Jewel Changi Airport: Singapore’s New Centrepiece
Six years ago, a project was mooted to increase the parking spaces of Changi Airport’s Terminal 1, Singapore’s oldest commercial flight terminal. Fast forward to today, and we now have a groundbreaking structure that brings together the best of sustainable design - Jewel Changi Airport. Jewel has only been open for less than three weeks, but is already being touted as the best airport shopping mall in the world.
Arriving in Singapore soon, or already here and excited to explore this glass-clad paradise? BudgetAir.com gives you the rundown of Changi Airport’s latest addition, and how to get there from the array of airports.
• What exactly is Jewel Changi Airport?
• What can I expect to see at Jewel Changi Airport?
• Are there things to eat and do at Jewel Changi Airport?
• What if I’m here because of a layover?
• I’m intrigued - how do I get to Jewel Changi Airport?
What exactly is Jewel Changi Airport?
Jewel Changi Airport was initially commissioned in 2013 as a solution to Terminal 1’s vehicle parking problems. Terminal 1 used to be flanked by an open-air airport, which was quaint but unfortunately limited in size - a problem the people behind the airport wanted to rectify creatively. After much deliberation, the idea of Jewel was born, and construction began in 2014 under the tutelage of head architect Moshe Safdie, the man behind Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands.
Safdie sought to create a structure that would serve both as an eclectic marketplace and an immersive urban park for locals and travellers alike. Moshe had a goal to “provide an uplifting experience… by drawing both visitors and local residents alike, (and aiming) to create a place where the people of Singapore interact with the people of the world”, and the end result has been as immensely popular as he had hoped it to be, mostly due to the incredible attractions on display within the building.
What can I expect to see at Jewel Changi Airport?
The highlight of Jewel Changi Airport has to be the HSBC Rain Vortex, the world’s largest indoor waterfall at 40 meters high. The waterfall, a spectacle in its own right, doubles as a canvas after the sun sets for an indoor lights-and-sound show that is bound to mesmerize people of all ages. Circling this masterpiece is another engineering marvel - the Shiseido Forest Valley, which features over 900 trees and palms bathed in natural sunlight from the glass roofs above. The retreat makes for a tranquil walking trail, and there are baggage stores for you to drop off your belongings so you can fully enjoy the gardens.
More attractions revolving around the exploration of nature with urbanism are in the works, but are only set to open in the month of June. Amongst these include the Canopy Park and Bridge, the Manulife Sky Nets, and the Hedge Maze - all activities previously reserved for the best outdoor theme parks. With Jewel, an indoor funhouse amidst nature is now a reality.
Are there things to eat and do at Jewel Changi Airport?
The planners at Changi Airport have left no stone unturned in their dream to make Jewel “Singapore’s gateway to the world”, and the amenities available make good on that promise. Jewel boasts over 160 retailers that run the gamut from beauty and wellness to jewellery and accessories, and also houses Asia’s first Pokemon Center outside of Japan - diehard Pokemon fans can see their favorite critters in action, and bring their plushie friends home!
There is a smorgasbord of dining options in Jewel as well - authentic Southeast Asian flavours from Dian Xiao Er and Song Fa Bak Kut Teh, local favorites like Tanuki Raw and Nine Fresh, as well as big-name entrants like Shake Shack’s first outlet in Singapore. The hype generated from Shake Shack’s opening, along with A&W’s return to Singapore after 16 years, as been immense - queues have been snaking since Jewel has opened, and wait times for one of Shake Shack’s signature burgers now average three hours. Hungry travellers need not fret, as there are plenty of food choices available to cater to any cravings!
What if I’m here because of a layover?
Whether your layover here is going to be for hours or days, Jewel is more than ready to meet your travel needs, and then some! Changi Airport’s renowned service just got better with the introduction of YOTELAIR’s first branch in Asia, which provides accommodations for any traveller with any need. Taking into account the needs of every layover traveller, the people at YOTELAIR have designed a highly adaptable, minimalist haven that allows any layover traveller to work or relax on the go. The booking flexibility they offer also saves you time and money - no more settling for a full day’s hotel charges you don’t need!
Do note that Jewel is located landside - if you’ve just touched down in Singapore, you will have to leave the transit area to get here, and we advise having a few hours to spare before your next flight. If you’re flying off from Singapore, feel free to make Jewel your first stop of your trip - all 3 terminals are a short walk away from the airport mall!
I’m intrigued - how do I get to Jewel Changi Airport?
The best way to arrive in Singapore is through the vast network of airlines that link this global business hub to the world. If you need a ticket, we’re here to help - the cheapest flight to Singapore is just one click away!
Once you’re here, Singapore’s gateway to the world is naturally built to be accessible. Jewel is directly connected to Terminal 1’s Arrival Hall - if you’re touching down there, you’re all set! Travellers checking in at Terminals 2 and 3 have a direct path to the gateway as well - link bridges can be found near Row 1 of Terminal 2 Level 2, as well as near Row 11 of Terminal 3 Level 2. If you’re touching down at Terminal 4, there is a free shuttle bus service to Terminal 2, and Jewel can then be accessed through the link bridge.
Given the positive response received by Jewel’s many attractions by both locals and travellers from abroad, Moshe Safdie’s mission of bringing Singaporeans and travellers together seems to be well on its way to success.
Want to see this gateway of dreams for yourself? Whether you’re looking to start your journey to Jewel Changi Airport, or simply need an excuse to pop by before heading off for a holiday, we’ve got your back. Start your next travel adventure with us today!