A Traveler’s Guide To Singapore’s Changi Airport

You might normally think about an airport as something you must endure for the sake of the destination, a chore to navigate before the fun can really start. Not so with Singapore’s Changi Airport. World-renowned as a destination in itself, you’ll want to build in plenty of time for exploring this iconic travel hub. Let’s take a look at exactly what Changi Airport has to offer.

An International Travel Hub

Before we get carried away with the waterfall, (yep, you read that right), let’s take a minute to remember that Singapore Changi Airport is ultimately just that – an airport. As beautiful as it may be and as mind-blowing as the facilities are, its first purpose is to enable people to travel all around the world. It does this beautifully.

You can get airline tickets to Singapore from multiple international destinations, and as one of the busiest airports in Southeast Asia, Changi serves as a hub for connections to other destinations in Asia and the world.

Airlines flying directly into Singapore from the US include Nippon Airways with flights from New York, Chicago, and Seattle, as well as China Eastern and China Southern Airlines, with flights from Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Shiseido Forest Valley 

Okay, enough about the logistics, let’s get to the bit we all want to know about – the waterfall. Believe it or not, Singapore Changi Airport has its very own waterfall – or Rain Vortex as the airport calls it – cascading down through the center of the stunning Shiseido Forest Valley. The verdant sanctuary should feel out of place in the middle of a busy airport, but it doesn’t – stepping into a multi-level nature park somehow feels like the most natural thing in the world.

There are multiple walking trails, each giving you a different perspective on the stunning attraction. There are more than 900 different trees and around 60,000 plants and shrubs, although how they can even estimate this is hard to imagine! 

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Source: Unsplash

The Wonderfall

There is actually more than one waterfall at Singapore Changi Airport. Head to terminal 2 and you’ll find the iconic Wonderfall – a water feature that appears to defy many of the laws of nature.

The real wonder of this waterfall is that it’s a digital waterfall, inspired by nature but created through the wonder of technology. It’s an incredible feat and well worth a visit.

Changi Experience Studio

Singapore Changi Airport is at the cutting edge of technology and digital travel. The experience studio showcases this perfectly with an interactive exhibition that gives both adults and children the chance to go behind the scenes and explore the development and workings of the airport.

There are ten zones to explore, and multiple games to play, all created to help visitors understand just what an amazing place the airport is. There’s plenty here to keep travelers of all ages amused.

Butterfly Garden

Head to terminal 3 and you’ll discover that Singapore Changi Airport has its very own butterfly garden, home to over 1,000 tropical butterflies, spanning 40 different species. There are plenty of spaces within the garden to get up close and personal and learn more about the butterfly’s lifecycle – a fascinating experience.

If you enjoy the butterfly garden you might also like the sunflower garden, the orchid garden, or the enchanted garden – an interactive garden that combines the beauty of nature with the magic of technology through light and sound.

The Bouncing Net

Fancy bouncing up to eight meters off the ground among the trees in a suspended trampoline? Singapore Changi Airport has got you covered. Of course, it has! We’d expect nothing less from an airport that also has its own climbing wall and interactive playground art installation.

Note: This is a paid-for attraction so make sure to book your tickets in advance and arrive in plenty of time for your booking slot.

Free Two-hour Bike Hire

Although the airport feels big enough to need a bike, this offer is actually for travelers with time to kill before a connecting flight who want to take the chance to explore the area around the airport. There’s plenty to see around Singapore Changi Airport, including extensive gardens, the historic Changi village, local beaches, and the Changi Jurassic Mile – Singapore’s biggest outdoor display of life-sized dinosaurs. If you’re worried about keeping kids entertained then this could be one for you!

To claim your free bike hire is simple:

  • Get the dedicated Changi Airport App
  • Head to ‘Explore Changi’ – ‘Attractions & Amenities’ – ‘Free Bicycle Rides’ 
  • Choose your date and check your eligibility
  • Show your booking QR code at GoCycling, Hub & Spoke

Singapore Airport Shopping

We couldn’t talk about Changi Airport without a mention of the world-class shopping facilities. If spending money is your jam then you’re in a great place for it, with top names including Calvin Klein, Apple, Coach, Fred Perry, and many more top brands to choose from. Leave yourself plenty of time for browsing and picking up a stash of duty-free bargains, then head to one of the airport’s many bars or restaurants to recharge.

Source: Unsplash

Food And Drink At Singapore Changi Airport

You couldn’t be further from the classic airport fare of Subway and McDonalds at Changi – it’s a foodie destination in itself, with so many food and drink options that you could probably spend your entire holiday here and not get around them all. Highlights include:

Violet Oon Singapore 

If you want to indulge in some authentic dishes of Singapore then this is the place to do it. Great attention to detail and the best local ingredients celebrate some of the nation’s favorites.

Hoshino Coffee Japanese Cafe and Restaurant

For something a little more casual but by no means lacking in quality, head to Hoshino Coffee for the best hand-dripped coffee, signature soufflés, and the fluffiest pancakes ever.


For casual but flavorsome dining, with love Tonito, serving an eclectic mix of Latin American street food that’s sure to set your tastebuds tingling. Better still, Tonito enjoys views over the Rain Vortex, making it a great place to relax.

Plan An Airport Wedding

It should come as no surprise to you by this point that Singapore Changi Airport doesn’t do things by halves, so is it any wonder that you can go as far as to get married there? Fancy having your wedding set against the stunning backdrop of the airport’s waterfall and lush gardens? You’ve got it! Apart from anything else, getting married at Singapore Changi Airport certainly would make it easy for any guests flying in to attend!

The airport also hosts corporate events and birthday parties, so if you’re looking for something a bit different for your next party then it’s worth keeping in mind.

Whether Singapore is your final destination or you’re using Changi as a stopover along the way, it should be clear now that you should aim to leave plenty of time to explore and enjoy all that this incredible airport has to offer. Make it a part of your holiday rather than just another link in the travel chain and you won’t regret it. Safe travels!

Ashley Hubbard

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