Sleep pod at Helsinki Airport

The World's Best Airports For Sleeping

17 November 2016

Airports are busy places – people are hurrying back and forth between gate and toilet and carousel and café, with public announcements every few minutes. They might seem like the last places on earth to catch a little shut-eye. But if you have a long layover or simply flight delays, it might be exactly what you have to do. In which case, you’ll want to hope you’re passing through one of these hubs. From rest zones to sleeping pods to luxury lounges, here are the best airports for sleeping.

Changi Airport, Singapore

A public sleeping area in Changi Airport Image: Changi Airport

No surprises for guessing who’s at the top of the list. Singapore’s Changi Airport rakes in the accolades, from claiming the No.1 spot on Skytrax’s World’s Best Airports 2016 list (again), to taking top honours in the quirky Guide To Sleeping in Airports for 2016. For starters, Changi has free-to-use rest areas (Snooze, Sanctuary and Oasis lounges) spread across three terminals, with reclining loungers. You can also spring for one of the pay-per-use lounges, which have napping suites or rooms. It’s worth noting that Singapore Airlines’ first and business class lounges routinely make the top 10 airline lounges list, not to mention there’s a choice of transit hotels at the airport.

Seoul Incheon Airport, South Korea

Seoul Incheon Airport is another one that likes to collect awards, frequently making the top 10 best and cleanest airports lists. It has Relax Zones with free sleeping chairs, but for a special experience, opt for the pay-per-use Spa on Air bathhouse (men and women are segregated), which also has private sleeping rooms and communal rest areas with couches, lounge chairs and floor mats for sleeping. There’s also a transit hotel.

Helsinki-Vantaa Airport, Finland

A sleep pod at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport Image: Finavia

Hopefully some lucky travellers will get to do business in Finland, even if it’s just to check out the futuristic-looking GoSleep sleeping pods at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport. These egg-shaped pods have a secure storage space for hand luggage, and a power point for charging your devices. Pull down the sliding shade to be alone in your little egg. The GoSleep relaxation area is open 24 hours, but there’s a fee between 10pm and 6am.

Munich Airport, Germany

Taking a leaf out of Helsinki’s book, Munich Airport offers Napcabs – four-square-metre sleeping cabins in Terminal 2, which you can pay to use. They come with mirrors, beds, desks, power points, dimmable lighting, and a touch-screen with an alarm, flight information and entertainment. They look like big metal boxes, with a long, narrow window in the front. The perfect way to shut the door on the hustle and bustle of the airport.

Tokyo Haneda, Japan

Reclining loungers at Tokyo Haneda airport Image: ANA All Nippon Airways

Tokyo Haneda seems popular with people trying to save a few bucks by sleeping in the airport instead of splashing out on a hotel. It’s open 24 hours, is squeaky clean, has shower facilities and offers plenty of bench seats where you can stretch out, as well as partitioned reclining loungers. If you’re eligible, ANA All Nippon Airways lounge has a relaxation lounge with big, comfy chairs and cushions that will have you drifting off in no time.

Renae Spinks

Travel for me is about conversations and connections. There’s nothing like setting foot in a new land and meeting people a world apart. From talking to North Sea fishermen in Norway’s Lofoten Islands to breakfast chat at a B&B in my own back yard, there’s always a story to share and a tale to tell.

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