As the text pinged through on my phone for the free wifi code I noticed the long string of previous messages. A quick count revealed that I had been in transit at Singapore Changi Airport 8 times in the last 6 months alone.
Whenever I travel from Australia to Europe or Asia I chose to fly via Singapore Airport not just because of my loyalty to Singapore Airlines but because I always enjoy my experience at Changi Airport. It’s not just me who thinks the airport is great – Singapore Changi has won over 500 industry awards, making it the world’s most awarded airport!
If you’re about to transit at Singapore Changi Airport for the first time here are my top tops for the best things to do, what to eat and how to get around.
What Makes Singapore Changi Airport So Awesome?
Unlike some Asian airports that shall remain nameless, Changi is not a soulless hangar but a lifestyle destination in itself. Fantastic for food, shopping, spa-time and catching a movie, Changi is a great place to hang out, plus you can catch a flight afterwards!
Best Things To Do At Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Changi Airport has many great things going for it but here are my personal picks of the best bits:
Visit the Butterfly Garden
An unexpected airport paradise where you’ll find 1000 butterflies, tropical plants and a 6-metre grotto waterfall.
(T3, transit area.)
Watch a movie
Catch free movies around the clock at the 24-hour movie theatres in both T2 and T3. Each theatre has a different blockbuster schedule.
(T2, near the Sunflower Garden & T3 near the Ambassador Transit Lounge.)
Surf the web
It’s easy to get connected at Singapore Changi. Either submit your phone number online to receive a code via text or pick up a password from one of the information desks.
Where To Eat At Singapore Changi Airport
Almost every type of cuisine is covered at Singapore Changi. In just T3 alone you can enjoy a hot chocolate & croissant from Paul, artisan yoghurt from Milk & Honey, or feast on a range of traditional Singaporean cuisine at Singapore Food Street. (Level 3, Transit Area.)
You can even try the famed Raffles Hotel Singapore Sling without leaving the airport. Head to the Long Bar in the Wines and Spirits Duplex store at T3.
Free Shopping & Food Vouchers
Just when I was thinking that Singapore Changi couldn’t get any better I heard about the Changi Transit Programme.
Passengers transiting through Changi on a Singapore Air, SilkAir or Air New Zealand flight are entitled to vouchers up to the value of $40. You simply need to take a copy of your passport and boarding pass to the voucher desk near the Tax Refund counter and you’ll be issued with vouchers to be spent at selected outlets across the airport.
On my recent visit (flying from Colombo to Sydney) I was awarded $40 – $20 to be spent on cosmetics & perfume and $20 to be spent on anything I desired, including food and spa treatments. I put the whole lot towards my favourite YSL mascara (which came with an additional 5% off as I was travelling to Oz) and it meant I only had to pay 40 cents of my own money. How good is that?
The Singapore Changi Transit Scheme is valid for travel from 1 October 2016 until 30 September 2018, inclusive.
Best Things To Do On A Longer Airport Layover
Take A Dip
If you’ve got some time to kill and need a bit of fresh air and exercise, head to the Balinese-themed open air swimming pool at the Transit Hotel in Terminal 1. There is even a poolside bar where you can grab some drinks.
(T1, Departure Transit Lounge, near D Gates, Level 3.)
Spa & Beauty
At, my personal fave, the Shilla Beauty Loft (located in the Cosmetics & Perfumes store in Terminal 3) you can indulge yourself in beauty treatments by Dior or a variety of express 15-minute skincare boosts or 30-minute massages by SK-II. If it’s just a shower you need then head to The Haven (T3) where a shower costs just S$16.48 (between the hours of 1000hrs to 2200hrs – S$23.54 thereafter).
Why not whizz down The Slide@T3, Singapore’s tallest slide and the world’s tallest slide in an airport. Just because!
(T3, Arrival Hall, Level 1.)
There are a number of options for taking a kip at Singapore Changi. You can book a Nap Room at The Haven for a minimum of 3 hours, a bedroom at a transit hotel for a minimum of 6 hours (like this one I reviewed here) or spend a night at the award-winning Crowe Plaza Changi Airport (which I have also reviewed here).
Explore all options:
Free Singapore Sightseeing Tours
Finally, if you have at least 5.5 hours to spare you can join a free Singapore sightseeing tour which run 6 times daily. You can choose between a Heritage or City Sights tour, both of which last approx 2.5 hours. Simply register with one of the Free Singapore Tour desks in the transit area – do not pass immigration!
One last thing..
You can easily travel between the different terminals using the free Skytrain, which takes approx 4 minutes to reach each terminal. The Skytrain is currently undergoing some work and is therefore closed northbound between Terminals 2 and 3. You will need to head below the terminal to catch the transit bus, which takes a little bit longer – something to bear in mind before you spend a lot of time shopping/eating etc! Find more info on the Skytrain here.