Something Fresh From Nature: The 6 Best International Airport Gardens

When you think about your next layover, you’re not thinking about being able to take a freshly made farm-to-table lunch to a corner bench beside a green wall or sit upon a rooftop garden and read a book, are you? Well, that’s all about to change with airport gardens on the rise.

Next time you touch down in a new city you may actually be able to wake up and smell the roses. With airport gardens becoming increasingly popular and taking over massive spaces at airports across the globe, your next garden stroll might be closer than you imagined.

We’ve rounded up our six favorite international airport gardens for you to de-stress at next time you’re feeling hectic at the airport. You’ll be feeling re-leafed in no time.

The top 6 international airport gardens:

Singapore, Changi Airport – “Go on a nature trail”

You’ll want to book longer layovers at Singapore’s Changi airport just to spend more time wandering through their 3 stunning airport gardens. First, there’s the cactus garden, which contains over 100 species of cacti and other plants that thrive in desert areas. This garden is located on a rooftop in the transit area of Terminal 1 and has a bar up there so you can relax in the sun and have a drink or two as well.

When you make your way over to Terminal 2 you’ll find the other two gardens: a sunflower garden and an orchid garden. There are over 500 sunflowers of all different varieties and over 700 orchids! 30 types of orchids are grown and arranged in groups representing the four elements: Earth, Water, Fire, and Air.

They also suggest going on a “nature trail” starting with a stroll through the gardens, working up an appetite and enjoying lunch at Peach Garden Noodle House and ending at the gift store where you can purchase nature-inspired pieces.

Changi Airport Singapore airport gardens

Honolulu Airport – Japanese, Chinese, and Hawaiian Gardens

Honolulu Airport celebrates the 3 major influences of the island: Japanese, Chinese and of course, Hawaiian. This airport was one of the first to introduce airport gardens in the terminals back in 1962 when the airport was first built. The gardens surround the main terminal and spread out to the Y Concourse. There are also waterways that connect the three gardens to symbolize the “intermingling” and unity of their influences.

If you’re looking for serenity, check out the Japanese garden. A zig-zag bridge keeps away evil, colorful fish swim through the ponds and you can wind your way through weeping willow trees. If you’re wanting a more tropical setting, head over to the Hawaiian garden.

There you’ll find banana, coconut and candlenut trees, exotic ferns, gorgeous flowers, and red or white ginger. For everything else, there’s the Chinese garden – goldfish glide through man-made lakes, bamboo trees grow among rock formations and the arched bridge is a symbol of hope for world peace.

Honolulu airport garden

Seoul, Incheon International Airport – The Star Garden

Seoul Incheon Airport might just be the star of the show (hence the name, Star Garden) in terms of airport gardens; they boast an incredible seven gardens all throughout the terminal. There’s a pine tree garden, a flowering tree garden, a water garden, a rock garden and many more.

The Star Garden may be the most impressive of all. True, there’s also ice skating, a casino and a golf club at Incheon Airport but the garden is where you’ll want to be. The Star Garden is located on the second floor and has over 150 different species of plants. You can see flowers, bamboo, and ferns and then step outside onto the balcony for some fresh (well, fresher) air and a view of part of the airport.

Seoul, Korea airport garden

Amsterdam, Schiphol Airport – Rooftop Garden and The “Green” Park

Upon the rooftop of Amsterdam Airport, you can find a beautifully landscaped garden with benches to kick back and relax on amongst live trees, flowers, and other plants. But inside is where the real “green” action is. Called the Airport Park, the indoor area features faux log benches and trees, pathways and a soundtrack of birds chirping and children playing.

Another bonus: stationary bikes to get your heart racing and your electronics charging while you wait for your next flight. Yes, you read that right – the bikes actually generate energy to charge up your phone or iPod, etc. Now that’s what we call a worth-it workout!

Amsterdam Schiphol Airport rooftop garden
PHOTO: Luxe Beat Mag

Dubai Airport – The Zen Gardens

Palm trees, blossoming flowers, and small waterfalls are three things you’ll be able to find at Dubai Airport’s indoor Zen Garden. Although this space is more of a place to look at than connect with nature in, what it’s lacking in outside fresh air, it makes up for in greenery. The Zen Garden is also surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass walls which lets the sunlight stream in and gives the space a serene atmosphere. The Zen Garden is located in terminal three near gates B7 and B27.

Dubai Airport zen gardens
PHOTO: Dubai Airport

Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport – Buddhist Shrines

If you have a bit of time to spare at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, you’ll definitely want to take a walk through the flowering gardens just outside of security. There’s not too much shade for shelter on a hot day but the statues, shrines, and variety of plants make it a worthwhile visit. You can also check out the Buddhist shrine just inside of the departure hall which is surrounded by a variety of brightly colored flowers.

PHOTO: David McKelvey
PHOTO: David McKelvey

UPDATED March 18, 2019 

Melina Morry

Melina has a knack for travel style, a love for leopards and is always keen to pack a suitcase and fly to a different part of the world.


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