ScribblingGeek earned a bachelor's degree in communication studies in 1999. His interests include history, traveling, and mythology.
Long layovers and early check-ins are usually a drag. Not so at Jewel Changi Airport. The latest addition to Singapore’s multi-award-winning airport, “Jewel” is a toroid-shaped mixed-use complex conceptualized to resemble an indoor tropical valley. The spectacular 40-meter indoor waterfall at its heart is but one of the reasons you will want to linger in this lush wonderland.
1. Marvel at the HSBC Rain Vortex
The centerpiece of Jewel, the waterfall is as of 2019, the tallest indoor waterfall in the world. An absolute marvel to behold, the cascade is presented with the sky as a natural backdrop and is especially enchanting during light-and-sound performances in the evening. Listening to its splashes while surrounded by verdant landscapes is also, undeniably, a splendid way to prepare for or recover from a flight.
2. Rejuvenate at the Shiseido Forest Valley
Resembling something right out of a science fiction movie, the lush man-made hillside surrounding the Rain Vortex is not only full of vantage spots, there are also multiple mini waterfalls to complete the sensation of an indoor oasis. Needless to say, this verdant valley is doubly mesmerizing in the evening when illuminated by the rainbow hues of the Rain Vortex.
3. Have a Thrilling or Relaxing Adventure at the Indoor Wonderland
The “top” of the Shiseido Forest Valley is home to a variety of attractions and alfresco-style eateries. Apart from mazes and slides, there is a flower garden, a suspended bridge, even a topiary walk.
For the fun-loving, the attractions not to miss are the two Manulife Sky Nets. Suspended as high as 25 meters above the ground, a bouncy stroll across either one of the nets is an experience you wouldn’t soon forget.
4. Enjoy Themed Restaurants and Hipster Food Galore
With over a hundred restaurants and eateries ranging from the elaborately themed to straight-forward “food court” stalls, you will find it’s quite the challenge to decide what to feast on when at Jewel.
In fact, if you’ve missed out on any of Singapore’s beloved snacks and dishes during your visit, there is probably nowhere else in the country more convenient for a catch-up. Of note, diners at the basement levels can also enjoy their meals while gazing at the rainbow-colored funnel capturing the downpour of the Rain Vortex.
5. Indulge in Shopping Therapy
The outer circumference of the Shiseido Forest Valley is ringed by several levels of shops, a selection of which includes Japanese lifestyle chains Muji and Tokyu Hands, Nike’s largest store in Southeast Asia, and luxury brands such as Coach and Kate Spade. Naturally, there are also many shops specializing in Singaporean souvenirs and products and. All make Jewel the perfect last-minute stop for visitors looking to bring home tropical memories.
6. Catch a Movie
Located within the basement levels, Shaw Theatres Jewel is a cineplex equipped with several firsts in Singapore. These include Singapore’s first IMAX with Laser auditorium, a dedicated screening hall for families, and the first DTS:X capable halls in the country. Try not to mind your mini inflight screen too much after spending a few hours in this movie wonderland.
7. Discover Your Inner Child
For kids and the young at heart, the foremost attraction at Jewel is undoubtedly the first Pokémon Center outside of Japan.
And even if your child is not into Pikachu, there are still the attractions at the top level (see above) as well as the Changi Experience Studio. An interactive exhibition with over 20 displays highlighting the workings of the entire airport, Changi Experience Studio is described in official brochures as an “exciting virtual expenditure” from the past to the future. This high-tech studio will surely appeal to adults and children alike, particularly air travel aficionados.
Access Information: How to Visit Jewel Changi Airport Singapore
As mentioned above, Jewel literally lies at the heart of the Changi Airport Complex and is well connected to Terminals 1, 2, and 3. If you are landing at Terminal 4, hop on the free 24-hour shuttle bus and head to Terminal 2. At Terminal 2, the access route is well-marked. (Or you could ask any of the friendly airport staff)
And if you’re arriving from elsewhere in Singapore:
By Bus: Alight at Terminal 1. After alighting, head up one level and the (underground) entrance to Jewel will be within sight.
By Taxi/Private Car/Coach: Alight at the departure level of Terminal 1. The main entrance to Jewel will be right beside you.
By Subway (MRT): Alight at Changi Airport Station. Exit to Terminal 2. Upon reaching the departure level of Terminal 2, you should see the route clearly marked.
Important Update June 2020
Regrettably, Terminal 2 will be closed till end 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. This closure, however, does not affect access to Jewel. The route from the MRT station mentioned above is still usable.
© 2019 Scribbling Geek
Scribbling Geek (author) from Singapore on May 14, 2019:
That is great! By then, all the attractions would be opened. You would also need more than half a day if you want to enjoy all of them.
Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on May 14, 2019:
Sounds like another winning addition to the best airport in the world. Looking forward to visiting The Jewel when we transit through Singapore in a few months.