There’s something about watching planes take off and land that fascinates people. Some airports around the world have little spots nearby where locals park to view the planes from below. If you’re flying in or out of one of the following airports, you can get an amazing , up-close view of planes from a cool observation deck.
The following are places where you’ll find some of the best airport observation decks in the world:
The Panorama Terrace at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol offers great views of the tarmac and the airplanes parked at the gates.
Families with kids can take little ones on a Fokker 100 aircraft, which features an interactive experience to teach you more about aviation. Access to this airport observation deck is free.
The Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is home to Delta’s new Sky Club in Terminal F.
Here, for $50 access, you can hang out on a unique outdoor terrace (the Sky Deck) that offers amazing views of the runway and planes parked right in front of the lounge.
Views come with free drinks, snacks, and Wi-Fi.
The observation deck at Auckland Airport sits on the top floor of the international terminal.
On this observation deck, you get up-close-and-personal views of planes and peruse an interesting aviation display. Access to this observation deck is free.
Belo Horizonte (PLU)
At the Belo Horizonte/Pampulha – Carlos Drummond de Andrade Airport, you can lounge on a glassed-in deck on the top floor of the airport.
This deck is open to the public and it boasts a small café.
The observation deck at the Berlin Tegal Airport is located in Terminal D, above the departure ring.
You can access this deck for just 2 euros for adults and 1 euro for children, and then enjoy close-up views of planes and the runway.
The Capetown International Airport observation deck is free to access.
It sits on the mezzanine level of the landside section of the international terminal, and it’s a great place to spend time viewing planes readying for takeoff and parking after landing.
Cologne/ Bonn (CGN)
Terminal 1 (Stern C) at the Cologne Bonn Airport is where you’ll find one of the most spacious observation decks.
This deck features outdoor seating and wonderful views of the tarmac.
If you’re interested in airport operations, you can set out on a guided tour of the whole facility from the observation deck. (Access to the deck is free, but there is a small charge for tours).
Dallas/ Ft. Worth (DFW)
The observation deck at DFW is not actually at the airport.
It’s nearby, though, and it’s a great place to visit before or after you get to the airport. Access is free to this deck and there are some cool telescopes for you to use.
Dresden Airport’s observation deck is located on the gallery level of the airport terminal.
The space features incredible views of the tarmac and Moritzburg Castle in the distance. Access to this observation deck is free.
For about 2.20 euros, you get access to 2 observation decks at Dusseldorf Airport.
The decks are rather large, and they offer views of multiple terminals and runway action.
Hong Kong (HKG)
The Sky Deck at Hong Kong International Airport gives you free access to stunning views of the tarmac.
This observation deck is part of the larger aviation discovery center, which includes a museum and interactive displays that teach about air flight.
Honolulu International Airport’s terminals are connected by open-air walkways that serve as observation decks to catch up-close glimpses of aircraft parked at the gates – and on the entire tarmac. Access to these walkways is, of course, free.
Kuala Lumpur (KUL)
At Kuala Lumpur International Airport, you can access the landside observation deck for free. This deck boasts excellent views of the tarmac that encircles the international terminal.
Los Angeles (LAX)
The observation deck atop the Encounter restaurant at Los Angeles International Airport sits in the center of all of the terminals.
It offers panoramic vistas of the tarmac and runway, and some fantastic views of planes in the air.
The observation terrace at Munich Airport stretches across the terminal, and it offers binocular machines to magnify views of the runway and tarmac.
You can also view the newly-constructed satellite terminal from terrace. This observation deck is open to the public.
New York (JFK)
The new Delta Sky Club in Terminal 4 at JKF boasts an outdoor terrace (the Sky Deck) offering outstanding views of the runway and planes passing by.
Sky Deck access is free for those who are members of the Delta Sky Club. Otherwise, you’ll pay $50 to access this observation deck.
The observation decks listed above may require that you have a boarding pass to access them. Check with the airport before you visit if you plan to enjoy views from one of these observation decks.