Airport bars that go above and beyond, with stylish interiors, top-notch drinks and front-row seats for plane spotting.

Share story

Nothing tempers the frustration that comes with a delayed flight quite like an excellent airport bar.

While some are lackluster, run-of-the-mill stops designed to kill time, others go above and beyond, serving up stylish interiors, top-notch beer and cocktail menus, tasty snacks and front-row seats for plane spotting. And now that the TSA recommends arriving two hours before domestic flights and three hours prior to international flights due to increased wait times at checkpoints, its high time you become acquainted with the latter.

To help, we scoured the globe and rounded up nine of the best airport watering holes, from a beer garden in Munich to a poolside bar in Singapore. Long layovers never felt so good.

Bubbles Seafood & Winebar, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

The name of the game at this trendy airport lounge is champagne with a side of seafood. Grab a stool by the tropical saltwater fish tank and choose from more than 50 types of bubbly, which sit on the bar’s blue illuminated shelves. Raw oysters, sushi and caviar are also offered. The menu items might be pricey, but Wi-Fi is free. Location: Terminal 2.

One Flew South, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,
One Flew South at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport,

In 2009, One Flew South became the first upscale restaurant and bar inside the world’s busiest airport. With its forest wallpaper showcased behind a sushi bar, and cream and silver bar chairs, One Flew South offers a relaxing refuge from the bustling take-off area. Travelers can belly up to sushi as well as Southern bites like pork belly sliders, then wash it down with a Moscow Mule, Old Fashioned and more. Location: Concourse E.

The Three Bells, Heathrow Airport

Decked out with bookshelves, Chesterfield sofas, TVs and a faux fireplace, The Three Bells pub presents a homey atmosphere. Bottoms up to Guinness, Sharp’s Doom Bar, Young’s Bitter, Meantime London Lager or one of the other beers on tap. An international wine list and cocktail menu, featuring popular drinks like the Buck’s Fizz, are also available. Then, soak it all up with bar snacks (think olives and mac and cheese) or entrees from a full dining menu before hopping on the flight. Bonus: Kids can order from the Little Grown-Ups menu. Location: Terminal 3.

Airbräu in the Munich Airport.
Airbräu in the Munich Airport.

Airbräu, Munich Airport

The only airport brewery in Europe, Airbräu, which opened in 1999, boasts a fully-functioning, open-air beer garden. The glass-roofed space is filled with trees, plants and waitresses in dirndl dresses carrying around mugs of FliegerQuell, Kumulus and other seasonal brews. Ease grumbling stomachs with one of the hearty Bavarian sausage dishes. Patrons can also watch the brewing process in the restaurant’s kitchen or take in live entertainment from October to May. If you like what you taste, purchase a keg or party can to bring home. Location: Between Terminal 1 and 2.

Runway 34, Zurich Airport

Housed in an airplane hangar by the runway, Runway 34 takes aviation-themed décor to new heights. The space was opened by former Swissair pilot Reto Seipel. Upon entering, guests are greeted by waitstaff dressed in flight attendant uniforms. Located above the wing of a Soviet Ilyushin IL-14 airplane (which houses a cigar lounge in its cabin), lies the Wingwalker Bar. Here, patrons can order the signature Jetlag cocktail: a blend of tequila, orange juice, lemon juice, and grenadine. Reservations are required for the first-class tables that come with real airline seats. Location: Beside Zurich Airport at Rohrholzstrasse 67.

Root Down, Denver International Airport

Root Down, a restaurant and bar which opened in 2003, gets its name from jazz singer Jimmy Smith’s tune “Root Down (and Get It).” Windows overlook the tarmac and parked Southwest Airlines planes. With a living wall, curved red sofa and clusters of illuminated globes fashioned into a chandelier, the interiors exude a retro vibe. Order sake, beer, rosé, wine, cocktails or cider to pair with the American fare. Location: Concourse C.

The Poolside Bar at Singapore Changi Airport.
The Poolside Bar at Singapore Changi Airport.

Poolside Bar, Singapore Changi Airport

Don’t forget your swimsuit when traveling through the Singapore Changi Airport. On the rooftop of the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel, travelers will find a pool, hot tub and bar. Free to hotel guests (and available with a small fee for everyone else), the small outdoor pool is perfect for plane spotting. Admission includes a towel, locker and non-alcoholic drink. If you have even more time to kill, there’s also a movie theater, sunflower garden and butterfly garden in the airport. Location: Terminal 1.

Rogue Ales Public House, Portland International Airport

Outfitted in graphic print artwork and colorful striped booths, this hip and casual airport bar doles out refreshing beer on tap, including the Rogue Irish Lager, Dead Guy Ale, Chocolate Stout, John’s Locker Stock and more. There’s even the bottled PDX Carpet IPA, which was named after the airport’s carpet that was replaced last year. After a few rounds, fill up on fare like fish and chips, pizza, Kobe burgers, clam chowder and Rogue root beer floats. Super fans of the Oregon-based beer can also purchase growlers or bottled beer to bring on board. Location: Concourse D, Gate 4.

Read the original story, 9 Amazing Airport Bars Around the World by Nalea Ko, on Oyster.com.