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Transiting through Singapore? You can now tour the city for free

By Camille Santiago Published Apr 05, 2023 7:27 pm

So you're stuck in the "world's best airport" on a long layover for a couple of hours, but you've already been to every duty free store. While it's not so bad waiting Singapore's Changi Airport as there's so much to do (there's a butterfly garden, giant trampoline, canopy park, and experience studio inside this airport) other than shopping, it still seems wasted when you could use the time to explore the city.

Luckily, some airports including Changi, are offering free city tours for travelers in transit at the airport.

Changi Airport Group (CAG), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and the Singapore Tourism Board(STB) announced on April 5 that they have relaunced the Free Singapore Tour after a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19. 

"With transit and transfer passengers accounting for about 30% of passenger traffic at Changi Airport pre-pandemic, the tour was first introduced in 1987 to enhance the airport’s attractiveness as a transfer hub and to entice transit andtransfer passengers to visit Singapore as a holiday destination," it said in a statement.

Air Hub & Cargo Development at CAG executive vice president Mr Lim Ching Kiat added: "For travelers who choose to transit or transfer at Changi Airport, the Free Singapore Tour is designed to give them a glimpse of what Singapore has to offer, including the unique attractions and offerings at Jewel Changi Airport and the neighbouring Changi Precinct which has a rich cultural and historical heritage."

One of the available tours is the new Changi Precinct Tour, which will give you a glimpse of how local residents live as they tour you around eastern Singapore. Learn about Singapore’s history on this guided tour as you go around Tampines heartland, Changi Village, and Changi Beach.

Three of its tours are also making a comeback. The Jewel Tour will let you visit popular attractions like the Shiseido Forest Valley and the HSBC Rain Vortex. You can also discover and experience Singapore’s food heritage through local brands such as Bee Cheng Hiang and Tong Garden. Their newest digital attraction, Changi Experience Studio, is also included in this tour which lets participants to experience some of its airport-themed games and interactive exhibits.  

Into art and architecture? The City Sights Tour is for travelers who want to see the country's iconic buildings like the Civic District, National Gallery Singapore, Anderson Bridge, and The Padang. It will also pass by the Marina Bay Financial District and Gardens by the Bay. 

And finally, the Heritage Tour, available from June, will give tourists a chance to learn about Singapore's "unique and diverse multi-cultural heritage." The tour will make stops at the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple in Chinatown, Arab Street, and Haji Lane.

The tour lasts for 2.5 hours each and will be available daily. CAG also plans to increase to nine tours a day.

The tours are open to travelers with a layover period of at least 5.5 hours but less than 24 hours. They will need to have a valid entry visa for Singapore to take part in the tours. They must first book their slots on Changi Airport’s website.