8 relaxing attractions you wouldn’t expect to find at an airport

You don’t necessarily need lounge access to escape the frantic pace of an airport. We cherry-pick some of the most unique airport attractions that aim to de-stress the weary traveller. And the best news of all: Most are free to use.

Gardens at Singapore Changi Airport

There’s something surreal about stepping into a luscious indoor garden to unwind before you’re herded into a 747. Singapore Changi Airport is home to not one but five tropical indoor and outdoor gardens across its three terminals, including the popular orchid garden (pictured). They’re all free to access and offer a brief respite from the chaos as well as a taste of what’s earned Singapore the nickname ‘Garden City.’

Rocking chairs at Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina

Old-school rocking chairs have turned this airport atrium into an inviting ‘front porch’ filled with foliage. The white ‘rockers’ were introduced at the airport in 1997 as part of a temporary exhibit, and have been such a hit with passengers that they are now a permanent attraction. If only airplane seats could lull you to sleep in the same way?

Location: The Atrium, on Concourses D and E and the D/E Connector.

Zen gardens at Dubai international Airport

Here’s proof that you can find inner calm even at some of the world’s busiest airports. Travellers hotfooting it through Dubai International’s Terminal 3 can take a breather in any of the airport’s two indoor Zen gardens, located on either end of the concourse.

Location: Terminal 3

Golf course at Hong Kong International Airport

The grass is greener at Hong Kong International Airport, where a nine-hole golf course awaits those happy to kill time practicing their golf swing. SkyCity Nine Eagles Golf Course is located near Terminal 2. There’s no need to bring golf clubs either; you can hire them on-site.

Location: outside Terminal 2

Source: Hong Kong International Airport

Yoga studio at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas

It’s not just for hippies anymore. Yoga is now so popular around the world, it’s even starting to take off at airports. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport has turned unused corridor space into a self-service yoga studio for travellers in need of a mind-body workout before they’re confined to an aluminum tube. The free facility isn’t just aimed at yogis; a yoga demonstration video for beginners plays on a loop and yoga mats are also provided, free of charge. All that's missing is a shower room!

Location: the walkway connector between International Terminal D and Terminal B, near Gate D40.

Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport

An e-library stocking paperbacks and iPads pre-loaded with content, reading lounges and a ‘green relaxing zone’ with massage chairs are some of the coveted facilities that aim to help travellers kick back at Taiwan's capital city airport.

Kuala Lumpur International Airport, Malaysia

This exotic airport attraction brings new meaning to the phrase ‘airport jungle’. Malaysia Airports worked with the Forest research Institute of Malaysia to cultivate a forest reserve in the heart of the Satellite building at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). The jungle boardwalk – which runs through it – also connects passengers to shops in the terminal.

Location: Satellite building

Kagoshima Airport, Japan

Forget pricey airport spa treatments – at Kagoshima Airport, the gateway to southern Japan, travellers can soothe tired feet in a natural hot spring bath without having to dip into their wallets.

Location: Domestic Terminal (1st floor walkway)

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