I had heard many good things about Singapore’s Changi airport before I finally got to experience it for myself. Since I moved to Singapore in March 2018, I got many opportunities to visit Changi airport.
I guess it's normal to feel anxious before a flight because of all the airport formalities like getting your luggage scanned and checked in, long queues, waiting times, flight announcements, crowds, etc.
I dread long airport layovers. In 2012, I spent around 17 hours at the Helsinki airport during my transit from India to Norway. All I can remember was a cold, uncomfortable, sleepless night with nothing to do at the airport as everything was closed during the wee hours. I paced up and down the empty terminals with whatever cabin baggage I had, trying to find a comfortable seat but to no avail.
Do you hate long airport layovers too? Well, don’t worry when transiting through Singapore’s Changi airport. There are many things to see and activities to do here to keep you busy for several hours. So, you can safely bid farewell to boring layovers.
World’s Best Airport
An airport is the first impression of a city’s vibe. Honestly speaking, I always feel calm when I enter Singapore’s Changi Airport. The airport is welcoming, has a vibe of freshness, and fills me with a sense of relief.
Despite being one of the busiest airports in Southeast Asia, the management is flawless. Many things are automated. It leads to no queuing and significantly lesser waiting times. For example, if one is a Singaporean or holds a valid pass like a Long Term Visit Pass, Permanent Residence, Student Pass, etc, he/she doesn’t need to meet an immigration officer when entering and leaving Singapore. The process is fully automated. You have to only scan your Passport and fingerprint for identification.
Singapore’s Changi airport reduces travel anxiety and makes one feel rejuvenated. Open spaces, areas to relax, small nature reserves, fun spaces, and numerous shopping and dining options make it an attractive destination for travelers.
Here are the top things to see in Singapore’s Changi Airport:
1. Enchanted Garden
The first thing that caught my attention was the enchanted garden which had motion sensors with sounds of nature to bring it to life.
Located in T2, the canopy created by Tasmanian Tree Fern and the stained glass bouquets containing fresh flowers makes this an enchanted garden to enjoy.
2. Orchid Garden and Koi Pond
Orchids are one of my favorite flowers and seeing a garden dedicated to just that made my day. Surrounding a Koi pond are more than 700 orchids from 30 different species. Situated in T2, these orchids represent the four main elements of Nature — Air, Earth, Fire, and Water.
White and pastel-colored orchids represent air. Earth is represented by brown, ochre, and green orchids. Fire by red, yellow, and flame-colored orchids. Water by the blue and purple orchids. To see such diverse orchids in the middle of an airport is a treat for the eyes.
3. Sunflower Garden
It was nighttime when I visited this garden. However, with the lighting, I managed to get a glimpse of sunflowers spread over an area of 300 square meters.
Placed on the rooftop in T2, it’s a great place to escape the shopping and dining areas. It also offers a great view of the runway and aircraft parking bays.
4. Movie Theater
Positioned in T2, near the Sunflower garden, I ran into a movie theater.
Surprisingly the entire theater was almost full even at midnight. I didn’t have much time to spare, but it seemed like a good entertainment option if you have a long layover.
5. Heritage Facade
There are plenty of areas to sit around in Changi airport. One of the places to relax, read, play or get some work done is the Heritage Facade in T4.
Very vibrant and colorful, these facades find inspiration in Peranakan shophouses. Traditional brands like Curry Times, Old Chang Kee, Eu Yan Sang, Bengawan Solo, Bee Cheng Hiang, etc make one feel nostalgic.
6. Steel in Bloom
As the name would suggest, this is a 6-meter high steel structure placed side by side with plants that inspire its design. It represents human interactions with Nature and depicts a sense of contrast in harmony.
Well, I perceive this structure to be very much in line with how Singapore has blossomed over the years — modern and futuristic with high rises yet in sync with Nature with so many gardens and Nature reserves. That’s why Singapore is called a Garden city.
These were just a few things I discovered, and it barely scratches the surface of what Changi airport encompasses.
Jewel Changi airport opened on 17 April 2019. Featuring a Rain Vortex, which is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, Forest Valley with a vast collection of plants, and Canopy Park with serene gardens and leisure activities, Jewel Changi is yet another feather in its cap.
In the below video, you can also find things to do at Singapore’s Jewel Changi Airport.