Let's be honest: when they say the journey is the best part of a trip, they're lying. If you have ever spent a significant amount of time in an airport or train station, you know that the transit is the worst part of travel. There is so much adventuring (or working) you could be doing with your time, but instead, you're forced to sit for hours in a boring terminal filled with other people's germs, scrolling through your social media again and again. It can make you go stir crazy in a hurry!
Instead of staring at the same four walls during your layover, don't you wish there was a place to get some fresh air? The airports on this list all have that waiting for you! Whether it's a terrace for watching planes and sipping wine or an entire open-air terminal concept, these places will make you LIKE waiting for your flight. You can catch a nice breeze, enjoy the warm and sunny weather, and have a little escape from the normal annoyances that come with air travel.
Keep reading to find out more about 20 amazing airports with open-air spaces. You'll want to book your flight ASAP!
20 20. Palm Springs International Airport, the USA
SmarterTravel.com named the Palm Springs International Airport one of the top 10 most stress-free airports in the U.S. One flight through there and you will see why. The indoor-outdoor design of this small airport gives it a relaxing, California vibe. You can soak up that signature Cali sunshine and take in beautiful views of the mountains surrounding the airport, all while waiting for your flight. What could be more Golden State than kicking your feet up in an outdoor courtyard getting a tan before you jet off on a fun vacation? And if you're coming into Palm Springs for a visit, the airport will give you a feeling of what's in store for your trip.
19 19. San Cristobal Airport, Ecuador
Located on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador, the San Cristobal airport may be small, but it makes a big impact on everyone who travels through it. The open-air design of this airport fits right in with the nature-loving personality of the islands. Travelers get to soak up just a bit more of that beautiful sun before they have to say goodbye to their amazing adventure! Don’t be surprised if you get to meet some of the unique wildlife native to the Galapagos while you wait. You could make friends with an iguana or a blue-footed booby . . . you don't see that at your regular airport!
18 18. Trat Airport, Thailand
In order to access the gorgeous open-air Trat Airport in Thailand, be sure you are flying Bankok Airways. The airline owns the airport and uses it exclusively to take visitors to the breathtaking Trat islands from the Thai mainland. Whether you want to admire these cute elephant topiaries, relax in the departure lounge, or just get a breath of fresh Southeast Thai air, this airport will take all of your cares away. Those tedious tasks of checking bags and going through security will feel so much less stressful when there is a warm breeze and beautiful view nearby.
17 17. Kona International Airport, the USA
Where else would an open-air airport fit in better than in Hawaii? The Kona International Airport is the perfect introduction to Hawaii for tourists. Its breezy open-air construction, traditional hut architecture, and lush landscaping will get you in the spirit of the islands the moment your plane touches down. This airport is so small that you still get on and off the plane with a mobile ramp, but it is worth it for the experience. Snap a few last photos of the gorgeous views and feel the Hawaiian sun on your face before you have to go back to reality.
16 16. Seymour Airport, Ecuador
Baltra Island, also known as South Seymour, is part of Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, though it is currently used as a naval base and isn't part of Galapagos National Park. Still, you may end up flying through the Seymour Aiport on your adventure to see the region's interesting flora and fauna. The airport is open-air with few bells and whistles; the views speak for themselves. You certainly won't get the luxury treatment here, but some fresh air after being on a plane for hours is certainly a plus in my book. You can also find some rare Galapagos souvenirs sold by local merchants outside the airport.
15 15. Los Angeles International Airport, the USA
If you have ever flown through Los Angeles International Airport, you know what a circus it can be. LAX is always super busy, filled will stressed-out travelers en route for business and pleasure alike. But did you know that there's a secret little area where you can get some respite from the chaos? The Star Alliance Lounge in the Tom Bradley International Terminal offers business class passengers and Star Alliance Gold members tons of perks. Grab a complimentary drink and sit on their gorgeous terrace, where you can watch the planes come and go or just admire the Hollywood Hills.
14 14. Punta Cana International Airport, the Dominican Republic
Everyone wants to feel relaxed on their sunny island vacation. Lucky for you, if you fly through Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic, you can extend that chill vibe right up to the time you board your plane to go home. Even though it's a super busy airport, this one has an open concept: no walls, just a traditional thatched roof. Watch the palm trees rustle in the breeze and gaze out at your breath-taking surroundings one last time before you have to leave. You're sure to feel at ease, no matter how annoying you usually find the travel process!
13 13. Rahadi Osman Airport, Indonesia
This airport, found in Ketapang, Indonesia, is one of the most commonly used gateways to get to Indonesian Borneo. If you're on a trip to discover the rainforest and go on an orangutan trek, chances are you will fly through Rahadi Osman Airport. As soon as you arrive here, you will feel immersed in your surroundings. The airport is open-air, with the same easy breezy vibe you will find everywhere in Borneo. If you have ever wanted to chill under a palm tree while waiting for your flight or walk up to your plane on an outdoor path lined with native flower bushes, this is the airport for you.
12 12. Koh Samui Airport, Thailand
Koh Sumai is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Thailand. Known for its breezy island resort vacations, you probably won't ever want to leave! If you fly through the Koh Sumai Airport, you will still feel like you're on vacation, at least for a few more hours. This airport is entirely open-air, so you can enjoy the sun, warm breezes, and ambient jungle sounds a little bit longer. It also has tons of comfy wicker seating . . . none of those typical plastic airport seats cramped all together! The landscaping and picturesque mountain views on the tarmac aren't bad either.
11 11. Zurich Airport, Switzerland
While that pretty much wraps up the world's entirely open-air airports, there are tons that have outdoor spaces that will blow you away. Take for instance the Aspire Lounge at the Zurich Airport. Open for all international travelers to enjoy, this swanky waiting area includes access to an outdoor terrace where you can watch the planes come and go. Throw in free food, comfy seating, and breath-taking views of the Swiss Alps and you have a recipe for an amazing airport experience. Though Switzerland isn't the first place that comes to mind when you think of outdoor airports, this will put the cherry on top of a great vacation.
10 10. John F. Kennedy International Airport, USA
John F. Kennedy International Airport sees thousands of people each day. As you would expect from a New York City airport, it is known for its hustle and bustle. If you're flying through JFK, there's one way you can escape and relax while awaiting your plane. Customers flying JetBlue out of Terminal 5 can enjoy a 4,046 square foot rooftop terrace, complete with lots of seating, a dog walking area, and a play area for kids. Unlike some of these spaces, there are tons of plants and even grass. With free WiFi, exclusive snack carts, and killer views of the Manhattan skyline, you'll WANT to have a long layover!
9 9. Amsterdam Schipol Airport, the Netherlands
The Panorama Terrace at the Amsterdam Schipol Airport offers travelers a bit of fresh air and breathing room. Do you ever feel cramped and crowded at the airport? Head up to this space where you can watch the planes, work in the sunshine, or just take a minute to yourself to de-stress. You can also take in amazing views of Amsterdam, making this the ideal rest stop for photographers. In addition to its outdoor components, the Panorama Terrace also includes indoor perks like two dining restaurant, comfortable seating options, and even stationary bikes that will charge your device as you pedal!
8 8. Heathrow Airport, the UK
If you're flying through London's busy Heathrow Airport, be sure to check out the Virgin Atlantic Heathrow Clubhouse. Open to Upper-Class passengers and members of Virgin's Flying Club Gold program, this luxurious lounge will make even the longest layover go by fast. Indoors, you can enjoy spa treatments, world-class dining, delicious drinks, swanky showers, and even a games room. If you are craving some fresh air, though, their rooftop garden is the perfect place to unwind with a cocktail and get away from the chaos of the terminal. Plus you have a front-row seat to the runways for plane-spotting!
7 7. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, the USA
The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport in Austin, Texas, brings Southern charm to the travel experience. Passengers flying through the South Terminal (home to budget airlines like Via Air, Allegiant Air, and Sun Country Airlines) are met with a relaxing outdoor patio where they can await their planes. Here you can grab a snack from an iconic local food truck, charge your phone, and catch some rays in the Texas sun. There's also a pet relief area and tons of tables and chairs to ensure every traveler is comfortable. This is definitely a major perk for the price of the tickets you would buy for this terminal!
6 6. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore
When you think of airport amenities, you might think of shops, restaurants, spas, and salons. But the Singapore Changi Airport goes above and beyond. They have a pool! Located in Terminal 1 at the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel, this oasis includes a rooftop pool complete with jacuzzi, showers, lockers, and of course a poolside bar. Guests of the hotel get in free, but other passengers can gain access for just $17 Singapore dollars. That sounds like a steal to me! There's nothing like a cool swim and a fruity drink to make you forget all the annoyances that come with air travel.
5 5. Hong Kong International Airport, Hong Kong
Traveling through the Hong Kong International Airport? Make sure you visit the SkyDeck in Terminal 2, level 6. This outdoor viewing deck is part of the airport's Aviation Discovery Center (ADC), a small yet mighty museum with exhibits outlining Hong Kong's aviation history. Whether you are a plane enthusiast or just want some fresh air and personal space, this area is the perfect place to relax. It's also a gorgeous place to catch the sunrise or sunset if you are there at the right time. Plus you'll get amazing city views, too. Make sure to bring your camera!
4 4. Frankfurt Airport, Germany
Sometimes you end up at the airport to see someone off or just to watch the planes. If you are ever in this situation in Frankfurt, Germany (or you just don't want to go through security just yet), check out their Visitor's Terrace in Terminal 2. This outdoor space at the Frankfurt Airport has tons of outdoor seating and viewing areas so you can take photos of the planes taking off. Because it is so close to the Food Plaza, this is the perfect place to take your meal outdoors for some al fresco dining. Much of the terrace is covered in case of bad weather, too!
3 3. Sydney International Airport, Australia
When you're in Australia, you want to soak up as much of their glorious sun as possible. Spending hours in an airport would be torture when the weather is nice outside! Luckily, in Sydney International Airport's Terminal 1, there's a fun little space to relax outdoors before you go through customs. The Terrace Bar, Bistro, and Café offer a wide range of delicious food and drinks both inside and from an outdoor bar. Its beer garden is chock full of pretty plants and comfy seating. You might forget that you are even at an airport and think you're at a fancy rooftop bar!
2 2. Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, the USA
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport in Atlanta, GA is an enormous airport, so it's no surprise that they have a secret outdoor space for passengers to enjoy. If you're a member of Delta's Sky Club, you can head to one of the airport's many exclusive lounges to take a load off. The Sky Club lounge in Concourse F, though, features an open-air terrace with runway views, WiFi, an outdoor bar, electrical outlets, comfortable chairs, and even heaters for colder days. Grab a drink and unwind for a while; you deserve it after traveling through one of the busiest airports in the country!
1 1. Long Beach Airport, the USA
California is known for its easy, chill attitude. So it makes a lot of sense that 3 of the airports on this list are located there. Long Beach Airport has over 22,000 square feet of outdoor space that allows passengers to work on their tan and take in the views while they wait for their flights. This includes walkways lined with palm trees and local plants, canopied seating areas where you can sit back and relax, and even a wine bar patio featuring a fire pit. With the breezy waiting areas and yummy local food options, you'll never want to leave!