The taxi is waiting and you swear you had that pair of socks somewhere in the suitcase. Your breathing quickens and you start having visions of the boarding gate ceremoniously closing right before your eyes. You make a solemn promise to yourself that next time, you’d head to the airport fashionably early.
We understand. Nobody likes to hang around in airports, and the only reason to be there is to get out, right? Well, not if you’re talking about Changi Airport, one of the most loved airports in the world.
Here are seven reasons why you should head out early if you have a flight to catch. Or well, even if you don’t.
1. The Butterfly Garden
If you don’t already know, Changi Airport has its very own Butterfly Garden. Imagine a cascading waterfall and more than a thousand fleeting butterflies, all housed in an indoor paradise.
Got kids? Or just geeky?
There are educational corners and enclosures that’d give you a glimpse into the life cycle of a butterfly. If you’re lucky, you could even witness the birth of one at the Emergence Enclosure, and hold your breath as you watch it take its first flight. This is a great place for the kids to gain a little appreciation and education about nature, or do a little macro photography yourself.
Duration: About 20 Minutes
Where: Terminal 3 Departure Transit Lounge, Level 2 & 3
2. Movie Theatre (Read: FREE)
Free movies? We’re not joking.
If watching an inflight blockbuster on a tiny screen isn’t your thing, you’d be happy to know that there’re proper Movie Theatres in Terminals 2 & 3 where you can get your film fix. Terminal 2’s theatres screen the latest movies from the Fox Movies Premium Channel.
Duration: 2 hours. These are open 24 hours, be careful to not miss your flight!
Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 3
Terminal 3, Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 3
3. Interactive Art
Image: Shaun Wong, Flickr
There’s always time for art. Before your flight to a different space, go back in time to the 1950’s and unleash your creative energies with woodblock rubbing, where you can make your own prints with icons. This is great for families to while away a little time and also give the kids a small memento too.
Or, go on and explore mystery objects at the Asian Icon Interactive Art Station.
Duration: 20 minutes
Woodblock Rubbing- Terminal 3, Transit Area, Basement 2.
Asian Icons- Terminal 2,Departure Transit Lounge, Level 2.
4. Singapore’s Tallest Slide
Yes, it’s a slide and yes, it’s Singapore’s tallest. At 12 metres high (that’s four storeys), we guarantee that you’d be giggling with excitement all the way through at a top speed of 6 metres per second.
The best part? The Slide is open to the public, which means just about everyone can fly, as long as you make a minimum purchase of SGD $10 at the airport.
There’re no age limits, only height (1.3 m to 2.0m tall). But let the kids go first, will you?
Cost: SGD 10 worth of purchase at Changi Airport. Present the receipt for a ride
Duration: 15 minutes
Where: Terminal 3, Level 1 Arrival Hall, Public Area
Image: Fans of Changi, Flickr
5. Entertainment Deck
You’re with family or friends and one likes music, while the other is itching for a good Xbox game before a long flight.
The Entertainment Deck is where you should head to if you want to please everyone. Play a game of beach volleyball or box each other (on XBOX Kinect), chill out at the Music Area, or watch your favourite MTV on a 50-inch plasma television with great sound piped directly to your seat.
By the way, there’s a cafeteria right at the deck, perfect for pigging out after a Kinect tennis session.
Duration: 45 minutes
Where: Terminal 2, Departure Transit Lounge, Level 3
Image: Ram Viswanathan, Flickr
There’s nothing like a massage before a flight to loosen those muscles before you get them all knotted up again.
If you’re looking for a quick foot massage, simply head to any of the Foot and Calf Massage Stations available in every terminal.
But if you do have more time and you’re in the mood for novelty, there’s a Fish Spa and Reflexology where you can have little fish doctors nibble at your feet. Got more time and cash to splurge? Pamper yourself with a two-hour body scrub and deep tissue massage at My Foot Reflexology.
Cost: Foot and Calf Massage stations offer free massages.
Duration: 15 minutes to 2 hours
Fish Spa and Reflexology- Terminal 1,Transit Lounge
My Foot Reflexology- Terminal 3, Transit Lounge
You probably know about shopping in Changi Airport. But we just have to mention it here because Changi’s Duty Free shopping is so amazing, it’s hard to exercise self-control with such a wide variety of products at great prices. If that isn’t enough, the 7% GST is absorbed too! That’s a big deal if you’ve been eyeing a laptop , a Prada bag, or that pair of Ferragamo shoes.
For those who aren’t flying, you’d be glad to know that many retail outlets in the public areas are also absorbing the GST too.
Cost: The sky is the limit. You’ve been warned.
Duration: 15 minutes- 1 hour
Where: All Terminals, transit and public
8. Surprise Surprise, City Tours!
We mentioned seven reasons. But here’s a bonus number eight for you transit travellers, just because we’re generous.
If you have at least four hous in between flights, guess what? You can sign up for a free city tour and tell your friends that you had actually been to Singapore!
There are essentially two options- The Heritage Tour in the day and the City Lights tour in the evenings.
Register for your free tours at while you’re still in transit and get out there for some fresh humid air!
Duration: 2-2.5 hours
Terminal 2, Level 2, near Transfer Lounge E
Terminal 3, Level 2, next to Transfer Lounge B