A Layover at Singapore’s Changi Airport

Our honeymoon took us from San Francisco to Bali with a stopover in Singapore. As you know, we love making the most of our layovers. Typically we leave the airport and explore the city but this time we had plenty to see inside the terminals. In fact, immigration officials won’t even let you leave SIN unless your layover is over 5 hours long. We have never encountered this rule before but we suspect it was made to encourage visitors to shop, dine and play inside Changi.

Check out some of the things you can do inside of the “World’s Best Airport”

Visit a Butterfly Garden

The quiet serenity of trickling waterfalls and fluttering Monarchs are not something you would expect to find right outside an airport gate, but in Singapore the Butterfly Garden is one of the first attractions you will find after deplaning. This quiet garden is located right across from the restrooms in Terminal 3. It is the perfect place to stretch your legs after a long haul flight. If you would rather sit however, there is plenty of lounge seating just outside the Butterfly Garden near the Koi pond. This relaxing space is even filled with real trees to freshen the air.

Enjoy New Cuisines

If you are hungry coming off your flight Changi has you covered. With over 100 eateries inside the airport, there is something to fit everyones taste. Restaurants and eateries can be found all over the airport but one of the most interesting was the “Straits Food Village”. Located on the mezzanine level in Terminal 2, this food court is modeled after a traditional hawker centre. The different food stands sell various types of Singaporean street food for you to try. Simply order at the self service kiosks located on either end of the “village” and enjoy!

Experience the Rain Vortex

Many of the airports main attractions are located inside the Jewel. This public area is outside of the airport’s security zone so unless you have enough time to exit immigration (5+ hours) you will not be able to see things like the Canopy Mazes or Sky Net walkway. But fear not, you will still have the chance to see one of the Jewels most incredible sites: the Rain Vortex. This unbelievable indoor waterfall is the world’s tallest and it can be seen in transit while riding the airport shuttle. We highly recommend taking a train between the terminals to experience this site.

Sip on a Singapore Sling

If you know us, you know that we embrace every cliche we can during a layover. Naturally, we made our way to a small bar where we could order a Singapore Sling. This bar was located in the airports Cactus Garden. We found the area to be little more than a glorified smoking area, but we enjoyed the views of the planes and air conditioning inside the bar. Other airport gardens include a “discovery garden” with winding ramps for kids (or adults) to stretch their legs, an orchid garden and a sunflower garden. These outdoor spaces are perfect for getting your fill of Vitamin D before your next flight.

Shop ’til You Drop

Sick of spending time in the airport? Maybe it’s just time to spend some money! Changi Airport is home to over 400 stores and many of them are high end designers. Take advantage of duty free prices and buy anything from Tiffany Jewelry to Alexander Mcqueen clothing. If shopping isn’t your thing, you can also get a massage or take a nap in one of the many lounges or rest areas.

Of course what we were able to see and do in Changi is only a fraction of what is available. We didn’t get a chance to visit the rooftop pool in Terminal 1, or catch a movie on the Entertainment Deck but we we have no doubt that there would be plenty to do here, no matter how long the layover!

Have you visited Changi before? We would love to know what your top recommendations are. Leave us a note for our next trip in the comments below!


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