Changi Airport Guide: Where to Eat, Shop, Play & More Before Your Flight in Singapore

Changi Airport Guide: Where to Eat, Shop, Play & More Before Your Flight in Singapore

See our top picks of dining, shopping, and entertainment options in Changi Airport.

If you’re travelling to or making a layover in Singapore, you’ll definitely be visiting Singapore’s Changi Airport. Named the “world’s best airport” by Skytrax for a grand total of 12 times to date, Changi Airport comprises four terminals and Jewel Changi Airport (also known as “Jewel” amongst locals). 

Changi Airport goes above and beyond being a place that handles flights. It’s a very well-loved attraction amongst local and international visitors. Here, you’ll often see people hanging out with their family and friends, having a date, or simply strolling around the beautiful grounds. 

Looking for great spots to eat, shop, and play at Changi Airport? Stay tuned. This Changi Airport guide recommends some amazing dining, retail, and entertainment options that will give you a wonderful experience. Plus, we’ve even handpicked some cool spots that locals really like.

Also read: 10 Gorgeous Singapore Airbnbs Near City’s Top Attractions

Getting to Singapore Changi Airport

If you’re planning to visit Changi Airport sometime during your trip to Singapore, the easiest way to get there via public transport is by taking the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT). Changi Airport is located conveniently at the Changi Airport MRT Station

Where to eat in Changi Airport

Changi Airport is overflowing with food options. Whether you’re up for a hearty meal, a snack, or a dessert, you’ll find something to satisfy your craving at Changi Airport. This Changi Airport guide introduces some of our top dining picks. 

1. Birds of Paradise (Jewel)

singapore changi airport

Image credit (L–R): Birds of Paradise Official Instagram Page

Listed as a Michelin Plate establishment, Birds of Paradise is a local gelato boutique that many locals love. Its famous botanical-inspired ice cream flavours, such as its White Chrysanthemum, Vanilla Fig, and Lychee Raspberry are refreshingly unique. You’d be hard-pressed to find similar flavours elsewhere in Singapore. 

Take note, however, that there’s almost always a long queue for Birds of Paradise! If you’re craving a refreshing dessert and are prepared to queue for your gelato, Birds of Paradise is a great place to head to. 

2. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh (Jewel)

Image credit (L–R): Song Fa Bak Kut Teh Official Instagram Page

When it comes to food in Singapore, many locals will recommend bak kut teh as one of the best dishes to try. And Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, a homegrown bak kut teh business, sells some of the most well-loved bak kut teh in Singapore. Located inside Jewel, this business is famous for its tender pork ribs and flavourful spicy-peppery soup. 

Fun fact: Song Fa Bak Kut Teh has been awarded the Michelin Bib Gourmand for seven years. 

3. Crave (Terminal 2 Public Area and Terminal 2 Transit Area)

You might have heard of nasi lemak, a popular dish found in Singapore and Malaysia. It consists of rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, served with spicy sambal paste, anchovies, and eggs. If you’re at Changi Airport, Crave is a great place to try out some delicious nasi lemak. With over 40 outlets islandwide, it is very popular amongst Singaporeans.

4. Kopitiam (Changi Airport Terminal 3)

For a multicultural food experience, try checking out Kopitiam, which is located in Basement 2 of Changi Airport Terminal 3. Kopitiam is a food court that sells food from a variety of cuisines, including Malay, Indian, and Chinese food. Best of all, the food here is affordable — you can easily purchase a delicious, hearty meal here under S$10. Grabbing a meal here is among the best things to do in Changi Airport for a wallet-friendly food adventure.

5. Putien (Jewel)

This restaurant has the honour of having been voted one of Singapore’s top 50 restaurants by The Sunday Times. Putien is a Singapore brand that serves authentic Fujian cuisine using fresh ingredients. It started out as a coffee shop, and has now expanded to over 80 outlets in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Mainland China. Check out the outlet at Jewel for some delicious Fujian-style dishes that evoke the flavours of home-cooked food!

Fun fact: Putien’s original outlet at Kitchener Road has been awarded a Michelin Star.

Where to shop in Changi Airport

Shopping in Changi Airport is a breeze thanks to its myriad of retail shopping options. In this Changi Airport guide, we’ve highlighted a few stores that are exceptionally popular and are likely to be of interest to first-time visitors to the airport. 

6. Charles & Keith (Jewel and Terminal 1, 2 and 3 Transit Areas)

If you’re looking for trendy women’s fashion, shopping at Charles & Keith is one of the best things to do in Changi Airport. One of the most well-known homegrown fashion retailers in Singapore, it started off selling footwear, and has since expanded its product offerings to include handbags, wallets, jewellery, and sunglasses. Today, Charles & Keith is a flourishing business with both local and international outlets. It is recognised for its wearable, fashionable products that are durable and affordably priced.

7. Bacha Coffee (Terminal 1, 2, 3, 4 Transit Areas)

Coffee lovers will enjoy checking out Bacha Coffee, a luxury coffee brand hailing from Marrakech. This coffee boutique offers a wonderful selection of 100% Arabica premium coffee beans, including single origin coffee beans, fine blended coffee beans, and natural decaffeinated coffee beans. You can purchase loose coffee beans by weight to suit your personal palate. What’s more, you’ll also find elegant coffee accessories here!

8. Hands (Jewel)

Image credit: GoAheadFan95 | Wikimedia Commons

Looking for some high-quality Made in Japan items? Head down to the Hands retail outlet at Jewel! Hands is an established Japanese brand that sells all sorts of goods unique to Japan, including household items, stationery, beauty products, bags, and more. This is also a great place for your children to get their hands on some seriously adorable paper products and toys. 

9. The Tinsel Rack (Jewel)

Founded in 2013, The Tinsel Rack is a popular local fashion label in Singapore. Offering women’s clothing and lifestyle products, the brand is known for its wearable, minimalist staples suitable for daily wear. The Tinsel Rack’s adorable shoulder bags have also made waves recently. It’s worth dropping by if you’re interested to see what kind of fashion locals like to shop for!

10. Apple (Jewel)

Fans of Apple products will love checking out high-tech gadgets in the spacious Apple store located inside Jewel. This is also a great place to kill some time while waiting for your flight. Furthermore, the Apple store is among the selected retail stores in Jewel that offer attractive tax refunds for tourists!

Fun and unique things to do in Changi Airport

Beyond dining and shopping options, Changi Airport is full of unique entertainment options that you don’t normally find elsewhere. Whether you’re travelling solo, with friends, or with children, there’s always something exciting to do at Changi Airport! And so, we bring you through some of the airport’s coolest attractions in the last section of this Changi Airport guide.

11. Terminal 4 Slide

Did you know that you can literally slide down to your boarding gate at Changi Airport Terminal 4? Terminal 4 is home to an impressive tubular slide that snakes downwards straight into the transit area. It just opened early in 2024, making it one of the airport’s newest and coolest attractions. All you need to take the slide is your boarding pass! Just keep in mind that visitors must be between 1.1 to 2 metres tall to ride this slide.

Fun fact: There is also another cool slide inside Changi Airport Terminal 3, which is the world’s tallest slide within an airport!

12. Dreamscape (Terminal 2 Transit Area)

If you will be passing through Changi Airport’s Terminal 2 Transit Area, make sure to check out Dreamscape, a beautiful immersive indoor garden featuring about 20,000 plants from a hundred species. Above the garden, a digital sky mimics real-time weather conditions. Dreamscape also offers a cool light-and-sound show that changes across the day every 30 minutes!

13. Canopy Park (Jewel)

changi airport guide singapore

Image credit (L–R): Changi Airport Official Facebook Page

Located at the highest floor of Jewel (Level 5), Canopy Park offers a variety of exciting play attractions catering to adventure-seekers of all different ages. Your admission ticket to Canopy Park includes entry to four fun playsites: Discovery Slides, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden, and Topiary Walk. These attractions are sure to delight the young and the young at heart!

Note: The standard rate for tickets to Canopy Park is S$8, with Singapore residents eligible for discounts. Children aged 3–12 must be accompanied by an adult.

14. Walking Net (Jewel)

Image credit: Jewel Changi Airport Official Facebook Page

If you love heights, you’re going to like the famous Walking Net at Jewel. The Walking Net is, as its name suggests, a net suspended 25 metres above the ground upon which visitors can walk and enjoy the sensation of lightness. You’ll also get to enjoy a bird’s eye view of everything happening under your feet! Your admission ticket for the Walking Net includes entry to Canopy Park.

Note: The standard rate for tickets to the Walking Net is $S18.90 for adults and S$13.90 for children, with Singapore residents eligible for discounts. The minimum height requirement for the Walking Net is 110cm.

15. Viewing malls (Terminals 1, 2, 3)

For aviation enthusiasts or parents with energetic children, watching the action on the tarmac at the viewing malls is one of the best things to do in Changi Airport. Located in Changi Airport’s Terminals 1, 2 and 3, the viewing malls are specially designed for visitors to admire planes and observe cool ground operations on the tarmac.

16. HSBC Rain Vortex (Jewel)

The illustrious HSBC Rain Vortex, which is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, is one of the most popular attractions in Jewel Changi Airport. Is it overhyped? We don’t think so — it’s seriously beautiful and deserves the attention it receives! Whether you’re a first-time traveller to Singapore, a repeat traveller or a local, heading to the HSBC Rain Vortex is one of the best things to do in Jewel Changi Airport.

This 40-metre tall indoor waterfall is unmissable as it’s located right in the heart of Jewel. During the day, natural light seeps in through the glass roof, illuminating the water that cascades down. And when night falls, the indoor waterfall is illuminated with mesmerising changing colours, and a light-and-sound show is even displayed at specific time intervals. 

For a refreshing experience, stand close to the waterfall to enjoy the cool, misty breeze sweeping over you. Alternatively, you can relax at the seating areas which are abundantly available around the waterfall. You’ll find many families, couples and friends chilling at these seating areas. 

Hoping to get some aesthetic photos at Changi Airport that you can bring home with you? Take a photo against the backdrop of the gushing waterfall at any time of the day. We promise you’ll love it. 

TripZilla Tip: For the most exciting feels, we recommend visiting the HSBC Rain Vortex at night. 

17. The Skytrain (Terminals 1, 2, 3)

Image credit: Pia Ong via Canva Pro

Did you know that Changi Airport’s Terminals 1, 2, and 3 are connected by a complimentary Skytrain service in both the public and transit areas? The Skytrain service is an automatic people mover (APM) system — you can think of it as a mini train service that allows visitors to travel between Terminals 1, 2, and 3 quickly.

For children and adults alike, taking the Skytrain across the various terminals is seriously one of the coolest things to do in Changi Airport. We promise it’ll be fun even if you’re headed nowhere in particular. Also, the Skytrain has a particularly beautiful route that passes by the HSBC Rain Vortex — this route promises stunning views. You’ll often see passengers aboard the Skytrain snapping photos as the carriage passes by the majestic indoor waterfall!

Also read: 8 Places in Singapore That Will Make You Feel Like You Are Overseas!

So, we’ve handpicked 17 of the airport’s best offerings in this Changi Airport guide. Ready for an exciting time?

Featured image credit: guvendemir via Canva Pro

About Author

Esther Yue
Esther Yue

Esther is an inquisitive girl who enjoys uncovering the depths of life. She loves exploring new places and cultures. While travelling, she never skips the roller coaster rides in the amusement parks. In her natural habitat, you’ll probably catch her with a book and an iced drink, listening to some good music.