Attractions in Changi Airport for Your Layover

Do you have a layover in Singapore? I’ve got you covered with these attractions in Changi Airport to keep you busy.

Singapore is one of those airport hubs that many connecting flights pass through. For me, it’s a direct flight from my home port of Adelaide, with flights then fanning out all over the world.

At least once a year I pass through Changi Airport, either spending a day or two in Singapore like on my most recent visit, or jumping straight on another flight further into Asia, the Middle East or Europe.

Over my many visits, I’ve been able to explore many of the things that Changi has to offer, and each time there is more to see and do.

Here are some of the very best attractions in Changi Airport for your layover.

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The outside of a large glass-domed building with a glass walkway leading to it. In the background is an air control tower.

Attractions in Changi Airport

As you search for the many different things to do in Changi Airport, look out for the maps. They are situated near most entrances to the terminals, including near the SkyTrain stations. They will help you quickly find each attraction.

On my listings below, landside means before immigration and security, airside means afterwards.

Visit Jewel

Looking inside a large circular glass building filled with vegetation. There is a large vortex waterfall in the middle, and a raised up rail for a Skytrain. In the foreground is a huge, but half built, Christmas tree.

Jewel is a whole separate part of Changi Airport that is part huge shopping mall, part entertainment complex.

There is so much to do here that Jewel is almost worth its own post (maybe that’s for my next trip).

Jewel stands out as a fun addition to Singapore’s already impressive airport. It combines nature, shopping, and entertainment in one location, directly linked to the airport’s terminals.

At its centre, you’ll find the HSBC Rain Vortex, the tallest indoor waterfall in the world, set within a backdrop of a forest-like setting.

With its many retail options, dining venues, and attractions like the Canopy Park with its unique features including walking nets and mazes, it offers a diverse experience for both adults and kids alike.

Here are just a few of the things you might like to check out:

  • Jewel-rassic Quest
  • Mirror Maze
  • Changi Experience Studio
  • Walking and Bouncing nets
  • Hedge Maze
  • Discover Jewel Tour

Jewel is in the landside part of the airport, so if you have a layover, you will need to go through passport control before visiting and again on the way back into the terminal.

Where: It’s own section, accessible from all the terminals. It’s open 24 hours and is free to visit (some paid attractions)

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Admire the Kinetic Rain Sculpture

A moveable sculpture made up of dozens of gold teardrop shapes suspended from the ceiling by almost-invisible wires

The Kinetic Rain Sculpture is a unique artwork made of 1,216 bronze droplets that move to form different shapes and patterns. It holds the title of being the largest kinetic sculpture in the world.

This piece is not just for show; it represents the idea of connection and change, fitting for an airport setting.

Each droplet is controlled by a computer, allowing them to move together in a way that catches the eye of anyone walking by.

It’s designed to give travellers a moment to relax and be amazed, adding something special to their journey through the airport.

It’s hard to appreciate from just a photo, so take a look at this YouTube clip

Where: Found landside in Terminal 1, near the check-in desks

Free 2-Hour Bicycle Rides

I haven’t given this one a go but I saw it advertised on one of the TVs on the Skytrain while I was at Changi Airport recently, so it will be on my list next time I have a layover in Singapore.

If you are transiting through Singapore and have at least 5.5 hours between your flights, then you qualify for free bike hire to explore the Jurassic Mile and beyond.

Find out more details and book your hire in advance here.

Be Mesmerised by the Wonderfall

A large, three-story digital waterfall flows over an open doorway through the bottom section of it

The Wonderfall was unveiled only recently in December 2023. It is a captivating 14-metre-tall digital waterfall located in the newly revamped Terminal 2.

This installation combines 892 flat and curved LED tiles along a green wall and facade, creating a serene atmosphere with the sounds of piano music and water.

It symbolises Changi’s commitment to blending nature with technology, enhancing passenger experiences.

The creation involved a collaboration with multimedia studio Moment Factory, showcasing a remarkable fusion of art, nature, and digital innovation.

Being so new, this was my first time enjoying The Wonderfall and it is mesmerising. I enjoyed watching the changing patterns and looking out for surprises, like the kingfisher that flitters across the screen.

Again, this is best enjoyed with video

Where: Found in Terminal 2, landside near the check-in counters

Enjoy the Butterfly Garden

A metal butterfly-shaped sculpture with eight slices of pineapple on it. On the pineapple are many butterflies feeding off the juice

There are a number of gardens and outside spaces here at Changi Airport (I’ve listed a few more of them below) but this one has always been my favourite.

The Butterfly Garden is the world’s first butterfly garden in an airport.

This tropical habitat is home to over 1,000 butterflies and offers visitors a chance to witness the natural beauty and lifecycle of these insects amidst lush greenery and a 6-meter waterfall.

It provides a peaceful escape for travellers looking to relax and learn more about butterflies before continuing their journey.

Where: Terminal 3, airside.

Take a Dip in the Swimming Pool

A swimming pool between buildings with a variety of seating options surrounding it. One person can be seen in the pool and others are in the distance.

Yes, you read that right, you can take a swim in between your flights. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect way to shake off some of that jetlag?

The rooftop swimming pool is a part of the Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel and allows guests to swim, relax by the poolside, or enjoy a drink at the pool bar, all with a view of planes taking off and landing.

It’s a unique feature that adds an extra layer of relaxation and leisure to the airport experience, making layovers feel more like a part of the vacation.

Access is free for Aerotel guests, with a fee for other passengers. As of mu visit in March 2024, the price was $25++SGD

Where: Terminal 1, airside.

Watch a Movie – Free

The foyer of a movie theatre with orange walls and blue carpet. A door with a red curtain leads into the theatre. A tv screen showing the current movies is unreadable. There is a large sin on the wall saying Movie Theatre free screenings all day all night

I’ve only ever walked past the movie theatre – there are always too many other things to do in Changi Airport for me to stop – but if you prefer to rest and watch a movie, you can do so here for free!

The theatre has around 50 seats, so plenty of space. The movies run for 24 hours a day, and each film is shown twice in that time.

During my latest visits, the movies on offer included “A Man Called Otto”, “The Batman” and “A Haunting in Venice”, amongst others. The lineup changes seasonally.

Where: Terminal 3, airside.

Eat at the Staff Canteen

A close up of a menu board showing example prices of some of the meals available in the Changi staff canteen. Prices are around $3 for staff and $4 for the public

There are so many delicious food options in Singapore Airport, but this is my favourite.

Singapore to me is all about the incredible local food, and some of the best is found at the hawker centres across the city.

If you don’t get time to head out and get your fix, you can instead descend into the basements of the terminals and pick up a cheap, tasty meal in what looks like a busy shopping centre food court.

I know, you are wondering if you can visit the staff canteen without being a member of staff? The answer is yes, you certainly can.

You will notice staff prices and public prices listed on the stalls. The public pays a little more, but it is still incredibly cheap. We got two meals and a drink for $11.40SGD on our recent visit.

Where: while there are staff canteens in each terminal, we mostly go to the one in T1. It can be found landside. Look out for the sign behind check-in areas 12 & 13. Take the lift down to B1 and enjoy!

Admire the Dreamscape

A beautiful indoor garden with digital screens on the ceiling replicating the sky and a glass floor over a pond to look like water

Dreamscape, introduced alongside The Wonderfall in December 2023, is another immersive digital experience aimed at enhancing the passenger experience.

It features interactive elements and captivating visuals that engage visitors, offering a unique and memorable way to enjoy a layover or wait for a flight.

This attraction is part of Changi’s efforts to combine technology and art, creating spaces that delight and surprise travellers from around the world.

I really enjoyed the changing dreamscape scene as first blue skies and then clouds flowed across the roof.

Don’t miss going up into the centre of the installation. When you do, look down between your feet to see the goldfish swimming below them.

This is also a great photo opportunity. I took way too many photos here because I loved the colours and changing mood.

Take a look at the video

Where: Terminal 2, airside.

Get some Sun in the Sunflower Garden

Josie, wearing all black, is standing in front of a sunflower garden

If I’m nearby I often go out into the sunflower garden to get some fresh air. Not only do they have the traditional bright yellow sunflowers here, but a second variety is an unusual deep red-purple colour.

It’s almost become a tradition to get a photo with the sunflowers.

Sadly, on my latest trip I discovered that the seat I usually sit on has been removed, so it had to be a standing photo this time.

Where: Terminal 2, airside

Jump on a Free City Tour

A man and a woman with their backs to the camera stand at a ticket booth with a sign saying Free Singapore Tour

Yes, there are plenty of things to do at Changi, ut you might also like to take a quick city tour, especially if you haven’t been to Singapore before.

The free city tours are designed for travellers with layovers of at least 5.5 hours. You will need to have a visa if required and have filled out the digital arrivals card (see below).

The guided tours take passengers past some of Singapore’s most iconic sights, offering a glimpse of the city’s culture, history, and modern achievements.

It’s a fantastic way for transit passengers to maximise their layover time by experiencing a bit of Singapore without having to worry about planning or transportation.

There are three different city tours depending on your interests – City Sights Tour, Changi Precinct Tour & Heritage Tour

It’s not just tours of the city though – you can also take a free walking tour to Jewel too.

See more details and book online here, or just go to one of the booths airside in T2 & T3 to sign up.

Cactus Garden

A rooftop cactus garden with a scattering of brown benches to sit on

Yes, another garden, but I thought this one might be useful to the smokers amongst my readers as it includes a smoking area.

It’s not all smoking area though, there is still plenty of room to soak up some sun and non-airconditioned air in between your flights.

On our recent visit it was being used as the location for a photo shoot, so you never know, you might spot a local celebrity here too.

Where: Terminal 1, airside

Pay Your Way into a Lounge

No lounge access? No problem here at Changi because there is a range of lounges you can pay to use.

They have various inclusions, but you can enjoy some time away from the busy concourse and waiting areas while enjoying food and drinks.

If you are travelling for work, there are areas where you can set up your laptop, take calls, and even meeting areas and business services if you need them.

Most lounges also have showers available, which can be a nice refresher between long flights. Some also have private resting areas where you can get a little sleep.

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Where: You can find lounges in each of the terminals. Choose one that offers what you want at the right price.

Find a Rest Area

A group of five recliner seats in an airport

In many hidden corners of this huge airport are free lounges where you can lay down and rest for a little, or sleep for a lot longer if you choose.

I haven’t found every area, but this one can be found near the butterfly garden in T3.

You can also find chairs scattered throughout the terminals that offer free massages too. This is a perfect way to work out some of those kinks left behind from those squishy economy seats.

I didn’t see them this trip, but in the past, there have been foot massage chairs in all the terminals, but in T1 you can also find chairs that do a whole-body massage.

Slip Down the Giant Slide

A large pillar in an airport with huge Purple letters on it saying Slide @T3

The Slide@T3, is the world’s tallest slide in an airport. It offers both children and adults a thrilling ride, standing at 12 meters – or four-stories – high.

Changi Rewards Members can earn tokens with each purchase made in the airport. It’s free and easy to sign up, you can see the details here.

Where: Terminal 3, landside

Climb back up the Rock Climbing Wall

Looking down over a large metal slide with a colourful climbing wall at the bottom.

Located at the bottom of the Giant Slide is a rock climbing wall.

While you can’t actually climb right back up to the top of the slide, you can burn off some steam and stretch those arms.

This is a family-friendly activity, and great for teenagers who are looking for something physical to do between flights. They even offer classes too. See here for more details.

Explore Terminal Four

I’ve not included anything from terminal four in the list because it’s been quite a few years since I have been over to that terminal myself, and it’s not as simple to visit as the other three terminals.

Here are a few things you may like to take a look at if you are there:

  • See T4’s kinetic sculpture, Petalclouds
  • Enjoy the shophouses in the Heritage Zone
  • Get the perfect selfie at the Steel in Bloom Garden
  • Hunt down all the quirky sculptures and statues

And I haven’t even mentioned the shopping….

Inside a spacious airport terminal with a garden bed in the foreground and luxurious Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co stores in the background

Important Things to Know About Visiting Singapore

Here are a few tips to help make your transit easier.

You Will Need to Fill in A Digital Arrivals Card

All visitors need to fill in a digital arrival card, so if you are visiting one of the landside attractions, you will need to do it.

You can fill it in in the three days leading up to your flight online here or do it on arrival before you pass through immigration.

I did it before my flight, and it was automatically linked to my passport and I just went through the e-gates as normal.

Moving Between the Four Terminals

Terminals 1, 2 & 3 are all connected, so you can walk between them on foot – great for clocking up those 10 000 steps!

If you don’t want to walk, then there is the Skytrain between each of them, both on the landside and airside of the airport.

The Skytrain trips between T2 & T3 pass through Jewel, so even if you don’t have time to go through immigration twice between your flights, you can get a sneak peek of the iconic waterfall this way.

To get to T4, you will need to take a bus as it is separated from the others. The free shuttle buses run both landside and airside, from T1, T2 and Jewel.

Follow the signs in the terminals to the bus locations.

Wifi at Changi Airport

There is free wifi available throughout the whole of Changi Airport which I have found to be easy to connect to and relatively reliable.

You will get disconnected each time you travel between the terminals though, so you will need to remember to reconnect.

Have more time in Singapore? Read these next
23 Fun Things to Do in Singapore on a Budget
Must Try Food in Singapore
Top Tips for Singapore

TRAVEL PLANNING ESSENTIALS

Find flights – I always use Skyscanner as my starting point when searching for flights. One search will give many options including airlines I may not have thought of. This means I can find the best possible flights to suit my needs

Book accommodation – my go to is always Booking.com for the best places to stay. It’s not just hotels anymore, but hostels, apartments, B&Bs and more. I love that the bookings are usually cancellable, and that I can book now and pay later.

Hire a rental carRentalCars.com is my go to here. It allows me to do just one search and it finds cars from many of the different supplies, so no checking multiple websites to compare.

Get travel insurance – you would have heard by now that saying “if you can’t afford travel insurance, you can’t afford to travel”. If we’ve learnt anything from the last couple of years it should be how essential travel insurance is. I use CoverMore for my insurance.

Pick up an eSIM – I tried an eSIM on my last trip and it was fantastic. I set it up before I went so it was ready as soon as I landed, and I still had access to my home number for emergencies. Get your own eSIM at Airalo.

Book activities, tours & attractions – I use a few different websites for this. Viator and Get Your Guide tend to be the first places I look. In Asia, Klook often has more options, and in Australia it’s Experience Oz.

Manage your money – the best way to manage your different currencies is with an account from Wise. You can hold money in many different currencies, and use them with the ATM card or from your phone.

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