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What to do at Changi Airport, Singapore?

The following is a guest post written by Cathy Carter. I’ve added comments in italics here and there.

Singapore’s Changi Airport offers numerous striking views as you wait for your next flight. The airport is considered to be one of the greatest globally. Some of the captivating things you will find during a stopover at Changi airport include a swimming pool, a butterfly garden, and beautiful green spaces. Do you want to know what makes Changi Airport stand out? Well, keep reading to find out.

Seen from above, a wooden path in Changi Airport in Singapore winds between a strip of greenery on the left and a plant-fringed pond on the right.
in Changi Airport: Creative Commons photo

1. Bonding with nature

Changi is among the busiest airports in the world but with lots of nature to keep you lively. As you approach its three terminals, you will notice pockets of beautiful lush greenery at all of them. You will be able to view the striking scenery via the airport’s Sky Train. 

Terminal 1 has a cactus garden on the rooftop. The garden has over a hundred species of cacti and succulents.

What about the sunflower garden at Terminal 2? Here you will see colorful sunflowers on the rooftop during takeoff and landing of the aircraft. There is also a unique orchid garden at Terminal 2 including an exhibition of Singapore’s national flower, a hybrid orchid.

At Terminal 3, you will discover a butterfly garden with thousands of tropical butterflies including forty different species.

A close-up of a butterfly taken at Changi Airport butterfly garden. It is mostly black and white, with a bit of red on either side of its head and on its tail.
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(If you’re lucky, you might get to enjoy some special events. One time when I was passing through Changi, an Elvis impersonator was performing. It was not at all good, but I enjoyed it tremendously. I also got to take part in a Sudoku competition once! — Rachel)

2. Movies

Don’t get bored as you wait for your flight. You’ll have a couple of hours before you kick off your journey. Why not catch a Hollywood blockbuster and a refreshing drink as you enjoy watching? In Changi Airport, you will find two movie theaters: in Terminals 2 and 3. If you want the latest movie, then head to Terminal 3. However, Terminal 2 welcomes those who love Fox movies. The good thing is that both theaters are accessible at all times throughout the week, and they’re free!

Speaking of movies, check out this article too: 10 Must-Visit Singapore Film Locations Seen in “Crazy Rich Asians”.

3. The tallest indoor waterfall worldwide

Anybody traveling to Changi is always eager to know more about the much-talked-about Jewel’s 40-meter-tall indoor waterfall, also called the Rain Vortex, widely known as the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. This means it’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience you wouldn’t want to miss as you plan for your trip. 

In a massive round hall in Changi Airport, the ceiling is a network of metal holding glass panels. In the center, the water falls in a cylindrical shape through a round hole in the roof. Trees grow all around it, but here and there some of the balconies are visible beyond the waterfall. A few people are barely visible at the bottom of the picture, where the waterfall falls into a big round opening.
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(In the evenings, a sound and light show is projected right onto the water as it falls. The huge glass-ceilinged hall is filled with a multi-level garden, complete with walking trails. — Rachel)

4. Balinese-themed pool

I guess you know the fatigue that comes after long-haul flights. You will probably love to stretch those limbs by swimming in the famous Balinese-themed pool located on Terminal 1’s rooftop. You can also enjoy the warmth of a Jacuzzi and a quick shower so you will feel refreshed and energetic to continue your journey. Passengers residing at the Aerotel Transit Hotel do not pay to access the Balinese-themed pool. However, others can pay a small amount to access the swimming pool, towels, and certain drinks. 

(When we had a four-hour stopover in Changi many years ago, I packed our swimsuits in our carry-on bags so we could spend the time at the pool. It was very pleasant and definitely worth the S$17 (about €11 or $12.50) to relax and keep the kids happy for a few hours. The only downside is the whiff of aviation fuel in the air. Look for the Aerotel Hotel in Terminal 1. — Rachel)

5. Mouthwatering Singaporean street food

What about a well-prepared and attractive colorful food with an inviting aroma? Well, you need to taste Singapore’s street food that dates back to the 1960s. You won’t be able to resist the aromatic Hainanese Chicken Rice, a flavorful poached chicken dish. And a tasty Bak Kut Teh? Of course, this pork rib stew is also irresistible. The story of Singapore street food is something to tell another day. Terminal 3 offers numerous opportunities to choose from Southeast Asian cuisine. There, these foods are served from carts and stalls inspired by Singapore’s street food culture.

(Seriously, Singapore street food is reason enough to visit Singapore! — Rachel)


Singapore’s Changi Airport is among the liveliest and busiest airports in the world with frequent stopovers. With an array of activities to engage in, you will never get bored waiting for the next flight. As you wait for your flight at Changi Airport, there’s plenty to do: take a swim and a shower, taste fantastic street food, wander through gardens, or take in a movie. Enjoy!

Cathy Carter says, “I travel the entire world while blogging and doing freelancing services. Before I started writing for a living I experimented with various occupations, but writing is my favourite job and doing it full time makes me happy. I helped many of my clients build their audience online. I love creating unique and research-driven content.”

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Text: Rachel's Ruminations: What to do in Changi Airport, Singapore
Image: the top of the waterfall in Changi Airport: the photo shows half of the opening where the water falls from on the left, and the rest of the picture is the grid of metal holding the glass panels of the roof.


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