Changi Airport isn’t just a place to go to catch your next flight out of Singapore. It’s a destination in itself. Manisha Dhalani compiles a list things to do here.
Heralded as one of the best airports in the world, Changi Airport truly never sleeps. And how can it with thousands of flights that arrive and depart weekly, and more than 5 million passenger movement every month?
But it’s not just the flight frequency that makes Changi Airport retain its ranking at the top year on year. It’s the entire experience that appeals to visitors of all ages from all over the world.
Seamless connections, amazing service, and throngs of activities to participate in – whether you’re just passing by in transit or super early for your flight.
Here, we’ve taken the liberty to round up just some of the highlights that Changi Airport has to offer – from food to shopping and fun activities to breathtaking interiors.
TERMINAL 1: Public
1. Explore Jewel
Jewel Changi Airport boasts five storeys of world-class experiences and a long list of retail, dining and entertainment options that’ll leave you wanting more. The highlight here is, of course, the gorgeous HSBC Rain Vortex that serves as wonderful backdrop for selfies.
Check out our photo-essay on Jewel Changi Airport here.
2. Enjoy the Kinetic Rain Sculpture
This dynamic art installation is a sight to behold. Made up of 1,216 bronze droplets – which took almost 20 months to create and piece together – the Kinetic Rain is a gorgeous dance display which takes on various shapes.
TERMINAL 1: Transit
3. Learn about desert plants @ the Cactus Garden
While in transit at Changi Airport Terminal 1, visit one of the many gardens that the terminal offers. The Cactus Garden – located at the rooftop – not only has over 100 species of desert and dry plants, but is also somewhere you can relax and have a drink.
4. Appreciate flora and fauna @ The Water Lily Garden
Walk along the meandering tiles of the Water Lily Garden at Level 2 of Terminal 1 and feast your eyes on gorgeous flora, including one of the world’s largest aquatic plants – the Amazon Water Lily.
5. Enjoy diverse foliage @ The Discovery Garden
It’s like a mini Gardens by the Bay in here! Discover diverse foliage when you walk along the tree-like sculptures at Level 2, Transit of Terminal 1. Stroll along the raised walkways to get up close to curated foliage that are a feast to the eyes.
6. Take a dip @ The Rooftop Swimming Pool
Ever wished to float in a swimming pool while watching planes take off into the sky? You got it. Located at the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel, the rooftop swimming pool also has a jacuzzi, poolside bar and shower facilities. The pool is open daily from 6AM to 12AM.
7. Save your travel memories in The Social Tree
The Social Tree is a 9-meter tall installation that serves as a memory capsule where you can share your photo and videos on high-definition display and place them on various animated backgrounds.
8. Pamper yourself @ Airport Wellness Oasis
Need a pit-stop to satisfy the weary traveller in you? At the Airport Wellness Oasis, you can get 24-hour access to soothing massages, a Fish spa, a manicure or pedicure session, or just a hot cup of freshly brewed beverage and snack to satisfy any hunger pangs.
TERMINAL 2: Public
9. Be dazzled A Million Times in Changi
One of the biggest kinetic artworks in the world, A Million Times stands at 7.5 metres wide by 3.4 metres tall. It was developed by a Stockholm-based collective of artists, and it’s a visual representation of time through an artwork that functions like an analogue clock.
TERMINAL 2: Transit
10. Get some Vitamin D @ The Sunflower Garden
If you’re on transit or just couldn’t make it to Gardens by the Bay, you can always get a glimpse of an amazing display of sunflowers in Changi Airport Terminal 2. Enjoy the majestic sunflowers, get a healthy dose of Vitamin D, and watch planes take off from the rooftop view.
11. Learn the elements @ The Orchid Garden
Check out meticulously chosen orchids – including the national treasure Vanda Miss Joaquim – that have been arranged according to the four elements of nature: Air, Earth, Fire and Water. The Orchid Garden has also been a crowd favourite because of the Koi Pond, too.
12. Marvel @ The Enchanted Garden
Another popular sight to snap photos and admire is the Enchanted Garden – which is loved for being interactive. Boasting motion sensors to delight you with the sounds of nature and a carpet of sparkling lights for you to walk on, this garden just makes you feel alive amidst your tiring travel schedule.
13. Catch a blockbuster @ The Movie Theatre
Sure, we have our gadgets where we can watch hours of shows and movies while on-the-go, but nothing beats the experience of watching a movie at the cinema. Changi Airport offers you this free-of-charge at its Movie Theatre at Terminals 2 and 3. Find their movie listings here.
14. Enjoy a good spa
Make an appointment for nail care, foot reflexology or massage therapies at the 24-hour Ambassador Transit Lounge (located at Level 3 near F Gates), or choose between TranSpa or Spa Express (both located at Level 3 at Depature Transit Hall Central).
TERMINAL 3: Public
15. Book a stay at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport
Named the world’s best airport hotel for five years in a row by Skytrax, the Crowne Plaza is one accommodation that promises luxury and comfort for the discerning traveller. Choose from 563 well-furnished rooms, and if you need to get some work done, you can always use the business centre.
16. Go down the Giant Slide
Get that amusement park vibe at Changi Airport Terminal 3’s Giant Slide instead. At nearly four storeys tall, ride the world’s tallest slide all the way from Level 1 to Basement 3. The slide is equally fun for kids (at least 1.3m tall) and adults (below 2m tall!) alike.
17. Get refreshed @ The Haven by JetQuay
Just stepped out of a flight? Head over to The Haven – a pay-per-use lounge available at Level 1 in the public area of Terminal 3 – for a comfortable rest and refresh area. Take a quick shower before your next engagement, catch up on a little bit of work, or just sit back and watch TV.
TERMINAL 3: Transit
18. Be mesmerised @ The Butterfly Garden
Located at Terminals 2 and 3, The Butterfly Garden is the first of its kind in an airport. With over 40 species of tropical butterflies during different seasons of the year, witness the magnificence of these lovely creatures at close range.
19. Appreciate the beauty of the Crystal Garden
Comprising 1,735 Bohemian glass components, the Crystal Garden at the transit area in Terminal 3 is a gorgeous display of colours from the beds of flowering plants. The artists behind the garden aim to showcase passengers dispersing into different corners of the world.
20. Catch Birds In Flight
Changi Airport describes this installation as “a metaphor for the modern traveller” – an apt description indeed. Artist Baet Yeok Kuan conceptualised this blue-hued sculpture, taking inspiration from Arctic tern seabirds that travel vast distances during their annual migration.
21. Get your beauty products @ The Shilla
Offering beauty products and services from brands like Dior, La Prairie, SK-II and more, this duty-free option on Level 3 puts luxury and multi-brands in centre stage in a unique and elevated (the store spreads to two storeys) shopping experience. Located at all terminals.
22. Chillax @ The TV Lounge
Not into movies? Prefer to just lounge on a plush seat and watch a huge television with great quality sound? Head over to Terminal 3’s TV lounge where you can catch up on your favourite TV shows while waiting to board your flight. Also available at Terminals 1 and 4.
TERMINAL 4: Public
23. Be dazzled by the Petalclouds
A visit to Terminal 4 isn’t complete if you haven’t stared in awe at the gorgeous Petalclouds installation. This majestic kinetic sculpture is suspended across 200m and moves according to lighting and music.
24. Witness the beauty of the Les Oiseaux
Another sculpture that’s bound to take your breath away is the Les Oiseaux steel wire sculpture – otherwise known as The Birds. Made up of three birds, the gorgeous installation by French artist Cedric Le Borgne depicts the connection between earth and sky, dreams and reality.
25. Walk down memory lane with the Singapore Rojak
A 37meter long mural aligns the wall of the public area at Terminal 4’s Basement 1. Hand-painted by Singaporean artist Yip Yew Chong, the artwork – depicting a nostalgic street of Singaporean stalls selling local delicacies – highlights Singaporeans’ shared love for food.
TERMINAL 4: Transit
26. Play games @ The Entertainment Corner
How about a Playstation or Xbox Kinect game session with the family and friends? Or maybe something a little more nostalgic like the arcade or computer games? Whatever kind of gamer you are, Changi Airport has got you covered at The Entertainment Corner.
27. Get a dose of culture @ The Peranakan Gallery
Dive into the culture and heritage of Singapore’s Peranakan community in this 150m2 gallery. With a collection that is refreshed periodically, get an insight into the influences that the community has on Singapore today.
28. Get nostalgic @ The Peranakan Love Story
The Peranakan culture is often associated with colourful buildings and love of food. That’s exactly what you get at the Peranakan Love Story, a zone of “shophouses” that evokes nostalgia. In the central façade, a short theatrical film is aired to give visitors a look into life in Singapore in the 1930s.
29. Take a picture of Steel in Bloom
The Steel in Bloom garden is an amalgamation of the natural and concrete jungles. With a koi garden and a 6-metre tall centrepiece modelled in steel, it’s a great place to take a picture before you fly off to your next destination.
30. Enjoy the Immersive Wall
Queuing for your security screenings is no longer something that’ll leave you irritated or bored. Terminal 4 has lined up a panoramic LED display to entertain passengers with visuals of Singapore’s skyline, landscapes and how Changi Airport connects with nearby ASEAN destinations.
Found something that you’d like to do but it isn’t located in the Terminal your flight is in? If you have time to spare, hop on the Skytrain between Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to get to places you want to be.
Just keep track of time and stay alert of announcements of any gate changes or flight delays via the interactive boards and overhead speakers.