Singapore is renowned for its unique attractions and innovative architecture, and that doesn’t stop at the airport! So after our many trips to Changi Airport in Singapore and Southeast Asia we think we can answer the question… Is Changi the world’s best airport? Here’s what to do at Changi Airport and a few fun tips to know before your visit.
8 Things to Know About Changi Airport in Singapore
1. It’s Easy to Get to Changi Airport
The first thing you should know about Changi Airport in Singapore is that you won’t have any problems getting there. The city is known for its fantastic train system which is called the MRT.
If you’re flying into Singapore Changi Airport know that the MRT station is located at the bottom of Terminal 2 and 3. You can easily take the shuttle bus or sky tram to either one and make the short walk from there.
The ride shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes from Changi Airport MRT to downtown Singapore. The other options are to jump in a taxi or utilize the express bus.
Just know that the bus only goes from certain locations. Also, if you get to Changi Airport outside peak rush hour the taxis can be around 25 Singapore dollars. However, at other times we’ve seen them as high as 60!
The MRT train will be about $2 USD in comparison so that’s the way to go to and from the Singapore Airport. It can also help you see so much on a quick 2 day itinerary for the city! Check out our article below for more information on the public transportation in Singapore.
2. Arrive to the Singapore Airport Early
Whenever we’re leaving Singapore we try and get to Changi Airport as early as possible. You might be wondering… Why on earth would we do that?
Well, you’re about to find out! Singapore Changi Airport is full of different activities, exhibits, epic lounges, and things to do. So in most places in the world where we would be dreading going to the airport, here it’s a different story.
The other reason to arrive early is that the security check is actually at the gate and not right when you enter Singapore Airport. The initial security to get inside after the ticket counters is just a passport scan.
This is different than most airports around the world so be prepared. What we mean by that is don’t wait until the last minute to run to your gate! We also recommend bringing your empty water bottle through security and filling it up inside the boarding area as you won’t be able to take liquids through.
3. See The Singapore Jewel Before Passing Customs
Singapore has a new and exciting attraction inside Changi Airport! First opening in 2019, the Singapore Jewel holds the title as the world’s tallest indoor waterfall. When looking for what to do at Changi Airport this should be at the top of your list.
Yes, the tallest indoor waterfall in the entire world is inside an airport! Water falls down from a dome 130 feet up in the ceiling, splashing down in front of travelers with the skytrain gliding by.
Even though it’s surrounded by multiple floors of shopping and restaurants, the waterfall and hundreds of plants give off a jungle-like atmosphere. You can even pay extra to see it from the canopy park (book your ticket in advance) for a one of a kind experience.
So how do you get to the Jewel at Changi Airport? It’s located across the street from Terminal 1 Departures and is super convenient to get to from almost anywhere at Singapore Changi Airport.
The most important thing to realize about the Jewel is that you have to physically enter the country of Singapore to see it. That means if you’re just visiting on a quick layover be sure you have enough time to go through customs and back.
You can also catch a glimpse of it from the skytrain as it goes by the waterfall on its connection from Terminal 2 and 3. Check out our full guide to Singapore Jewel Waterfall here.
Singapore Travel Tip: The previous record for highest indoor waterfall is also in Singapore! It’s located across the city inside the beautiful Cloud Forest. Make sure to visit the famous Gardens by the Bay & Supertree Grove on your trip to Singapore!
4. What to do at Changi Airport
Not impressed yet? Well, there is so many more amazing things to do in Changi Airport! Singapore’s Changi Airport is full of exotic gardens, a swimming pool, and even the world’s tallest slide in an airport!
If you have some serious time at the Singapore Airport stop in at the free 24 hour movie theatre at Terminal 3. Yes, we said FREE movies!
Have a layover in Singapore and don’t want to go all the way into the city? Then we highly recommend booking the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel at Terminal 1.
Here they have a swimming pool where you can actually watch the planes land and take off. We’ve all stayed at transit hotels before, but how about one with a rooftop pool?
Non-hotel guests can even access the pool for 23 Singapore dollars if you want to take a dip and enjoy the cocktail bar. The hotel is even airside so you don’t go through customs to get to it.
Above all, our favorite thing we’ve seen at Singapore Airport has to be the Butterfly Garden. On our recent trip we had the pleasure of exploring this small garden in Terminal 3! Read more about our wonderful experience at the Changi Airport Butterfly Garden here.
From the many themed gardens and unique attractions, Singapore’s Changi Airport is one of the best in the world to have a layover at. Here’s a full list of our favorite things to do at Changi Airport.
Terminal 1: Jewel Waterfall, Kinetic Rain Sculpture, Viewing Mall, Water Lily Garden, and Tropical Rainforest Vivarium.
Terminal 2: Sunflower and Orchid Garden. Sunflower Garden has rooftop views of planes landing and taking off!
Terminal 3: The Slide @T3, Flora Inspiration & Daisy art installations, Crystal Garden, and Butterfly Garden.
Terminal 4: Singapore Rojak Mural, Hey Ah Check! Sculpture, Peranakan Gallery & Heritage Zone, and Kids Entertainment Corner.
5. Amazing Singapore Airport Clubs
Another perk of Changi Airport in Singapore is its abundance of great airport lounges. If you have Priority Pass like us, then you know the value of these already!
Nothing’s better than popping into an airport club on a long travel day for some food and drinks. Honestly, it feels like you’re a VIP escaping the main transit area.
While there are many great free things to do in Changi Airport, it can be worth it to pay for access to one of the 16 different lounges.
Many even have shower facilities, massage chairs, and beds if you need to take a quick nap. The Ambassador Transit Lounge is especially comfy, as you can book a private room with a bed!
We definitely took advantage of these before hopping on the longest flight in the world (18+ hours!) with Singapore Airlines! Here’s a few of our favorite lounges to check out on your visit to Changi Airport in Singapore.
- Plaza Premium Lounge
- Ambassador Transit Lounge
- DNATA Lounge
6. Changi Airport Snooze Lounges
Speaking of catching a nap, there are plenty of places to do so at Singapore Changi Airport. While passing through one of the busiest airports in the world you may be a little tired. Not to worry! There are 7 free-to-use rest areas around the different terminals.
This is the perfect place to kick your feet up and have a nap in between all the awesome things to do in Changi Airport. We’ve all seen weary travelers sleeping around airports before, but an actual Snooze Lounge? Sign us up!
The majority of the rest areas are located in Terminal 2. Keep an eye out for them as you explore the Changi Airport in Singapore.
7. Delicious Food at Singapore Changi Airport
Food is one of the best parts about visiting Singapore, and that doesn’t have to stop at the airport! Since it’s such a hub for all countries in Southeast Asia you’ll find an incredible mix of cuisines. From Indian, Thai, and Vietnamese to Japanese and yummy Malaysian treats.
Even if you don’t have access to the many airport clubs we discussed, you’ll find plenty of great options. There are food courts sprinkled around each terminal with delicious things to enjoy. One of the most popular for travelers is Singapore Food Street in Terminal 3 which is located next to the Butterfly Garden.
However, know that there are so many great food court locations to grab a bite at! It’s almost like being at one of the famous Hawker Centres in Chinatown or Little India, just a bit more pricey. Be sure to check out all our favorite Hawker Centres on your visit to Singapore which we’ve written about below.
8. Explore the Different Changi Airport Terminals
The last essential thing to know about Singapore Airport is how to move around the terminals. You can use the skytrain to get between Terminal 1, 2, and 3 once you have passed customs.
That means as long as you give yourself enough time, you are free to explore everything offered in all the three terminals.
The only thing to be aware of is Terminal 4. It is actually in a stand alone building and not connected to the others. You will need to take a shuttle bus to get to it. Unfortunately, this means you’re not able to see the other areas of the airport once going through security.
Is Changi Airport the Best in the World?
Yes, and it’s not really close! Maybe we’re slightly biased because we love literally everything about Singapore. Yet, once you see what Changi Airport is like you will likely agree.
Not only is it equipped with the latest technology, but the indoor gardens and activities make it feel more like a fun extension of your trip rather than a dull travel day.
Sure we have seen incredible airports in Doha, Oman, and across Europe. Still, we are always extra excited to be going through Singapore Airport even for a quick layover.
→ Make sure to check out all our Singapore articles to help plan your trip! We cover everything from the best things to do, to Haji Lane, Merlion Park and even the $38 original Singapore Sling at Raffles Hotel!
Have any questions about this article or want to share more of what to do at Changi Airport Singapore? Leave us a comment below!
Brigitte & Jake
Where to Stay in Singapore
Luxury – Marina Bay Sands – We stayed at the Marina Bay Sands for Jake’s 30th birthday and it blew away our expectations. Aside from the luxury amenities, swimming in the rooftop infinity pool will be the highlight of your visit!
Iconic – Raffles Hotel – As one of the most historic hotels Southeast Asia, staying at the Raffles Hotel will be an experience like no other. Enjoy a Singapore Sling and take in the amazing architecture of this landmark built in 1887.
Fun Vacation– Parkroyal on Pickering– It doesn’t get much more green and lush then Parkroyal on Pickering! This fun vacation spot is literally one of the greenest hotels in the world. Plant life covers the entire property to make for a unique stay in Singapore.
Boutique – KēSa House – Located in Chinatown, this fantastic hotel was built in 1920’s. Enjoy the incredible setting in the heart of the city in a traditional building on Keong Saik Road.
Hostel – Hipstercity hostel – Fun hostel in downtown Singapore with both private and dorm rooms. Great place to meet other travelers to explore the city with.
More Singapore Tips
Travel Tips: 15 Wild Laws
PIN FOR LATER ↓
Singapore Travel Planning
Tours: Check out Get Your Guide for activities all over Singapore. You can book everything from a Singapore Highlights Bike Tour to a Gardens by the Bay E-Ticket, and even a private food tour with 10 tastings!
Travel Insurance: Never travel abroad without being covered. We’ve been using SafetyWing for the last few years on the road and they are there when we need them.