Airport Highlights:If you have an extended stop-over and you really want to relax, then check in to the on-site five-star hotel at Dubai International Airport, but if you don’t want to pay for a room, you can still use the hotel pool, sauna and gym facilities for a small fee. If you fancy somewhere quiet to read a book then try the Zen Gardens or if you just want to nap, rent a Snoozecube. Parents will be happy to see the children’s play area with a climbing area and interactive games.
If you have enough time to leave airport: Dubai itself is studded with things to do, whether it’s walking the promenade under the Burj Khalifa (the world’s tallest building) and its giant mall or taking a dip at Al Mamzar beach.
Airport:Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
Airport highlights: If you’re travelling to the east coast of North America then stopping in Dallas/Fort Worth is a good idea, expect quicker queues at immigration and a shorter second leg. The airport boasts three separate Hyatt hotels along with Minute Suites; short stay rooms with day bed and workstation. There’s over 200 shops and food outlets, a specially marked airport-walking-path that takes you past artworks by local artists plus yoga and massage facilities.
If you have enough time to leave airport: The home of the Dallas Cowboys, AT&T Stadium is 19 minutes away by car and offers VIP tours of the stadium that take one and a half hours – you can book online. History buffs might want to venture to the 6th Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza, otherwise known as the Book Depository. It features fascinating displays on the life, death and legacy of President John F Kennedy.
Airport:Hong Kong International
Airport highlights: Like most big stop-over airports, Hong Kong International has an amazing array of food, shops and hotels airside for those with the stop-over blues. But few airports can also boast 2 Imax Theatres and a golf course simulator. Plus, bored kids will love the Dream Come True Education Park and Aviation Discovery Center.
If you have enough time to leave airport: You can get two different Transit Tours from the airport, one takes in the Monasteries and giant Buddha statue nearby whilst the Hong Kong Orientation tour is an enjoyably jam packed headrush through the central hub of Hong Kong.
Airport highlights: Changi Airport is perennially voted the best in the world; it’s the kind of place where the word stopover doesn’t immediately elicit a sense of dread. The Butterfly Garden, with its 1000 lepidopteran residents and tropical gardens is a must to visit, as is the rooftop sunflower garden. From there, choose to have a quick nap at a hotel, a meal at the hawker style food hall, a movie or some shopping at famous name-brand stores like Uni-qlo and Victoria’s Secret; Changi is one terminal which won’t get you terminally bored.
If you have enough time to leave airport:Changi offers two free tours for those with stopovers of over 5 and a half hours. The Heritage Tour visits colonial and cultural districts including the colourful Kampong Glam. The City Sights tour showcases modern Singapore and features a visit to the incredible Supertrees at Gardens By The Bay.
Airport Highlights:Narita is one of those airports that manage to be a great stopover destination without trying too hard. A bewildering array of Japanese, Western and Chinese cuisine awaits and there’s some pretty quirky, fun places to eat such as Spaghetti GOEMON, that mashes Italian ingredients, Japanese cooking techniques and chopsticks to a sound track of jazz. For those who really want to try something different, the airport features an Oxygen Bar where you can sample the finest scented o2 available.
If you have enough time to leave airport: Tokyo is a good hour and a half away, but if you’ve only got four or five hours, then you can still head over to the town of Narita to take in some Japanese culture and visit Naritasan Shinshoji Temple and Naritasan Park.