A long layover in a new city might be as dull as you can imagine–it is not long enough to leave the airport for sightseeing, but long enough to make you bored out of your mind. But luckily, your layover is at Singapore Changi Airport.

From taking relaxing walks in the many gardens, immersing yourself in new cultural experiences through local dishes, or swimming in a rooftop pool, there are a plethora of activities and things to do in both the transit and public areas in Changi Airport as well as Jewel, to keep you fully occupied. (And, yes, you can get out of transit if you've got a minimum 5.5 hours to spare).

1. Go garden-hopping between the terminals

gardens at the singapore airport gardens at the singapore airport

Embark on a journey at Changi Airport, where lush greenery and captivating gardens like the Sunflower Garden, Enchanted Garden, Crystal Garden, Water Lily Garden, and more await across different terminals.

Singapore has been dubbed a ‘City in a Garden’, and this is evident in the architecture all around the island, including at Changi Airport.

We’re not kidding when we say greenery spans walls, floors, and sometimes even ceilings at Changi. All this is just a small introduction to the flora and fauna of Singapore.

To fully immerse yourself in the biophilia of Singapore, you can visit the many themed tropical gardens located in Changi Airport’s terminals during your layover. To name a few, there is the Cactus Garden in Terminal 1, the Dreamscape in Terminal 2, and the Butterfly Garden in Terminal 3. 

The Butterfly Garden features over 1,000 butterflies from 40 species during different seasons of the year. If you're lucky, you can even get up close and personal with the delicate creatures and watch a pupa transform into a butterfly at the Emergence Cage. 

If you’ve got enough time, we highly recommend visiting all the gardens. They are within the transit areas and are easily accessible via the Skytrain, or the shuttle bus if you’re moving to and fro Terminal 4.

With free entry and 24-hour opening times, there is no reason why you should not check them out!

2. Watch a movie, watch many movies

theatre with no admission cost theatre with no admission cost

Make the most of your layover with cinematic delights at Terminal 3's free movie theatre! Spend your extra time without worrying about admission costs.

For movie buffs, or if you just need some entertainment, check out the free movie theatre at Terminal 3. It operates 24/7, so no matter the length of your transit or layover, sit back and enjoy different film genres in comfort. 

To catch the latest films, you could also get a transit pass and head to Shaw Theatre at Jewel Changi Airport, which is located in the public area of Changi Airport. With a total of eleven halls, including an IMAX theatre, you can have the full immersive experience expected of big blockbusters. Considering how you’ve just spent your flight watching shows on a subpar screen, this will feel like a treat.


Changi Airport Terminal 3 24-Hour Movie Theatre
Location: Level 3, Departure Transit Hall North (near the Ambassador Transit Lounge)

Shaw Theatre Jewel
Location: Jewel Changi Airport, #B2-237
Opening hours: 9:00am to 12:00am (Sun to Thurs), 9:30am to 3:00am (Fri to Sat)

3. Take a plunge in the rooftop pool with a view

rooftop pool at hotel in changi airport rooftop pool at hotel in changi airport

Elevate your layover experience with a refreshing dip in the rooftop pool, complete with panoramic views of the runway.

If you need a breath of fresh air, or you are all about staying active during your layover at Changi Airport, consider taking a swim at Aerotel Singapore’s rooftop pool. It is the best way to soak up the Singapore sun and heat. You get to swim some laps and splash around while watching the planes take off.

If swimming is not for you, take a dip in the jacuzzi instead. Those plane-locked muscles could really use that massage. 

Depending on the time of day, the pool might be empty, too. It’s the closest you can get to a private swimming pool.


Cost: S$25++ per adult*
Location: Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel, Level 3, Departure Transit Hall (near D Gates)
Opening hours: Opens daily from 12:00pm to 10:00pm.

4. Explore the world through food

dining spots at singapore airport dining spots at singapore airport

Indulge in a culinary journey around Changi Airport's diverse dining facilities, where you can savour the flavours of the world spread across its various terminals.

Just like in Singapore, there are many dining options at Changi Airport, with cuisines from all over the world. Even without leaving the airport, you can get authentic Singapore food.

Singapore Food Street in Terminal 3 and Straits Food Village in Terminal 2 are the best places to get some local cuisine. These food courts feature local icons such as Hainanese Chicken Rice and Bak Kut Teh (a pork rib broth commonly served with rice). 

Many of the stalls are open for 24 hours, so there is no worry that you’ll be left starving by an overnight layover.

Other 24-hour dining options across the terminals are Anjappar, Heavenly Wang, and Ya Kun Kaya Toast. For terminal-specific delights, look no further than Terminal 2 and its Gourmet Garden, alongside Swee Choon, possibly Singapore’s most popular dim sim brand.

Note: the Heavenly Wang at Terminal 4’s Heritage Zone sits alongside other local food souvenir shops, which will present you with a well-rounded tour of Singaporean food delights that you can take home with you.

5. Go on a shopping spree

transit passenger shopping transit passenger shopping

Indulge in retail therapy during your layover at Changi Airport, where luxury brands and local souvenirs meet in a shopper's paradise.

Singapore Changi Airport is not just an airport, it is also a supersized mall. Each terminal has a huge range of retail stores just waiting for you to shop till you drop. Featuring sneaker outlets from ASICS to Adidas, and fashion from Lululemon to Louis Vuitton, you’ll find it hard to leave empty-handed.

Special mention goes to the duplex Shilla and Lotte stores, at Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, respectively—they provide some of the best array of perfumes and cosmetics, and wines and spirits products for each brand that you’ll flat-out find in Singapore.

In case you’ve forgotten to get a souvenir for your friends and family back home, there are plenty of shops to snag a last-minute present. Just be sure to shop according to your baggage limit!

And, of course, Changi’s numerous duty-free stores in transit will occupy more than enough time for you to shop and get what you need. If you have more than 5.5 hours of layover, you can head out to Jewel to indulge in more retail therapy!

6. Try out forest bathing

hsbc rain vortex hsbc rain vortex

Try out forest bathing at the Shiseido Forest Valley for a unique nature experience in between your connecting flights.

If the gardens in the terminals are not enough, visit one of the pride and joys of Jewel, the Shiseido Forest Valley.

It spans more than 21,000 square metres, with some 120 species of plants. Not forgetting the world’s largest indoor waterfall, HSBC Rain Vortex, located in the heart of Shiseido Forest Valley. It’s hard to miss it, even if you tried.

This free must-see attraction in Changi Airport is accessible from Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3 on foot, and Terminal 4 by shuttle bus. 

The forest is great for photo-taking, and also great for strolling through. Sometimes you’ll even find people meditating among the trees because it’s just that comfortable. What a perfect way to create memories with friends and family. 

Did we mention that it’s air-conditioned and indoors? Enjoy basking in the sun without breaking a sweat. It looks pretty breathtaking during the day, but come nightfall, there is a magical light show to enjoy too.

Unlike the Shiseido Forest Valley, the HSBC Rain Vortex is only operational between:

  • Monday to Thursday - 11:00am to 10:00pm 
  • Friday to Sunday, Eve of Public Holiday and Public Holiday - 10:00am to 10:00pm

HSBC Light & Sound Show

  • Monday to Thursday - 8:00pm and 9:00pm
  • Friday to Sunday, Eve of Public Holiday and Public Holiday -8:00pm, 9:00pm, and 10:00pm

7. Visit Canopy Park in Jewel

changi jewel attractions changi jewel attractions

Discover a mix of gardens, play attractions and stunning architectural features at Jewel's Canopy Park.

If you thought that the Shiseido Forest Valley was all there was to Jewel Changi Airport, you are mistaken. All the way at the top is the Canopy Park.

For just S$8, visitors get access to the Discovery Slides, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden, and Topiary Walk. This family-friendly experience is perfect for those with children.

If those activities are not enough, there are plenty of other pay-to-enter activities too. This includes the Canopy Bridge, Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze, Bouncing Net, Walking Net, and the Rain Vortex, where crystalline waters flow 40 metres down to the Changi Jewel basement.

The Bouncing Net and Walking Net, in particular, are tailored just for thrill-seekers. Imagine being suspended over five stories on a net—It’s not for the faint of heart.


Location: Jewel Changi Airport, Level 5
Opening hours: Monday to Thursday - 10:00am to 10:00pm; Friday to Sunday, Eve of Public Holiday and Public Holiday - 10:00am to 11:00pm

8. Discover Changi Airport’s history

changi airport what to do changi airport what to do

Journey through the interactive exhibits at Changi Experience Studio and uncover the fascinating story behind one of the world's most awarded airports.

Ever wondered what it is like to build the world’s best airport? Wonder no more, the Changi Experience Studio has all the answers. This experience blends the virtual world with the real world to create this first-of-its-kind digital museum.

Learn about Changi Airport’s history, design and operations through interactive experiences, such as minigames of the operations within the airport.

playing games during singapore stopover playing games during singapore stopover

Get a feel of what it is like to work at the airport through various fun games depicting different roles at Changi Airport.

One of the minigames features the behind-the-scenes operations of an X-ray machine operator. Players have to spot contraband in the bags. Think that’s easy? Wait till you try. This game is quick to humble players and highlights how important this small role is in the bigger operation of an airport.

For only S$25 for adults and S$17 for children, this is a fun take on education you will not find anywhere else!


Location: Jewel Changi Airport, Level 4
Opening hours: Opens daily from 11:00am to 8:00pm (Last admission at 7:00pm)

9. Relax at the various snooze lounges

airport lounge airport lounge

Find a slice of tranquillity at Changi Airport's snooze lounges, designed for ultimate relaxation and comfort during your travels.

After a few hours of action-packed activities, take a break or a nap at the free snooze lounges.

There is one located in every terminal, so you will not have to go far in search of some beddy byes. Each lounge has plenty of comfortable seats where you can lie down for some shut-eye.

There are also sockets, if you need to charge your electronic devices. Do remember to always look out for your belongings though! 

However, it’s on a first come first serve basis, so head there and hope that there is a seat available for you.

There are also the pay-per-use lounge areas that, while will require you to spend to relax, also offer premium lounge experiences that are unrivalled—and a godsend before a long flight ahead.


There’s a reason why Singapore Changi Airport has been called the best airport in the world for multiple years. Whether you want to occupy yourself during your layover with activities or just take a nap during your quick stopover, you won’t be bored during your layover. This is only the tip of the iceberg, Changi Airport has so much more to offer and many more undiscovered attractions worth a visit but let’s save them for your next layover.

Still wondering what to do at Changi Airport during your layover? Check the aforementioned attractions off your list! The activities and locations are located across Jewel, as well as Terminals 1, 2, and 3 in both the public and transit halls which are accessible via the Skytrain.


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