Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) ("Changi" or just "the airport" to locals) is the main commercial airport of Singapore, located 25 kilometers on the eastern edge of the island and has good public transport links to all parts of Singapore.
Consistently voted one of the best airports in the world, Changi is quintessentially the hub for flights between Southeast Asia, to where virtually all Southeast Asian airlines fly, and a common stop on the Kangaroo route between Europe and Australia. It is the hub airport of the island nation's flag carrier Singapore Airlines, its sister airline SilkAir, and its low cost subsidiary Scoot.
Opened in 1981 on reclaimed land to alleviate the ever-increasing air traffic at what was then Paya Lebar Airport closer to the city, Changi is one of the world's busiest, and has been consistently voted in the top three world's best airports. Passengers are made to feel at home while in transit, with more facilities than you'd typically expect at an airport. Air-side gardens and artworks soothe the eyes, a massage parlour and spa relax the muscles, a swimming pool at Terminal 1 helps keep the body fit, while a cinema and giant television screens provide visual entertainment. There are even butterfly gardens and koi carp ponds!
The airport's schedules are dominated by Singapore's flag carrier, Singapore Airlines, and its regional subsidiary, SilkAir. Singapore Airlines operates the world's longest nonstop commercial flight from Singapore to Newark, covering a distance of 15,344 km and taking over 17 hours. All Southeast Asian major airports have at least an international flight to Singapore, while routes to East Asia, Australia, the Indian Subcontinent also see multiple services per day by different airlines. Non-stop flights to many European cities, Africa, and even the USA are also on schedule. In fact, 3 of the top 10 world's busiest routes start from Singapore, namely to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Jakarta in Indonesia, and Bangkok in Thailand.
Due to the location of JEWEL Changi at the center of the airport property, a shopping mall which opened in 2019, its establishments are also included in this guide.
If you are arriving on a Singapore Airlines flight and are transferring to another Singapore Airlines flight, you can often find your arrival and departure gate information from the onboard entertainment system, or from information screens when you exit the arrival gate. There are no boarding calls and boarding gates close 10 minutes before departure.
Fortunately transfers are quite easy, and Terminals 1-3 are connected by a free Skytrain service from 04:00 to 01:30, without passing through immigration. Terminal 1 is also physically connected to Terminals 2 and 3 airside, and you may not notice you're in a different terminal unless you read the signs.
To transfer to flights at Terminal 4, a free shuttle bus service is provided at Terminal 2. Terminal 4 is further south of the airport and has no direct Skytrain link to the rest of the terminals.
Unlike most other airports, there are no separate zones for departing and arriving passengers in the main terminals before passport control, hence arriving passengers are free to shop and eat at the airside if they are not in a hurry. In addition, unless they have checked luggage, they can clear passport control at any terminal; security checks are done at the gate of the respective flight. An exception to this is Terminal 4, where there is centralised security screening after immigration.
By trainChangi Airport is the terminus of the East-West line of the MRT. The MRT station is located between Terminals 2 and 3, and is well indicated from Terminal 1. When going to the city, you'll need to change trains at Tanah Merah – exit on the left hand side door and cross the platform. When going to Simei, Pasir Ris or Tampines, exit on the right hand side. When returning to the airport, cross to the middle platform. If you use the Downtown Line, transfer at the Expo station, just before the airport. Going to anywhere from the airport should cost you less than $3 (Singapore dollars), for instance the 40-minute ride to City Hall station costs $2.30 (+$0.10 non-refundable deposit). Trains run from 05:31 to 23:18.
Unfortunately there are no direct routes running between the airport and the Woodlands Train Station, at which you can take a train to Malaysia, a transfer is required at downtown and overall journey takes at least 1 hour and 30 minutes.
By shuttleA Ground Transport Desk is available in the arrival hall at all terminals and can arrange shuttle bus transfers. The shuttle costs $9 per adult and $6 per child (aged 12 years and below) and will take you to most downtown hotels.
Transtar Travel operates a coach service from Terminals 1 and 4 to Johor Bahru Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex (CIQ). Fares are $10 from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru, and RM10 in the reverse direction. Payment is accepted by cash and EZ-Link card. The first bus departs at 08:15 and the last leaves at 23:15.
A shuttle bus operates from Terminals 1 and 4 to Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, where you can catch ferries to the Indonesian islands of Batam and Bintan. Fares are $3 per person, and can be paid either by cash or EZ-Link card.
By taxiThere are 2 types of taxis to choose from. Depending on how many people are travelling with you.
- Taxi (cab) is easiest - simply follow the signs after clearing customs. Meters are always used in Singapore. A trip to the city during the day will be between $20–30 including a $5 airport surcharge in effect 17:00 Fridays to 23:59 Sundays and $3 at all other times. An additional 50% surcharge applies 00:01-05:59. By law, only a maximum of 4 passengers can use one taxi.
Comfort or Citycabphone: +65 6552 1111
Premier Taxisphone: +65 6363 6888
SMRTphone: +65 6555 8888
Transcabphone: +65 6555 3333
By busBus terminals can be found in the basements of T1, T2 and T3, and at ground level at T4. 06:00-23:00 only. Fares are around $2.50, exact fare required (no change given) if you pay cash. Bus number 36 directly goes to the city centre, which takes roughly 50 to 60 minutes travelling on expressways through the East Coast to City Hall and Orchard Road. It serves all four terminals.
By carThe airport is at the terminus of the Pan Island Expressway (PIE). A drive to Downtown takes around 30 to 40 minutes; a drive to Jurong at the western end of the expressway is twice as long. All parking lots except the one for Terminal 1 and Jewel Changi are eligible for long term parking, with parking rates capped to $57.60/24 hours; short term or general parking at all terminals convey a rate of $0.04/minute, starting from 10 minutes after entrance. An open-air parking lot between Terminal 2 and JetQuay terminal offers a cheaper parking rate of $35/24 hours or $0.035/minute.
Car rentals counters are open 7AM to 11PM. Mainstream brands have their respective kiosks at the arrival level of all terminals except terminal 1.
Terminal 4 is located in a separate area from the other 3 terminals, and is not served by the SkyTrain system. Shuttle buses both landside and airside connect Terminal 4 with Terminal 2. If you need to transfer between Terminal 4 and Terminals 1 or 3, you will need to catch the shuttle bus to Terminal 2, and make your way to the other terminals by SkyTrain.
Free Singapore ToursIf you have between 5.5 and 24 hours to spare, get out the airport and see the both the old and new sights of the island nation, for free! Just register at the airside booth at the latest 1 hour before tour starts.
Jewel Changi AirportA shopping mall with numerous restaurants and shops, many of which open their only shop in Singapore here. If you would rather bask yourself in natural beauty, head to the Canopy Park at Level 5 for assorted mazes and walks between flowers, or the Shiseido Forest Valley to shelter yourself under the trees. The iconic HSBC Rain Vortex is the world's highest fountain, and at night it becomes the stage for a light and sound show. Those who don't want to move landside can still see the fountain by taking the skytrain between Terminal 3 Concourse B and Terminal 2 Concourse E.
- There are several kinetic art installations located at all terminals. The most significant ones include the Kinetic Rain at Terminal 1 that displays sequence of rain drops forming shapes as they go up and down, A Million Times in Changi at Terminal 2 that displays clocks on a giant wall, whose moving hands synchronously create shapes and texts, and Daisy at Terminal 3, a windmill whose movement corresponds to the movement of travelers within its immediate area.
- Movie theaters with several current movies are played in the loop at Terminals 2 and 3. Simply park your trolley and tuck in, for no charge!
- An Entertainment Deck at Terminal 2 invites game players to entertain themselves with XBox Kinect, Playstation and several arcade games.
- There is at least one TV lounge at every terminal, inviting football fans to watch matches live.
- Have a little time for art? Create your own woodblock print at the art stations in Terminals 1,2, and 3.
GardensBeing a tropical country, the airport tries to introduce native faunas for travelers who lucked out of visiting Southeast Asian gardens and jungles, or just to unwind themselves.
- Terminal 1: Cactus Garden, Water Lily Garden, Discovery Garden, Piazza Garden
- Terminal 2: Enchanted Garden, Orchid Garden, Sunflower Garden
- Terminal 3: Butterfly Garden, Crystal Garden
- Terminal 4: Steel In Bloom
- Ground services dnata & SATS have lounges at each terminal. Inquire your airline about which lounge they use.
- British Airways, Emirates and Qantas have large lounges for first and business class passengers in Terminal 1 with shower facilities, food and drink, Wi-Fi access and internet terminals.
- Thai Airways has a lounge in Terminal 1.
- Terminals 2 and 3 have Singapore Airlines SilverKris lounges for business- and first-class passengers, each of which has separate sections exclusively for first class passengers. If you are flying in economy on a Star Alliance airline and hold a KrisFlyer (Singapore Airline's frequent flyer programme) Gold card, or Star Alliance Gold card, you will be redirected to separate, somewhat busier, lounges.
- Cathay Pacific has a lounge for first and business class passengers in Terminal 4.
- Plaza Premium Lounge has a lounge in Terminal 1, and another one jointly run with SATS in Terminal 4.
- Local bank DBS operates lounges in Terminals 2 and 3 for their private banking clients.
Eat and drink
Staff Canteenaddress: Terminal 1 Car Park 1BHead here if airport food is expensive and less delectable for you. Though the name means it's dedicated to staff, the public can still savor the local delicacies for a fraction of the price at airside!
Food Galleryaddress: Level 3The food court offering diverse Singaporean delicacies.
The World Is Flataddress: Level 2Relax at a bar featuring rotating selection of craft beers on tap and mixtures of cocktails.
Staff Canteenaddress: Terminals 2 Level 3M Car Park 3BHead here if airport food is expensive and less delectable for you. Though the name means it's dedicated to staff, the public can still savor the local delicacies for a fraction of the price at airside!
Swensen'saddress: Arrival Hall Level 1Serves diner style breakfast and snacks, steaks, pastas and pizzas, and of course, ice cream!
Chutney Maryaddress: Level 3Craving the authentic Indian spices? Head here for either a light street snack or a more substantial thali set.
Kaveri Indian VegetarianOne of the few vegetarian friendly restaurants at the airport. Specializes in southern Indian flavors.
Nando'saddress: Level 3The go-to place for its reknown spicy (peri-peri) chicken with various optional salads and side dishes to make it a hearty meal. You can of course, choose the level of spiciness.
Straits Food Villageaddress: Level 3A food court offering assorted dishes from Singapore in a rustic wood atmosphere. Order the food by selecting from the kiosk and pick up your meal from the restaurant when your number is called.
address: Level 2In mood for something warm and hearty? Head here to savor its noodle with a choice of beef or pork broth, simmered for at least 12 hours resulting in rich flavor and high protein content, or congee with toppings you can select from, including the recommended silk tofu and century egg.
The Kitchen by Wolfgang Puckaddress: Level 2 Departure Lounge CentralEnjoy breakfast by morning or steaks, pastas, and pizzas by the afternoon and evening, with recipes tailored by the renowned chef.
Singapore Food Streetaddress: Level 3A 1960s themed food court offering culinary delights from the island nation.
Food Emporiumaddress: Level 2MPerhaps the only food court on landside. Prices comparable to outside establishments.
London Fat Duckaddress: Level 2Mlook for its tender and crispy signature roast duck, either on its own or on rice, noodles and congees. A small selection of dim sums are also offered to those who want just a little snack.
International Food Halladdress: Level 2MFood court offering diverse range of dishes from all over the world.
Tiger Denaddress: Level 2Enjoy Singapore's very own beer, tapped up to a pitcher or bottled.
Treasures Yi Dian Xin by Imperialaddress: Level 2An extensive selection of dim sums in addition to noodles and congees. Look for its set menu which for a cheaper price makes a complete meal.
For some local food, try a kaya toast set at Ya Kun Kaya Toast (T3 landside) or Killiney Kopitiam (T2 airside). Soft-boiled eggs, coconut jam on toasted bread, and some kopi (coffee) are nice to eat at any time of the day.
There is also a good dim sum restaurant in London Fat Duck (T4).
Shops are extremely varied and, if moved to more than 100 countries, would constitute their largest mall! All accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard; most accept Diners Club, JCB and UnionPay.
If you're just arriving and need to buy a SIM card for your phone, there are plenty of tourist help-oriented shops that will be happy to sell you one with $50-70 of credit on it (and that's how much it will cost). 1GB of data for a week is only $7 though, so if you're only in Singapore for a short time, the bigger cards are definitely overkill. Instead, head to the money changers - you can buy a $15 SIM card there. You need to present your passport when purchasing SIM cards.
address: Multiple locations at all terminalsThey claim to have the cheapest prices compared to downtown Singapore or other airports in Asia.
Discover Singaporeaddress: One at each end of all terminalsFor your last minute gift ideas on Singaporean memorabilia and icons as souvenirs.
Irvin'sOne of the new delicacies of Singapore you can effortlessly take home with: bite sized fried fish skin (or cassava or potato chips) coated with salted egg. The fish skin usually sells out by mid afternoon! Whoever tries will be addicted.
Bee Cheng HiangMost famous for its bakkwa (thinly sliced dried pork meat) cut in various shapes and sizes, freshly BBQed for near-future consumption or vacuum packed for longer shelf life. Also sells meat floss and mini cookies.
address: All Terminals, level 1Sells SIM Cards with humongous internet quotas or alternatively, rent a WiFi that can be shared with multiple devices. Inbound travelers can also benefit from pre-purchase of admission tickets to tourist attractions as well as tourist passes. Departing passengers can purchase rail passes for Japan or rent WiFi for other countries
Any local calls made within the departure transit lounge are free. You can use the public payphones or head over to the convenience stores. If you are on the land side, you can rent a smartphone or buy a prepaid card.
Passengers that have liquid, aerosols, and gels that are too big to make their way pass the security checkpoint, can take advantage of the Speedpost@Changi service. Purchase an envelope from the security offices or at the mailbox, drop them in, and wait for them to be delivered within 5 working days to most cities. You must drop them in the mailbox by 30 minutes before departure.
If you want to send some last minute postcards, you can buy stamps from the 7-Eleven on the airside of Terminal 1 on the right-hand side of the immigration control, and put the cards in the mail box behind the Aspial store. You can also drop them at Transfer F at Terminal 2 or near the GST Refund Counter at Terminal 3.
Although smoking is not allowed at most areas, outdoor smoking areas are peppered within the terminal (Terminal 1: near Cactus Garden and Snooze Lounge, near Gates D36 and C16. Terminal 2: Sunflower Garden, opposite gate E5, behind Sunglass Hut. Terminal 3: Opposite gates B10 and A21, next to Harry's Sports Bar, Butterfly Garden. Terminal 4: near gates 4 and 16, Level 2M).
If you'd rather sit, there are chairs throughout the area. Charging points are also adjacent while a few are even equipped with feet massage.
Although prayer rooms can be found at all terminals, these are actually catered to Muslims.
Should you feel unwell or require medical assistance, the Raffles Medical Clinic at all terminals will be able to assist you. Pharmacies from mainstream landside brands such as Guardian and Watson can be found at all Terminals, with generic medicine and vitamins you might need.
While all toilets are both child and disabled friendly, there are a couple dedicated for baby care, both at public and transit areas. (Terminal 1: near gates D36 and C24, behind Kaboom shop, level 3 near Playground and 7-Eleven. Terminal 2: near gate E1, behind Guardian. Terminal 3: Gates A1-A8, A16-A20, A21, B1-B4, between B8 and B9. Terminal 4: Near Gates 4, 7, 10, Baggage Claim.)
Airport maps and signs to some essential facilities are clearly indicated at various points in the terminals, although you can also just grab a free guide book to make your way through the airport. You can also scan your boarding pass at the scanner kiosk to look for which gate your flight is departing from.
AirsideSnooze lounges for a little nap or lounging while charging your devices can be found at all terminals. Though they are often packed, travelers do come and go quite frequently within the hour.
- Terminal 1: Level 3, opposite O'Leary's Sports Bar
- Terminal 2: Level 2, opposite Gates E5 and E11
- Terminal 3: Level 2, along the passage behind the shops with a view of the runway.
- Terminal 4: Level 2M, opposite International Food Hall
For a more substantial sleep on real beds, there are transit hotels in Terminals 1, 2, and 3.
phone: +65 6808 2388address: Terminal 1 Level 3Rooms of assorted sizes from 1 to 4 people, with either shared or private showers. Also operates a swimming pool and gym (fee applicable for non-hotel guests) .
address: Level 3, Terminals 2 and 3.Rooms from 1 to 3 people, most with private showers. Also offers lounge and gym facilities (fee applicable for non-hotel guests), in addition to pampering package.
phone: +65 6823 5300address: 75 Airport Blvd #01-01Pool, gym, spa, bar, two restaurants, pay-per-minute Internet.
phone: +65 6407 7888address: Jewel Changi Level 4A more affordable option within the airport. Small rooms but featuring modern design and amenities. A room fit for 4 is also readily available. In-house restaurant with breakfast for extra fee.
phone: +65 6823 5300address: 2 Changi Business Park Avenue 1, Changi, Singapore 486015171 hotel rooms, including 70 suites with kitchenette. An iPod dock & flat screen TV is in each room. Plus an outdoor swimming pool & fitness centre, but no restaurants.
Capri Fraser Changi Cityaddress: 3 Changi Business Park Central 1, Changi, 486037A larger & more modern hotel than its neighbour. Rooms are like suites with a kitchenette. Each room has an iPod dock & DVD player. Airport transfer is free.
address: 351 Cranwell Road, Changi, Singapore 509866There is no MRT station within walking distance, so the only feasible way is by taxi. Rooms are somewhat spacious You'll have your very own Nespresso coffee machine, L'Occitane toiletries, and a wall on your room where you can write everything! Complete facilities such as wide restaurants & a swimming pool.
Village Hotel Changi by Far East Hospitalityaddress: 1 Netheravon Road, Changi, Singapore 508502There is no MRT station within walking distance, so the only feasible way is by taxi. Basic rooms but might be a bit less spacious. A wide infinity swimming pool & restaurant. Airport transfer is free.
By and large, the airport is safe as police frequently patrol by Segways and buggy cars and the building is well-lit throughout the day. The airport practically never sleeps, so even at dawn there will always be a few people at some points in the airport. Loitering at the airport for a few hours though, may result in scrutinized questioning.
Register at a Free Singapore Tours (FST) Registration Booth at least one hour before.
- Terminal 1 - go to Terminal 2 for registration
- Terminal 2 - Between Transit F and Skytrain station
- Terminal 3 - Opposite Transit A next to Gates A1-A8
On the other hand, if you only have one night in Singapore, you could grab a classic Singaporean late-night supper in Geylang or East Coast Lagoon Food Village in the East Coast. Or head over to the pubs and clubs in Riverside and Chinatown.