23 Secret Things To Do In Changi Airport + What’s New in Terminal 4
Singapore’s pride and joy and Number 1 airport in the world – Changi Airport has earned their international fame and rightly so.
The airport has expanded to include three terminals, with Terminal 4 set to open its doors later this year. With more than 100 airlines operating at Changi Airport and over 7,000 flights scheduled weekly, it connects Singapore to 90 different countries and over 300 cities worldwide, making it the sixth busiest airport for international traffic. With so many people transiting through Changi Airport everyday, the airport also boasts many activities, installations and features to keep its patrons entertained!
Whether you’re there early for check-ins, making a transit, or even just a Singaporean seeking new places to go, here’s our master guide to the best secrets in Changi Airport and sneaks into the new Terminal 4 that’s slated to open on 31 October.
Nature Trails in Changi Airport
Surround yourself with over 100 species of cacti in Changi Airport’s Cactus Garden. Keep a look for the Cycads, an ancient group of seed plants dating back to the prehistoric ages.
Location: Terminal 1, Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge
Catch a breather and stroll through the maze of bright yellow flowers in the Sunflower Garden. Located outdoors, the garden makes for a nice spot to snap photos with your loved ones for that customary airport selfie.
Location: Terminal 2, Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge
The world’s first butterfly garden in an airport, Changi Airport’s Butterfly Garden own is home to over 1,000 butterflies and from over 30 species. Remain still and wait for one of these little critters to land on your outstretched finger for the perfect photo op.
An Emergence Enclosure is also situated within the garden so if you’re lucky enough, you might just observe the birth of a butterfly as it breaks out of its cocoon.
Tip: stay close to the feeding station, where slices of pineapple are left for the butterflies to feast on.
Location: Terminal 3, Level 2 & 3, Departure Transit Lounge
Orchid Garden and Koi Pond
Featuring over 30 types of Orchids and 700 blossoms, the garden symbolises the four elements of nature: Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Visit during the National Day period to see Singapore’s National flower, the Vanda ‘Miss Joaquim’, on display or simply watch and be hypnotised by the beautiful fishes in the koi pond.
Head to Terminal 3’s Koi Pond within the transit area every day, if you’d like to catch some koi feeding in action.
Location: Terminal 2, Level 2, Departure Transit Lounge
An interactive garden that merges nature with technology, get ready to be dazzled by the Enchanted Garden. With four, giant glass sculptures, the garden has motion sensors installed that will light up as you make your way through. Together with music and sounds filling the air, the garden roars to life!
Location: Terminal 2, Level 2, Departure Transit Lounge
Entertainment in Changi Airport
Enjoy the latest blockbusters for free at the movie theatres located in both Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. These screenings are available for 24-hours, perfect for the movie goers at any time of the day! You can check the screening schedule on-site or on Changi Airport’s website.
Locations: Terminal 2, Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge, near the Sunflower Garden
Terminal 3, Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge North, near the Ambassador Transit Lounge
If you don’t have time to sit through an entire movie, Terminal 3 has TV Lounges available for travellers to settle around and catch the news. Sink into the soft sofas available and enjoy a quick break.
Locations: Terminal 3, Level 2, Departure Transit Lounge
Complete with gaming equipment, MTV booths and a cafeteria, the Changi Airport Entertainment Deck will keep you entertained till your flight. Choose from Xbox and PlayStation consoles, and even the Xbox Kinect if you’d like to get your body moving.
Locations: Terminal 2, Level 3, Departure Transit Lounge next to the Sunflower Garden
A swimming pool within an airport sounds too good to be true, but here it is. This rooftop swimming pool comes equipped with a bar and jacuzzi, allowing you to soak in the sun with a drink in hand. Opened to travellers from 6 AM to 12 AM every day, the entry fee of $17 comes inclusive with one non-alcoholic drink. Located within Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel, hotel guests will be able to enjoy the pool for free.
Location: Terminal 1, Level 3, Aerotal Airport Transit Hotel at the Departure Transit Lounge, near D Gates
Woodblock Rubbing Art Stations
Located in both the public and transit areas, these woodblock rubbing stations make for a great way to keep the young children entertained. All you have to do is to grab a piece of paper and colour away with the crayons provided. Try and collect all the different artwork, inspired by Singapore’s culture and Changi Airport itself.
Locations: Terminal 1, Level 3, Viewing Mall (Public)
Terminal 2, Level 2, Departure Transit Lounge South, next to Orchid Garden
Terminal 3, Level B2, next to Fountain area (Public)
Terminal 3, Level 2, Departure Transit Lounge North, outside gate holdroom B1-B4
With a striking neon-pink sign beckoning your attention, this is a spot that’s hard to miss. The 4-storey high mega slide makes for a thrilling way to end your day, especially for the children. The Slide is in the public area of Terminal 3, so non-travellers can enjoy the ride as long as you spend a minimum of $10 in a single receipt. The slide is open daily from 12 PM to 10:30 PM.
Location: Terminal 3, Level 1, Arrival Hall – Public Area
Art Installations in Changi Airport
The nine-meter tall Social Tree is Changi’s largest interactive art installation at the moment. Project photos and videos using the touch-screen booths and watch as they go on display on the 360 screen. The best part about this installation is the fact that you can relive your old memories every time you come back! Watch your adventures through Changi and add on to your virtual journey with each visit.
Location: Terminal 1, Central Piazza, Transit Area, right after immigration counters
Made up of 1,000 bronze droplets, this sculpture mesmerises with its slow and steady movements. Watch as the droplets rise and fall to form recognisable shapes of airplanes and hot air balloons and other abstract forms and patterns.
Location: Terminal 1, Departure Check-in Hall, Public Area
A brand new installation that merges technology with aesthetics, Petalclouds is available for view in the upcoming Terminal 4. Spanning nearly 200m, this massive installation can be viewed as you roam around the terminal. The aluminium petals are suspended from the ceiling with metal wiring, weaving into intricate shapes and patterns. Don’t miss the chance to catch it in action when Terminal 4 officially opens.
Location: Terminal 4 (to open late 2017)
Peranakan Love Story
Also in the new Terminal 4, is a digital installation – ‘Peranakan Love Story’. Featuring a love story of a young couple set in 1930s Singapore, the movie unfolds on the wall in the Heritage-themed zone.
The mix of digital media with the Peranakan-inspired shophouse structures brings life into the story. After the performance, travellers can also roam around to take photos against the backdrop of the shophouses.
Location: Terminal 4 (to open late 2017)
Shopping in Changi Airport
The Shilla Duty Free
When it comes to airport shopping, the best thing about it is the duty-free! The Shilla Duty Free store offers the largest number of beauty products in Asia Pacific across all three terminals.
If you visit the Shilla Beauty Loft located in Terminal 3, you can also be treated to facial treatments, makeovers and free consultation sessions from luxury brands like SK-II and Dior.
Location: within the transit areas of all three terminals.
DFS Wines and Spirits
Drinking can be really expensive in Singapore, so naturally, so buying alcohol is one of the most popular things to get at the airport. At Changi Airport, one can find different and even exclusively-sold wines and spirits. From beer to wine and champagne, there’s a choice for everyone – stock them up for all sorts of occasions.
Location: within the transit area of all three terminals
You can even do your tax and duty free shopping online at iShopChangi. Shop online 30 days in advance and up to 18 hours before your departure. Then all you have to do is go to any of the terminals to pick up your order before you depart! Earn Changi Rewards Loyalty Points and be treated to some online-only exclusive deals.
Make your purchase through ShopBack this 9.9 Rewards Day and $9 Cashback for every order!
The Fashion Gallery
The luxury multi-label store is the shopping haven for fashionistas. Carrying accessories, clothes and shoes from popular high-end brands such as YSL, Bulgari, Fendi, and Gucci – walk out of the store with whole new holiday outfit!
Location: Terminal 1, Departure Lounge Central
Terminal 2, Departure Lounge Central
Educational Galleries and Tours
Viewing Mall and Aviation Gallery
As a child, watching airplanes fly by have always been a fascinating experience. At the free-to-access, public areas of Changi Airport,watching the planes take off into the skies at the Viewing Malls. The viewing mall at T3 also has an Aviation Gallery which shares facts about Changi Airport and planes through interactive displays and plane models. The gallery is open daily from 6am to 12am.
Location: Terminal 1, level 3, Public Area (beside the playground)
Terminal 2, level 3, Public Area (behind Nando’s)
Terminal 3, level 4, Public Area (beside Xin Wang Hong Kong Cafe)
Free Singapore Heritage Tour
Have at least five hours to spare during your transit? Escape the confines of the airport and give the free Singapore Heritage Tour a try! This 2-hour tour will take you through the colonial and cultural districts of our sunny island, stopping by landmarks such as the Merlion Park.
Registration for the tour starts one hour before each slot and gives you a leeway of two hours before your flight departs. Bring along your passport, boarding passes and entry visa (if applicable) and head over to the registration booths within the transit area.
Location: Terminal 2, Level 2, Transit Area, between Transfer Lounge F and Skytrain to Terminal 3, near escalator to Arrival Immigration
Terminal 3, Level 2, Transist Area near Transfer Lounge A and Gat A1-A8
Places to Chill in Changi Airport
Snooze Lounges are free for use and can be found in the transit areas of every terminal. The reclining chairs make for a comfortable spot to catch some shut eye between your flights. Seats are limited though, so you have to be quick (or lucky) to snag a spot.
The Changi Airport Pay-per-use lounges can be found in every transit terminal and are perfect for those who have a long layover between flights.
The Plaza Premium Lounge allows you access to the showers and a welcome drink at $16 or you can pay for a five-hour slot at $58 for adults. Children between the ages of 2 to 11 can access the lounge at 50% off and children below the age of 2 can access the lounge for free.
Located: Terminal 1, level 3 Departure Transit Lounge, above Gate C-1
The Ambassador Transit Lounges located in Terminal 1 and 2 offer business services such as printing services or renting a workstation. Other amenities include a gym, showers, beauty and massage services and a private napping suite. Rates start at $58.85 for adults and $29.43 for a children aged 6-12 for a 5-hour slot. Furthermore, children under 5 years old get complimentary admission.
Located: Terminal 2, level 3 Departure Transit Lounge, above Orchid Garden
Terminal 3, Departure Transit Lounge, next to Movie Theatre
How about lounges in the public area? The Haven by JetQuay is the only publicly available lounge in Changi Airport. Upon admission, guests get to enjoy a range of free beverages, munchies and even a light meal. Entertainment and business amenities such as computers are provided as well. 3-hour packages start from $82.39-$94.16 and is extendable at $17.66 per hour.
Located: Terminal 3, level 1, Arrival Meeting Hall South
Airline and VIP Lounges
Other than frequent flyer VIP Lounges, Changi Airport also has the Dnata Lounge which is open to air miles credit card holders for certain banks. Credit cards such as the DBS Altitude Visa, Standard Chartered Visa Infinite and the Citi PremierMiles Visa offers free access to the VIP Lounge when you sign up for the Priority Pass program.
Located: Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3, of Terminal 1 and Terminal 3 respectively.
Besides these lounges, here are also 3 hotels near Changi Airport that would make your layover as convenient and comfortable as possible.
Changi Airport is certainly a world-class airport and provides not only shelter to travellers, but is an all-in-one hub where you can shop, dine and unwind. With many activities to do, there’s even more reason to check-in early or plan for a more fruitful stay during your layover in Singapore.