How to Visit Jewel On A Singapore Changi Airport Layover

by joeheg

I’ve known how amazing Singapore’s Changi Airport is for a while. If you’re tuned into travel blogs, it’s hard to ignore. It took a while for Sharon to learn about the airport, mainly after she started writing for Your Mileage May Vary.

She’s the one who wrote about:

When we decided to visit Southeast Asia, I offered her the chance to route through Singapore. Since I’ve been reading her posts about the airport, I knew she’d say yes. I planned for us to spend a night in Singapore before our return flight to the USA so we’d have plenty of time to explore.

That meant I researched what you can do when visiting Singapore as a transit passenger. While many things are available without leaving the airport’s secure area, the one thing most people want to see requires you to enter Singapore.

a group of people walking in a building

Jewel is a massive shopping mall located at Changi Airport. While being a destination for visitors worldwide, it’s also a central meeting place for locals.

Jewel is directly connected to Changi Airport’s Terminal 1 and is a 5-10 minute walk from Terminals 2 and 3.

However, Jewel is located after Singapore passport control. This means you’ll have to enter Singapore to visit Jewel. Fortunately, for US passport holders, there’s no visa required to enter Singapore.

US Passport Holders (regular, official and diplomatic) do not require a visa to enter Singapore for business or for social visit purposes.

We did need to fill out an online form to enter Singapore. Since we didn’t do it in advance, we did it in the terminal before going to passport control. Once there, we scanned our passports to enter Singapore since they already had all our information.

Since we were staying at the airport hotel, we dropped off our luggage before walking to Jewel.

Once there, we saw what everyone visiting Singapore wants to see, the Rain Vortex.

a water falling from a glass roof

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen pictures and videos of the waterfall, but it was even more impressive to see it in person.

Singapore has several landmarks that are popular among tourists. These include Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Jewel. Although Jewel and the Rain Vortex are situated at the airport, you still need to exit the transit area and enter Singapore to visit them. Many people, judging by the number of individuals carrying bags, appear to be visiting these places while on a layover in Singapore.

If you are short on time to go through immigration or require a visa to enter Singapore, you can take the shuttle train between terminals 2 and 3 from the transit areas. This shuttle travels through Jewel and provides a stunning view of the Rain Vortex.

If you have lounge access to the Singapore Airlines KrisWorld Lounge, as we did with our Business Class tickets, it’s easy to spend a few hours in the transit area. However, if you have more time, it makes sense to enter Singapore and see some of what is located past the airport’s secure area.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary


derek April 21, 2023 - 2:42 pm

I have a 6 am to 1:15 pm layover in Singapore. I cannot take a free tour because the tour ends at 11:30 am and they require the connecting flight be no earlier than 1:30 pm, no exceptions. I am considering either the Jewel only or seeing the Merlion, Esplanade/Fullerton Hotel area or Orchard Road Area or to mimic the route of one of the tours.

A Your Mileage May Vary follow-up post?

CommonSense May 4, 2023 - 1:16 pm

I just left Singapore, it’s not just “scan your passport” and go. You have to provide all your personal information, home address, phone and email….flight information as well, and when you go through the security section you have to provide fingerprints and stand for a photo. It’s the most obtrusive immigration I have ever been through in 25 years of extensive international travel. Never been fingerprinted and had mug shots taken like a criminal before anywhere.

CommonSense May 4, 2023 - 1:17 pm

Oh, one other thing…..they will charge you 8% tax that you do not have to pay as a non-citizen. Save every receipt and there is a station just before you go back through passport control where you can get the taxes refunded to you.

Patrick May 14, 2024 - 11:05 am

From what I understand you can only exit the airport in to Singapore (Jewel, Crone Plaza hotel, city) and back into the airport one time, correct?
I’ll be staying at the Crowne Plaze for an overnight layover. If I want to do the free tour I have to go back into the airport and then leave again with the tour which will be the 2nd exit. I don’t think this is allowed?
Is this correct?

ACinCLT May 14, 2024 - 2:41 pm

@Commonsense – I spent 5 days in Singapore in late February (and also took a day trip into Malaysia). I found the arrival form to be very basic and easy to complete. Since I did it before arrival (no more than 3 days before you arrive) I scanned a QR code, displayed my passport, had a photo taken and was through in 5 minutes with no human interaction. I definitely wasn’t fingerprinted but have been entering other countries. Frankly biometrics are the future (US is experimenting with TSA photo ID and some airlines already use it for boarding). Don’t get all worked up over it – they don’t think you are a criminal just capturing the necessary info to easily identify you in the future.

BTW the tax rebate is ONLY on individual purchases of S$100 or more. It isn’t for every receipt. Frankly, I didn’t waste my time since I only had a couple of purchases that would qualify. I love Singapore more than about any other place I’ve been and going back with my wife next February.


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