The Top Five Airport Hubs You Need to Explore

Air travel today is something many of us look forward to just for the experience in itself. With certain airports lined with ritzy eateries, bars and high-end fashion boutiques, our holidays begin the moment we arrive at the airport.

While all airports now offer some form of entertainment, some go further than others. Here, we introduce you to five of the world's most impressive airport hubs. From tropical gardens and indoor golf courses to the comfort of airport lounges, there's plenty to put a smile on your face.

1. Munich Franz-Josef Strauss: best airport for shopping

Munich's Franz-Josef Strauss Airport is made up of a pair of terminals, both with ample opportunity to hit the shops. From luxurious fashion labels to top-end electronics, you'll find everything on sale in Munich. With more than 150 outlets to choose from, this south German city airport is the perfect place to spend an extended layover.

Despite the colossal range of shops on offer, Munich Airport feels nothing like a mall. With a huge glass ceiling, garden and pond, the space feels pleasantly open and calm. There's even an authentic German beer garden to relax in once you’ve had your fill of retail therapy.

2. Hong Kong Chek Lap Kok International: best airport for lounges

In international hubs like Hong Kong International, the tranquillity and comfort of a travel lounge is unparalleled. Spread across terminals one and two, Hong Kong Airport lounges are convenient for all fliers.

Travelers enjoy a wide selection of food, fancy drinks and even a shower. The Plaza Premium Lounge in the West Hall also offers some excellent views out across the runway. The lavish décor of the bar area is perhaps only rivalled by Dubai Airport lounges, which are among the finest in the world.

3. Singapore Changi: most beautiful airport

Airports are no longer purely functional spaces, and Singapore Changi is a fine example of just how far we've come. The stunning open spaces and wealth of entertainment facilities explain why Changi Airport is having no trouble holding onto its title of 'world's best airport' year after year.

The open-air cactus garden is a highlight for travelers looking for some fresh air on a long layover. Elsewhere, the dramatic waterfall and butterfly garden are a big hit with kids.

Jewel Changi, the airport's newest terminal, adds 'incredible architecture' to the list of reasons to visit Southeast Asia's busiest transport hub.

4. Incheon International Airport: best for entertainment

If there's one airport to rival the glamor of Singapore's Changi, it's Incheon International. South Korea's largest airport is huge and gives much of its impressive square-footage over to picturesque, green spaces. There are seven gardens dotted around the site, ideal for a little pre-flight relaxation.

Those looking for a more stimulating form of entertainment also have plenty to choose from. The airport features a good-sized ice rink, casino and even its very own golf course.

5. International AirportSan Francisco: best for culture

SFO houses a number of art exhibitions, which rotate throughout the year. There's an aviation museum for real flying enthusiasts, and even a special yoga room. This is an airport whose culture truly matches the vibrancy and diversity of the city itself.

These five airports offer only a taste of the fun to be had in airports across the world. From Dubai to Rio de Janeiro, all of the world's major cities are raising their game when it comes to air travel.