Zurich's airport is a sight for sore eyes. Zurich's airport is a sight for sore eyes. Zurich Airport, also known as Kloten Airport, is Switzerland's largest international airport, and a sight for sore eyes. (Photo: Zurich Airport)

The world's best international airports

These terminals are so beautiful, they almost make you wish for a flight delay.

Not all airports are made equal. While some only add to the aggravation that is air travel these days, others act to ease the anxiety and even distract from it altogether. The international airports recently named tops in the world by Travel + Leisure magazine fall squarely in this second category.

For the fifth year in a row, Singapore's Changi Airport came in at No. 1 on the list. But we're not even sure "airport" is the appropriate label. Free movie theater? Sunflower garden? Rooftop pool? With airports like these, why even have destinations?

One glimpse of Changi Airport's Terminal 3 and its easy to understand why travelers love it.One glimpse of Changi Airport's Terminal 3 and it's easy to understand why travelers love it. (Photo: Changi Airport)

And it doesn't even end there. With Israeli architect Moshe Safdie's biodome project set to open in the near future, it's safe to say it will remain near the top of this list for years to come.

Another airport earning kudos from travelers included Seoul's Incheon International in South Korea, where a layover feels more like a privilege than a chore. "Fly here just for the airport. It’s so modern and huge, you could get lost – and honestly, you wouldn’t mind,” wrote one of the voters. Also rounding out the list are Zurich Airport, Amsterdam's Schipol Airport and, at No. 8, Ben Gurion International in Tel Aviv, Israel.

 Tel Aviv airport's Terminal 3 rotunda wows visitors with its ceiling fountain. Ben Gurion Airport's Terminal 3 rotunda wows visitors with its ceiling fountain. (Photo: Jorge Láscar/Flickr)

The magazine compiled its list of top international airports by asking readers to grade airports located outside of the United States on criteria such as access, check-in/security, restaurants/bars, shopping and design.

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