If you plan to visit every tripinasia destinations, it’s safe to assume that you will go quite a few times to Changi Airport (unless you’re a very good swimmer). Lucky you! Changi Airport is a great airport (unlike the one in the picture in Laos). The feeling is indeed first class at Changi.

It’s convenient, it’s close, it’s efficient, it’s reliable. What else can you ask of an airport? Oh yes, there is also free wifi access, massage, a swimming pool, dozens of shops. And if you really don’t have anything else to do, you can also fly.

You can get there 30 minutes before your flight and still be on time (well, don’t test me on this one and check the limit timing of your airline).

One more thing, they have a great app for iOS, Blackberry (or what is left of it), and Android. It comes very handy to check if you flight is on time or if your relatives will land on time for dinner in town ( by the way, it’s not uncommon for flights from Europe to land ahead of schedule so check the app when your mother in law is coming to pay a visit). You can follow a specific flight and get alerts when it takes off/lands. You can find it by searching iChangi on your favorite app store.

If you need more info on Changi, check out the official Changi Airport website.

Here are the essentials to remember

Getting to Changi airport from Singapore city center

Between us, unless you are really short on cash, taxi is the best way to get to the airport, but it’s not the only one.

  • By taxi
    Directly from the office to rush for your plane, from your place or from anywhere in Singapore, the taxi ride will cost you around SGD25 if you come from the city center. Surcharges apply at night, during peak hours and on sundays.  More details below. If it’s raining or if you are leaving on a busy time (Friday nights), it is wise to book your taxi. You can book by calling or through the available phone apps (iOS, Blackberry, Android).

On your way back from the airport to the city, you will have to pay an extra airport surcharge:

  • SGD5: Fri – Sun: 5.00pm to midnight
  • SGD3: All other times

Taxis in Singapore

  • Dial-A-Cab +65 6342 5222
  • Comfort Taxi +65 6552 1111
  • Comfort Premier Cabs +65 6552 2828
  • SMRT Taxis +65 6555 8888
  • Smart Cab +65 6485 7777
  • TransCab +65 6555 3333
  • Premier Taxis +65 6363 6888
  • Prime Taxi +65 6778 0808
  • Yellow-Top Taxi +65 6293 5545
Basic fare Normal
Flag-Down (inclusive of 1st km or less) $3.00-$3.40
Every 400m thereafter or less up to 10km $0.22
Every 350 metres thereafter or less after 10 km $0.22
Every 45 secs of waiting or less $0.22
Booking fees Normal
Mon – Fri: 6.00am to 9:30am $3.30
Mon – Sun & Public Holidays: 6.00pm to midnight $3.30
All other times $2.30
(including Sat, Sun & Public Holidays)
Advanced Bookings $8.00
(at least half an hour in advance)

By car:
If you’re driving your own car, you can park your car at the airport. This is usually only worth it if you don’t stay more than 2 days (as there is a SGD20 cap per day for the parking fees). There are 6 carparks in changi. Rates details are available here

By bus:
In case you want to save and have some time to spare, there is a public bus that goes to Changi. It’s bus 36. The first one gets to the airport around 6am. The last one leaves around midnight. The fare is SGD2, but the journey will take you one hour.

By shuttle bus:
There are some free shuttles services running from Bedok MRT, Sengkang MRT, and Changi Business park. You can get the timetable here.

By MRT:

To get to the airport, you will need to transfer to the east bound train at Tanah Merah train station. The first train service arrives at Changi Airport station at 5.26am on Mondays to Saturdays and at 5.54am on Sundays and public holidays.

Money changers

As much as possible, change in town before you go to Changi. Now if you get there and you’re short on Ringgits or Ruppiahs? Don’t worry, you can change money at the airport (SGD and all major currencies at the money changers). The rates might not be as good as in the city, but… if you’re reading this from the airport, do you really have a choice?

Terminal 1

  • Departure Transit Lounge East, Level 2
  • Departure Transit Lounge West, Level 2
  • Departure Check-in Hall Central, Public Area, Level 2
  • Arrival Hall, Public Area, Level 1

Terminal 2

  • Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
  • Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
  • Departure Check-in Hall Central, Public Area, Level 2
  • Arrival Hall, Public Area, Level 1

Terminal 3

  • Departure Transit Lounge North, Level 2
  • Departure Transit Lounge South, Level 2
  • Departure Check-in Hall Central, Public Area, Level 2
  • Arrival Hall, Public Area, Level 1

What to do in Changi Airport

Shopping is an option. Most shops are luxury brands. You can also find some electronics. Prices might not as competitive as in Funan and the likes, but it can still be worth it if you can detax (7%GST, and you actually don’t need to fly. Some shops absorb the GST even if you don’t fly. There is a 2x the price difference refund policy. You can check the details here
On your way back, you can stop by one of the duty free shops. It’s quite convenient as you will not have to carry all your stuff from the country you come from to Singapore. You can buy directly in Singapore.

Note that if you come back from Malaysia, you will NOT be eligible for duty free shopping.

One more thing, remember that there is strictly no tax exemption on tobacco products in Singapore so don’t plan to bring loads of cigarettes or you’ll get…fined! (remember you are back in Singapore…)

There are also a few interesting activities you can do if you are in transit (swimming pool, gardens, massage, Xbox, manicure, rest, etc). You can find a nice selection on the Changi airport page. It gives you good recommendations depending on how much time you have.

Final call… stop reading this, you’re going to miss your flight.