Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has world’s first airport library

Here’s a brilliant idea:

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport has partnered with the Dutch Public Libraries to open the world’s first airport library.  The library is just past passport control, on Holland Boulevard, and offers passengers waiting for a flight a place to read books in 29 different languages, listen to music, watch films and download material free of charge.

This from an airport that already offers travelers a great collection of art, a casino, a seafood bar, a chocolate bar, a fun forest for kids, a branch of the Rijksmuseum and lots more.

Schiphol opens world's first airport library

Her Royal Highness Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands was on hand for the opening of the Schiphol Airport Library on Holland Boulevard

Now… when we will have library branches in US airports? 

Dig in at JFK and DFW

Today marks the grand opening of The Palm Bar & Grille in the pre-security area of Terminal 4 at JFK International Airport , the airport where an air traffic controller is in hot water over letting his kids on the mike in the control tower.

This is the first airport location of the famed New York steakhouse, and it joins a line-up of dining options in Terminal 4 that also includes the first U.S. location for the Seafood Bar by Caviar House & Prunier and two new post-security, sit-down restaurants Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar and Tigin Irish Pub & Restaurant (scheduled to open May 2010).

And down in Texas, the popular Houston-based Pappas Restaurants has just opened Pappasito’s Cantina in Terminal A (by Gate 28) at DFW International Airport. The Tex-Mex menu includes fajitas, enchiladas, tortillas and, of course, margaritas.

Greetings from Munich Airport’s Airbräu

Munich Oktoberfest

(Photo courtesy Munich Tourist Office)

Oktoberfest, the two week long festival that runs this year through October 4th, is in full swing in Munich, Germany right now.  The celebration is one part mega-county fair and the rest – well, as I learned during an evening in the Hippodrome tent with local journalists and our hosts from Lufthansa airlines and Munich Airport – it’s as advertised: all about drinking, eating, and singing with a few thousand brand new best friends.

MUNICH Airbrau

(Photo courtesy Munich Airport)

For my much tamer introduction to German beer and beer culture, I first visited the Airbräu, the micro-brewery set in the large public area between the two terminals at Munich Airport.  Currently celebrating its 10th anniversary, this was Europe’s first airport microbrewery and seems to be as popular with locals as it is with travelers.

munich beergarden

Outdoors, there’s a large, festive beer garden that’s open from May through October. Indoors, the restaurant shares space with giant kettles and other machinery needed to produce about 115,000 gallons of beer each year.

There are other entertaining amenities at Munich Airport, which I’ll report on here shortly, but all in all, the Airbräu is a fun way to spend a few hours if you find yourself stuck at Munich Airport.

Beer here: where to get all hopped up at the airport

A toast to Claire Walter at Travel Babel for pointing us to the in-depth Beer Lover’s Airport Guide by Jerome Greer Chandler over at

By all means print it out and tuck this guide into your carry-on.  That way, if you’re stuck at the airport in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver or any of the 20 airports listed in the guide, you’ll know who’s pouring micro-brews where.