The Singapore airport is a vacation in itself, and many of the best things to do in Singapore airport are free!
Also known as Changi airport, it’s often ranked as the best airport in the world, with a rooftop pool, giant indoor waterfall, butterfly garden, the Jewel mall, and other fun sights and activities.
The Singapore airport is an important travel hub, serving almost 70 million passengers per year, and connecting Southeast Asia with more than 400 cities and 100 countries around the world.
If you’re an avid traveler, then you’ll most likely pass through the Singapore airport at some point in your journeys. It’s modern, clean, efficient, and luxurious.
There are a lot of things to do in Changi airport (more than you can possibly fit into a single layover), so we put together this travel guide to help you choose some of the very best things to see and do!
Best Things To Do In Singapore Airport (Changi)
1. See The Rain Vortex Waterfall (Jewel)
If there’s one thing you have to see in the Singapore airport, it’s this giant manmade waterfall! The HSBC Rain Vortex is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, cascading down 40 meters and through 7 stories.
The waterfall is free to visit, and highly photogenic at all times of day. It’s set in a beautiful jungle area called the Shiseido Forest Valley, which is covered with green foliage, trees, and walking paths. There’s even a free sound and light show at night.
The HSBC Rain Vortex is located in the Changi Jewel, which is public (not airside), so you need to pass through immigration and ‘enter’ Singapore to see it. It’s connected to Terminal 1, and you can also reach it from other parts of the Singapore airport using the Skytrain, shuttle bus, or on foot.
The forest area is open 24/7, but the waterfall is only flowing during the daytime. You can find more information on the official website. It’s one of the best things to do in Changi airport on a layover!
- Mon – Thu: 11 AM – 10 PM
- Fri – Sun, Eve of PH & PH: 10 AM – 10 PM
2. Watch The Sound & Light Show (Jewel)
The only thing better than seeing the Changi airport’s giant waterfall in the daytime, is seeing it illuminated at night for the sound and light show!
This is a short sound and light show that’s projected directly onto the waterfall, and the whole room is lit up with alternating colors and epic music. It’s a fun and impressive experience.
The sound and light show is usually put on several times every evening, but the times can vary by month. You can check current and upcoming show times on the Jewel Changi website.
It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Singapore airport!
3. Walk The Canopy Bridge (Jewel)
After you’ve seen the Rain Vortex waterfall from below, go to the canopy bridge and see it from above!
This is a transparent glass bridge suspended 23 meters above ground. If you’ve never walked on a glass bottom bridge before, this is a great place to try it! The bridge is kid-friendly and not too scary to walk on, even if you aren’t a big fan of heights.
You can buy your tickets online for this experience before you go. The tickets never sell out, but buying them in advance can speed up the process and save you a bit of hassle when you’re there.
Buy Now: Canopy Bridge Tickets
4. Play At The Canopy Park (Jewel)
The top floor of Changi Jewel (at Level 5) is home to a 14,000 square meter recreational area called the Canopy Park, which has a bunch of fun family-friendly activities. It’s one of the best things to do in Changi airport with kids.
The Hedge Maze at Canopy Park is Singapore’s biggest hedge maze, and the Mirror Maze can be fun for kids too. There’s also a net area where you can walk and bounce on nets suspended above the ground.
Like the other Singapore airport activities listed so far, the Canopy Park is located in the Changi Jewel, which is public (not airside), so you need to pass through immigration and ‘enter’ Singapore to see it. It’s connected to Terminal 1, and you can also reach it from other parts of the Singapore airport using the Skytrain, shuttle bus, or on foot.
5. Shop Till You Drop (Jewel)
Singapore is a great country for shopaholics, and the Changi airport is no exception.
You can find lots of shopping outlets all over Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the Singapore airport, but the best shopping is arguably in the Changi Jewel mall, which has almost 300 food and shopping outlets of its own.
6. Watch The Planes Go By (Terminal 1/2/3)
If you’re an aviation enthusiast or plane spotter, you’ll enjoy the viewing malls in Singapore airport, where you can sit and watch the planes as they come and go. It’s a fun way to pass the time while waiting for your flight.
There are viewing malls located in Terminals 1, 2, and 3 of Changi. These are part of the public area of the airport (not airside), so you’ll see them before you pass immigration and ‘exit’ Singapore for your flight.
7. Relax At The Spa (Terminal 1/2/3)
If you really want to relax and unwind between flights, you can hit up a day spa for massage therapy, foot reflexology, manicure/pedicure, and shower facilities.
Singapore airport has spa outlets on the airside of Terminals 1, 2, and 3. You can see a complete list of locations and opening hours on their website.
8. Stay In An Airport Hotel (Terminal 1/2/3)
If you have a longer transit in the Singapore airport, you’ll want to book a stay at one of the comfy airport hotels.
There are transit hotels located in Terminals 1, 2, and 3 of Changi airport. Here’s a brief summary of your options:
- YOTELAIR Singapore Changi. Located in the public area of the Changi Jewel (not airside), but within walking distance of Terminals 1, 2, and 3. Small but comfy double rooms.
- Aerotel Transit Hotel. Located on the airside of Terminal 1. Solo or double rooms are available, and they also have an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center, and more.
- Ambassador Transit Hotel. Located on the airside of Terminals 2 and 3. Clean and comfortable rooms, but slightly overpriced for what you get.
- Crowne Plaza Airport Hotel. Located by Terminal 3. It’s a luxurious hotel with runway views and a swimming pool, fitness center, and more. Best option if you can afford it.
9. See The Flower Gardens (Terminal 1/2)
There are small gardens scattered throughout the transit areas of the Singapore airport, giving travelers a chance to go outside, catch a breath of fresh air, and enjoy the flowers.
Terminal 1 is home to the Water Lily Garden. Terminal 2 is home to the Sunflower Garden, which has cheery patch of sunflowers, and the Orchid Garden, which has more than 700 orchids from 30 varieties, arranged according to their colors and shapes.
All three of these gardens are located on the airside of Changi airport, and they’re free to visit!
10. Relax In A Premium Lounge (Terminal 1/4)
Singapore airport has independent lounges with comfortable seating, charging outlets, WiFi access, international TV channels, and complimentary food and beverages. For an extra charge, they also have massage and shower facilities.
These are paid lounges, but they’re open to travelers with any airline or ticket class. You don’t need a membership of any kind, and you can make an online booking in advance.
The Plaza Premium Lounge is located in Terminal 1 of the airport, while the Blossom Lounge is in Terminal 4. These are both located in transit (airside).
Book Now: Premium Lounge Access
11. Swim In The Rooftop Pool (Terminal 1)
Did you know there’s a rooftop swimming pool and jacuzzi at the Singapore airport, and they sell day passes? It’s one of the best things to do in Changi airport!
You can buy a day pass for $20 Singapore Dollars per person, which includes access to the pool, jacuzzi, and poolside bar, plus free towels and shower facilities.
Or, if you want to stay and enjoy the pool longer, you can make an overnight booking at the Aerotel and get complimentary pool access.
12. Enjoy The Free Movie Theaters (Terminal 2/3)
If you have enough time to spare, you should definitely take advantage of the free movie theaters in the Singapore airport!
There are free theaters located airside in Terminals 2 and 3, and they show lots of great movies for adults and kids alike. Just remember to set a reminder on your phone so you don’t forget about your boarding time!
Aside from occasional maintenance, Changi’s movie theaters are open every day, 24 hours a day. You can find more information about the location and opening hours on their website.
13. Visit The Butterfly Garden (Terminal 3)
Changi is unique for having the world’s first butterfly garden in an airport! It’s a nice little tropical habitat with a grotto waterfall and more than 1,000 tropical butterflies from about 40 species.
We had fun walking through the two-story garden and taking pictures of the butterflies up close, and sometimes a butterfly will even land on you. It’s definitely one of the best things to do in Singapore airport!
The Butterfly Garden is free to visit, and it’s open 24/7. It’s located on the airside of Terminal 3, and if you’re in transit you can also reach it from other parts of the Singapore airport using the Skytrain or on foot.
14. Go Down The Slide (Terminal 3)
Last but not least, Changi is home to Singapore’s tallest slide, and it’s also the tallest slide in an airport anywhere in the world!
It’s a curvy slide that is 12 meters tall (four stories high), and should be lots of fun for kids and kids at heart. The Slide is open daily from 12 PM (noon) to 10:30 PM. You can find more information on the Changi website.
The Slide is part of the public area of Changi (not airside), so you need to pass through immigration and ‘enter’ Singapore to see it. It’s located in Terminal 3, and you can also reach it from other parts of the Singapore airport using the Skytrain, shuttle bus, or on foot.
15. Visit The Country Of Singapore
After you’ve exhausted all of the best things to do in Singapore airport, it’s time to go outside and see the country of Singapore!
If you have a long layover in Singapore of at least 5 or 6 hours, that’s generally considered to be enough time to exit the airport and go see some things in the city, although you’ll still want to be conservative and keep an eye on your watch.
Better yet, if you have plenty of free time in Southeast Asia, then you should definitely book a hotel and spend a few days in Singapore seeing all of the famous sights in the country, like Chinatown, Little India, and Gardens by the Bay.
For day tours in Singapore, we recommend GetYourGuide. We’ve used them for lots of tours and activities around the world, and they’re great!
You can use this service to pre-book entrance tickets to Singapore’s popular attractions, and they also have private tours that take you to some of the best places in Singapore. Highly recommended!
Where To Stay In Singapore
More Things To Do In Singapore
Thanks for looking! I hope you enjoyed this free guide for the best things to do in Changi airport on a layover in Singapore.
We have more travel guides for Singapore coming soon, so don’t forget to check back later!