Layovers can often be a dreadfully long and dreary experience, with hours of waiting around and little to do before you can board your next flight. However, they don’t have to be! Introducing the concept of airport sightseeing—a fantastic way to explore the airport and the attractions surrounding it, even if you’ve got only a few short hours to spare. So forget the mundane waiting lounges and indulge in some adventure at the airport. Read on to discover what airport sightseeing has to offer and how you can make the most of your layover.
Airport Sightseeing Table of Contents
Airport sightseeing involves exploring the airport and its nearby attractions, taking in local culture, dining on local delicacies, and partaking in diverse airport experiences. Here’s how you can embark on your airport sightseeing journey.
1. Research in advance: Before you set off for your trip, make sure you know which airports you’ll be flying into and how long your layover is. This way, you can plan for the attractions and sites you want to see and ensure you have enough time to do everything on your list.
2. Airport architecture and art: Many airports around the world have stunning architecture and beautiful art installations that are worth exploring. For example, Singapore’s Changi Airport is filled with lush gardens, including the famous Jewel, an indoor waterfall and rainforest experience. Similarly, art lovers can admire the murals, statues, and sculptures at Denver International Airport or experience the contemporary exhibitions at the San Francisco International Airport art gallery.
3. Take a local food tour: During your layover, indulge in some local cuisine and get a true taste of the city you’re in. Check out airport restaurants offering regional dishes, or dine at airport food courts housing local eateries. Some airports even offer food tours, such as Hong Kong International Airport’s Food Trail, where you can sample an array of Cantonese and Asian fusion dishes.
4. Airport amenities and services: To keep passengers entertained during layovers, many airports offer unique amenities and services beyond the standard shopping and dining options. Visit the butterfly garden and rooftop pool at Singapore’s Changi Airport, relax in an airport sleeping pod, or get pampered with spa and beauty treatments at various international airports.
5. Explore nearby attractions: If you have a longer layover, consider venturing beyond the airport to explore local attractions. This will require checking visa requirements, transport options, and luggage storage facilities. Attractions close to airports like the Netherlands’ Schiphol Airport and Kuala Lumpur International Airport include city destinations and natural beauty spots that are perfect for a brief adventure.
Airport Sightseeing Example
Imagine you have a six-hour layover at Singapore’s Changi Airport. You can start by taking a stroll through the Jewel’s indoor rainforest and marvel at the sight of the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. Next, head to Terminal 2 for a delicious plate of Hainanese Chicken Rice at Chong Choon Café, just one of the many local eateries available at the airport. After lunch, visit the various gardens and art installations scattered throughout the terminals, or unwind with a dip in the airport’s rooftop swimming pool. By the time you’re done, your layover would have transformed into a mini-vacation, and you’ll be refreshed and revitalized for the next leg of your journey.
Your time at an airport doesn’t have to be a test of patience. Share this post with your fellow travelers and discover the endless possibilities that airport sightseeing offers. Remember to check out our other guides on Airport Sleeping Pods, including tips for making your airport experience stress-free and refreshing.