With demand for air travel in Europe growing at an impressive rate, the need for world-class airports is at an all-time high. Leading aviation reviewer Skytrax recently released the results of its annual World Airport Awards, which includes a list of the best in Europe.
The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of over 13 million fliers from 112 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.
10. London City Airport (LCY)
Yearly passengers: 3.4 million
Previous rank: 9
Why it's awesome: Located in the heart of English capital, City airport offers travelers direct access to London's booming central business district.
British Airways offers a special business-class-only flight to New York's JFK International Airport.
9. Madrid-Barajas International Airport (MAD)
Yearly passengers: 39.7 million
Previous rank: N/A
Why it's awesome: Madrid-Barajas is one of the busiest airports in Europe and serves as a hub for Iberia Airlines as well as Air Europa.
Skytrax reviewers loved the stylish architecture but complained about the lack of dining options.
8. Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN)
Yearly passengers: 9.1 million
Previous rank: 8
Why it's awesome: Located just 15 kilometers (9 miles) southeast of Cologne, Germany, CGN is a major hub for the budget carrier Germanwings.
Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for its modern architecture and its clean and efficient terminal buildings.
7. Helsinki Airport (HEL)
Yearly passengers: 15.3 million
Previous rank: 7
Why it's awesome: Located 20 kilometers north of the Finish capital, Helsinki Airport is home to Finnair and is a major hub for Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Travelers moving through the airport can pass their time in a variety of ways, whether by visiting an art gallery or an aviation museum, engaging in a book swap, or viewing a scenic terrace.
6. Copenhagen Airport (CPH)
Yearly passengers: 24.1 million
Previous rank: 6
Why it's awesome: Copenhagen is one of the busiest hubs in Northern Europe and is a major base of operations for Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Skytrax reviewers lauded the airport for its clearly placed signs and the efficient, though sometimes crowded, facilities.
5. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Yearly passengers: 58 million
Previous rank: 5
Why it's awesome: Frankfurt Airport is the third-busiest airport in Europe and one of the most important transit hubs in the world. FRA is home base to Lufthansa's fleet of more than 270 jets.
Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for the ease of transit between terminals and the abundant shopping and dining options. Some, however, have complained of the lengthy immigration lines.
4. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
Yearly passengers: 52.6 million
Previous rank: 2
Why it's awesome: Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe and serves as a hub for KLM, Transavia, and Delta.
Opened in 1916, Schiphol is noted for its wide variety of leisure activities and has a library in which fliers can cozy up with a good book while waiting for their flights.
3. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Yearly passengers: 72.4 million
Previous rank: 4
Why it's awesome: Heathrow is the world's third-busiest airport and the largest of the five primary airports serving London.
Heathrow is in the midst of a major renovation with the addition of a brand new Terminal 2 building. Its seven-year-old Terminal 5 building was named the best airport terminal in the world by Skytrax.
Heathrow serves as the main hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
2. Zurich Airport (ZRH)
Yearly passengers: 24.9 million
Previous rank: 3
Why it's awesome: Just 8 miles from the heart of Zurich, the airport serves as the home for Swiss International Air Lines and as a hub linking Switzerland's largest city with the rest of the country.
For passengers with an extended layover, Zurich Airport offers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.
1. Munich Airport (MUC)
Yearly passengers: 38.7 million
Previous rank: 1
Why it's awesome: Once again, MUC has been rated the best airport in Europe by Skytrax. Located northeast of downtown Munich, MUC is one of the busiest airports in Europe and the second-busiest in Germany, after Frankfurt.
Munich serves as a major hub for Air Berlin, Lufthansa, and Condor, and it features airy, glass-heavy architecture. A nearby visitors park features minigolf and a display of historic aircraft.
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