the rich history of Korean culture at the airport's museum, which showcases traditions dating back thousands of years.
When it comes to efficiency, Incheon Airport excels. With average departure and arrival immigration processes taking just 19 and 12 minutes, respectively, compared to the worldwide averages of 60 and 45 minutes, it ranks among the fastest airports globally for customs processing. Furthermore, boasting a baggage mishandling rate of only 0.0001%, one of the lowest in the world, you can rest assured that your belongings are in safe hands.
5.PARIS-CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT, FRANCE
The airport has recently been recognized as the 5th best airport in the world, earning itself a well-deserved promotion in the global rankings. What sets this airport apart is not only its efficient services but also its dedication to passenger satisfaction. In fact, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport secured the 3rd position for passenger entertainment services in the world, ensuring that travelers have a delightful and enjoyable time during their journey.
When it comes to shopping, this airport truly stands out. It ranked an impressive 5th for its shopping offer and experience, providing travelers with a diverse array of stores and boutiques to indulge in some retail therapy.
Let's not forget Terminal 3, which proudly earned the title of the 2nd best terminal in the world for low-cost airlines. This recognition highlights the airport's commitment to providing excellent facilities and services for budget-conscious travelers.
With its remarkable achievements and continuous efforts to improve passenger experiences, Paris-Charles de Gaulle Airport has rightfully claimed its place among the top airports in the world.
6.ISTANBUL AIRPORT, TURKEY
Since its grand opening in 2018, Istanbul Airport has undoubtedly secured its place as one of the most remarkable and expansive airports in the world, and it's not hard to see why. Gone are the days of cramped and uninspiring terminals. Instead, you're greeted by a main terminal with two gracefully curved wings, connected by a central atrium bathed in natural light from a stunning skylight. The architecture alone leaves visitors in awe.
It goes above and beyond to cater to the needs of every traveler, even the most discerning ones. From high-end designer stores to exquisite fine-dining restaurants, the airport spares no effort in providing a truly luxurious experience. This state-of-the-art facility sets a new standard for 21st-century air travel and firmly establishes itself as a world-class travel destination.
As the largest Star Alliance Hub in Europe, Istanbul Airport is a nexus of connectivity. With access to over 100 destinations in Europe and 50 in Africa, it has rightfully earned its reputation as a capital of connectedness.
You'd be forgiven for mistaking the terminals for an art museum at first glance. While the airport boasts its own museum, it's also adorned with a captivating array of artworks throughout the building. From traditional Turkish paintings to contemporary sculptures, the airport feels like an art-filled scavenger hunt for travelers to explore and enjoy.
7.MUNICH AIRPORT, GERMANY
Munich Airport, officially known as Munich Airport Franz Josef Strauss, is a major international airport located in the charming city of Munich, Germany. As the second-largest airport in the country, it serves as a vital aviation hub connecting passengers from all around the world. Renowned for its efficiency, modern amenities, and excellent services, Munich Airport has consistently earned accolades for its passenger-friendly environment. In addition to its impressive retail options, offering more than 150 stores, travelers can indulge in a wide variety of dining choices, with over 50 restaurants and eateries to suit every taste.
The airport's passenger satisfaction extends beyond its terminals. As voted by passengers, Hilton Munich Airport takes the crown as the best airport hotel in Europe, showcasing the dedication to comfort and luxury that Munich Airport provides.
Despite slipping down the rankings slightly in recent years, Munich Airport continues to be a popular choice for travelers due to its convenience, top-notch facilities, and efficient operations. Whether you're departing, arriving, or in transit, the airport ensures a smooth and enjoyable travel experience for all its visitors.
In addition to its passenger-centric services, Munich Airport is also an essential hub for cargo transportation, supporting the movement of goods and contributing to the region's economic growth.
8.ZURICH AIRPORT, SWITZERLAND
Zürich Airport, also known as Kloten Airport, proudly stands as Switzerland's largest international airport and serves as the main hub for Swiss International Air Lines, offering a whopping nine VIP lounges for travelers. Honestly speaking, Zürich Airport has a unique charm that sets it apart from typical airports. It feels more like a serene destination than a bustling terminal. And just like everything else in Switzerland, the airport boasts an impeccable level of cleanliness, sophistication, and modernity, making every visit a pleasure.
In terms of dining and shopping, Zürich Airport leaves no stone unturned. With a wide range of restaurants and duty-free shops, it's impossible not to be tempted by the country's world-famous chocolates – the ultimate treat for any traveler.
For those with a longer layover, the airport offers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport in Lucerne, there's never a dull moment during your transit. For aviation enthusiasts, Zürich Airport caters to your passion with not one but two rooftop terraces. From these vantage points, you can watch the captivating traffic on the tarmac, with the stunning Alps providing an awe-inspiring backdrop. Zürich Airport is a true gem, embracing its unique Swiss charm and offering various delightful experiences for passengers.
9.TOKYO NARITA, JAPAN
Despite being located over an hour away from Tokyo, Narita International Airport holds the distinction of being Japan's busiest airport, serving the Narita, Kozaki, and Tomisato regions of the country. Despite the constant flow of passengers, Narita Airport has earned consistent praise for its cleanliness and efficiency.
Visitors can enjoy various exhibitions and events, from captivating stained glass art displays to a fascinating (temporary) origami museum and a gallery dedicated to the traditional art form of Kabuki theatre. To introduce travelers to Japan's sensory delights, Narita offers a unique "smell experience." The passenger terminals are adorned with visuals showcasing Japan's iconic attractions, accompanied by fragrant mists of cypress, lime, and fir, among other lovely scents, giving visitors a sensory preview of the country's allure.
For weary travelers seeking comfort and relaxation, Narita Airport provides cozy shower and nap rooms for a quick rejuvenation. Those in need of rest can even opt for capsule beds at Narita's Nine Hours Hotel. Moreover, travelers with furry companions can pamper their pets at the Pet Inn Royal Hotel, which features an in-house vet clinic and a clipping salon.
Narita Airport adds charm with its gacha machines, which resemble vending machines selling little trinkets and toys, and convenient hot/cold water fountain stations. Exploring this world-class airport can become an adventure in itself, making it worthwhile to set aside a few hours to fully embrace the unique offerings of Narita International Airport.
10.MADRID BARAJAS, SPAIN
Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport has earned the esteemed title of being the tenth-best airport in the world, as recognized by passengers. Not only does Madrid-Barajas rank among the top ten airports globally, but it also achieved the distinction of being the second-best airport in southern Europe. Furthermore, it proudly holds the title of the third-best airport worldwide for airports handling between 50 and 60 million passengers. In the European context, it ranks as the fifth-best airport overall and the sixth-best for cleanliness and staff service.
Passengers traveling through Madrid-Barajas Airport can delight in a wide array of options, with 133 shops and 54 restaurants to choose from. Alongside this impressive variety, the airport boasts an above-average flight punctuality rate and few flight cancellations, contributing to its reputation as the most customer-friendly airport in Europe.
With its remarkable performance across multiple categories, Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas airport has cemented its place among the world's finest airports, delivering an exceptional experience to travelers from around the globe.