Already one of our airports worth the layover for its on-site art gallery and city excursions, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport ups the ante with what it claims is the first-ever airport library. Stocked with 1,100 books from the Dutch Public Libraries – as well as songs and films – the library presents a snapshot of Dutch culture for early arrivers or those just passing through on their way to another destination.
If you’ve got a few hours to kill at Schiphol, stop by the library to browse stellar examples of Dutch literature in 29 languages including Dutch, English, Spanish, and Chinese. A small selection of English- and Dutch-language songs, as well as videos in English and Dutch (with English subtitles), is also available. While the Schiphol library is intended for reference use only (you’ll have to leave that novel behind if you don’t finish), the songs and videos can be downloaded for free to cell phones.
Another perk to the library, which offers cozy spaces for reading and relaxing, is the chance to play around with one of nine iPads. The Schiphol library is located on the departure level in the airport’s “Holland Boulevard,” a showcase of Dutch food, art, and culture.