A layover in Singapore’s airport is not just a stop between flights; it’s an opportunity to embark on a whirlwind adventure in one of Asia’s most vibrant and exciting cities. With so many hidden gems and must-see attractions, Changi Airport is the ultimate place for making the most your time between flights. Whether you have a few hours or an entire day, discover how to transform your layover into a memorable experience, exploring the cultural richness, culinary delights, and captivating sights that Singapore has to offer.
What to do on a layover in Singapore Airport
Staying in the airport
Singapore’s Changi Airport is honestly one of the best airports in the world that you could have to spend a bunch of time in. It’s genuinely iconic for some of the amazing activities that you can do there – all from within the terminal.
Experience the Jewel Complex
The Jewel complex at Changi Airport is a remarkable multi-use development that serves as a hub for leisure, shopping, and entertainment. Boasting the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex (shown above), visitors can marvel at the breathtaking cascade surrounded by lush greenery in the Shiseido Forest Valley. The Canopy Park within Jewel offers an array of attractions, including the Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze, and Sky Nets, providing engaging and family-friendly activities for layover passengers. With numerous dining options, retail stores, and the Changi Experience Studio, Jewel provides a vibrant and captivating environment for travelers looking to unwind and make the most of their time during a layover at Changi Airport.
Visit the Butterfly garden, Sunflower garden, or Cactus garden
Changi Airport offers a unique blend of nature and relaxation with its Butterfly Garden, where visitors can immerse themselves in a tropical oasis surrounded by thousands of fluttering butterflies. For those seeking a serene rooftop experience, the Cactus Garden in Terminal 1 showcases a diverse collection of cacti and succulents against the backdrop of the airport’s bustling activity. Additionally, the Sunflower Garden on the rooftop of Terminal 2 provides a tranquil space adorned with vibrant sunflowers, offering layover passengers a picturesque setting to unwind and enjoy panoramic views of the airport runway.
See a free movie and play some games
Another great way to occupy your time in Changi Airport in Singapore is a trip to the movies. There are two theaters in the airport (one in Terminal 2 and one in Terminal 3) that play a variety of movies throughout the day – and are totally free and are open 24 hours. They post the schedule of available movies online so you can plan ahead on if you are actually interested in any of the ones they are currently showing. Find Terminal 2’s schedule here and Terminal 3’s here.
Another great stop is the Changi Experience Studio, which is an immersive attraction offering visitors a captivating journey through the world of aviation and the history of Changi Airport. At this interactive studio, guests can engage in a variety of hands-on exhibits, digital games, and multimedia displays that showcase the evolution of air travel. From stepping into a life-sized aircraft cabin to participating in aviation-themed challenges, the Changi Experience Studio provides an entertaining and educational experience, making it an ideal stop for travelers looking to explore the fascinating world of aviation during their layover at Changi Airport.
Touring around Singapore
Did you know that when you fly with Singapore Airlines, if your flight layover is over 5.5 hours, you have the option to sign up for a free excursion to tour the city? Well it’s true! All of the tours are conducted in English, are super easy to sign up for online or in the airport when you arrive, and happen multiple times a day. There are four tour options: Changi Precinct Tour, City Sights Tour, Jewel Walking Tour, and Heritage Tour.
The Jewel Walking tour takes you through the Jewel complex in the airport itself. But the other three all let you get out of the airport and see and experience some of the city while you are there.
Changi Precinct tour
If you opt for the Changi Precinct Tour, you’ll get the chance to discover the area of Tampines which has been awarded the United Nations World Habitat Award. On the tour you’ll get a real sense of what it’s like to live in Singapore and what the culture is like. That’s definitely not something you can experience on a layover in most other places around the world!
City Sights tour
On the city sights tour, you’ll learn Singapore’s major historical moments while visiting Merlion Park, Marina Bay, and the Gardens of the Bay. These are amongst the most photographed and iconic spots for visitors to Singapore!
On the Heritage tour you’ll have the chance to explore in Chinatown and Kampong Gelam. Chinatown in Singapore is a vibrant and culturally rich neighborhood, known for its bustling streets, traditional shophouses, and a myriad of market stalls offering an array of authentic Chinese cuisine and unique souvenirs. Kampong Gelam is a charming district with a rich Malay heritage, featuring colorful shophouses, the iconic Sultan Mosque, and a mix of contemporary boutiques and traditional eateries that create a dynamic and culturally diverse atmosphere. This tour also offers the chance to see the sights along the Singapore River and also to visit Lau Pa Sat, a historic hawker centre and a major food scene.
Having a layover in Singapore is a delightful experience filled with diverse and entertaining activities that can transform a brief stop into a memorable adventure. From exploring the iconic Jewel complex with its breathtaking Rain Vortex and Canopy Park to embarking on free city tours organized by Singapore Airlines, travelers can make the most of their transit time. Whether indulging in delectable local cuisine at the airport’s hawker centers, immersing in the city’s rich cultural enclaves, or enjoying the various gardens and attractions within Changi Airport itself, a layover in Singapore becomes an exciting and enjoyable part of the overall travel journey.