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Changi Airport - Things to do in transit

Updated on April 17, 2011

I know that it’s wrong to get excited about travelling to an airport. Not going to the airport closest to your home go on a holiday but actually getting on the plane and being excited about the airport that is waiting at the other end.  And it is ridiculous to think that I’d go on a holiday to an airport but my heart does beat a little faster when I realise that my flights don’t quite match up, that I’m going to have some time to kill at Changi Airport, Singapore.

Changi sprawls across 3 terminals which are connected by a free monorail service.  Options for entertainment are everywhere at Changi.  There is a free cinema, stunning indoor orchid and fern gardens, day spas, a roof top swimming pool, and countless shopping opportunities.  There is so much to do at Changi it even has its own iPhone app, iChangi, to help you work it out.


The first thing that you should at do is jump on the monorail, if only so that you can sing the Monorail song from The Simpsons, “Well, sir, there's nothin' on earth like a genuine bona-fide electrified six-car monorail! What'd I say? MONORAIL!”

Get off at Terminal 3, still humming, ‘Monorail!’ and head to the OSIM shop.  OSIM provide free massage chairs all over the airport which work the calves, often a sore point after a long flight.  These will give you a taste of what is on offer at OSIM. A personal favourite and now an often used device in my household is the U-Crown head massager.  It wraps around the head, over the top and down to the nap of the neck.  Alternating between vibrating, applying pressure and kneading; if you close your eyes it is easy to image that there really is a person’s fingers soothing the tension out of your temples.  If this is a bit pricey a vibrating neck roll is a less costly luxury and it is something that you will be thankful for on your flight out.


If you have the good fortune to have some time to spend at Changi on the way home, your mind, if it is anything like mine, will turn to duty free alcohol.  Your purchase will help to drown your sorrows at having to return home to the real world and save for another trip.  Meander around the duty free shop for long enough holding a bottle of something expensive and a friendly sales assistant might offer you a taste test of their premium spirits.  Although it is tempting to purchase your favourite spirit from home at a bargain price it can be more fun to buy something that you can’t find at your local bottle shop.  Sharing an obscure drink with friends months after you have returned from your trip will help to prolong the enjoyment of your holiday. Kind of.

If duty free shopping doesn’t do it for you relaxing in the orchid garden might be just what you need. The orchid and fern gardens are located in terminal 2 so it’s back on the monorail, “Monorail!” It is amazing that they manage to grow such a lush garden indoors.  Both gardens also have Koi ponds and I always stop by and wonder how they manage to grow their goldfish so big.


 The free cinema is also a great place to take it easy between flights.  If you are the type of person who falls asleep when you go to the movies it can also be a great place to take a nap. Just remember to set an alarm so you don’t miss your next flight.

Changi Airport is continually adding to the entertainment available to transiting passengers.  The newest inclusion, which I am looking forward to trying at on my next visit, is the 10 meter indoor slide, Singapore’s tallest slide. For every $10 spent in the airport you get a token to ride the slide.  Look out duty free bottle shop!


So yes Changi Airport is just an airport but if you have to be stuck anywhere for a few hours between flights you could do worse than Changi.


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    • Bianca Rose profile image

      Bianca Rose 6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for the comment Nadia. I'm looking forward to doing a sightseeing tour. There are two options for tours a Colonial Tour or a Cultural Tour. Which one did you do?

    • profile image

      Nadia 6 years ago

      Hey Bianca, glad to find someone like me who loves going to Changi. During a trip last year I had a stopover of 3 hours in Changi, but I changed it over to an 8 hour stopover just to enjoy this airport and all that it has to offer. Great place isn't it? And I have been on the sightseeing tours - it makes you want to keep coming back for more. Cant wait to go back there again!

    • Bianca Rose profile image

      Bianca Rose 6 years ago from Australia

      Hi Melvin. I am coming back to Changi in July. We have 8 hours between flights and I was thinking about doing the free sight seeing tours that the airport offer and writing another article about this.

    • profile image

      Melvin Leong 6 years ago

      Thank you for the beautiful article Bianca. You've managed to identify all the nice little things that travellers can do while they're on transit at Changi. Do let us know if you're coming to Changi Airport again. We'd be glad to show you around.

    • Bianca Rose profile image

      Bianca Rose 6 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for reading. I haven't had the pleasure of flying into Paris. Maybe it's something to avoid. I'll stick to the ferry from Dover.

    • profile image

      Makingsense 6 years ago

      Thanks for the hub. That airport sounds pleasant. At the opposite end of the spectrum is Charles DeGaulle Airport in Paris.