World’s Best Awards 2021: Top 10 International Airports

When it comes to air hubs, Asia and the Middle East do it best. These are the top 10 international airports in 2021.

Changi International Airport

The Discovery Slides inside the Jewel complex at Singapore Changi Airport double as public art. Photo by Jino Lee Photography/Courtesy of Singapore Changi Airport

Sep 10, 2021

Travelers certainly spent less time in the air over the past year, but their love of flying — starting with a world-class on-the-ground experience — hasn’t waned. In fact, many of the top facilities posted higher scores this year than they did in 2020, as readers recalled the excellent service, wonderful meals, and seamless connections they’ve enjoyed at some of the best international airports around the globe.

Voters were once again impressed by airports in Asia, with six of the top 10 winners located in this part of the world. Three of those six were in Japan. Moving up two places from last year, No. 3 Incheon International, near Seoul, received high praise for having clean, comfortable facilities that make long-haul travel a little easier. “My favorite airport in the world,” said one voter, who appreciated the “access to free, clean, and nice shower rooms, plus a quiet area for napping.” Others called Incheon well-run and said its dizzying array of restaurants was a serious plus. One voter also mentioned the airport’s “wonderful choice of city tours to make the most of a long layover.”

But in the end, it was another airport in Asia that took the top spot. Read on to learn why No. 1 Singapore Changi Airport continues to wow readers, earning its ninth consecutive first-place ranking, as well as which other international airports impressed this year.

 1. Singapore Changi Airport

Aviation buffs and casual travelers alike can’t help raving about this efficient hub, which boasts such wow-worthy amenities as a 40-meter-tall indoor waterfall and a 24-hour multiplex. 

Considered the best of the best by T+L readers for nearly a decade, Changi continues its dominance of the World’s Best Awards this year. Though the pandemic has curtailed many trips to Singapore, the city-state’s jaw-dropping international airport remains beloved for its nearly flawless operations, marvelous array of restaurants (including many that serve local fare), and plenty of things to see and do, including a butterfly garden, a cinema, even a rooftop pool.

“It is unquestionably the best airport in the world, with lots of shopping, dining, and fabulous areas for children,” said one voter. “It really is as good as everyone says it is,” added another respondent. Even travelers who weren’t expecting to enjoy Changi found themselves singing its praises. “I was stuck there for three hours — thanks to my airline, not the airport — and it didn’t bother me at all because there’s so much to see and do,” said one convert.

Score: 93.45

2. Istanbul Airport

Score: 91.17

 3. Incheon International Airport 
South Korea

Score: 89.15

4. Dubai International Airport
United Arab Emirates

Score: 89.04

5. Hamad International Airport 
Doha, Qatar

Score: 87.43

6. Haneda (Tokyo International) Airport

Score: 87.14

7. Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong

Score: 85.79

8. Narita International Airport 

Score: 83.22

9. Zurich Airport 

Score: 82.19

10. Osaka International Airport 

Score: 82.07

For more World’s Best Awards 2021 lists of your favorite hotels, resorts, cities, islands and more, visit:

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