10 FREE THINGS TO DO AT SINGAPORE’S CHANGI AIRPORT
I know, I know, airports aren’t exactly destinations you choose to visit or to hang out. But you might want to make an exception.. There are really good reasons why Singapore’s Changi International Airport is repeatedly voted the best airport in the world. Some of those reasons include Changi’s amazing free activities.
I personally always allow extra time to hang out at this airport whenever I have the pleasure to pass through. In fact, believe it or not, I once actually re-scheduled a flight for 2 hours later so that I could take advantage of a free 2-hour city tour!
If you’ll be passing through Singapore en route to your final destination, chances are good you’ll have an overnight lay-over at Changi. Common booking procedures include an evening arrival with an early morning onward departure.
You’ll be delighted to have these amazing activities to indulge in while there. In addition to international airports’ usual free activities like watching planes take off, trying on designer perfumes and sunglasses or reading books and magazines, at Changi you’ll also get to…
1. Pamper your feet with free foot massages
Rejuvenate your weary travel feet at plentiful free cushy massage chairs located throughout the airport. Relax as long as you want in luxurious lounge chairs while mechanical built-in massagers rub, press and roll your feet and ankles. You can even adjust settings to your preferred strength and type of massage.
2. Browse the internet
Get online free all over the airport via several connection options. If you’re traveling without your laptop use the free computer internet terminals. With your laptop you can access free wifi or use the free laptop usb ports. All choices located throughout the airport.
3. Watch ongoing feature movies
Yep, you heard it right. Changi Airport has free movie theaters, and not 1 but 3 theaters, one in each terminal, showing non-stop movies 24/7.
4. Relax in 5 different gardens
Prefer relaxing in nature? Wander through gardens of cactus, sunflowers, orchids, or ferns. Colorful butterflies are also fluttering around the Butterfly Garden, the world’s first butterfly garden at an airport.
|Orchid garden in Chiangi Airport|
5. Get up-to-date on the latest electronics
3D Electronics Zone
Do you love technology? Try out the newest games, computers, 3D TV, cameras and other cutting edge technology while you’re between flights. If you’re gallivanting around the world long-term it’s easy to get behind on new technology. Here’s an easy and fun chance to get caught up.
6. Try your hand at art
Make your own wood-block print then learn about Singaporean Peranakan and other SE Asian cultural arts at Changi’s Interactive Art Center.
7. Catch up on your 40 winks
Feeling tired? Changi has actually set up several rest areas for travelers to sleep on comfy lay-back lounge chairs. Not surprisingly, these sweet in-transit beds do fill up with weary passengers. With luck you’ll find one awaiting you but if not you’re more than welcome to stretch out and sleep on the well carpeted & padded floors in various quiet sitting areas located well out of the path and noise of airport foot traffic.
8. Science Museum/ Center
In conjunction with the Singapore Science Center, Changi offers interactive science displays to entertain and stimulate the weary minds of passing travelers. Fun stuff!
9. Race down the world’s tallest slide!
Crazy as it seems, Changi Airport has the world’s tallest indoor slide. Visitors get a free slide token with any $10 purchase anywhere in the airport. Feel like indulging the playful side of your nature? Go race down the 12 M/ 4 story slide.
|Chinese junk on Singapore River tour|
10. Take a sight-seeing tour of Singapore city
If you’ve got a 5-hour lay-over you can join a free 2-hour tour of Singapore. Changi’s city tour service will put you on a bus, take you into the city, board you on an old Chinese junk, sail you up and down the Singapore River with a tour guide, walk you along the scenic river banks, then take you back to the airport. All for free!
Tours head out several times per day in mornings and afternoons.
(* This is the tour I took by rescheduling my onward flight. Even though I’d visited Singapore many many times already, I couldn’t pass up a free guided tour of my favorite city. )
You might not have ever considered an airport as a destination in its own right, but perhaps you’ll be making an exception for Singapore’s fantastic airport?
100 Free Things to do in Asia. It describes 10 free activities in 10 different Asian cities and destinations.
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(note: all photos from Flickr Creative Commons except the photo of Singapore River tour, which I photographed. find Creative Common photo authors via photo links.)