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A+D ’S GU IDE T O

AIRP ORTS OF

THE WOR LD

MASSAGE + MICROBREWS IN MUNICH BY SM KING

f there’s one thing all airports should offer

something of a slick mall with airline access

aside from massages and complimentary

rather than an aviation afterthought.

I

child care, it’s a first rate bar. Preferably with its

The airport has two strip-like terminals with a

own onsite microbrewery and beergarden.

massive central area called Munich Airport Centre

Munich

(MAC). The hub of the airport’s village vibe, MAC

airport

understands

this,

and

amazingly delivers all three.

is an impressive arena of glass and steel which

Airports are generally quite bland functional

surrounds a vast central area known as the

spaces, a holding pen for people taking to the

Forum, Europe’s largest outdoor covered area. Its

skies and a portal to a new city for people

here you’ll find Airbrau’s microbrewery and

returning from them. Rarely are they a destination

beergarden, which has live bands playing

unto themselves. With an enticing array of

regularly. The adventurous might enjoy one or

entertainment and shopping even non-flyers visit

two Airbraus after an enthusiastic session on the

Munich Airport in huge numbers, making it

nearby ice-skating rink. On the menu are local


With a passenger forecast of 30 million for 2006, Munich airport is Europes 8th busiest, and has been awarded best airport in Europe and 4th best airport worldwide in Skytrax ‘Airport Awards 2005’. It is located 30km northeast of the Bavarian capital.

Bavarian dishes to sample with your brew. It’s a huge shift from the same generic beer served at mock ‘Irish’ pubs with jarringly loud carpet located in an airport-near-you. And it doesn’t end with Airbrau, there are many bars dotted throughout the Terminals and MAC offering up top-notch regional brews in equally civilised surrounds. The airport is home to a number of international retailers including Cartier, Hugo Boss, Benetton, Esprit and Timberland. There are over 200 stores and eateries dotted around Munich Airport, many of them located in the minitown of MAC. The usual fast food options can be found among the many restaurants, but when you finally stumble across an airport with so many decent choices, why would you bother? Next door to MAC, the 389 room Kempinski Hotel Airport München houses the Fit & Fly SPA where for EUR 22 a day, passengers and visitors can take luxuriate in the indoor pool and spa, saunas, solariums, and fitness center. It’s free for guests. For a little extra, a passenger with a bit of time might even squeeze in a massage before picking up the kids from Kinderland , the fully supervised child care at MAC which is open to all children aged 3-10 years, and is free for the first half hour and only EUR 1 an hour after that. While most airports offer partial glimpses of aircraft through grubby tinted windows, Munich openly celebrates the romance of flight. From the Skywalk Terminal 2 Level 05, passengers and visitors can take in the Terminal 2 apron, the aircraft handling area and the runways. Further plane-spotting can be done at the Besucherpark, or Visitor’s Park, adjacent to the airport. A clever bit of forethought saw a popular Viewing Hill built from soil moved during construction of the airport. From this perch enthusiasts can see all the action at Terminal 1. Also at Besucherpark are three lovingly restored vintage aircraft to explore, a 1955 Lockheed L-1049 G Super Constellation, a 1937 Junkers Ju 52 / 3m and a Douglas DC-3.

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Munich Airport