The 10 things you don’t expect to see in an airport

Michelin Star dining – Stuttgart

Several airports are bringing in top chefs to execute some form of their more famous concepts – Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food at Heathrow is a good example. But Stuttgart Airport in Germany goes one better with its Top Air restaurant in the public area, which has won chef Marco Akuzun a Michelin star in its own right. Window tables have runway views. restaurant-top-air.de

A brewery – Munich

As is befitting for the home of Oktoberfest and the German beer purity law, Munich has decided that what its airport really needs is a microbrewery. Airbrau brews several traditional styles – including some seasonal specials such as the Krampus dark winter beer and the malty wheat beer always released on May 1. What's more, there's a massive roof-covered beer garden, complete with chestnut trees and with seating for 600 drinkers, to enjoy them in. See munich-airport.de

Gollum – Wellington

Just in case there was a single remaining person on the planet who didn't know the Lord of the Rings films were shot in New Zealand, Wellington Airport has a massive sculpture of Gollum suspended from the ceiling in the main terminal. At 13 metres long and three metres high, with his arm stretching out to catch a fish, it is mildly terrifying to say the least. The sculpture was created by the Weta Workshop, which did the special effects for the films. See wellingtonairport.co.nz

A planetarium – Tokyo

The Starry Cafe at Tokyo Haneda comes with a spacey twist – it's under a massive dome that doubles up as a planetarium. A series of shows explaining the constellations and the night sky are projected onto the dome, which makes for a somewhat trippy experience if you've just come for a coffee and a nice sit down. See haneda-airport.jp

Art masterpieces – Amsterdam

Opening a second branch of a big name museum is a hot new trend, but Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum has put an unusual twist on this by putting its offshoot inside Schiphol Airport. Ten Dutch master paintings, by the likes of Jan van Goyen, Willem van de Velde the Younger, Abraham Mignon and Michiel van Mierevelt, can be found in a gallery space between Lounges 2 and 3. See Schiphol.nl

An aquarium – Vancouver

Anything the Rijksmuseum can do, Vancouver Aquarium can do better. Its offshoot inside Vancouver Airport includes a 114,000-litre main aquarium containing swarms of fish that can usually be found off the coast of British Columbia, plus a smaller 1800-litre jellyfish aquarium. The 5000-plus features in the main aquarium include wolf eels, striped perch and anenomes. See yvr.ca

The main road – Gibraltar

Space is a little cramped in the tiny British territory of Gibraltar, so they've had to get a little innovative with the airport runway. The main road into Spain crosses it, and has to be closed every time a plane comes in to land. Alas, this set up will not last much longer – a new tunnel diverting the road under the runway is due to open in 2018.

A giant slide – Singapore

Singapore's Changi airport has a whole succession of unusual gimmicks, and one of these is the Slide@T3. A step up from a token kids' play area, this mammoth slide is 12 metres tall and covers four storeys. It's clearly designed for children, but as long as you're under two metres tall, it's fine for adults to have a go too. See changiairport.com

A butterfly garden – Singapore

Perhaps more impressive than the big slide, however, are the gardens at Changi. Terminal One has a cactus garden, while Terminal Two has both an orchid and a sunflower garden. But it's even more OTT in Terminal Three, where more than 1000 butterflies from more than 40 species flutter around the special Butterfly Garden enclosure filled with tropical plants. See changiairport.com

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An IMAX cinema – Hong Kong

Hong Kong's largest screen can be found inside the airport, where the 350-seater UA IMAX cinema is all set-up for people who have inexplicably left themselves more than two hours to spare in order to watch a movie before getting on a flight where they can watch more movies. Granted, it's a bit more impressive than on the seat-back screens. See hongkongairport.com

See also: The world's best airport for 2018 named

See also: The ten best fast food pilgrimages you must make

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