Weird things you never knew it was possible to do at an airport

Thought airports were nothing more than huge hangers housing aircraft and thousands of people eager to jet off or get home from holidays? Well, that is their primary function, but in the last few decades, the world’s aviation hubs have become so much more.

In a bid to entice travellers to arrive that little bit earlier for flights (and start their holiday spending much sooner), airports around the world have transformed into shopping centres, wellness retreats and even nature parks.

Did you ever imagine it was possible to do these things at an airport?

What: Get in a flutter with butterflies

Where: Changi Airport, Singapore


Butterfly garden #butterfly #garden #singapore #travel #beautiful

A post shared by Lisa Leath (@lisa_leath) on

More than 1,000 butterflies flit around the world’s first butterfly garden in an airport. Packed with tropical plants and a six-metre-high waterfall, it’s the ideal place to breathe in fresh air if you’re in transit between stuffy flights. Find it in Terminal 3 on levels 2 and 3 of the departure transit lounge.

What: Sweat it out in a classy sauna

Where: Helsinki Airport, Finland


Many of us could be forgiven for breaking a sweat when traipsing through security and passport control, but in Finland, the locals purposefully like to perspire. Saunas are a way of life in the Scandi country, so Finnair have equipped their lounge with a Nordic-style, mixed gender room, suitable for up to four people. Anyone not travelling business class can pay €48 to use the lounge.

What: Stare at underwater wonders (from the safety of land)

Where: Vancouver International Airport, Canada


Watching jellies – best way to waste time at an airport #vancouverinternationalairport #wildlifeinweirdplaces

A post shared by Sarah Marshall (@sarahmarshalltravelwriter) on

It’s advisable to avoid jellyfish when swimming in the ocean. In an airport, though, encounters are absolutely fine. There are 12 Pacific sea nettle jellies floating in an aquarium on level 4 of the International Terminal in Vancouver. More species – including wolf eels, sea stars and sea urchins – can be found in the main aquarium on level 3. All creatures are part of ongoing research studies.

What: Hang out with a pig

Where: San Francisco International Airport, USA

Travelling can be a stressful experience, so what better way to calm nerves than by petting a pig? Lilou, a Juliana breed who now has her own Instagram account, has been providing emotional support to passengers since 2013. You’ll find her trotting around wearing a ‘Pet Me’ sticker. Honest, we’re not telling porkies…


Most Read in #Discover