How To Survive Long Layovers At Singapore's Changi Airport

Make the most of your time during extended layovers at Singapore's Changi Airport with these expert survival tips. From relaxation zones to entertainment options, discover how to turn your wait into a memorable and enjoyable experience.

Dealing Long Layovers Singapore Changi Airport - WegoPro

Let’s just admit — it is hard to pass time on a layover. Nobody enjoys layovers because they think there’s nothing to do in airports. But if you are landing in Singapore, you might not have to grit your teeth and count down the hours.

Changi Airport is consistently ranked as one of the best airports in the world. The four airport terminals offer a multitude of shopping and entertainment options. Necessary amenities like wi-fi or snooze lounges are also readily available — enough to put a smile on even the most jet-lagged passengers.

Whether you have two hours or half a day to kill, we’ve included plenty of options on how you can spend your time productively (yes, sleeping is productive) at Changi Airport.

If you need to catch up on work 👩🏻‍💻

While layovers are best for clearing your inbox, the environment may not always be the most conducive for it. Thankfully, Changi Airport has various amenities that make it a comfortable and convenient place to get work done. Free internet access, business lounges, plugs to charge your devices, and even photocopying or faxing facilities are available at your service.

It is easy to stay connected at this airport, with complimentary WiFi@Changi and 400 Internet stations across all terminals. Business lounges would be your best bet for a conducive working environment. They are available in three-hour time slots, at S$38 for lounge only and S$50 for lounge with shower. The lounges, such as Changi Lounge, Jewel, and Ambassador Transit Lounge (Terminal 2 and Terminal 3), are open 24 hours daily. If you wish to arrange for a meeting during your layover, you can also book a meeting room at Changi Lounge.

Interestingly, your airline might also have lounges that you can enjoy — check the full list here.

Sneak in a little snooze 😴

Need to catch a wink or two? Seasoned jet setters will know that sleep is rarely comfortable while traveling. Be it in flight or during a layover, the unnaturally upright position you constantly find yourself in makes it hard to get a decent sleep.

Here, you can get some proper rest at the free-to-use snooze lounges found at all terminals. Full-body reclining chairs at the lounges ensure a peaceful slumber.

The airport also has various spots tucked away from bustling areas, perfect for you to relax and doze off. Snug spots can be found at Terminal 4 Level 2 (near Coffee Bean), Terminal 2 Level 2 (near Tunglok Tea House), and Terminal 3 Level 3 (near DFS Wine and Spirits).

If you need some serious uninterrupted sleep, transit passengers can check into one of the three transit hotels. Book a room in six-hour time slots, with one-hour extensions. At these transit hotels, you do not have to clear immigration. A room at Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel also comes with facilities like a swimming pool, jacuzzi, and even a wake-up call service.

For those who need their cup of coffee ☕️

Craving a strong dose of caffeine? A good cup of Joe always energizes on a long layover. If you are up for local coffee, try Ya Kun Kaya Toast (which can be found in Terminals 1, 2, and 3) or Killiney Kopitiam. Both chains are famous for serving traditional coffee, where the beans are roasted in a wok with butter and sugar. The ground beans are then brewed with a stocking-like cotton strainer.

Ya Kun Kaya Toast also serves up old-school Singaporean breakfast. A typical set consists of kaya toast, half-boiled eggs, and a cup of coffee or tea. Kaya is a favorite spread among locals, a traditional jam made from eggs and coconut.

For a different brew, pop by Hudsons Coffee. An Australian household favorite, Hudsons Coffee is worth a try for its premium blend Arabica coffee. The outlet in T3 Changi Airport is its first international outlet beyond Australia — certainly a plus for travelers who are not heading to Australia any time soon.

At Jewel Changi Airport, the Starbucks Reserve outlet is the largest branch in Singapore and comes along with an interactive Reserve Coffee Bar. Apart from your caffeinated beverages, this outlet serves up a menu inspired by local flavors such as Hainanese Chicken Rice Quinoa Salad or Milo Chocolate Tiramisu.

Explore Changi’s newest shopping mall with an indoor rainfall 💎

Speaking of Jewel Changi Airport, it is worth a visit with its numerous accolades. Stop by to see Rain Vortex, the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. At 130 feet in height, it is the most prominent feature of Jewel, and also the most enchanting.

Beyond that, Jewel has much to offer as a greenhouse with five stories of retail and dining zones. Even the most stressed-out travelers would feel relaxed being surrounded by soothing greenery.

The waterfall sits amid the Forest Valley, a lush sanctuary of plants and shrubs with walking trails that lead you to the Canopy Park. On the top floor,  the Canopy Park is a playground with mazes, slides, sky nets, and bridges. All of the Canopy Park’s attractions will be open by 10 June.

If you prefer shopping, Jewel is a trendy retail arena with renowned brands, along with concept stores and merchandise exclusive to the mall.  Nike, Tiger Street Lab, Naiise Iconic, and Seed Heritage are a few stores to check out. The first Pokemon Center outside of Japan is also at Jewel, with certain merchandise exclusively sold there.

The ten-storied megamall is also sprawling with dining choices, like Shake Shack, A&W, Burger & Lobster, Shang Social, or Kam’s Roast.

Keep yourself entertained 🎬

You might not expect this at an airport, but free movies and games are offered here at Changi Airport. Your layover will be anything but boring with PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, arcade machines, computer games, and an MTV booth available at the Entertainment Deck.

Blockbusters are also screened daily at the airport’s 24-hour movie theatres at Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. The theatres undergo weekly maintenance, so be sure to check their schedules before heading there.

Changi Airport has two entertainment areas — the Entertainment Deck at Terminal 2, and the Entertainment Corner at Terminal 4.

Take a restful stroll among themed gardens 🌻

It might seem odd to have gardens within an airport — especially themed ones — but Changi Airport’s many gardens may win you over. Relax in the presence of over 100 species of cacti and arid plants from Asia, Africa, and America in the Cactus Garden (Terminal 1).

Let cheery blossoms brighten your day at the Sunflower Garden (Terminal 2), with incredible runway views on this rooftop.

If the sweltering weather gets unbearable, check out the airport’s indoor gardens instead. It is no surprise that Changi Airport has a garden filled with the country’s national flower. With over 700 rare orchids, admire the vibrant shades of pink, yellow, and violet at the Orchid Garden (T2). Before you go, pay a visit to the Butterfly Garden (Terminal 3). At close range, you can observe the feeding and breeding of 40 different species of butterflies in this garden.

Relax and unwind with a little pampering 💆🏼‍♀️

We know — a long layover is not the most comfortable experience. Still, it is not impossible to squeeze in a little pampering at Changi Airport.

This award-winning airport has a repertoire of wellness options. At Terminal 1, the Airport Wellness Oasis offers full body massage, foot reflexology, manicure and pedicure, and even a foot spa. Apart from the usual spa sessions, Wellness Spa (Terminal 2) offers a signature treatment ideal for weary travelers called Oxygen Therapy. It is specially designed for frequent flyers suffering from traveling-related concerns like jet lag, headaches, or cramps.

You can also get a free massage with the comfy OSIM massage chairs found throughout all the terminals. Both full-body and foot massage chairs are available to provide relief for your aching muscles.

Shilla Beauty Loft (Terminal 3) offers top-notch beauty services to indulge in. Choose from four luxury beauty brands – Chanel, Dior Beauty House, Luxury Skincare Bar by La Prairie, and SK-II PITERA™ Lounge. If you need a quick makeup touch-up, you can opt for Dior’s free makeup session. SK-II PITERA™ Lounge also has a full range of skin-rejuvenating facials for luxurious pre-flight pampering.

Revel in the broad scope of international fare 🍜

Airport food is notorious for being inedible, but this particular airport proves to be the exception to the rule. You don’t have to settle for a sandwich from the vending machine or a disappointingly cold burger with fries. A wealth of food options can be found at Changi Airport, even late into the night.

Settle down for an authentic feast in one of the many hawker-style food courts. At Singapore Food Street (Terminal 3), try local delights prepared from makeshift carts inspired by food streets in the 1960s. If you’re looking for more choices, choose from either the Food Emporium (Terminal 4) or Straits Food Village (Terminal 2)

New F&B concepts are also plentiful at Jewel. US burger chain Shake Shack and UK’s Lobster & Burger opened their first outlet in Singapore at the airport. Other recommended restaurants include London Fat Duck, Violet Oon Singapore, Eggs n Things, and Jumbo Seafood.

Satisfy your urge to shop in duty-free outlets 🛍

The airport gives more reason to linger around with its world-class duty-free outlets. The Shilla Duty-Free boasts a comprehensive range of global luxury and beauty brands. Shilla also caters to the value-conscious. They offer competitive prices, being 40 percent more affordable than the city and certain airports.

For an extensive selection of premium spirits, head to DFS Wines & Spirits. If you wish to pick up e-gadgets at duty-free prices, Sprint-Cass stores a variety of consumer electronics from cameras, and IT peripherals to software and lifestyle electronics.

To elevate shopping experiences, the airport now offers online shopping at iShopChangi. You don’t have to find your way to the duty-free store when you can buy at your fingertips. You can purchase from 30 days up to 12 hours before your flight.

Be mesmerized by one-of-a-kind art installations 🖼

Changi Airport has a multitude of engaging art installations. Ever seen 1,216 bronze droplets in motion? Kinetic Rain is one of the first dynamic art installations at the airport. Its fluid motion elucidates the movement of flight, symbolizing the identity of Terminal 1.

In Terminal 2, take some time to marvel at the incredible sight of synchronized clocks in motion. A Million Times is a kinetic masterpiece representing the concept of time. Over at Terminal 4, in the meantime, Petalclouds adds a contemplative element to the airport with golden petals that drift like clouds in the sky. Terminal 4 also boasts Les Oiseaux, a handcrafted wire sculpture that depicts three birds in flight.

Enjoy cocktails on the house 🍸

With its many services that go beyond the ordinary, it should not be shocking that you can get free drinks at Changi Airport. At DFS Long Bar (Terminal 3), sip on one or more cocktails in the house. Here, you can try the original recipe of Singapore Sling, handcrafted by experienced bartenders.

For a complimentary tasting of other premium liquors, head to either the Cloud Bar (Terminal 1), Central Mix-It Bar (Terminal 2), or the Craft Collection (Terminal 4).

Whiskey lovers should make their way to The Whiskey House (Terminal 4) for over 100 complimentary whiskies tasting from around the world. You can also try your hand at cocktail-making at The Cocktail Bar (Terminal 4) with three recipes available.

A well-deserved title for Changi Airport 🥇

After stepping foot here, it is easy to see why Changi Airport is voted the World’s Best Airport for the 7th consecutive year. With top-billed attractions and facilities provided, you’ll never run out of things to do on your layover.

It may sound absurd, but the airport is a frequent hang-out for the locals to shop and dine. So, it would be far from strange if you wish to come back simply to enjoy its multitude of entertainment options too.

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