Singapore Changi Airport (SIN IATA), "Changi" or just "the airport" to locals, is the main commercial airport of Singapore. It is 25 km (16 mi) from the centre of Singapore, on the eastern edge of the island, and has good public transport links to all parts of Singapore.
Consistently voted one of the best airports in the world, Changi is quintessentially the hub for flights within Southeast Asia, to where virtually all Southeast Asian airlines fly, and a common stop on the Kangaroo Route between Europe and Australia. It is the hub airport of the island nation's flag carrier Singapore Airlines alongside its low cost subsidiary Scoot and another low cost carrier Jetstar Asia, a subsidiary of Australian flag carrier Qantas.
Changi airport is on the east coast of Singapore, about 25 km from the downtown area with good rail and road connections. There are no domestic flights due to the small size of Singapore; all flights from Changi are international. (Singapore only has one other civilian airport: Seletar.)
Opened in 1981 on reclaimed land to alleviate the ever-increasing air traffic at what was then Paya Lebar Airport closer to the city, Changi is one of the world's busiest, and has been consistently voted in the top three world's best airports. Passengers are made to feel at home while in transit, with more facilities than you'd typically expect at an airport. Air-side gardens and artworks soothe the eyes, a massage parlour and spa relax the muscles, a swimming pool at Terminal 1 helps keep the body fit, while a cinema and giant television screens provide visual entertainment. There are even butterfly gardens and koi carp ponds! In 2019, a nature-themed mall called Jewel Changi, smack dabbed near the terminal buildings opened its doors and features a retail & restaurant paradise, as well as spectacular high gardens & the world's tallest indoor waterfall, that wows not only travelers using the airport but also locals living in other parts of the island nation.
The airport's schedules are dominated by the island nation's flag carrier, Singapore Airlines, its low cost subsidiary, Scoot, and its fellow low-cost competitor, Jetstar Asia. All Southeast Asian major airports have at least an international flight to Singapore and takes 4 hours or less. Routes to East Asia, South Asia, and Australia are reachable in 7 hours or less and see multiple services per day by different airlines. Many major cities in Europe, as well as some in Africa & North America, also have a non-stop connection from Singapore. In fact, three of the world's top 10 busiest international flight routes (to Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, and Bangkok as of 2019) and four of the top 10 longest flight routes (to New York JFK & Newark airports, Los Angeles, and San Francisco as of 2022), respectively, originate from Singapore, cementing its reputation as one of the world's most important aviation hubs.
The odd one out
Changi has four terminals, referred to as T1, T2, T3 and T4. Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are connected in a horseshoe shape, yet are numbered rather in order of their construction completion time. Thus, Terminal 1 is sandwiched between Terminals 3 on the left and 2 on the right. A walk from gate A21 in terminal 3 to gate F60 at terminal 2 spans at least 5 kilometers; to spare you the hike, free Skytrain shuttles connect these terminals together, and the shuttle between T1 and T2 is an attraction in itself since it passes right next to the Jewel waterfall. You can walk or use the Skytrains to transfer without going through immigration.
Terminal 4 however, is located on a separate area and not interconnected to the former three terminals. To transfer there, you must take the bus from outside the departure levels of Terminals 1 or 3, or Gate C21 at Terminal 1 if you are connecting from airside.
Singapore Airlines flights arrive at T2 or T3 regardless of where they are coming from, so if you have friends picking you up, ask them to check the flight information system via the airport website.
|Terminal 1: Concourse C & D |
Used by low-cost carriers Scoot & Jetstar, in addition to most (but not all) Oneworld and non-alliance carriers.
|Terminal 2: Concourse E & F |
Singapore Airlines flights to Southeast Asia, plus Air India. Only partly open due to ongoing renovations until 2023.
|Terminal 3: Concourse A & B |
Main terminal for Singapore Airlines flights outside Southeast Asia, as well as most (but not all) Star Alliance & Skyteam carriers.
|Terminal 4: Concourses G & H |
Used by low-cost carriers AirAsia & Cebu Pacific, in addition to Cathay Pacific, Jeju Air, Korean Air, Vietjet Air, and Vietnam Airlines.
For transit, each concourse has a prominent transfer desk to collect your next boarding pass. Check the TV screen for information about where to retrieve the boarding pass for your flight.
There are no boarding calls made within the airport and boarding gates generally close 10 minutes before departure.
Unlike most other airports, there are no separate zones for departing and arriving passengers in the airside of the main terminals, hence arriving passengers are free to shop and eat if they are not in a hurry to pass through passport control. In addition, unless they have checked luggage, they can clear passport control at any terminal; security checks are done at the gate of the respective flight. At Terminal 4 however, the centralized security screening is after immigration.
From the airport there are a number of ways to get into the city. If you're coming off a long flight and have luggage, by far the easiest option to simply take a taxi, fares are reasonable ($20-30) and the city center is only 30 minutes away.
Changi Airport is the terminus of the East-West line of the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) rail system. While cheap, the MRT is aimed squarely at commuters: there are no express services, the trains are regular commuter trains without baggage storage (although many of the train sets have handrails installed in place of seats in order to occupy more standing passengers with luggage), and can get quite crowded during rush hour (mornings towards the city, evenings towards the airport). But if you're not in a rush, don't have too much luggage or are staying near a station, the train can still be worthwhile.
The station sits between Terminals 2 and 3, and is well indicated from Terminal 1; access to Terminal 4 requires you to take a bus that stops at Terminals 1 or 3. You'll need to change trains at Tanah Merah – exit on the left hand side door and cross the platform if you are heading to the city. When going to Simei, Tampines, or Pasir Ris MRT stations, exit on the right hand side. When returning to the airport from both directions, cross to the middle platform. If you use the Downtown Line, transfer at the Expo station, just before the airport. It should cost you less than $3 (Singapore dollars) to get anywhere from the airport, for instance the 40-minute ride to City Hall station costs $2.30 and you can pay by tapping any Visa/Mastercard on the gates. Trains run Mondays to Saturdays from 05:30 and Sundays from 06:00 every 10 minutes until midnight. See Singapore#Get around for more details and other payment options.
A Ground Transport Desk is available in the arrival hall at all terminals and can arrange shuttle bus transfers. The shuttle costs $9 per adult and $6 per child (aged 12 years and below) and will take you to most downtown hotels.
Transtar Travel operates a coach service from Terminals 1 and 4 to Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ). Fares are $10 from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru, and RM10 in the reverse direction. Payment is accepted by cash and EZ-Link card. The first bus departs at 8:15AM and the last leaves at 11:15PM.
A shuttle bus operates from Terminals 1 and 4 to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, where you can catch ferries to the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan, and to the Malaysian resort town of Desaru. Fares are $3 per person, and can be paid either by cash or EZ-Link card. This service is suspended due to COVID.
Taxi remains the fastest way to travel to the City Center with around 30 minutes. Keep in mind however of the additional surcharges for trips from the airport.
There are 2 types of taxis to choose from, depending on how many people are travelling together.
- Taxi (cab) is easiest - simply follow the signs after clearing customs. Meters are always used in Singapore. A trip to the city during the day will be $20–40 including a $8 airport surcharge from 5PM to midnight and $6 at other times. An additional 50% surcharge of the final fare applies daily 00:01-05:59, while a 25% surcharge is applicable 06:00-09:30 weekdays & 18:00-00:00 daily. By law, a taxi can carry a maximum of 4 passengers.
Taxis are easily available at the airport and you need not call one if you are traveling from there. If you are traveling to the airport however, calling ahead may be a better option.
- Comfort or Citycab, ☏ .
- Premier Taxis, ☏ .
- SMRT, ☏ .
- Transcab, ☏ .
- An airport transfer service, bookable from the Ground Transport Concierge at the arrival levels, charge a flat rate of $55 or $60 for a party of 4 or 7 respectively, to anywhere in the city. These are a pretty good deal after midnight, as you can skip the queue and avoid the surcharge. The same pricing applies to chartering van-sized MaxiCabs, SGMaxi Airport Transfer which are good for large families if you have lots of baggage.
Private hire car services Grab, Gojek, Tada Mobility, and Ryde enables you to book a ride using the respective apps from your phone. This is often cheaper than taking a taxi and can be faster too if there's a queue. Head to the designated pickup points at the arrival levels of T1, T2, or T3, and pay attention to the door number, since this is how the drivers will find you in the scrum.
A number of bus routes serves the airport and takes you to the city center and other points at eastern and northern Singapore, but they are generally not optimized to bring luggage. If you wish to look at the views of Singapore from ground level at a leisurely pace however, they can be of great use. Bus terminals are in the basements of T1, T2 and T3, and at ground level at T4 next to Car Park 4B.
- Route 24 serves the airport from Ang Mo Kio, Serangoon, as well as Tai Seng, Macpherson, Paya Lebar, Eunos, Kembangan, Bedok, Tanah Merah, and Upper Changi MRT stations
- Route 27 traverses Hougang, Buangkok, Sengkang, and Tampines before entering the airport premises.
- Route 34 follows a similar route as Route 27 but only serves Punggol before Tampines.
- Route 36 goes directly to the city center and takes roughly one hour travelling on expressways through the East Coast to City Hall and Orchard Road.
- Route 53 takes you to the airport from Bishan and Serangoon MRT stations as well as Pasir Ris region.
- Route 110 is an express bus from Sengkang MRT station to the airport
- Route 858, connecting the airport with Woodlands, Sembawang, and Yishun MRT stations, is ideal if you are heading towards the northern part of the country or the land crossing with Malaysia.
All buses serve terminals 1 to 3; only routes 24, 34, 36, and 110 make a stop at Terminal 4.
Buses generally run from 05:30 to midnight every day. Fares vary depending on distance, but a ride to the city should cost around $2.50. You can pay by tapping in a bank card or mobile wallet, as well as store valued cards, Singapore Tourist Pass, or exact fare in cash to the driver.
The airport is at the terminus of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE), the East Coast Parkway (ECP), and the Tampines Expressway (TPE). A drive to Tampines takes 10 minutes, to Downtown, Woodlands, & central Singapore 30 to 40 minutes; a drive to Jurong at the western end of the expressway is twice as long. All parking lots except the one for Terminal 1 and Jewel Changi are eligible for long term parking, with parking rates capped at $57.60/24 hours; short term or general parking at all terminals are at a rate of $0.04/minute, starting from 10 minutes after entrance. An open-air parking lot between Terminal 2 and JetQuay terminal offers a cheaper parking rate of $35/24 hours or $0.035/minute.
Car rental counters are open 7AM to 11PM. Mainstream brands have their respective kiosks at the arrival level of all terminals except terminal 1.
Passengers whose flights depart from Terminals 1, 2, or 3 are free to use most of the facilities within these three terminals (e.g. if your flight departs from Terminal 2, you can head over to Terminal 1 to use the swimming pool there). This is because Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are well-connected to each other by the SkyTrain, an automatic driverless people mover which operates both landside and airside, that operates from 4AM to 1:30AM. When the train is not in operation, you must walk if you wish to remain airside. A walk from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 or vice-versa should take about 30 minutes as you have to pass through Terminal 1. A buggy car that will take you to your boarding gate, very useful if you are in a hurry, is available upon request. If you are landside, you can walk along the walkway that passes through Jewel Changi.
Terminal 4 is located in a separate area from the other 3 terminals, and is not served by the SkyTrain system. To connect airside, take the bus from gate C21 at Terminal 1 or the arrival hall A before immigration at Terminal 3; to connect landside, get on the bus from Door 3 Departure Level of Terminal 1 or Door 8 Departure Level of Terminal 3. The bus shuttle runs 24 hours every 10 minutes and takes you there in 10 to 15 minutes.
For the listings below, "landside" requires going through passport control to enter Singapore, while "airside" can be accessed in transit without going through immigration.
- 1 Jewel Changi Airport (directly connected to Terminal 1; walk across the link bridge from 2 and 3; from Terminal 4, take the bus to Terminal 2). 24 hours. Most shops & attractions: Daily 10AM-10PM. A shopping mall with many restaurants and shops, many of which have their only outlet in Singapore here. Even the locals do come often to bask in the semi-indoor cool tropical greeneries after a hearty meal & a day of shopping. Head to the Canopy Park at Level 5 for assorted mazes and walks between hedges, or the Shiseido Forest Valley to shelter under the trees. The iconic Rain Vortex is the world's highest fountain, whose water showers down rather than shoots up, and at night it becomes the stage for a light and sound show. If you don't want to move landside, you can see the fountain by taking the skytrain between Terminal 3 Concourse B and Terminal 2 Concourse E.
- There are several kinetic art installations at each terminal. The most significant ones include the Kinetic Rain at Terminal 1 that displays sequence of rain drops forming shapes as they go up and down, A Million Times in Changi at Terminal 2 that displays clocks on a giant wall, whose moving hands synchronously create shapes and texts, and Daisy at Terminal 3, a windmill whose movement corresponds to the movement of travelers within its immediate area.
Even if you are stuck in the airport, there are plenty of ways to kill time as each terminal has a unique design and the airside areas of T1, T2, and T3 are attractions in themselves. T2, arguably the most interesting, has an indoor garden, a music listening area with couches and mood lighting, a computer gaming room, a small cinema (you can bring your luggage trolleys inside and park them at the back), paid massage services and, of course, plenty of duty-free shops. T3 has a butterfly garden and plenty of natural light, but fewer entertainment options. T1 has a swimming pool for $13.91 and Jacuzzi, both open until 23:00. There is an outdoor cactus garden on the roof of T1. You can travel between the main terminals without passing through immigration and, if you have no checked-in luggage to collect, you can clear passport control and customs at any terminal. T4 is smaller than the other three terminals, but has a Peranakan heritage area with exhibits about Peranakan culture and history.
- Movie theaters with several current movies are played in the loop at Terminals 2 and 3. Simply park your trolley and tuck in, for no charge!
- There is at least one TV lounge at every terminal, inviting football fans to watch matches live.
- Let your kids enjoy their time at the play area in Terminals 1 (public area) and 3 (public area & transit area behind Louis Vuitton)
- Have a little time for art? Create your own woodblock print at the art stations in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
Being a tropical country, the airport tries to introduce native flora for travelers who lucked out of visiting Southeast Asian gardens and jungles, or just to unwind themselves.
- Terminal 1: Cactus Garden, Water Lily Garden, Discovery Garden, Piazza Garden
- Terminal 2: Enchanted Garden, Orchid Garden, Sunflower Garden
- Terminal 3: Butterfly Garden, Crystal Garden
- Terminal 4: Steel In Bloom
- Singapore Airlines has a Silverkris lounge for First Class & Business class passengers, and another lounge for Krisflyer Gold members in Terminals 2 and 3. While you can access the lounges at either terminal regardless of your destination, the Silverkris Lounge at terminal 3 has a larger space and a dedicated The Private Room dining lounge exclusively for First Class passengers.
- Pay-per-use lounges enables you to work in a more comfortable space, take a shower, eat a little snack, or have a short nap during a long transit for a fee. Merhaba operates a lounge at Terminals 1 & 3, while Ambassador Transit Lounge can be found at Terminals 2 and 3, each with a dedicated transit hotel, and Blossom has one lounge at Terminal 4. Changi Lounge at Jewel Changi also offers paid access, the only landside lounge in the airport.
- Ground services dnata & SATS have lounges at each terminal. Inquire your airline about which lounge they use.
- British Airways, Emirates, Qantas and Qatar Airways have large dedicated lounges for First and Business Class passengers in Terminal 1 with shower facilities, food and drink, Wi-Fi access and internet terminals.
- Thai Airways International has a Royal Orchid Lounge in Terminal 1.
- Cathay Pacific has a lounge for First and Business Class passengers in Terminal 4.
- Plaza Premium Lounge has a lounge in Terminal 1, and another one jointly run with SATS in Terminal 4.
- Local bank DBS operates DBS Asia Treasures Lounge in Terminal 3 for their private banking clients.
Priority Pass holders have access to all of the pay-per-use lounges.
Eat and drink
All of the terminals include a food court at Level 3 within the transit area, where you can savor Singapore delicacies without stepping out of the airport. There are however many more options landside that are worth checking out, especially at Level B2 of Terminal 3 and Jewel Changi. As locals do also frequent these places, prices generally are similar to other spots across the island.
Some of the restaurants in the transit area accept neighboring and world major currencies; change in cash is however always given in Singapore dollars. The food courts and convenience stores there are, with few exceptions, open 24 hours.
There are unfortunately not many places to eat in Terminal 1; head to Terminal 3 or Jewel Changi for better options.
- Heavenly Wang, Terminal 1. Daily 7:30AM-10PM. Be here for a quick Singapore style breakfast such as Kopi & Teh, kaya toast, and soft-boiled eggs, or something more substantial like Nasi Lemak or chicken congee.
- Staff Canteen, Terminal 1 Car Park 1B (Terminal 1: From Departures take lifts 8 or 9 behind row 13 to Level B1. From Arrivals head past Changi Meet & Greet for the lift of the same number. Go down the stairs on the left at the end of the passage.). Daily 06:00-22:00. Featuring a wide array of local food at local prices, this miniature hawker centre is where the airport staff eat. Best of all, it's also open to the public, albeit a little hidden & with a slightly higher price. $5-$10.
- Crave, Level 2 (next to Discovery Garden). Daily 5AM-10PM. Taste the famous Adam Road Nasi Lemak (coconut rice) that you can pay per ingredient, and pair it with Teh Tarik (milk tea)
- Food Gallery, Level 3. 24 hours. The food court offering diverse Singaporean delicacies.
- Terrace Chinese Kitchen, Level 3. Daily 8AM-9PM. Dim sum and other Chinese stir-fried dishes
- Staff Canteen, Terminals 2 Level 3M Car Park 3B (Terminal 2: From departures go past row 12 to Car Park, take lift to level 3 and a flight of stairs to 3M. From Arrivals, go left to the car park, follow signs for lift to the canteen.). Daily 6AM-10PM. Finding your way here is a bit of an adventure (yes, the canteen is inside the car park!), but your reward is this miniature hawker centre with around 20 stalls dishing out authentic local food at less than half price of what you'd pay airside.
- Chutney Mary, Level 3. 24 hours. Craving the authentic Indian spices? Head here for either a light street snack or a more substantial thali set.
- Kaveri Indian Vegetarian. One of the few vegetarian friendly restaurants at the airport. Specializes in southern Indian flavors.
- Straits Food Village, Level 3. 24 hours. A food court offering assorted dishes from Singapore in a rustic wood atmosphere. Order the food by selecting from the kiosk and pick up your meal from the restaurant when your number is called.
Terminal 3 offers by far the most complete eating options, especially at the publicly accessible level B2 that is like a mall in itself.
- 4 Fingers Curry Chicken, Level B2, ☏ . M-Th 11AM-9PM, F-Sa 11AM-10PM. Crispy chicken that is good on its own or mixed with seafood for more protein, or rice for a more balanced meal. Can be enjoyed ala carte or with a combo of drinks & fries. From $12.
- Curry Kitchen, Level B2, ☏ . Daily 8AM-10PM. Owned by the famous curry puff vendor Old Chang Kee, with its signature dishes such as curry chicken, fish fillet rice, prata, curry bun, and classic Singapore desserts. Mains $8-$15.
- Kopitiam, Basement 2. 24 hr. Food court serving local dishes at reasonable prices (by airport standards). From $6.
- Mr. Teh Tarik, Level B2. The pulled milk tea (Teh Tarik) is not to be missed. There are also something more substantial such as assorted roti prata or roti john flavors, briyani rice, and fried noodle or rice. Snacks & drinks from $2.
- Swensen's, Level B2. Serves diner-style breakfast and snacks, steaks, pastas and pizzas, and of course, ice cream.
- LeNu Chef Wai's Noodle Bar, Level 2. 5AM-2AM. In mood for something warm and hearty? Head here to savor its noodle with a choice of beef or pork broth, simmered for at least 12 hours resulting in rich flavor and high protein content, or congee with toppings you can select from, including the recommended silk tofu and century egg.
- The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puck, Level 2 Departure Lounge Central. 6AM-1AM. Enjoy breakfast by morning or steaks, pastas, and pizzas by the afternoon and evening, with recipes tailored by the renowned chef.
- Singapore Food Street, Level 3. 24 hours. A 1960s-themed food court offering culinary delights from the island nation.
- Food Emporium, Level 2M. Perhaps the only food court on landside. Prices comparable to outside establishments.
- London Fat Duck, Level 2M. Look for its tender and crispy signature roast duck, either on its own or on rice, noodles and congees. A small selection of dim sums are also offered to those who want just a little snack.
- International Food Hall, Level 2M. 24 hours. Food court offering diverse range of dishes from all over the world.
- Tiger Den, Level 2 (next to WH Smith, opposite the row of shops). Enjoy Singapore's very own beer, tapped up to a pitcher or bottled.
- Treasures Yi Dian Xin by Imperial, Level 2. An extensive selection of dim sums in addition to noodles and congees. Look for its set menu which for a cheaper price makes a complete meal. Set menus $14-20. Dim sums $5-8, Main course $10-15.
A shopping mall adored by locals & transiting passengers alike, restaurants that cater to many tastes of the world are peppered across 7 levels of this spherical building. Many are sit-down establishments in a space designed akin to fine dining places, some with a lucky view of the gushing Rain Vortex, while others offer snacks that can be enjoyed as you stroll around. For something cheaper yet substantial & still authentic Singaporean, head into the food court at level B2.
- Burger & Lobster, ☏ . Level 5. Beef burgers & assorted lobster platters, whole or as a sushi roll. Mains $15-$25, lobster dishes $25-$65.
- Poulet Bijou, Level 1, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-10PM. Modern French bistro featuring soups, pot pies & its signature roast chicken with a choice of diane, mushroom cream, or cranberry sauce.
- Shang Social, Level 1, ☏ . Lunch: M-Th 11:30AM-3PM, F-Su 11:30AM-4PM; dinner: Su-Th 5-9PM, F-Sa 5-10PM. Dim sum for lunch or authentic dishes from mainland China all day. Dim sum $5-$15,, Mains $25-$75.
- Tonito Latin American Kitchen, Level 2, ☏ . Daily 11:30AM-10:30PM. Classic tapas, Mexican light bites, Peruvian stews, and Argentinian pastas Mains $25-$30.
- Violet Oon, Level 1, ☏ . Weekdays: 12-3PM, 6-10PM; weekends 12-10PM. Authentic Peranakan-style (Chinese Singapore) cuisine, from satays, pratas, rendang, to sweet desserts. Special vegan menu also available. Mains $20-$30, desserts $15.
- The World is Flat, Level 1, ☏ . Su-Th: 11:30AM-10PM (last order 9:15PM) F-Sa 11:30AM-10:30PM (last order 9:40PM). A former staple for alcoholic drinks at Terminal 1, the bar at its new location still serves draft beer & zesty cocktail mixes. For something more substantial, enjoy filling burgers and hearty sandwiches, or donburi (japanese rice dish) from its sister restaurant next door, Tanuki Raw. Happy hour all day Sunday & 3-7PM other days. Sandwiches $25-$35, cocktail & beer from $10 (happy hour).
- Birds of Paradise, Level 1, ☏ . Daily 11AM-10PM. Gelato with a local twist, such as the bestseller white chrysanthemum, sea salt hojicha, coconut, spiced pear, pandan, and lemongrass. $6 per cone.
Your spare change can go a long way.
If you have spare Singapore dollars or other currencies you wish to dispose of, you can do so at the Travelersbox vending machine for credit at various merchants (such as Starbucks, Facebook, JD.com, Grab, Lazada, Amazon China or Japan, Facebook, Tokopedia) or donate them to charity.
If Changi Airport were a mall & moved to more than 100 countries, it would constitute their largest mall! The shopping experience is vibrant, especially thanks to the variety of shops that are housed at Jewel Changi. As it is frequented by locals alike, prices are the same as other places within Singapore, be it retail or F&B, and you need not venture far into the city center to find similar options.
All stores in general accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard; most accept Diners Club, JCB and UnionPay. Should you need cash, there are ATMs from Singaporean banks as well as ICBC & Citibank before security, as well as money exchange operated by UOB or Travelex at each terminal & FXCHANGE at levels B1 & 4 of Jewel Changi, although you will pay a small premium if doing so inside the airport. Duty free shops even offer payment in the traveler's home currency or in Singaporean dollars; make sure to check the forex rate of your credit card issuer first.
If you have little time to roam the shops, the airport also has a dedicated online shopping page, where you can order before your flight and retrieve your items at one of its collection centers (Terminal 1: behind Charles & Keith, Terminal 3: behind Louis Vuitton, Terminal 4: to the right after immigration & security, before Shilla duty free).
If you are eligible for a GST refund after shopping in Singapore, you can claim one with evidence of your passport, boarding pass, receipts, and purchased items at both the public & transit area of each terminal, as well as Level 1 of Jewel Changi.
If you're just arriving and need to buy a SIM card for your phone, there are plenty of tourist help-oriented shops that will be happy to sell you one with $50-70 of credit on it (and that's how much it will cost). 1GB of data for a week is only $7 though, so if you're only in Singapore for a short time, the bigger cards are definitely overkill. Instead, head to the money changers - you can buy a $15 SIM card there. You need to present your passport when purchasing SIM cards.
- 7-Eleven, Terminal 1 Level 3. For a small drink or snack that you can take for or after your flight.
- Bacha Coffee, Terminals 1 & 3, Level 2, ☏ . Daily 6AM-midnight. A coffee boutique offering over 200 products of Arabica loose beans, brewed in tradition since 1910 from Marrakesh in Morocco.
- Bee Cheng Hiang, Terminal 4 public Level 2, Jewel Changi Level 1 (Terminal 4 public Level 2). Varies between 7AM to 11PM. Most famous for its bakkwa, a Singaporean delicacy resembling sweet bacon or jerky, cut in various shapes and sizes, freshly BBQed for near-future consumption or vacuum packed for longer shelf life. Also sells meat floss and mini cookies. Bakkwas from $15.
- Cheers, Terminals 3 & 4 Level 3. For a small drink or snack that you can take for or after your flight.
- Discover Singapore, One at each end of all terminals. Daily 6AM-midnight. For your last minute gift ideas on Singaporean memorabilia and icons as souvenirs.
- Irvin's (Terminal 1: Transit Area near C Gates. Terminal 2: Transit Area Center. Jewel Changi). 7AM to 11PM or sold out. One of the new delicacies of Singapore you can effortlessly take home with: bite sized fried fish skin (or cassava or potato chips) coated with salted egg. The fish skin usually sells out by mid afternoon! Whoever tries will be addicted.
- TWG Tea Boutique, All terminals. Daily 6AM-1AM. A lineup of loose tea leaves with assorted local & international flavors, or enjoy the flavorful macarons.
- Wine & Spirits Duplex Store, Terminals 2 & 3. 24 hours. Discover a complete library of wine, spirits, and liquor from around the world, showcased in individually-designed boutiques or in a chiller you can walk into.
- Changi Recommends, All terminals, level 1. Sells SIM Cards with humongous internet quotas or alternatively, rent a WiFi that can be shared with multiple devices. Inbound travelers can also benefit from pre-purchase of admission tickets to tourist attractions as well as tourist passes. Departing passengers can purchase rail passes for Japan or rent WiFi for other countries.
- Gift by Changi Airport, Jewel Changi Level 4. Daily 10AM-10PM. A landside souvenir shop for last-minute memento ideas, including vintage postcards & lion dolls.
- Muji, Jewel Changi Levels 2 & 3, ☏ . Daily 10AM-10PM. Japanese retailer with focus on minimalist yet functional clothing & apparel lines and household items.
- Pokemon Center, Jewel Changi Level 4. Daily 10AM-10PM. An official shop that recreates the Pokémon Center featured in the world of the video game, and the first outside Japan.
- Sauce Legend, Jewel Changi Level 1, ☏ . Daily 12-8PM. Artisan condiments commonly used in Asian delicacies, such as soy sauce, fish sauce, prawn chili sauce, and whole salted beans.
- Tokyu Hands, Jewel Changi Level 2, ☏ . Daily 10AM-10PM. Off-brand stationeries, houseware, and skincare products imported from Japan.
There are two ways to connect to the Internet at the airport. One option is Wi-Fi connectivity with the WiFi@Changi access point that resets every 3 hours. Either login with your phone number and an access code sent by SMS or simply ask for one at the information counter. Don't really count on its speed and reliability though. A much better option is to use one of the 100 standing computers throughout the airport. You have 20 minutes for each session, although you can always re-login. They are always free of charge. Meanwhile, Jewel Changi also has its own Wi-Fi hotspot called #WiFi@Jewel, with no limitations on usage.
Charging ports can easily be found at the sitting areas, especially those at the gates. If you are visiting Jewel Changi, you can rent a power bank for free for up to 12 hours at the Experience Concierge on Level 2.
Any local calls made within the departure transit lounge are free. You can use the public payphones or head over to the convenience stores. If you are on the land side, you can rent a smartphone or buy a prepaid card.
Passengers that have liquid, aerosols, and gels that are too big to make their way pass the security checkpoint, can take advantage of the Speedpost@Changi service. Purchase an envelope from the security offices or at the mailbox, drop them in, and wait for them to be delivered within 5 working days to most cities. You must drop them in the mailbox by 30 minutes before departure.
If you want to send some last minute postcards, you can buy stamps from the 7-Eleven on the airside of Terminal 1 on the right-hand side of the immigration control, and put the cards in the mail box behind the Aspial store. You can also drop them at Transfer F at Terminal 2 or near the GST Refund Counter at Terminal 3.
- Free water fountains are generally found next to the restrooms. While you can fill up your bottle with its water and can save money from buying bottle water once exiting the airport, do not forget to empty it before proceeding through security for your flight.
- Baggage storage can be found at all terminals both landside and airside. Rates range from $5 for loose items to $18 for extra bulky items, per 24 hours. These can come in handy if you wish to stroll the city only for a couple of hours.
- Although smoking is not allowed at most areas, outdoor smoking areas are peppered within the terminal (Terminal 1: near Cactus Garden and Snooze Lounge, near Gates D36 and C16. Terminal 2: Sunflower Garden, opposite gate E5, behind Sunglass Hut. Terminal 3: Opposite gates B10 and A21, next to Harry's Sports Bar, Butterfly Garden. Terminal 4: near gates 4 and 16, Level 2M).
- If you'd rather sit, there are chairs throughout the area. Charging points are also adjacent while a few are even equipped with feet massage.
- Although prayer rooms can be found at all terminals, these are actually catered to Muslims.
- Should you feel unwell or require medical assistance, the Raffles Medical Clinic at all terminals will be able to assist you. Pharmacies from mainstream landside brands such as Guardian and Watson can be found at all Terminals, with generic medicine and vitamins you might need.
- While all toilets are both child and disabled friendly, there are a couple dedicated for baby care, both at public and transit areas. (Terminal 1: near gates D36 and C24, behind Kaboom shop, level 3 near Playground and 7-Eleven. Terminal 2: near gate E1, behind Guardian. Terminal 3: Gates A1-A8, A16-A20, A21, B1-B4, between B8 and B9. Terminal 4: Near Gates 4, 7, 10, Baggage Claim.)
Airport maps and signs to some essential facilities are clearly indicated at various points in the terminals, although you can also just grab a free guide book to make your way through the airport. You can also scan your boarding pass at the scanner kiosk to look for which gate your flight is departing from.
While the transit area is open 24 hours, police & staff regularly go around overnight to check on connecting passengers. In this case, you just need to show them your passport and the boarding pass for your next flight.
Snooze lounges for a little nap or lounging while charging your devices can be found at all terminals. Though they are often packed, travelers do come and go quite frequently within the hour.
- Terminal 1: Level 3, opposite O'Leary's Sports Bar
- Terminal 3: Level 2, along the passage behind the shops with a view of the runway.
- Terminal 4: Level 2M, opposite International Food Hall
For a more substantial sleep on real beds, there are transit hotels in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
- 1 Aerotel, Terminal 1 Level 3, ☏ , email@example.com. Rooms of assorted sizes from 1 to 4 people, with either shared or private showers. Also operates a swimming pool and gym (fee applicable for non-hotel guests) . From $90 per 6-hour increment.
- Ambassador Transit Hotel, Level 3, Terminals 2 and 3. Rooms from 1 to 3 people, most with private showers. Also offers lounge and gym facilities (fee applicable for non-hotel guests), in addition to pampering package. From $100 per 6 hour increment (Budget Room in Terminal 2 only $60 per 6 hour increment).
Central Singapore is only 30 minutes away by taxi, so if you have a longer layover it's worth venturing into the city. There is no budget accommodation near the airport, but the Singapore/East Coast district of Geylang has plenty and it can be reached in 20 minutes by MRT.
- 2 Crowne Plaza Changi Airport, 75 Airport Blvd #01-01 (next to Terminal 3), ☏ . Regular winner of "best airport hotel" awards, and also has well soundproofed planespotting rooms with direct runway views from your bed. Lovely palm-lined pool area, gym, spa, bar, two restaurants. From $240 per night.
- 3 YOTELAIR Changi, Jewel Changi Level 4, ☏ . A more affordable option within the airport. Small, windowless rooms but featuring modern design and amenities. A room fit for 4 is also readily available. In-house restaurant with breakfast for extra fee. From $190 per night.
There are two small clusters of hotels near the airport: leisure hotels near Changi Village, and business hotels at Changi Business Park. Both are under 15 minutes away by taxi.
- 4 Capri by Fraser, Changi City, 3 Changi Business Park Central 1, Changi (Changi Business Park, nearest MRT Expo). A larger & more modern hotel than its neighbour, the Park Avenue. Rooms are like suites with a kitchenette. Each room has an iPod dock & DVD player. Airport transfer is free. From $250.
- 5 Changi Cove, 351 Cranwell Road, Changi (Changi Village). Rooms are fairly spacious and close to the beach. You'll have your own Nespresso coffee machine, L'Occitane toiletries, and a wall on your room where you can write everything! Complete facilities such as wide restaurants & a swimming pool. From $240.
- 6 Park Avenue Changi, 2 Changi Business Park Avenue 1, Changi (nearest MRT Station: Expo), ☏ . 171 rooms, including 70 suites with kitchenette. Each room has an iPod dock & flat screen TV. There's an outdoor swimming pool & fitness centre, but no restaurants. From $170.
- 7 Village Hotel Changi (Formerly Le Meridien Changi Village), 1 Netheravon Road, Changi, ☏ . Basic rooms but might be a bit less spacious. A wide infinity swimming pool & restaurant. Airport transfer is free. From $240.
By and large, the airport is safe as police frequently patrol by Segways and buggy cars and the building is well-lit throughout the day. The airport practically never sleeps, so even at dawn there will always be a few people at some points in the airport.
Passengers sleeping or hanging around in the public areas of the airport for extended periods of time can expect to get questioned by security. You'll be fine as long as you have a departing flight within the next 24 hours or so.
While the area within the immediate vicinity of the airport houses primarily industries and offices, going a little bit further takes you to Changi Beach to the north or East Coast Beach starting from around Bedok MRT station. Grab a classic Singaporean delight in Geylang, East Coast Lagoon Food Village in the East Coast, accessible directly from the airport with bus number 36. See Singapore/East Coast for complete listings.