It’s really not surprising that Changi Airport has been voted the world’s best airport 7 consecutive times. Changi has its own indoor rainforest, a state-of-the art waterfall, and a contemporary retail and entertainment complex, The Jewel, making it a must-see attraction in its own right. Changi Airport is the most unique airport we’ve ever seen, so a visit to the Jewel must be high on your list of priorities when visiting Singapore.
This is the perfect travel guide for your visit to the Jewel. Discover the best things to see and do at Jewel Changi Airport, so that you can plan how to spend your time. Furthermore, find out practical information to improve your planning.
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A visit to the Jewel at Changi Airport, Singapore
I’m sure you’ll agree that most travellers don’t plan to include airport time in their itinerary. However, if you go to Changi Airport in Singapore, it really is a must. In fact, with so much to see and do, the Jewel at Changi Airport is a travel destination in its own right.
Forget any earlier preconceptions of wasting endless hours waiting at an airport. The Jewel at Changi Airport is a popular leisure destination for Singapore locals and a visit there really is a pleasure. Plus, this massive leisure complex is all together under one enormous glass dome.
So, if you’re travelling through Changi Airport, check in early so you can have time to enjoy a visit to the Jewel. We made several family visits to the Jewel on a recent trip to Singapore, at the start of our family adventure in Borneo.
Things to do on a visit to the Jewel:-
The Rain Vortex
At the heart of the airport is the Jewel Changi’s waterfall, Rain Vortex. At 40 metres high, it’s the world’s tallest indoor waterfall and is just breath-taking.
We loved watching this mighty cascade of water pour down from the skies into the basin below. The recycled rainwater is then recirculated back up through the waterfall. There are plenty of viewing points at different levels to stand and take in the splendour.
Without a doubt, the Rain Vortex is one of the best things to see at Changi Airport.
At night the Rain Vortex is even more spectacular, as it comes alive with a 360-degree light and sound show. The show projects onto the falling water and is a truly unique, magnificent sight.
The Rain Vortex show is free and takes place hourly from 7.30 to 11.30pm.
Shiseido Forest Valley
It is unusual to find so much greenery in any indoor space, let alone in an airport. Yet, at the Shiseido Forest Valley you’ll find a lush tropical forest of over 100 000 green shrubs and 2000 trees. The foliage has been carefully chosen for the environment and trees have been imported from all over the world.
You can walk amongst through this 5-storey indoor rainforest by following the 2 walking trails up either side. From here, you’ll also have a good view of the vortex and the smaller waterfalls and mist clouds along the way.
Dine like a king
You will be spoilt for choice when choosing food at the Jewel Changi.
There are over 40 dining outlets that are open 24/7, so there really is something for everyone’s taste and budget. We chose Tim Ho Wan on the second floor, which is worth a visit for the very tasty BBQ pork buns.
Shop like a queen
As well as offering an indoor rainforest, Jewel Changi Airport has a luxury mall with over 400 shops on offer. There is a good combination of affordable and high end, both local Singaporean products and well-known international brands.
Sleep like a princess
If you are looking for a basic hotel for a stopover, Changi Airport has a hotel Yotelair on the 4th level. This hotel offers 130 rooms, a fitness centre and free wi-fi
You can also relax in its Club Lounge, which overlooks the garden of the Jewel.
Fun for all the kids
If you are travelling with children, there’s plenty of attractions for families.
Head to Level 5 of the airport to find the 14,00-square-feet Canopy Park, Changi’s recreational area for kids (and adults!). You can choose from the Discovery Slides, a Canopy Bridge, Mazes (both hedge and mirror) and Sky Nets. There is also a petal garden and a topiary walk.
Most of the activities at Canopy Park charge an admission fee, so you need to buy an attractions admissions ticket in advance. You can choose individual activities, but it is better value to buy a Bundle Deal.
Changi Experience Studio
Enter this virtual world where you can immerse yourself in the state-of-the-art technology to learn about the history and development of the airport, using the different interactive touch points. Admission fees apply to this attraction too.
Opening hours at Jewel Changi Airport
Jewel Changi Airport is open 24 hours a day, so you can visit at any time.
Most shops are open from 10am to 10pm, but some have extended opening hours.
How to get to Jewel Changi Airport
If you are flying into Changi airport from overseas, it is easy to find the Jewel, as it is connected to the Arrival Hall of Terminal 1 (Level 1).
If you are coming from the city, there are a number of options for getting to the Jewel at Changi Airport. The easiest is by taxi or grab. Changi Airport is just a 20-minute drive via East Coast Parkway, which leads into Airport Boulevard.
Alternatively, you could also come by bus or train. You can get to Changi Airport station on the East West Line via the Changi Airport Branch line. Or you could come in by bus on the following routes, 24, 27, 34, 36, 53, 110 and 858.
Getting around at Jewel Changi Airport
The Jewel connects with all airport terminals, so is easily accessible from everywhere in the airport. It is worth picking up a Jewel map at the airport or downloading one in advance.
From Terminal 1 you can walk directly through the Arrival Hall.
From Terminals 2 and 3 you can walk via the air-conditioned link bridges. This takes about 5-10 minutes. Alternatively, there is a free skytrain which runs between terminals, or travellators.
From Terminal 4 you can take advantage of the free shuttle bus.
What to do with your luggage?
Check your bags in early, so that you don’t have to carry your luggage around. Alternatively, there’s a left-baggage service on the 1st floor.
The Jewel is located landside, so can you visit, even if you’re not flying.
Wi-fi at Jewel Changi Airport
You’ll find free wi-fi throughout Jewel Changi Airport.
Accommodation near Changi Airport
If you want to stay in the airport, the best hotels are the Crowne Plaza Changi Airport or the Aerotel Transit Hotel. Alternatively, just outside the perimeter gates are Capri by Fraser and the Dusit Thani Laguna.
Of course, you can stay in the city centre and get a transfer. On arrival in Singapore we stayed near Clarke Square, which is a fantastic location for visiting Sigapore’s best tourist attractions. Try the Paradox Merchant Court or Holiday Inn, both of which have great locations and outdoor pools.
Another good option if you want somewhere to stay for 1 night near Changi Airport is the D’Resort @ Downtown East. Just 6 miles from the airport, the D’Resort has great functional, family rooms. It is close to a shopping arcade and the water park “Wild, Wild, Wet”, which is fun if you have a day to kill!
Further travel information for Singapore
If you’re looking for more information on the best things to see and do in Singapore, we found the DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guides very useful. As the name suggests, the Top 10 Singapore travel guide provides top ten lists to everything, from museums and monuments to restaurants and bars.
Another good option for helping you get the most out of your visit is the Lonely Planet Singapore Travel Guide. This gives information by neighbourhood and comes with a useful map.
About 50-60 million visitors will make a visit to the Jewel each year and it is not surprising, as this gem at the airport really is something special. Jewel Changi Airport is far more than just a stopover, it is a tourist destination in its own right.
It really is worth scheduling time into you travel plans to visit the Jewel and make the most of the Changi Airport attractions. The whole experience at its futuristic complex is fantastic and you would struggle not to be impressed by this cutting-edge airport.
PIN FOR LATER: The Jewel at Changi airport, Singapore