1 Day in Singapore (Part 1 – Changi Airport and 1 day summary)

Changi Airport Terminal Lounge Area

I HAD ONE DAY to see Singapore, 15 hours to be exact. After a long 16 hours flight, I landed at 1:30 am in the morning at Changi International Airport.  Since I would leave to see Singapore city at around 5:30am in the morning, I didn’t bother making any hotel reservation. Why pay for a hotel when I am only going to use it for 3.5 hours and when Changi is well known as the best airport in the world for a layover.  Changi is huge and very clean. I found a super clean/quite meditation room, where I was able to lay down flat for a couple of hours.  There were a couple of people napping in this room as well.  There were also many lounge chairs in the waiting area and many people just slept on these.  If you want to spend SG$50, you can get a room (shared shower) for 6 hours block at the transit hotel (without exiting the terminal).  Wifi and internet access in Changi are free, so I made some calls home using wifi calling.

Changi Airport Terminal Area

Changi Airport Terminal Area

Changi Airport Layover Meditation Room

Changi Airport Meditation Room









Note that in order to nap in the terminal area as I did, you cannot clear custom yet.  Just walk out of your plane and hang around the waiting/shops area inside the terminal.  Since you will not be claiming your baggages for a few hours, they will be placed in the lost and found area, which you can claim later.  I did a lot of research on this and have never heard of people losing their luggage.

Changi to Singapore City MRT

Changi to Singapore City MRT

The first MRT train into the city opens at 5:30 am. Around 4:30 am, I freshened up, changed clothes, and checked my luggage in at the Left Luggage Counter for the day. All terminals have luggage services. It costs around SG$8.

I caught the first train (east/west green line) into the city, changed train at Tanah Merah station, and was in the Singapore’s Chinatown in about 30 mins.  The train cost about SG$2.  You can also buy the Singapore Tourist Pass starting at SG$8, which provides for unlimited travel on MRT and buses.  I did spend about SG$10 for the day, so the pass would have made sense.  I did not buy the pass because there was no ticket agent at the station in Changi at 5:30am.

You can pretty much see most of Singapore in about 8-10 hours.  I was pretty much done sightseeing and ofcourse exhausted by about 4pm following the itinerary below.

  1. Singapore Chinatown walking tour – visit Sri Mariamman Temple and Buddha Tooth Relic Temple.
  2. Maxwell Food Center – visit the local hawker stall for some great cheap food.
  3. Boat Quay – for a nice walk or lunch along the river.
  4. Merlion Park –  to take a photo with the famous Lion statue.
  5. Marina Bay Sands Hotel and Casino – to cool down and visit the Sky Park Observatory.
  6. Raffle Hotel – to sample to original Singapore Sling.
  7. Orchard Road – to shop until you drop.
  8. Little India – to experience a piece of India.  If you have never been to India, this provides some glimpse.
  9. Masjid Sultan and Arab Street – to see one of the most important and beautiful Mosques in the Singapore.

See Part 2 and 3 of this 1 Day in Singapore post for details of my visits to the places above by clicking Chinatown/Merlion and Little India/Arab Street.

Changi to Singapore City MRT Transit

Changi to Singapore City MRT Transit Station

There are so many other places in Singapore which I did not visited on this 1 day trip (National Museum, Night Safari, Asian Civilization Museum, Galang Area, Sensata Island, Zoo, or the boat ride along the Singapore River).  Frankly I had no interests in some of those things I missed.

Yes, you can see all of Singapore’s key attractions in 1 day (in 8-12 tiring hours), so if you have an 8-12 hours layover,  get out of the airport and do it.  For shorter layover, the tourism center at the airport also offers 2-3 hours or half day tour.  However, to really experience all that Singapore has to offers (night life, evening walk, chilling at a popular bar in town, and getting some sense of the local daily life/culture), one would really need 2 full days.

See part 2 and part 3 of this 1 Day in Singapore Trip by clicking Chinatown/Merlion and Little India/Arab Street.


  1. Hi, does the lost and found baggage charge fees? If they do, how much? per bag or time?

  2. How we can know about any place in just one day

  3. Hi,

    I would like to know about the process of left baggage in Changi Airport.
    After clearing immigration and collecting baggage, do I go inside to the Left Baggage or it is located in the collecting baggage area? Can you tell me how to get there? I’m in terminal 1.

    Thanks a lot

    • After u cleared immigration and got luggage, walk out into arrival area, turn left and proceed toward end if the hall. You will see it.

  4. Hi!

    I will have the same layover like you this June.

    1. I would like to know that to catch the first train to the city at 5:30AM, I need to clear immigration first right?

    2.When I get back to the airport for my next flight, do I need to go through checkin and security again or go straight to the departure hall / terminal?

    Thanks :))


    • Sallu, yes you have to clear immigration upon arrival and also again before departure.

  5. Are the left luggage facilities still operating?

  6. Hi,
    Bingo I will be doing same for my transit. But have couple question?

    Where should we keep our luggage’s Arrival Or Departure aleft Luggage ? so that it is easy to reclaim once we are back from sight seeing…

    How are public toilets in changi airport? I heard shower can be possible pay per use but what about toilets?

    Sun, 13 Mar 2016 8:50 AM Arrive from Changi Intl Airport – Terminal 2

    Mon, 14 Mar 2016 Depart Singapore ( SIN ) 7:15 AM from Changi Intl Airport – Terminal 2

    we need to spend some time in public area as check in will not start before 4 AM so where we can take nap in terminal 2 public area

    Thanks for you help.

    • Hi, toilets are clean and free. You can pay for showers in the transit lounge within the terminal, before you exit and clear custom.

      Left luggage are in arrival area of each terminal.

  7. Also,we will not be having a singapore cellphone in that case how can i call the taxi in case of need. I understand sometimes the taxis will not be available.
    If I need to reach airport for the 8PM flight, when should I leave from Jurong bird park?

    • You can easily flag one from hotel or streets. Leave at 5pm.

      • You can buy a singapore Sim card at 7-11 convenience store or at the airport… the taxi telephone numbers can be easily seen on any taxi on the road…

  8. We are going to have a same transit time. One question I have is .. should I need to claim the baggage.. I thought I dont need to claim because this is a transit. I cant take all our 6 baggages and roam Singapore for a day. please share your thoughts on this.

    • If you are transiting and baggage checked to final destination, you don’t need to claim.

    • To add on.. you can ask someone to book for u a cab.. most Singaporeans are quite helpful to tourists..

  9. Hi

    In a few days i will going to the changi airport and have a waiting time about 15 h like you. Where you research that the people never lost their luggage if there not claimed it?

    • We cliamed it in 4 hr ish,but if we left it longer then airline will just keep it for you. It is singapore, little crime there

  10. Do you know if one can leave the airport, go shopping, and check-in (additional) baggage upon checking in for the next leg?

  11. Do you know if i can go out of the airport then come back to check in at the transit hotel. I will have both my boarding pass as I’m flying with SIA and Silk air both use SQ flight numbers. thanks

    • Yes, but u jave to clear immigration both times since transit hotel is inside and connected to ther terminal. The goal of transit hotel is for you to rest, shower, sleep, whole not having to leave the terminal.

  12. Hello.i lives in ipoh do you have any trip for me???

  13. Wud like to ask for cheap & gud hotels in singapore along with night life &veg food options??

  14. Pingback: Singapore extension on RetreaTours™ | How to see the city in 6 hours or 4 days | Insight Travels

  15. Hello, i wanna ask something.
    You said that u had 15 hours to see Singapore.
    And u didn’t book a room hotel.
    In disembarkation/embarkation card , what did you write at Address in Singapore?
    Nothing or else?
    Please answer my question 🙂

    • Hi. I didn’t have a hotel room. I wrote down Woodland Station as my address in Singapore.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing all these details… 🙂

  17. Thanks for sharing your experience. I would like to know where I can take a shower at Changi airport?

  18. Hi!

    I’d like to ask is there a charge when you leave your luggage unclaimed while you roam around or watch a movie in the free movie theatre?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Yes you can. It would likely be taken to your airlines unclaimed luggage area. We went and took a nap and shower for 3 hours before we came out to claim our luggage.

  19. dear,
    i went to changi several times, but never found the left baggage corner. I was searching in the changi map, and go over the appointed place, but i saw nothing. if you remember the place, in what terminal and what level is that left baggage?
    thank you

    • Basement 2 for Terminal 1 and Arrival Hall for Terminal 2 and Terminal 3. The photo on this post was taken at Terminal 3. Once you exit custom, looking toward the street, you should walk to the far left handside (all the way to the end), where you will find the left luggage. If you walk to the right, you will end at McDonalds and the shuttle stops. In anycase, ask the info desk if you can’t find it.

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