This Airport Was Just Voted the World’s Best—And It’s Not Singapore Changi

Singapore’s Changi Airport is no longer in the top spot. Here’s which airport was voted No. 1 in the world, and the full list of hubs that made the Skytrax World’s Best Airports list for 2024.

A walkway through the indoor tropical garden the Orchard at Hamad International Airport in Doha

In preparation for the 2022 FIFA World Cup, Hamad International Airport in Doha expanded its capacity to over 58 million passengers per year, and added an indoor tropical garden called the Orchard (pictured).

Nate Hovee/Shutterstock

Not all airports are created equal. Some are soulless, clinical spaces with little more than bright blueish lighting and endless corridors. They are nothing but a functional building from which to launch your next adventure, be it a weekend away with friends or a big solo trip in a new, far-flung destination.

Others, however, can make your vacation experience special from the outset. The good airports are the ones we look forward to, despite all the lines and bureaucracy. They’re the ones with appealing restaurants and lounges—a champagne bar, perhaps, or a micro-brewery with a taproom—and inviting spaces that offer more than simply a place to sit and charge your devices. The world’s best airports go above and beyond. They feature indoor gardens, rooftop terraces with runway views, or even entire adventure playgrounds to keep the kids happy while you’re waiting for your flight to depart.

These kinds of added luxuries and services have put 20 airports on the Skytrax World’s Best Airports list this year, with Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar, taking the top spot for 2024.

Aviation ranking organization Skytrax launched its first airport customer satisfaction survey in 1999, and since then travelers from around the world (more than 100 countries were represented in this year’s survey) have been voting for their favorite airports, taking into account everything from public transport options and waiting times to cleanliness, choice of food and shops, and accessibility enhancements. In 2024, Doha took back its title back from Singapore’s Changi, which received the first-place award last year, after Doha was named Airport of the Year in 2021 and 2022.

Here’s the full ranking from Skytrax.

1. Hamad International Airport, Doha, Qatar

To accommodate the surge of people who traveled to Doha for the FIFA World Cup in November and December 2022, the Hamad International Airport expanded to increase its capacity to over 58 million passengers per year, while also adding a second airport hotel and an indoor tropical garden called the Orchard.

If you’re traveling through Hamad—which connects Washington, D.C., New York, Miami, Los Angeles, and Houston with South Africa, Tanzania, and India, among other destinations—expect to see high-end designer stores like Burberry, Gucci, and Jimmy Choo with duty-free price tags within its terminal. (It’s no surprise it also won first place for world’s best airport for shopping.) The varied dining options include divine cakes from L’eto Caffe in Concourse C and sandwiches in Harrods Tea Room in the south duty-free zone. Best of all, the airport even has a pay-to-use fitness center and spa, as well as pay-by-the-hour sleep pods for long layovers.

The waterfall at Changi Airport

The waterfall at Changi Airport has become one of the main attractions of this beautiful hub.

Photo by Danh1Hp / Shutterstock

2. Singapore Changi Airport, Singapore

Singapore is famous for its vast and varied food scene, and this even extends into its airport. When you find yourself in Singapore’s gargantuan terminals, don’t miss spicy Indian cuisine from Bikanervala, comfort food at Burger & Lobster (a London favorite), or traditional Singaporean flavors at Kopitiam. As for those amenities, the Jewel Changi complex is home to a glass-floored canopy bridge, the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, as well as giant trampolines and slides.

If you have an overnight layover, check into the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, which was named the best airport hotel in the world and in Asia in 2024. Those with long layovers that aren’t overnight can pay for a day pass to the outdoor pool at the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel—it’s located inside Terminal 1 so you don’t have to go through customs to use it.

In addition to taking the No. 2 spot overall, Changi International won the Skytrax Best Airport in Asia award and Best for Immigration Services in 2024.

A colorful kids play area in Incheon International Airport with Pink Fong baby shark characters on the wall, and tunnel blocks for kids to climb through

One of the numerous play areas in Incheon International Airport, voted as the most family-friendly airport in 2024.

Mario Hagen/Shutterstock

3. Incheon International Airport, Seoul, South Korea

With a spa, myriad gardens for relaxation, a movie theater, and an ice-skating rink, Incheon Airport has been designated the third best airport in the world and was also voted the world’s most family-friendly airport for 2024. There are numerous baby care and nursing rooms throughout the terminals, in addition to toddler rest zones, and ample play areas. Incheon also offers stroller rental services and myriad interactive art and culture exhibits for families and travelers to explore.

This vast airport is the main aviation gateway for Seoul, South Korea’s sprawling modern capital, and is in the final phases of a years-long expansion project that will increase the airport’s capacity from 77 million to 106 million passengers per year. The project is said to be nearing completion in 2024 with the addition of a fourth runway and the expansion of Terminal 2.

The Edo marketplace in Haneda's Terminal 3 is a collection of shops and restaurants featuring traditional Japanese design.

The Edo marketplace in Haneda’s Terminal 3 is a collection of shops and restaurants featuring traditional Japanese design.


4. Haneda Airport, Tokyo, Japan

The main entry point into Japan’s capital is a favorite among passengers for many reasons. This year in the Skytrax awards, Haneda Airport won cleanest airport, best domestic airport, and the award for best accessibility for reduced mobility passengers. We love it for its “calm down, cool down” secluded seating areas for anxious or stressed passengers who are sensitive to light, sound, or crowds, and for the numerous spas and massage chairs available throughout its three terminals.

A food court area at Narita International Airport with a sushi stand in the foreground and travelers sitting with their luggage at long tables lined with chairs

Narita International Airport was recognized for its outstanding customer service this year.


5. Narita International Airport, Tokyo, Japan

The largest airport in Japan, Narita International Airport is considered the world’s fifth-best aviation hub, according to passengers. It’s little wonder this airport impresses, as Narita has all manner of interesting features. Terminal 2 has its own Japanese art gallery, and there’s an exhibit on traditional Kabuki theater in Terminal 1. At the Nine Hours capsule hotel in Terminal 2, ideal for layovers or early morning flights, you can nap for under $12 per hour. Narita was also recognized as the world’s best airport for customer service, with supreme staff.

I Love Paris by Guy Martin restaurant at CDG airport in Paris features a bar and with large modern chandelier

Time to spare at CDG? Enjoy an elevated French meal at I Love Paris by Guy Martin.

Derek Hudson

6. Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport, France

Even if you’re only transiting through the French capital’s main airport, also known as Roissy, you can still soak up a bit of that Parisian culture, cuisine, and world-class art. In both Terminals 1 and 2, you’ll find rotating exhibitions by top museums, including the Louvre and Palace of Versailles. Relax in the chic Instant Paris lounge for free, or head to the spa for a massage or beauty treatment in Terminal 2E. Charles de Gaulle Airport was also dubbed the best airport in Europe.

Travelers milling about various shops and eateries at Dubai International Airport, with a central golden palm tree statue

Travelers can shop till they drop at Dubai International Airport.


7. Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates

The second busiest airport in the world in 2023 with 87 million passengers, Dubai International Airport isn’t just a massive, bustling hub. It’s also an oasis for shopping, dining, and high-class lounges.

Dubai’s airport comprises three terminals. Terminal 3, home to Concourse A, B, and C, is the dedicated terminal for UAE flag carrier Emirates. Terminal 2 is for charter and special-use flights, and Terminal 1 is home to the massive Concourse D, which serves all other global airlines.

In Terminal 1, travelers will find nine lounges, including Sky Team, British Airways, and Lufthansa lounges. There is no shortage of dining and shopping options throughout the terminal, including Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Shake Shack, and a Hard Rock Café. For passengers flying Emirates, Terminal 3 is home to several Emirates lounges. As for shopping, Dubai Duty Free sells an average of 2.9 million bottles of perfume, 4.5 million pounds of chocolate, and nearly 6,000 pounds of gold every year, to give you a sense of just how much retail therapy happens at this hub.

The Airbräu Biergarten at Munich Airport

Head to the Airbräu Biergarten while passing the time at Munich Airport

Courtesy of Munich Airport

8. Munich Airport, Germany

In 2024, in addition to being ranked eighth in the world, Munich Airport was voted best airport in Central Europe. We love the free relaxation lounges where you can recline on beds surrounded by plants, and the VIP Wing lounge (starting at €382), which offers a private shuttle to your flight, high-end dining, and a biergarten serving traditional Bavarian food, such as weisswurst and dumplings.

After a two-year pandemic break, Munich Airport also brought back its Christmas market in 2022, complete with a forest of decorated firs, live music, and an ice-skating rink. Munich isn’t a terrible place to have a longer layover, with the Hilton Munich Airport voted as best airport hotel in Europe for 2024.

Interior view of the Zurich Airport with a large screen and an eatery below

The Zurich Airport offers reliable services and amenities for international travelers.

Courtesy of Zurich Airport

9. Zurich Airport, Switzerland

The facilities and services throughout this Swiss hub are modern and reliable. There are ample eateries, including a Chalet Suisse, where you can get your fondue fix, and Holy Cow! for gourmet burgers. If you have time to spare, adjacent to the airport is the Circle, a shopping and eating area with numerous upscale eateries, such as Sablier Rooftop Restaurant & Bar and Negishi Sushi Bar, and designer stores such as Anecdote, as well as Ceremony for beauty treatments. Also inside the terminal are five play areas, beauty salons, a dental center, and a gym.

Kaimakk at Istanbul Airport, an elegant outpost with mostly white design details serving Turkish delights

Istanbul Airport was voted best for airport dining in 2024. You won’t go hungry here with outposts like the elegant Kaimakk.

Courtesy of SANAYI313

10. Istanbul Airport, Türkiye

In addition to being named the 10th best airport in the world, Istanbul Airport also earned the accolade of the world’s best airport for dining in 2024—and with good reason. The lounge of flag carrier Turkish Airlines (if that option is available to you—Star Alliance members are welcome, too) offers a true feast for the senses. The lounge showcases Turkish cuisine with an impressive spread of Turkish food and tea and also features relaxation areas, restrooms, shower facilities, and a children’s area, making it a true oasis whether you’re traveling for business or as a family.

Other standouts include the House Café, modern Turkish fare with 10 outposts in Istanbul. For Parisian fare head to Pierre Hermé or to Kaimakk for Turkish delights served in an exquisite outpost complete with a blown glass-enhanced fountain.

Istanbul Airport is a newer facility (the first phase opened in October 2018) that when fully completed will be able to accommodate up to 200 million travelers per year—more than triple that of its predecessor Atatürk International Airport, which shuttered in 2019. Located 22 miles north of the city center, Istanbul Airport is on track to becoming a 29.5 square-mile facility (larger than the island of Manhattan) that will ultimately feature six runways. The new airport’s terminal was built to reflect the style of Istanbul’s domed mosques and baths, while the air traffic control tower’s shape is inspired by a tulip, one of the traditional symbols of Istanbul.

If you’re looking for an overnight stay or more intense rest, there is a 451-room Yotel that passengers can access both before and after security.

And the rest of the top 20 airports in the world . . .

11. Hong Kong International Airport
12. Rome Fiumicino Airport, Italy
13. Vienna Airport, Austria
14. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland
15. Adolfo Suárez Madrid–Barajas Airport, Spain
16. Chubu Centrair International Airport, Japan
17. Vancouver International Airport, Canada
18. Kansai International Airport, Japan
19. Melbourne Airport, Australia
20. Copenhagen Airport, Denmark

Additional reporting by Michelle Baran. This article was originally published in 2022; it was updated on April 19, 2024, to include current information.

Lottie Gross is a travel writer based in Oxfordshire, England, who has spent the last four years exploring her home isles to become an expert on all things Britain. She has over a decade’s experience as a travel writer and has specialized in dog-friendly travel across the U.K. and Europe, penning various books on traveling with pets, including Dog-Friendly Weekends.
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