8 hour stopover in the Jewel at Changi Airport Singapore

“If possible I would like a stopover of at least 8 hours.” Is not what you hear every day in a travel agency. I was told most people want a stopover (if there even has to be one) that is just long enough to reach their connecting flight but as short as possible. However, when you fly over Singapore you should choose the longest stopover you possibly can. Why? Their airport alone is worth a trip and since you have to go through customs to be able to explore it’s best to have a few hours.

The Jewel at Changi Airport is accessible directly from terminal 1 and from a footbridge from terminals 2 and 3. While the Jewel is open 24 hours most shops are open between 10 am and 10 pm.

You can check your luggage in on L1, a bag or suitcase up to 10kg will cost 9,95 SIN $ for 24 hours (or until they close at 10 pm).


The first thing you hear (and depending on where you arrive also the first thing you see) when you enter the jewel is the HSBC Rain Vortex. With the water falling from a height of 40 meters, or seven storeys it is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall.

The rain vortex is surrounded by the “Shiseido Forest Valley” an installation with more than 900 trees and palms, as well as about 60k shrubs from all around the world.

To pass time during your stopover in the jewel you can wander through the greenery on several trails, reaching from the ground floor all the way to the top, accompanied by dancing lights in the trees and soft music.

This main area has plenty of opportunities to sit, rest and just enjoy the atmosphere. It feels like you’re in the rainforest. In an airport.

So, what do you do during an 8-hour stopover in the Jewel at Changi Airport Singapore?

First drink, second eat, third explore!

With more than 100 restaurants and food stalls to choose from I of course had to try some of them. With a little help from this article “35 Must-try Food Spots in Jewel” I choose two places to get drinks from: Chin Yang and The Alley.

And Chun Yang, I got a Cheese Macchiato with Tea. It was delicious, not nearly as sweet as I expected and had a lot of flavours intermixing with each other in just the right way that it created a drink flavour which I have never tasted before in my life and am sad that I probably won’t again for a long time. The location (#03-207) close to an observation point at the rain vortex also made it a unique experience.

At The Alley, I got their signature Brown Sugar Deerioca Milk and while it had similarities to other milk tea brown sugar Boba drinks I had in Southeast Asia it also had an edge to it which enhanced the flavours of it to the max degree. They are in the food court on the lower floor (#B2-273), right next to the glass wall where the water from the rain vortex flows back into the system. I can wholeheartedly recommend them.

With so many amazing and unique food spots to choose from, why, you might ask, did I choose Shake Shack to go to for nourishment during my stopover in the jewel? The answer is as easy as it might be disappointing: The lines. When you are hungry you don’t want to wait in line until a table clears up. So, Shake Shack, it was.

Never change a winning team? Isn’t that the saying? It has become somewhat of an unconscious tradition to eat at Shake Shack when I have a long stopover. Dubai, Kennedy Airport New York, LAX, it’s the same (or mostly the same) everywhere. You know what to choose, you know what you’ll get for your money. So a cheeseburger and a chicken burger with lemonade it was.

Of course, the Jewel isn’t only restaurants and food stalls. You can shop your heart out at many different shops as well. But if you aren’t looking to spend exorbitant amounts of money your attention will turn to the other attractions. Two I have already mentioned earlier: The rain vortex and the forest valley. Other attractions are the canopy bridge (an Instagram-worthy photo spot, but you have to pay to get access to it) a hedge maze, a mirror maze, see-through slides, jumping and walking nets located on the highest level of the building and artificial fog “bowls” in the ground which delight children and adults alike. Most of them have admission costs, but more often than not there is a sale or offer on.

At night the rain vortex turns into a glowing torch the entire building is revolving around. Starting April 2022 they have also introduced a “Light & Sound Show” where they project a laser show onto the waterfall, accompanied by music.

Oh and next to the free Wifi (which is strong everywhere, very unlike almost every other airport I’ve ever been to) you can also get a power bank for up to 12 hours of free usage to keep your phone charged and ready for pictures or video calls 😉

Until next time! There is much more to explore.

Have you ever had a stopover at Changi Airport? If so what was your experience?


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