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Airside view of Changi Airport
Airside view of Changi Airport | Courtesy Changi Airport Group
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A Guide to Changi Airport (SIN), Singapore

Picture of Jaclynn Seah
Singapore Travel Writer
Updated: 5 April 2018
Singapore’s Changi Airport is a favourite transit hub in Asia; it is served by over 100 airlines covering more than 380 cities worldwide, making it one of the busiest airports in the world. Changi Airport also regularly makes the list of top international airports due to its modern and efficient facilities, beautiful design and a wide variety of leisure and entertainment options that draw even the non-travelling crowd to the airport. Whether you are passing through in transit or just hanging out on the weekend, here’s our guide to discovering Changi Airport.

International Terminals

Changi Airport currently consists of Terminals 1 through 4.

Terminal 1

Terminal 1 is the oldest terminal, but recent upgrades have kept it modern. A favourite sight in the public area is the Kinetic Rain installation, a mesmerising art installation consisting of 1,216 copper raindrops dancing in sync that is also one of the most instagrammed spots in Changi Airport. For those looking to relax in between flights, you can pay to use the pool at the Aerotel Transit Hotel or enjoy the many different gardens in the transit area.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1 Kinetic Rain
Kinetic Rain at Terminal 1 | Courtesy Changi Airport Group

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 recently launched its own kinetic art installation titled A Million Times at Changi – 504 clocks with hands that not only tell the time but move in unison to form patterns and words. Keep an eye on the orchids in the garden here – you might spot the Dendrobium Changi Airport species if you are lucky. And for those with more than five hours of transit to clear, you can head over here to sign up for a quick free tour that will show you the best of Singapore’s sights right from within the immigration area.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 2 Sunflower Garden
More than 500 sunflowers can be found in the sunflower garden | Courtesy Changi Airport Group

Terminal 3

The soaring roof of Terminal 3 gives this space a wide open feeling, and it houses several interesting ways for visitors to spend their time at the airport. Movie buffs will love the free movie theatre in the transit area, while nature lovers can see over 1,000 butterflies in the Butterfly Garden. Meanwhile, children and the young at heart will love zipping down the world’s tallest slide located in an airport.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 3 CAG
Wide open spaces of Terminal 3 | Courtesy Changi Airport Group

Terminal 4

Terminal 4 opened in late 2017 to much fan fare and is perhaps the most high-tech terminal in Changi Airport to date, boasting a range of self-check-in facilities, automated cleaning machines with cartoon faces and a range of impressive interactive art – the Peranakan shophouse front in the Heritage area and the panel above the security area come alive thanks to video projections.

Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 4 Security
The security area features a long video panel to help make waiting in line feel less tedious | Courtesy Changi Airport Group

Getting around Changi Airport

Terminals 1, 2 and 3 are served by the Skytrain, a monorail system, as well as interconnected travellators for those who prefer walking. The new Terminal 4 is connected via a free shuttle bus service from Terminal 2.

Getting to Changi Airport

Changi Airport is located on the eastern end of Singapore and built on reclaimed land in the 1970s and well served by Singapore’s public transport.

The Changi Airport MRT (subway) station on the green east-west line is located between Terminals 2 and 3. It generally runs from about 5.30am to 11pm and costs less than $2 SGD for a ride – the journey by MRT to the downtown area takes about half an hour.

Public buses stop at all four terminals – Service numbers 24, 34, 36 and 110 can be found at all four terminals while 27, 53 and 858 are only available at Terminals 1 to 3. Fares are distance based, similar to that of the MRT, and the easiest way to pay is to by purchasing a stored-value EZ Link card that you can use throughout your trip.

Metered taxis are easily found at the airport on the arrival levels and are very well organised, often with attendants helping to direct traffic and shift baggage trolleys out of the way. There is an airport surcharge of $3-$5 SGD depending on the time you arrive, and additional peak hour and late night surcharges imposed on the fare while travelling. On average, a 30-minute journey to the downtown area can range from $20-$40 SGD. Note that there are premium taxis available as well that are more luxurious but are about 20% more expensive than normal taxis.

Shared car services like Grab are also a popular option because of their fixed prices and sometimes cheaper-than-taxi services. Download the app and make use of the free Wi-Fi in the airport to arrange a pickup from one of the numbered doors in the pickup area.

Singapore Changi Airport Control Tower
Taxis dropping off passengers at Changi Airport | © Darren Soh / Courtesy Singapore Tourism Board

The Future of Changi Airport

Changi Airport continues to expand and impress with more innovation slated for the future – a new lifestyle property called Jewel Changi Airport is set to open in 2019, with a massive indoor forest and waterfall area alongside leisure developments like hotels, dining and other entertainment options.

The airport itself is looking to grow even more with a mega-Terminal 5 due to be complete in 2030 along with a new runway, doubling the current airport space to more than 200 hectares and passenger capacity to over 150 million passengers.

Singapore Changi Airport Jewel Forest Valley
A key feature of Jewel Changi Airport will be a large scale, lush indoor garden with a breathtaking central waterfall. | Courtesy Jewel Changi Airport Devt.