17 JUNE 2019
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Singapore’s Changi Airport recently won the World’s Best Airport Award for the seventh consecutive year, making it one of the world’s most awarded. However, it isn’t just the connectivity that Changi offers that makes it special.
Among the secrets of its success is the wide range of amenities the complex boasts for travellers, particularly those on long layovers. Here are 10 attractions that make Changi Airport a special experience – and the best bit is many of them are free.
There are nine themed gardens at Changi Airport, all free to use. The collection ranges across spaces devoted to butterflies, cactus, sunflowers, orchids and water lilies, an “enchanted garden”, piazza garden, crystal garden and arrival garden. They are spread out across the airport’s various terminals and reflect Singapore’s reputation as a city devoted to green spaces.
There are two cinemas at Changi, one in Terminal 2 and one in Terminal 3. Both play films 24hr a day seven days a week, and they are free to watch. Airport users can check on the Changi website which films are playing and when. For those who would rather watch the latest sports match, there is the Xperience Zone in Terminal 2.
Another unusual feature at Changi is of special interest to those who want to take a refreshing dip – a rooftop swimming pool at the airport Aerotel in Terminal 1. Hotel guests can use it free. For everyone else, the cost is S$17m (about £9). The pool also features a Jacuzzi hot tub, a poolside bar and showers.
Free Singapore Sling cocktail
Invented at Singapore’s Raffles Hotel, the city’s signature cocktail is served free for Changi Airport passengers by expert barmen at the Long Bar by Raffles in Terminal 3. The offer is limited to one free Sling per person. Nine other cocktails including mojitos and dry martinis are also available on the menu.
Tallest airport slide
The slide is available to ride in the public area at Terminal 3. Besides being the tallest airport slide in the world, it is also the tallest in Singapore. It is free to use but there is a slight entry requirement – airport users wanting a ticket must have spent a minimum of S$10 at any of the airport shops and slide users must be at least 1.3m and no more than 2m tall to ride it.
World’s tallest indoor waterfall
Part of the newly-launched Jewel complex at Changi (see BTN 11 March), the HSBC Rain Vortex is a water feature that comes complete with a free light and sound show every night. Passengers can also view the surrounding indoor forest called the Shiseido Forest Valley, with trail walks available through the landscape.
Free Singapore city tours
Offered for transiting Changi Airport passengers with at least 5½hr to spare during their transit. There are two itineraries, both free, to choose from, the Heritage Tour or the City Sights Tour, each lasting for about 2½hr. Passengers wanting to take part simply head to the registration booths in the transit area with passport and boarding pass and are dropped back to the airport at the end.
For those who like gaming, a free entertainment corner in Terminal 4 includes a free-to-use Xbox360 and Xbox Kinect for interactive play. There is also an arcade with nostalgic games such as virtual pinball and retro arcade machines.
Sculptures, design and art
Artistic types will find lots to enjoy across the airport, including the kinetic rain sculpture at Terminal 1 or the Les Oiseaux bird sculptures in Terminal 4. There is even a 13m-tall flower-shaped propeller called Daisy, designed by the artist and professor Christian Moeller, in Terminal 3, while the Jewel development itself was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie.
There are plenty of facilities for passengers who need to take a nap. The Jewel development has a Yotel, where rooms can be booked for 4hr periods at a cost, and there are free-to-use “snooze lounges” scattered across the airport.
As if this isn’t enough, the airport has just introduced a Canopy Park at Jewel, a family-friendly complex with play attractions, gardens, walking trails and dining outlets, all in air-conditioned comfort.
Taking centre stage are three first-of-their-kind play attractions: Sky Nets, Canopy Mazes and Discovery Slides. Entrance is ticketed.
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