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Airports also mean waiting often and for a long time – but where is the best place to wait? Picture: Adobe Stock

The 10 most beautiful airports in the world

Here, departures and arrivals are also a visual delight - we have put together 10 particularly beautiful airports from all over the world for you.

Whether you've just arrived on holiday, are on your way home or even stranded, there are airports that make travelling seem more pleasant. We have identified ten of the most beautiful airports in the world that are sure to make a good first or last impression - and where the wait is more pleasant.

Heydar Aliyev Airport, Baku, Azerbaijan

Heydar Aliyev Airport is located around 20 kilometres east of Baku, the capital of Azerbaijan, and is one of the country's five major international airports. In 2004, it was renamed after the former President of Azerbaijan, Heydar Aliyev. Around 1 million passengers a year are served by this airport.

Natural materials such as wood, stone and textiles were used in the construction of the terminal and warm lighting was installed. What is particularly striking are the wooden cocoons of different sizes, which create a cosy atmosphere and allow passengers a certain amount of peace and privacy.

Incheon Airport, Seoul, South Korea

South Korea's largest airport is located 52 kilometres west of Seoul, on Yeongjongdo Island in the Yellow Sea, which belongs to Incheon. Passenger traffic at Incheon Airport totalled almost 57 million passengers in 2023.

It is one of the greenest in the world: the airport is home to seven gardens that can be visited and enjoyed during longer waiting times.

Koh Samui Airport, Thailand

Built between 1982 and 1989, the Thai airport is still the only one on the island of Koh Samui. It is served by both Bangkok Airways and Thai Airways and handles around 1.3 million passengers a year.

Koh Samui Airport is an open-air airport. It has thatched roofs that blend into the natural landscape, while the terminals are open and furnished with cosy sofa corners and wicker furniture.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport, Spain

Named after the former Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suárez, the international airport of the Spanish capital Madrid is located around 12 kilometres from the city centre. It is the largest and most important aviation hub in Spain and is an important European hub for flights to Latin America. The airport handled over 60 million passengers in 2023, making it one of the largest commercial airports in Europe.

The new Terminal 4 was designed by British architect Richard Rogers. The corrugated bamboo ceiling, the mistral marble floor and the colours used are seen as a reflection of the Madrilenian landscape and a welcome.

Changi Airport, Singapore

There's never a dull moment: Changi Airport is the international airport of the city-state of Singapore and is considered one of the best airports in the world. Singapore is known worldwide as a "garden city" and the airport is accordingly equipped with many green areas and gardens where passengers can stretch their legs. The most impressive area is the "Jewel Changi" with a 40 metre high waterfall surrounded by 2,000 trees. There is also a butterfly garden in Terminal 3, a sunflower garden in Terminal 2 and a cactus garden in Terminal 1.

Marrakech-Menara Airport, Marrakech, Morocco

Marrakesh-Menara International Airport is one of the largest in Morocco after Casablanca Airport and is located around 4 kilometres from Marrakesh. The airport handled over 5.6 million passengers from January to October 2023.

A special feature of Menara Airport is the recurring patterns in the walls, decorations and windows. The walls consist of concrete shapes such as the diamond pattern, while the arabesque windows in between allow the patterns to appear on the floor and walls when the light falls on them.

Saint-Exupéry Airport, Lyon, France

It is not the airport itself that is fascinating here, but the railway station connected to it: the station for TGV high-speed trains is inspired by a flying falcon and was designed by star architect Santiago Calatrava. Both the station and the airport are named after the aviation pioneer and writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and are located in the municipality of Colombier-Saugnieu, around 20 kilometres east of the city. With a passenger volume of around 8 million travellers per year, the airport is the fourth largest in France.

Carrasco Airport, Montevideo, Uruguay

Located in the capital Montevideo, Aeropuerto Internacional de Carrasco is the largest and most important airport in the country of Uruguay. Passenger traffic has remained stable at around one million passengers per year in recent years.

The airport was designed by Rafael Viñoly, with the roof consisting of large steel arches and V-pillars standing out in particular. The building is considered "iconic" as the roof is reminiscent of the aerodynamic lines of an aeroplane.

Bozeman Yellowstone Airport, Montana, USA

Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, the commercial airport of the small American city of Bozeman, is also the largest airport in the state of Montana, where the city is located. Although the airport is described as international, it only serves domestic American destinations, above all Denver and Minneapolis, with an annual passenger volume of 1.5 million.

The architects made a point of framing the view of the mountains with the windows. In the large hall there is a bar inspired by a grand piano, a fireplace and a chimney. The stone walls are mined from the nearby quarry, and wooden beams and exposed steel complete the authentic interior of the airport.

Zurich Airport, Switzerland

This one needs little introduction: Zurich Airport is the largest airport in Switzerland and received the World Travel Award in the category "Leading Airport in Europe" for the 20th time in a row in 2023. As part of the Skytrax Award, Zurich Airport is repeatedly ranked among the 10 best airports in the world by millions of travellers. In 2023, the Kloten-based airport served more than 29 million passengers for the first time, who were impressed not only by the service but also by the light-flooded halls.

The Airside Centre, the link between Docks A and B, was designed by London architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw and Swiss architects Itten und Brechbühl. Inspired by the arms of an octopus, the elongated building consists of steel, glass and high supports in a minimalist style and a 20 metre high glass façade with a view of the flight operations.