The world’s best airport to have a layover

How to make the most of your Changi Airport layover. Source: Shutterstock.

WHEN an airport wins the world’s best title six years in a row, based on passenger feedback, you know it’s not going to be your average check-in, security, boredom, board, fly routine.

The airport in question is Singapore’s Changi Airport which received a staggering 62.2 million passengers in 2017, many of whom were transiting through the airport with long layovers.

On average, 7,200 flights land or depart from Changi Airport every week, translating into one about every 80 seconds or so.

With so much going up and down the runways, Changi Airport could be forgiven for not prioritizing its terminals; but that’s just not its style.

Changi Airport and its four passenger terminals resemble fancy, entertainment-filled malls more so than a transport hub because there’s just so much to see and do.

It’s the only airport in the world where we’d suggest arriving early, just so you have enough time to experience everything on offer.

Source: Shutterstock.

Similarly, if you don’t need to fret about a long layover at Changi Airport because there’s plenty to keep you entertained and comfortable. Plus, each terminal is accessible via transfer trains so you can experience the best of each terminal.

Here’s a look at what’s on offer at the world’s best airport.

Catch a movie

How about going to the airport to watch the latest box office hits for free?

Source: Holly Patrick.

At Changi Airport, that’s exactly what you can do. Once you’re checked in and bag-free, head over to Terminal 2 or Terminal 3 to catch a blockbuster.

Have a nap

One of the worst things about long transits is trying to find a comfy-ish place to sleep but not at Changi Airport.

Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3 all have numerous Snooze Lounges dotted around. They’re fitted with soft and fully reclined chairs. Just make sure you set an alarm, so you don’t miss your flight.

Stock up on duty-free essentials

Changi Airport has 350 retail stores. That’s more than some standalone malls.

Each terminal has their own selection of luxury brands such as Gucci and Coach, alongside fine wine specialist and whiskey stores.

Source: Shutterstock.

There are also fully stocked duty-free stores and concept shops, such as the Dior makeup counter where you can indulge in a free makeover before jetting off.

Improve your gaming skills

Terminal 2’s Entertainment Deck is kitted out with PlayStations, Xbox 360s, and Wiis with plenty of games to be played on them.

Source: Holly Patrick.

And all for free.

Leave your stamp on Changi Airport

In Terminal 1’s transit area is The Social Tree which encourages passengers to take selfies, edit them with virtual accessories and then upload them to the tree for all the enjoy.

Have a slap-up meal

There are hundreds of places to eat at Changi Airport, from a quick bite at Hello Kitty Orchid Garden Café and fast food favorites such as McDonald’s, but there are also fine dining options too.

Source: Shutterstock.

Paradise Dynasty at Changi Airport in Terminal 3 has a glowing reputation for dishing up delicious northern and southern Chinese cuisine with an innovative style.

Go for a swim

Apart from receiving hundreds of awards since it’s opening in 1981, Changi Airport is probably most famous for having a rooftop pool above Terminal 1’s transit zone.

And it’s worth every cent of the US$12 (SGD17) it cost to get in.

Passengers can soak up some Singaporean sunshine, do laps in the pool, chill out in the jacuzzi, and sample a tipple or two from the day-to-night bar.

Be one with nature

In an attempt to carbon offset and create an Instagrammable and tranquil setting for its passengers, Changi Airport has installed gardens on the rooftops of Terminals 1, 2, and 3.

Terminal 1 hosts a butterfly garden with thousands of winged inhabitants and a waterfall. Terminal 2 is capable of cheering up any grey day with its Sunflower Garden, while Terminal 3’s Cactus Garden has more of a prickly side to it.

Source: Holly Patrick.

If you’re not venturing into Singapore, then we suggest heading to the Enchanted Carden located inside Terminal 2.  While it’s no Gardens by the Bay, it’s still beautiful and interactive.

Be a big kid

Changi Airport has an impressive three-story-high children’s playground and we suspect parents have been getting a little jealous of their kids having all the fun, so the airport installed a four-story-high adult slide, sure to get the adrenaline rushing.

The world’s tallest airport slide can be found in Terminal 3.