Changi Airport: A Comprehensive Guide


Singapore Changi Airport stands as one of the world’s most renowned airports, consistently recognised for its exceptional services, architectural brilliance, and passenger comfort. As the primary aviation hub of Singapore, Changi Airport has won numerous accolades, including the title of the best airport globally, thanks to its fusion of functionality and aesthetic indulgence. With features such as the iconic Jewel Changi Mall, Changi Airport provides travellers with a unique experience that extends far beyond conventional airport transit.

The airport’s strategic design facilitates effortless arrival and departure procedures, ensuring travellers have a smooth and stress-free journey. Accessibility is a key strength, with a range of transportation options linking the airport to various parts of Singapore. Inside, each terminal is tailored with distinctive features, from lush indoor gardens to vast arrays of entertainment and relaxation venues. Changi Airport is not only a gateway but also a destination in itself, offering a plethora of shopping, dining, and leisure activities to engage passengers during their visit.

Key Takeaways

  • Changi Airport combines efficient operations with leisure and retail experiences.
  • The airport’s design prioritises traveller convenience and access to information.
  • Amenities at Changi cater to diverse needs, from layovers to leisure pursuits.

Airport Overview

Changi Airport serves as a key aviation hub in Southeast Asia and consistently ranks as one of the best in the world.

Changi Airport Significance

Singapore Changi Airport, located in the heart of Southeast Asia, is a premier destination regarded for its exceptional service and facilities. It has been awarded the title of the world’s best airport multiple times, underlining its prominence as a model for aviation excellence. It operates as a critical hub for international passengers transiting through Asia, offering flights to a multitude of international destinations.


Terminals Configuration

Changi Airport is comprised of four terminals, each designed to provide a seamless travel experience:

  • Terminal 1: Focused on global airlines, it has direct access to Jewel Changi Airport, a complex with lifestyle and retail experiences set amid lush nature themes. Scoot is located in Terminal 1 at Changi.
  • Terminal 2: Offers a mix of international flights, currently undergoing renovations to further enhance passenger experience.
  • Terminal 3: Home to major airlines, this terminal integrates advanced facilities and services.
  • Terminal 4: The newest addition, optimised for efficiency and convenience with state-of-the-art automation. Jetstar moved to Terminal 4 in March of 2023. Air Asia also operates from Terminal 4.

The terminal design ensures quick and easy transfers, reflecting the airport’s commitment to passenger comfort.

Arrival and Departure Procedures

Arriving or departing passengers at Changi Airport can expect a systematic process from the moment they step off the plane to the point of leaving the airport or boarding their flight.

Immigration and Customs

Upon arrival, passengers are directed to the Arrival Immigration Halls on the ground floor, where they must proceed through immigration procedures. Travellers are usually required to present their passports and completed Singapore Arrival Cards. These arrival cards should include pertinent details such as name, passport number, and flight information.

Automated clearance systems are available for eligible passengers to expedite their entry. As for departing passengers, it’s essential they check the baggage requirements and restrictions for their destination. They can complete a pre-flight check, ensuring all necessary documentation, including visas if required, is in order.


Note: The Singapore Airport Code is SIN.

Baggage Claim and Storage

After clearing immigration, passengers may proceed to the baggage claim area. Service counters for lounge and baggage services are readily accessible for those needing assistance.

For departing passengers, baggage check-in options are outlined, with information on storage solutions for those requiring them. Changi Airport offers storage facilities where travellers can safely store their luggage if they have a layover or if they wish to explore Singapore without the encumbrance of heavy bags.

Transport and Accessibility

Changi Airport ensures a seamless travel experience by offering diverse transport and accessibility options for travellers. The airport caters to both inter-terminal movement and city-bound journeys, accommodating individuals with reduced mobility and providing efficient public transport connections.

Inter-Terminal Transport

Skytrain: Changi Airport’s inter-terminal Skytrain operates between Terminals 1, 2, and 3, featuring step-free access and ample space for wheelchairs. The service helps passengers quickly transfer between terminals without exiting the transit area.


Operating hours: Vary depending on the terminal; however, minimal downtime is ensured for maintenance.

Walking Paths: Travellers can also opt for walking paths connected by travelators, which accommodate a leisurely stroll or an expedited route if in a hurry.

Public Transport Options

Mass Rapid Transit (MRT): The airport is linked to the city by the MRT East-West Line. The Changi Airport MRT Station is located at the basement of Terminal 2 and is accessible from Terminals 1 and 3 via Skytrain.

Buses: Multiple bus services run to and from Changi Airport, connecting it to various parts of the city. These buses are an economical option and can be accessed from the basement bus bays of each terminal.

Taxis: A queue of taxis is available at the taxi stands outside the arrival areas of all terminals. Taxis in Singapore offer a reliable and direct route to any city destination, and a surcharge applies for rides from Changi Airport.


Shuttle Services: The airport also provides shuttle services to and from the city, ensuring convenience for those with heavy luggage or a preference for direct hotel drop-offs.

Jewel Changi Airport

Jewel Changi Airport is a multi-faceted destination with the world’s largest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex, and the Shiseido Forest Valley. It blends nature with an extensive retail and dining experience, making it a must-visit for travellers.

Attractions and Activities

At the heart of Jewel Changi Airport, travellers will find the Rain Vortex—an impressive 40-metre high indoor waterfall that is both a technological marvel and a visual spectacle. Surrounding it is the lush Shiseido Forest Valley, a serene space to wander and relax before a flight. Above, the Canopy Park comes with enticing attractions, including mazes, walking nets, and stunning garden spaces, providing entertainment for all ages.

Key AttractionsDescription
Rain VortexThe centrepiece and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, cascading down seven storeys.
Shiseido Forest ValleyA tranquil botanical garden that offers visitors a reprieve from the hustle and bustle of travel.
Canopy ParkA top-level recreational area with play attractions, gardens, and walking trails.

Dining and Shopping

Jewel Changi boasts a dining experience that caters to a range of tastes, from quick bites to luxury dining. Food enthusiasts can explore local Singaporean cuisine or international fare at one of the many restaurants throughout the complex.

For shopping, Jewel Changi Airport does not disappoint, offering everything from high street fashion to luxury shopping brands. The retail experience is extensive and diverse, meeting the needs of both last-minute shoppers and dedicated fashion seekers.

Dining OptionsShopping Destinations
Local cuisineInternational retail brands
International foodLuxury boutiques
Quick service eateriesSouvenir shops

Jewel Changi Airport combines an array of attractions and activities with a comprehensive dining and retail environment, ensuring that visitors have a memorable experience whether they’re beginning a journey or just passing through.

Changi Airport Terminal Specific Features

Changi Airport’s terminals each offer unique attractions and state-of-the-art facilities, providing passengers with an unparalleled travel experience. From the enchanting kinetic sculptures to lush gardens, every terminal has its own set of distinctive features.

Unique Terminal 1 Attractions

Terminal 1 hosts the Kinetic Rain, a moving sculpture that mesmerises with its synchronised dance of raindrops, a highlight being its ability to form shapes from nature and aviation. Visitors can also delight in the open-air Cactus Garden, which showcases a collection of more than 100 species of cacti and arid plants from deserts around the world.

Terminal 2 Renewal

Currently under renovation, Terminal 2 is undergoing transformations to offer fresh experiences upon its reopening. Enhancements are set to include new retail spaces and updated lounges, promising to enhance comfort and convenience for travellers.

Terminal 3 Experiences

Terminal 3 features the Butterfly Garden, an indoor garden with a grotto-waterfall, where passengers can observe the vibrant life cycle of butterflies. The terminal is also home to the Enchanted Garden, which comes to life with motion sensors triggering sounds of nature and blooming flowers.

Exploring Terminal 4

Terminal 4 stands out with its modern design and self-service options for a streamlined passenger experience. Art enthusiasts can explore the Heritage Zone, which presents local culture and history. Additionally, Terminal 4 offers the unique Shiseido Forest Valley, an immersive sanctuary with walking trails through lush greenery.

Changi Airport’s tapestry of experiences across its terminals makes it an exceptional airport, much more than just a transit hub. Each terminal invites passengers to explore a world beyond the usual airport services, cementing Changi’s reputation as a destination in its own right.

Changi Airport Entertainment and Relaxation

Changi Airport offers travellers a host of entertainment and relaxation options, ranging from beautiful gardens to luxurious spa services. Visitors can enjoy a tranquil escape amidst lush greenery or indulge in a rejuvenating spa experience before their flight.

Gardens and Green Spaces

Butterfly Garden: Terminal 3 houses a two-storey Butterfly Garden, a serene haven where travellers can observe a variety of live butterflies amid vibrant flowers and lush greenery. It provides a unique experience to interact with nature in the midst of a busy airport environment.

Sunflower and Orchid Gardens: Featuring bright sunflowers and a display of exquisite orchids, these gardens offer a burst of colour and life. They serve as peaceful retreats where passengers can take a moment to relax while waiting for their connecting flights.

Water Lily Garden: With its soothing ambiance, the Water Lily Garden provides a place for contemplative repose. Visitors can enjoy the sight of various water lilies and reflect by the koi pond.

Leisure and Spa Services

BeRelax Spa: For passengers seeking relaxation, the BeRelax Spa presents a variety of wellness and beauty services, including massages, facials, showers, and nail care. Treatments range from 15 to 60 minutes, allowing travellers to unwind before departure.

Massage Chairs: Terminal 3 also offers access to massage chairs where travellers can relax without charge. These chairs provide an easy and convenient way to relieve stress and fatigue caused by travel.

With these offerings, visitors to Changi Airport can enjoy moments of entertainment and relaxation, making their travel experience more enjoyable and stress-free.

Changi Airport Shopping and Retail Options

Changi Airport presents travellers with a rich tapestry of shopping experiences, ranging from duty-free shops offering tax-free goods to a diverse selection of both local and international brands covering fashion, electronics, and more.

Duty-Free Shopping Experience

At Changi Airport, passengers can relish the benefits of duty-free shopping, where items are sold without the inclusion of local taxes and duties. These tax savings convert to significantly lower prices for goods compared to retail stores in the city. One can find a multitude of products such as perfumes, cosmetics, alcohol, and luxury items within the airport’s duty-free realm. Specifically, brands like Nike contribute to the dynamic marketplace, supplying travellers with athletic wear and accessories at competitive prices.

Local and International Brands

The airport’s retail space is also a gateway to a variety of brands that reflect Singapore’s cultural diversity, including stores that sell Singaporean classics and settings where one can discover Japanese electronics or USA fashion lines. Customers may explore beloved global names while also having the opportunity to acquire unique local souvenirs that capture the essence of Singaporean heritage. Retail outlets extend across all terminals, ensuring accessibility for all travellers, regardless of their point of arrival or departure.

Changi Airport Dining Experience

Changi Airport provides a vast array of dining experiences, ranging from authentic Singaporean dishes to exquisite international cuisines. Travellers can explore a variety of restaurants offering a taste of local favourites and global gourmet delights.

Local Cuisine Highlights

Changi Airport hosts a selection of restaurants where one can savour Singaporean classics. Casual eateries serve up local fare such as Roti Prata and Mee Goreng, quick yet delicious meals that reflect Singapore’s rich cultural tapestry.

  • Mr Teh Tarik Express: Known for its traditional pulled tea and Singaporean delights, a night at Changi isn’t complete without a visit.

Singaporean food is celebrated for its diversity and flavour, and Changi Airport ensures that visitors can enjoy these culinary delights.

International Dining Selection

The airport also takes pride in its international dining selection. Japanese cuisine, well-loved for its precision and flavours, is readily available with restaurants serving dishes such as sushi and ramen.

  • Yun Nans: Indulges diners with authentic Yunnan cuisine.
  • Itacho Sushi: Offers exquisite sushi, showcasing the subtleties of Japanese flavours.

From Japanese comfort food to fresh seafood, Changi Airport’s dining scene is a melting pot of international culinary experiences, catering to globetrotters and food enthusiasts alike.

Changi Airport Layover Services

Changi Airport offers an array of services specifically designed to cater to passengers on a layover, ensuring comfort and convenience. These services range from transit hotels and lounges to a variety of activities within the airport.

Transit Hotels and Lounges

For passengers with longer layovers, the Ambassador Transit Hotel and YOTELAIR provide comfortable accommodations within the transit area. Passengers can book rooms for a minimum of six hours, perfect for rest during awkward flight schedules. Pricing is competitive, offering a cost-effective solution compared to leaving the airport. Additionally, Crowne Plaza is conveniently located next to Terminal 3, accessible via a link bridge and providing full hotel services.

Lounge access is available for travellers seeking a more relaxed environment. The lounges offer facilities such as showers, food and beverage options, and in some cases, even nap suites. They usually operate on a pay-per-use basis, and select lounges may be accessible for free with certain travel credit cards.

Layover Activities

The variety of activities at Changi Airport can turn a layover into part of the holiday experience. These include:

  • Cinema: Passengers can catch the latest movies free of charge at the airport’s cinema, providing an excellent way to pass time stress-free.
  • Gardens: Discover the Butterfly Garden in Terminal 3 or visit the Sunflower and Cactus Gardens in Terminal 2 for a dose of nature.
  • Cultural Activities: Engage in various cultural experiences, such as the Heritage Zone in Terminal 4, which showcases traditional local shopfronts.

Before one’s next flight, Changi Airport ensures that layover time is not only a pause in one’s journey but an extension of the travel experience. With the array of services offered, passengers can find themselves indulging in more than just the standard airport amenities.

Changi Airport Facilities and Amenities

Changi Airport offers an extensive array of facilities and amenities designed to cater to the needs of all travellers. From staying connected to providing for the family, the airport ensures convenience and comfort are readily available.

Connectivity and Charging Points

Changi Airport understands the modern traveller’s need to stay connected. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout all terminals to ensure that passengers can keep in touch with loved ones or manage work on the go. Additionally, charging points for electronic devices are strategically located across the airport, ensuring that travellers can easily recharge their smartphones, tablets, and laptops.

Family-Friendly Amenities

For those travelling with children, Changi Airport provides several family-friendly amenities. There are dedicated baby care rooms, equipped with essential facilities such as hot water dispensers and changing stations, ensuring that the youngest travellers are accorded comfort. For older children, there are engaging playgrounds where they can have fun and expend energy before a flight. The airport ensures that families have access to necessary services to make their travel experience more enjoyable.

Changi Airport Visitor Information

Changi Airport is renowned for its world-class facilities and exceptional customer service. This section provides essential information regarding the services available to visitors, including those requiring special assistance.

Customer Service and Assistance

Visitors will find numerous information desks scattered across all terminals, providing assistance and guidance on facilities, transfers, and accommodation. Travellers can also approach any of the desks for help with navigating Changi Airport’s extensive offerings, such as the Jewel Mall, renowned for its dazzling flora and the captivating panoramic views it offers.

Changi Airport prides itself on accommodating the needs of all passengers. Services like Singapore Airlines and Grab are readily available to facilitate a seamless travel experience. Additionally, amenities like hotels within the airport provide comfortable accommodation for those on layovers or who wish to stay close to the airport.

Accessibility and Additional Needs

Changi Airport ensures that all facilities are accessible, with wheelchair-friendly pathways and assistance for persons with additional needs. Guests can expect:

  • Wheelchair hire: Complimentary, available from information counters.
  • Assisted services: For passengers with reduced mobility, pre-arrangement is advisable.

Furthermore, facilities such as the rooftop pool are designed to be inclusive, allowing all visitors to enjoy a relaxing experience amidst their travels.

Changi Airport Frequently Asked Questions

This section aims to answer common queries travellers have about Changi Airport, providing clear and concise information.

What country is Changi Airport in?

Changi Airport is located in Singapore, a sovereign city-state and island country in Southeast Asia.

Is Singapore Changi Airport big?

Changi Airport is one of the largest transportation hubs in Asia. It comprises four passenger terminals, each providing an array of facilities and services.

How long can you stay at Changi Airport?

Passengers can stay in the transit area of Changi Airport for as long as their layover requires. However, the duration they can spend in Singapore without a visa may be limited, depending on their nationality.

What is so special about Changi Airport?

Changi Airport stands out for its exceptional amenities, including the Jewel Mall with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the Rain Vortex. It’s renowned for its efficient operations, cleanliness, and leisure attractions.

Why is it called Changi?

The airport is named after the area where it resides, Changi, which is on the eastern end of Singapore. The name ‘Changi’ is believed to be derived from a local tree, the Changi Uland Tree (Lumnitzera littorea).

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Join a Kiwi expat who's navigated Singapore since 1992 on a journey through the city's hidden gems and vibrant culture at From the best chili crab spots to innovative architecture, discover what makes Singapore a global hub through the eyes of both a local and an outsider.

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