17 Hours in Changi Airport

Yes, I know what you’re thinking…Was I absolutely mad? Crazy even? It’s a hell of a time to spend sat doing nothing with hope of seeing the outside world for another 27 hours.

Well you might be glad to know, my mentality was completely in tack when booking a £350 (GBP) one-way ticket to Sydney, although slightly tarnished after a mind-numbing 40 hours travelling, you gotta do what you gotta do for a bargain, ey?

Fortunately, Changi Airport is rated the best in the world (for five years now), and there is plenty to do. Unfortunately, we were so tired from jet lag and spending the last two days with minimal sleep that we didn’t get to explore the entire world that Changi had to offer.

If you’re thinking of taking the long stopover in Changi, there’s some attractions you won’t want to miss, and forward planning will save you a lot of money and headache!

Butterfly Garden: Terminal 3
This beautiful location is hidden in Terminal 3, Jack and I spent a good hour in here exploring this hidden gem: photographing the butterflies and learning about the species that inhabit the airport.

Cost: Free

Time: 20mins-1hour

Sunflower Garden: Terminal 2
Take a short transfer to Terminal 2 and you’ll find another incredible sight: row upon row of sunflowers, with the opportunity to watch the landing/take off strip too. A perfect location for any age, but if you are looking to keep children occupied I would recommend coming here for at least 30 mins.

Cost: Free

Time: 30 mins +

Transit Hotel: Terminal 3
This was by far our most expensive, but an invaluable purchase. If you’r anything like us, you’ll assume you can sleep on the plane but then find it incredibly difficult to cope with the reality of sleeping in a cramped chair with the distractions in the form of movies, TV series and unlimited food.

We shopped around Terminal 3 and found the Transit Hotel to be the cheapest, for a 6 hour stay, with wifi and a shower included. This is something we should have thought realistically about prior to the flight, as I was told we could have received 20% off +. I believe it was another $20 per hour if we wanted to stay longer, but this gave us just enough time to shower and get the best ‘night’ (well, midday) sleep we would get in the next week. The staff were very hospitable and even gave us a ‘wake up call’ 15 minutes before our check-out time. The rooms are also completely sound-proof and have no flight information blaring through the walls.

Cost: $104 SIN (around $100AUD)

Time: 6 Hours

Food Court: Terminal 3
Unless you’re a big fan of traditional Asian food (like Fish Ball soup etc) there’s very limited choice. Burger King is located in the T3 Food Court, but don’t be fooled by its American logo, the food we had (trying both the beef and chicken) tasted completely different to the English BK we are used to. Having said this, it was a god-send to two hungry and tired travellers.

Our best find was the Dunkin’ Donuts counter tucked next to the Sports Bar. For 3 donuts and a coffee, we thought the pricing was unbelievable, especially considering the Calsburg Sports Bar were offering a pint at $20 and a plate of squid at $17. I would recommend having a good look around before you settle for something you don’t really want as you’ll pay over the odds no matter what.

Cost: $12 (3donuts + iced coffee)

Time: 30 mins per meal

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Tip: Save on buying water by using the free water stations dotted around every terminal, next to the Smoking Areas.

Swimming Pool: Terminal One
This is the only place we didn’t manage to visit, and massively regretted ever since! We are flying back to and from Singapore in the following months and are determined to fit in this time!

Cost: Free

Time: 2 hours (Guess)

There’s plenty for you to explore in Changi Airport, and the list doesn’t even stop there: from Koi ponds to cacti gardens, there’s nothing that this exquisite airport doesn’t have. I hope this helps you to plan a transit through Changi, and manage to save a bit more money on a hotel than we did!

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