Aug 15 2011

Changi Airport’s best free attractions

Published by at 4:30 pm under Transport (international)

Whether you’re stuck in transit or just checked in waaay to early for your flight leaving Singapore (90 minutes is plenty), there’s no reason to be bored at Changi Airport. Save that Bill Bryson novel for the plane – a ton of fun and completely free things to do beckon within the secure departure area.

Go ahead, check in early.

If Singapore is the “garden city” then Changi is definitely the garden airport. The whole airport is lush with tropical plants and orchids, but the theme gardens in each terminal are worth seeking out. Look for the cactus garden in Terminal 1, ferns, orchids, and sunflowers in Terminal 2, and the fragrant garden with frangipani and other sweet-smelling flowers at the Budget Terminal’s outdoor terrace (which also happens to be the smoking area). The best of the bunch is Terminal 3’s butterfly garden, the first of its kind in an airport, with nearly 50 colourful species fluttering about a walk-in enclosure with flowering plants, a waterfall, and educational stations where you can learn all about their lifecycle.

For more high-tech diversions, head to the Entertainment Deck at Terminal 2 for LAN computer games, Xbox 360s, Playstations, music listening stations, and a giant plasma TV tuned to MTV. This is also where you’ll find one of Changi Airport’s two movie theatres (the other is in Terminal 3). The movie theatres are open 24 hours and the only thing you’ll need to pay for is popcorn.

Fly the friendly skies.

Airplane enthusiasts will want to check out the Changi Aviation Galleries in Terminals 2 and 3. Highlights include model airplanes, displays with fun facts about Changi’s daily operations, and a viewing area where you can watch the massive A380s and other planes on the tarmac. It may sound a bit dry, but the galleries are informative and interactive with hands-on activities especially for kids.

Families will also appreciate the children’s playground in each terminal – the perfect place to burn off some energy before a long flight.

If you have more than five hours to spare at Changi Airport you can sign up for a free sightseeing tour of Singapore. The tours last about two hours, are guided in English, and have either a cultural or colonial theme. Tours depart at 09:00, 11:00, 13:00, 15:00, and 16:00 and require advance registration at the tour booth in Terminal 2 or Terminal 3. Of course, participants need to be eligible for a Singapore visa so they can enter the city.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Changi Airport’s best free attractions”

  1. shannonon 16 Aug 2011 at 3:54 pm

    way cool! This will probably be named my FAVORITE airport!

    Friend of mine recommended I go here for my first Pacific/Asia travels to get familiarized/started. Now see, while I don’t think every airport should copy them they should definitely find ways to strike the boredom out of passengers pre-flight once in the secure zone.

    Thanks for the tidbits!

  2. Tanyaon 16 Aug 2011 at 4:03 pm

    Hi Shannon – Singapore definitely makes an easy introduction to Asia. There’s tons of culture, amazing food, all the modern amenities, plus an English-speaking population. Hope you make it here someday!

  3. Reg Tribacoon 08 Mar 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Hi! Could I enter these attraction even if i’m not flying out? Is this accessible to non passengers?

  4. Tanyaon 08 Mar 2012 at 11:55 pm

    Hi Reg – All of the attractions mentioned in the blog post are within the secure area of the airport for travelers. But there are other interesting things at Changi Airport that are accessible to the public, including gardens, shopping, restaurants, and the world’s largest slide in an airport.

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