WHAT YOU’LL LOVE ABOUT JEWEL AT CHANGI

Rain Vortex, the Jewel Changi Airport waterfall
Rain Vortex … I could watch this many times over

By LINDA JAMES | Updated FEBRUARY 10, 2022 | SEE & DO

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Jewel, in Terminal 1, is definitely THE glittering gem of Changi airport. I’m so obsessed with it that I always book my last night in Singapore at the YotelAir hotel just so I can hang out (and not have to feel rushed getting to the airport).

It’s special because it has sensational shopping, fabulous food outlets and endless activities.

One of the reasons it’s a personal favourite – aside from the fact that Jewel at Changi is so shiny with things to do and see – is that it’s where I’ve had some great chicken rice – and I’ve eaten at a lot of hawker centres.

Along with fantastic food outlets, this massive glass dome is filled with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, the HSBC Rain Vortex, a huge number of retail outlets and a lush rainforest as well as a million and one attractions and activities. It’s no surprise that its one of the top 5 attractions in Singapore.

The two main free things to do are: the Rain Vortex and Shiseido Forest Valley.

In its first six months it was open, Jewel had about 50 million visitors. The stunning glass-and-steel façade was designed by a consortium of architects, led by Moshe Safdie, who also designed Marina Bay Sands.

I usually do early check-in on L1, drop my overnight bag off at YotelAir and spend the rest of the day chilling and wandering the seven levels.

  • B2: Supermarket, IMAX theatre, food hall and retail shops
  • B1: Major retailers, Terminal 1 arrivals pick-up
  • L1: Early check-in, Changi Lounge, baggage storage, Terminal 1 Arrivals Hall
  • L2: Retail shops and viewing deck
  • L3: Link bridges to T2 and T3, retail shops and gardens
  • L4: YotelAir, Changi Experience Studio and retail shops
  • L5: Canopy Park, an attraction for families

7 Fun Things to do at Jewel

  1. Go to Shake Shack and order something – anything (my personal favourite is a strawberry shake – I only have them here)
  2. Wander around all of Jewel’s levels shopping (keep an eye out for the impressive artworks too)
  3. Watch the HSBC Vortex show – maybe a couple of times on different levels (just to gain a different perspective)
  4. Take some selfies in front of the Rain Vortex outside the YotelAir – especially when the nightly light shows are on
  5. Get chicken rice from Pow Sing Restaurant – actually, it’s so good, get 2!
  6. Get mochi from Kane Mochi
  7. Go back to your YotelAir room, crank the bed into a semi-reclining position, switch on the TV, connect your Netflix and tuck into chicken rice and mochi – now you know why I do this every trip!
Shake Shack Changi Singapore
Shake Shack … best shake ever!

Activities

The HSBC Rain Vortex

The 40m-high HSBC Rain Vortex is the world’s largest and tallest indoor waterfall. Recirculating rainwater is pumped to the roof to free fall through a round hole at up to 37,850 litres per minute to a basement-level pool.

There’s a funnel at the bottom that stops water splashing and insulates the sound of the cascade. Every night, the waterfall becomes a 360-degree stage for a light-and-sound show.

For a bird’s eye view, catch the free Skytrain between T2 and T3. It doesn’t stop at Jewel but you’ll get a great view of it.

Shiseido Forest Valley

This collaboration between Shiseido and art collective teamLab is one of Asia’s largest indoor gardens. It’s about five storeys high and 22,000sqm and surrounds the Rain Vortex in the heart of Jewel. It contains something like 3000 trees and 60,000 shrubs of 120 species that live in high-altitude tropical forests around the world.

You can follow the free walking trails over four levels and spend literally hours in there.

Entry is usually free but sometimes ticketed entry is used during peak times such as Christmas.

Sky Nets

The Sky Nets include both bouncing and walking nets. The 250m-long Bouncing Net is suspended 8m above ground at its highest point. The 50m Walking Net provides visitors with a view 25m down to Jewel’s Level 1. Access to the nets starts from $S15 for adults, and $S10 for children

Canopy Park

Given Singapore’s affinity for gardens and parks, it’s not surprising that at the very top of Jewel on Level 5, there’s a 14,000sqm park with a stack of recreation and leisure attractions. It contains two gardens, the Topiary Walk, which features animal-shaped topiaries, and the Petal Garden, with seasonal floral displays.

There’s also a suspension bridge 23m above the ground called the Canopy Bridge that offers panoramic views of the Rain Vortex. The 50m-long bridge also has a glass panel floor so you can see through to level 1 of Jewel.

There are also two mazes at the eastern end – the Hedge Maze, which has 1.8m-high walls, and the Mirror Maze, which is under the dome. The Hedge Maze is cleverly designed so that the path of the maze can be changed by opening and closing gates. It ends at an elevated watchtower, from which you can see the entire maze.

Entry to the 23m-high Canopy Walk glass bridge, the mazes and the nets, automatically includes Canopy Park.

Discovery Slides

These four integrated slides include two tube slides and two sliding surfaces and give visitors a great view of the Forest Valley and the Rain Vortex.

Foggy Bowls

These are four concave bowls with depths of between 30cm and 65 cm that people can jump in while mist is released to create an illusion of playing among clouds.

Entry to Canopy Park, the Discovery Slides, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden and Topiary Walk is $S5 a person.

Changi Experience Studio

This 3000sqm space is packed full of interactive games and displays about Changi Airport’s history. Entry starts from $S25 for adults and $S17 for children.

Facilities

Hotel

YotelAir is my favourite Changi Airport hotel. It has a range of rooms available and, while they’re small, they have been maximised to the hilt with adjustable beds and clever storage. a transit landside hotel for passengers, is on Level 4. The rooms can be booked overnight or for day-use. Standard rates start from SGD220 per night but look out for specials if you can book ahead.

YotelAir Changi Singapore
Room with a view … stay at YotelAir and get this bonus from Komyuniti

Retail

There are so many shops at Jewel – the largest Nike store in Southeast Asia, the first and only Apple Store inside an airport complex, Marks & Spencer, Muji, Zara and Uniqlo.

Cinema

There’s a movie complex with 11 screens including an IMAX theatre that can seat 828 people.

Kane Mochi Changi Singapore
Kane Mochi … so many delicious flavours

Food Court

Five Spice, a food court by Food Junction with 19 unique stalls and supermarket chain FairPrice Finest.

Restaurants

There are the American burger chains, A&W Restaurants and Shake Shack, Norwegian fast-casual restaurant Pink Fish, Swiss artisanal chocolatier Läderach, Sichuan restaurants Xiao Bin Lou and Yu’s Kitchen, Boston-based ice cream parlour chain Emack & Bolio’s, British casual eatery Burger & Lobster, Peruvian restaurant TONITO, Japan’s Tokyo Milk Cheese Factory and the first permanent Pokémon Centre in East Asia outside of Japan

How do I get to Jewel?

You can get there via the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system, bus, taxi or Grab.

If you’re departing, you can drop off your bags at the Early Check-in Counters on Level 1 and spend time checking out the shops and attractions. Find out if your airline participates in early check-in.

Do I have time to visit Jewel if I’m transiting?

If you’re transiting or arriving in Singapore, you have to go through immigration to enter Singapore first before you can go into Jewel. The T1 Arrivals Hall leads straight into Jewel while T2 and T3 are connected via link bridges.

If you’re transiting though, you should make sure you have at least five hours between flights before leaving airside to visit Jewel.

Conclusion

Jewel at Changi is one of my favourite places to spend time in Singapore. It has excellent chicken rice as well as some great shopping and a seemingly endless number of attractions and activities. You certainly will never be bored, hungry or thirsty at Jewel.

Address: Airport Boulevard
Open: 24 hours though various outlets will have individual opening and closing times
Cost: mostly free but some ticketed activities
Getting there: exit Changi MRT (CG2) and take the link bridges on level 2 of Terminals 2 and 3; exit Tanah Merah MRT (EW4) and transfer to airport-bound train; exit Expo MRT (DT35), transfer to the EW line and an airport-bound train. 
More information: Jewel

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