HSBC Rain vortex at Jewel Changi Airport
Flying Singapore Transit

10 Best (Mostly Free) Things To Do At Singapore Changi Airport

On most flights I’ve taken between Europe and Australia I’ve chosen to fly via Singapore Airport not just because of my love of 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!

Each time I transit in Changi I end up wishing I was staying a little longer and when Jewel opened last year I ended up spending a whole day of my Singapore holiday at the airport. (Read more here.)

For anyone about to fly through or from Singapore, I’ve compiled my ultimate list of the 10 best things to do at Changi Airport – and most of them will cost you nothing.

Things to do at Singapore Airport

Unlike some international airports that shall remain nameless, Singapore Changi Airport is not a soulless hangar but a lifestyle destination in itself. Fantastic for food, shopping, massages and movies, Changi is a great place to hang out, plus you can catch a flight afterwards!

Introducing Jewel at Changi Airport

Jewel Changi Airport Waterfall

There are so many attractions and activities to keep you busy while in transit at Singapore Airport, but I wanted to start with the newest and most impressive. Jewel is a new retail, dining and entertainment complex at Changi Airport that has been wowing visitors due to the giant waterfall at the heart of it.

While Jewel is connected to Changi Airport (directly via the arrivals hall at Terminal 1) it is not a terminal in itself, which means you need to pass through passport control to reach it. If your flight arrives in terminal 1 you’ll be there in minutes but if you’re flying in or out of other terminals you’ll need to walk along a link bridge for approx. 5 to 10 minutes.

If you’ve got the time and energy to do so, however, it’s well worth it. Jewel’s HSBC Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall, is a staggering airport attraction and there are an array of shops and restaurants to explore around it.

If you’re travelling with children, or have energy to burn before a flight, head to the Canopy Park on the top level and purchase tickets for some of the attractions which include a Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze and Manulife Skynets. Find more information on Jewel here.

10 Best Things To Do At Singapore Changi Airport

Best Layover Ever: Most Indulgent Things To Do Singapore Changi Airport

Changi has a lot going for it airside too and if you only have a couple of hours in transit in Singapore you can quite easily pass them by exploring some of these options.

  1. Visit the Butterfly Garden (T3, transit area)

An unexpected airport paradise where you’ll find 1000 butterflies, tropical plants and a 6-metre grotto waterfall.

  1. Watch a movie (T2 & T3)

Catch free movies around the clock at the 24-hour movie theatres in both T2 and T3. Each theatre has a different blockbuster schedule.

  1. Get online

It’s easy to get connected to the internet 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.

  1. Try Singapore street food (T3, Level 3)

Grab a taste of much-loved Singapore street food, such as Hainanese Chicken Rice, at the 60s style Singapore Food Street, open 24hours in T3.

Singapore Sling at Raffles Long Bar Singapore Changi Airport

  1. Sip a Singapore Sling (T3)

No time to get the Long Bar in Raffles Hotel? Don’t worry, there’s a mini Long Bar at the DFS Wines and Spirits Duplex in T3, where the bar man can whip up a little Singapore Sling taster for you.

  1. Get free money

The awesome Changi Transit programme has been running for a number of years now and I’m so pleased to see it’s still going in 2020. From now till 31 March 2020, if you’re flying with Singapore Airlines, SilkAir or Air New Zealand you can receive S$20 transit voucher to offset your shopping and save up to S$120 on shopping and dining during your transit in Changi Airport.

The Changi website has a full list of terms and conditions as well as tips on how to spend your vouchers – you can put them towards lounge access or spa treatments. You’ll need to head to the iShopChangi Collection Centres to pick up the rewards vouchers but if you’ve got time to make use of them why not claim your free money!

What to do at Singapore Changi Airport: Tips for transit passengers

  1. Go for a swim (T1)

What better way to refresh on a daytime layover then with a refreshing dip at the Balinese-themed open-air swimming pool at the Aerotel Transit Hotel in Terminal 1. There is even a poolside bar where you can grab some drinks, and shower facilities you can rinse off in afterwards.

  1. Have a massage or beauty treatment

With the Changi Transit reward vouchers mentioned above you can indulge in a 40-minute sauna and shower and 10 min upper back massage for free at Spa Express in Terminal 2 (with 20% off on subsequent treatments too).

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. These are booked and paid for on the day and are great if you don’t qualify for the reward vouchers.

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.)

  1. Go on a slide (T3 arrivals)

Why not whizz down The Slide@T3, Singapore’s tallest slide and the world’s tallest slide in an airport. Just because!

Crowne Plaza Changi Airport Business Room

  1. Get some sleep

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 (we stayed at the recently refurbished Aerotel Transit Hotel in T1 on our last trip and it was perfect. I’ve also stayed at the Transit Hotel in T3 and reviewed it here).

If you are staying for more than 12 hours I recommend you pass through security and stay at the award-winning Crowe Plaza Changi Airport (which I have also reviewed here). They have runway or poolside rooms and suites that accommodate the whole family. Their bathtubs are divine as is the extensive breakfast buffet.

What To Do On A 6 Hour Layover At Singapore Airport

What to do at Singapore Changi Airport: Tips for transit passengers

Take in the sights of Singapore for free on a city sightseeing tour

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 several times a day. You can choose between a Heritage or City Sights tour of Singapore or do a walking tour of Jewel. All tours 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 around 4 minutes to reach each terminal. Find more info on the Skytrain here.

Read next:  5 things that surprised me about Singapore

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Further reading:

Best things to do at Changi Airport on a 3 to 12 hour layover

Staying at the World’s Best Airport Hotel: Crowne Plaza Changi Review

What to do in Singapore: 6 cool places you can’t miss

6 Comments

  • Reply
    Melissa
    June 17, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    Wow, now I want to travel to Singapore just to hang out in the airport! 😛 So much better than our little international airport at YYT – we don’t even have a restaurant or bar past security.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      June 27, 2016 at 4:46 am

      It does put a lot of airports to shame doesn’t it!

  • Reply
    Kassie
    June 17, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    I had no idea about the vouchers! I will definitely have to check that out next time I transit through Changi. Every airport should be that nice.

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      June 27, 2016 at 4:46 am

      Me neither – it’s such a great deal and well worth claiming

  • Reply
    Gabriella
    June 18, 2016 at 1:12 am

    Omg! This airport is INSANE! I had no idea… Can I just plan my vacation to stay in the airport? LOL

    • Reply
      Jayne Gorman
      June 27, 2016 at 4:46 am

      Haha apparently that’s what some Singaporeans do – have staycations at Changi!

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