Singapore has long been a beloved transit hub for travellers and with the addition of Jewel, it somehow got even better! But here’s the thing, trying to figure out how to find Jewel, how much time to spend there, what do and where to put your luggage can be tricky. After getting a lot of questions on Instagram, I asked you guys if you’d like me to create a detailed guide about visiting and you said, “YES!” So, here’s all the answers to your questions and everything you need to know about visiting Jewel. There’s a lot of confusing information out there so, hopefully, this clears it up and helps you plan an amazing day there! If there’s anything we’ve missed in this guide be sure to let us know in the comments so we can add it in for you.
What even is Jewel?
In the first instance, it’s best to think of Jewel as a shopping mall and entertainment complex. When I first saw photos of Jewel online, they were mostly of the waterfall and I assumed the waterfall was ‘Jewel.’ Turns out, I was wrong! Jewel is the name given to the entire complex (much like we call a shopping mall, ‘Westfield,’ for example). The centrepiece of Jewel is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, named the Rain Vortex, surrounded by lush tropical gardens, encircled by shops, restaurants and entertainment. If like me, you’ve been thinking of Jewel as just the waterfall, you’re in for a real treat because it’s so much more than that.
Watch our video guide to Jewel as featured on YouTube:
Where is Jewel located and how do I get there?
I’ve had a few people share with me that they had trouble finding Jewel so I want to give you some clear insight on how to visit. Let me start with this: Jewel is NOT located within the airside of Changi Airport (think of the airside as the part of an airport after passport control). Instead, Jewel is located on the landside (the part of an airport before passport control). This means, in order to see it, you need to clear customs and passport control.
Here’s a map of Changi Airport, including all four terminals and Jewel, to help you get a better sense of where it is, exactly. You’ll notice, it’s not located within any of the terminals but it is accessible from each of them.
If you have an hour or so in-between flights, for example, and were thinking of stopping by Jewel as you move between departure gates, it ain’t going to work because Jewel isn’t located within the airside. You may find advice online that says Jewel is accessible from the Departures Hall at Changi Airport Terminal 2, for example. While this is true, it’s actually pretty confusing because the reference to ‘Departures Hall’ means the landside area where you check-in for your flight, drop your bags and get your tickets before going through passport control and into the airside of the airport.
Let’s say you’re flying to Paris with a 5-hour layover in Singapore and your luggage is checked all the way through to Paris. To visit Jewel, you would fill in an arrival card and go through passport control and customs. There would be no need to collect your luggage. You would exit the arrivals hall and make your way to Jewel. Easy!
Another way of thinking you may find helpful is to see Jewel the same way you would any other place in Singapore like Gardens by the Bay, Singapore Zoo, Marina Bay Sands etc. Just like Jewel, all these places are located on the landside. If you were to visit them, you’d need to clear passport control to do so. It’s exactly the same for Jewel, it’s just a bit more confusing because it’s located at the airport and connected to all of the terminals.
Now you’ve, hopefully, got a better idea of where Jewel is, you can plan the best way to get there. As I mentioned before, Jewel is connected to all four terminals at Changi Airport which makes accessing it easy. In most instances, you should be able to walk to Jewel from the arrival or departure hall of the terminal you’re in. Just keep an eye out for signs and ask people for help or get free wifi access using one of the kiosks or at the information stand and get some guidance from Google Maps. I couldn’t get Google Maps to plan an exact walking route from a terminal to Jewel but seeing its location on the map in relation to the terminals helped me get my bearings.
What can I do with my luggage when I visit?
If you’re planning to visit Jewel but don’t want to be dragging heavy luggage around with you, there are a few great options! There are a number of airlines who offer early check-in up to 24 hours before your flight. This means, you can check-in at the departures hall, drop your bags, collect your tickets and spend the rest of the day exploring Jewel with just your carry-on in tow. You can find a full list of airlines offering early check-in services and conduct a search using the airline name or flight code here.
The official early check-in lounge is located on level 1 of Jewel but you may also like to contact your airline directly to see how early you can check-in at their counter in the departures hall if you prefer. We’ve checked-in and dropped off our bags for flights with Singapore Airlines many hours early on a number of occasions. We did this at their dedicated check-in counters in the departures hall of the terminal we were departing from.
If for some reason, you’re unable to check-in early or need a place to store your luggage while you explore, there’s a solution for that too! There are luggage storage services available via Left Baggage at each terminal and also at Jewel. You will need to pay for the service but the upside is you’ll be able to explore freely without heavy bags weighing you down, straining your back, neck and arms. You can find more detailed information on luggage storage, including rates and locations, here.
How long should I allow to visit Jewel?
Figuring out exactly how long to spend at Jewel will depend on a number of things including your personal travel style, how much time you have and other things you plan to see and do in Singapore if any. As a starting point, I would suggest 2-3 hours at Jewel would be enough to tick it off the bucket list.
We had a full day to spare, with our flight to Paris departing at around 12:15am the next morning. So, we made the most of it and really took our time at Jewel, which was made even easier as we were staying at Crowne Plaza Changi Airport. We slept in, resting up for the long flight ahead of us, had a lazy breakfast then slowly made our way to Jewel mid-morning.
We really took our time, wandering around the different levels, pausing to take it in from different angles, grabbing food and drinks then retreating back to the hotel. We then came back later that evening to catch the light show (more detail on all of this below). You could spend 5 hours, a whole day or even just one hour at Jewel. It’s such a huge complex with so much to see and do, you could spend as much time as you liked or simply walk in, snap a photo and walk out again if that’s more your style.
One thing to be very wary of is the amount of time in-between flights if you’re planning to visit while in transit. Changi Airport can be a little bit tricky because you don’t go through security screening before passport control like you do in many other countries. At Changi, you go through passport control then go through security screening at the departure gate.
Travellers are encouraged to be at the departure gate than 30 minutes before your flight departure time. So, when figuring out how much time you’ve got to spare, you really need to factor in how long it’ll take you to get back to the correct terminal, go through passport control, walk to the departure gate and then security. Leave plenty of time and if you’re unsure, don’t risk it!
What is there to see, do and eat at Jewel?
As I mentioned earlier, I really thought Jewel was just a waterfall. Then I visited and was blown away by how much there is to see and do! It’s no wonder many Singaporeans head out to the airport for a staycation and spend the weekend enjoying it. Here’s a look at some of the main attractions and other things you can expect to find at Jewel. I’ve linked each one where possible so be sure to click on those for more detailed information.
Shiseido Forest Valley and walking trails form the network of stunning, lush gardens surrounding the Rain Vortex. You can spend time wandering along the different paths, enjoying a seat and soaking in awesome views of Jewel.
The Rain Vortex flows a staggering 40 metres down to the basement and can be seen from many different viewpoints. My advice is to check out as many as you can, from the basement right up to the top floors! In the evenings, you can catch the sound and light show from 7:30-12:30pm daily at hourly intervals. My personal favourite viewpoint for the light show is from the Canopy Park on level 5.
The Canopy Park is located at the very top of Jewel on level 5, a 14,000 sqm recreational wonderland featuring Discovery Slides, Topiary Walk, Foggy Bowls, Petal Garden and much more! The attractions I’ve just mentioned are included in the SGD$5 per person entry fee and, in my opinion, it’s money well spent. We got re-entry stamps and watched the light show from the Canopy Park area, giving us the best views with no crowds! You can purchase your tickets online here or at Jewel on the day of your visit, just ask the information centre for help if needed.
In addition, the Canopy Park also offers other attractions which have separate admission charges. These are; Canopy Bridge, Hedge Maze, Mirror Maze and the two Manulife Sky Nets. We didn’t do these so I can’t personally vouch for them but they all looked pretty cool!
There’s a huge range of shops located within Jewel and savvy travellers may like to take advantage of the Tourist Refund Scheme (TRS) which allows you to claim a refund of the GST that you paid on goods purchased from the participating retailers if they are brought out of Singapore via Changi International Airport.
There’s also a large number of restaurants and cafes to tempt your tastebuds. We did a lap of the food-court style eateries on the basement floor then made our way up to a cafe with great views of the Rain Vortex, where we sat and enjoyed iced tea. There’s a number of fantastic looking restaurants on level 5, also offering stunning views with an outdoor feel.
Other amenities and services available at Jewel include ATMs, baby care/nursing rooms, concierge services, currency exchange, early check-in, baggage storage, free wifi, GST refund, mobility services, pharmacy, power bank loan and taxi stand.
Yotelair is the perfect place to catch up on sleep in-between long-haul flights, offering flexible check-in and check-out times 24/7 as well as shower and gym facilities too.
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