While some may be so fortunate to escape the dreaded layover, it’s usually an inevitable aspect of travel. With limited food options, inaccessible Wi-Fi and hours upon hours of utter boredom, there’s no denying that a layover is tough on anyone — seasoned travellers included. But gone are the days of the lackluster airport. The modern terminal, with amenities and entertainment aplenty, is the new standard of cross-­border travel. Perhaps the once un welcomed ­layover will soon be a thing of the past.

MUNICH AIRPORT (MUN)

Since historical roots extend to beer gardens in the Bavarian capital of Munich, it’s only natural that the city’s airport would house the world’s only airport brewery. For those with relaxation in mind, the Napcab sleeping cabins and specially­-lit designated relaxation areas are perfect if a little shut-­eye is needed. Passengers stopping in Munich during the summer months can test their surfing skills on the world’s largest artificial standing wave. But if the winter months beckon, be sure to take a gander through the airport’s Christmas market, which includes an outdoor rink and plenty of delicious German treats.

PHOTO: MUNICH AIRPORT

HEATHROW AIRPORT (LHR)

With 73.4 million passengers arriving and departing this airport last year, it’s no wonder London’s Heathrow Airport is ranked the third busiest passenger airport in the world. Five expansive terminals provide passengers with all the amenities they could possibility require, from high­-end designer shops like Miu Miu and Harrods, to an art gallery that houses works by emerging British sculptors. Pass some time sampling sea edibles at the Caviar House & Prunier Seafood Bar, or admire the views from Plane Food — Gordon Ramsay’s stylish restaurant.

PHOTO: HEATHROW AIRPORTS LIMITED

SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (SFO)

Arguably the best North American airport, San Francisco International Airport is a reflection of the northern California city’s rich cultural diversity. Peruse the rotating SFO Museum exhibitions in the terminal galleries and admire the permanent art displayed throughout the airport’s four terminals. Dine at one of the many restaurant options, ranging from casual Mexican fare to fresh seafood and sushi, and venture out to Terminal 2’s free-­of-­charge Yoga Room, a first in the world, for a light après­-meal meditative stretch.

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PHOTO: SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT (HKG)

Designed by famed British architectural firm Foster + Partners, the Hong Kong International Airport is a sight to behold. A spacious concourse lies behind a façade providing optimal amounts of natural light, welcoming passengers to the travel hub that is Hong Kong. If shopping and eating don’t strike your fancy, perhaps watching a film on the largest IMAX screen in the city or a round of golf at the airport’s nine­-hole course will.

PHOTO: HONG KONG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT

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