Whenever we go on vacation, we seem to spend hours in airports. We’re always advised to get there well in advance so that we don’t end up running late, but that usually just means we’re sitting around for ages. It doesn’t help that our flights always seem to be late too, so we’re just waiting there even longer. Although being stuck in an airport can be a drag, some of them are a lot more exciting to explore than others. If you’ve never seen these beautiful airports for yourself, it might be time to book yourself a vacation.
Kansai International Airport (Japan)
Fancy a weekend break in Japan? The country is known for its technological innovations, and it’s no different with their airports. The Kansai International Airport in Osaka is a work of genius. It took over three years to build and is located on an artificial island in Osaka Bay. Yes, it’s an airport on the water. The structure was built using incredibly resistant materials, so if a natural disaster strikes, it’s unlikely to be affected. This airport is worth seeing just for its bizarre water-based setting, although the modern infrastructure is also pretty great to look at too.
Madrid-Barajas International Airport (Spain)
The architects definitely had a vision in mind when they built the Madrid-Barajas International Airport in Spain. In particular, their plans for Terminal 4 were something not often found in an airport. They wanted the infrastructure to convey peace and tranquility for all passengers passing through it, which isn’t an easy thing for an airport to do. However, they managed to pull it off by using integrated steel and bamboo, a rather bizarre mix of materials. The end result is something that’s environmentally friendly and allows a lot of light into the building, which creates a pretty calming atmosphere.
Beijing Capital International Airport (China)
When Beijing was chosen for the 2008 Olympics, China knew they had to dazzle in every possible way. That included their airport, which would be the first thing that visiting athletes and tourists would see when they landed in the city. The airport’s Terminal 3 was opened in 2008 and just like in Madrid, natural light is an important feature. The ceiling is formed of mesh skylights which bring down splashes of red, yellow and white. It’s a pretty great sight to behold and a wonderful way to be introduced to the city.
O’Hare International Airport (Chicago)
Few airports have a design quite as mind-blowing as O’Hare International. We love a good injection of color, and this is one airport that has that in abundance. Natural light is great, but so too is a neon tunnel where you’re surrounded by every color under the rainbow. This airport isn’t always the easiest to navigate, but it’s worth getting lost in to see this beautiful sight.
Menara International Airport (Morocco)
If you visit Marrakech, you’ll always fly to the same airport. While Menara International might be the only airport in Marrakech, the architects responsible for it made sure that it’s one of the best out there. All it takes is a glimpse of the outside to see that. The intricate design of the roof is incredibly eye-catching, and it filters the light down to passengers making their way inside. The efficiency of the inside is super important when it comes to an airport, but what good is that if the outside isn’t attractive?
Your impression of airports might be big spaces with blank walls and lots of iron, but that’s a design of the past. As airports are built or redesigned, a greater focus is now placed on creating something that will entice passengers coming in and out of the city. If you’re going to spend hours there, you want something nice to look at.