You know an airport is pretty special when people are heading there with no intention of actually getting on a flight. Since opening in April this year, the Jewel terminal at Singapore Airport has indeed established itself as a destination in its own right thanks to its world famous restaurants, 280 stores and magnificent indoor rainforest.[related_articles]72295[/related_articles]
Here are the five attractions you cannot miss when exploring this unique travel destination.
#1 The Jewel Rain Vortex
At 40 metres high, the Rain Vortex is the world’s tallest indoor waterfall terminal and was designed by Safdie Architects – the same firm behind Singapore’s most recognisable modern building, Marina Bay Sands.
The powerful waterfall streams down seven storeys from an opening in the domed glass roof and can be viewed from vantage points throughout Jewel.
More than 200 plant species have been placed around the Rain Vortex in the area named the Shiseido Forest Canopy. At night, scheduled light shows project a brilliant array of colours onto the waterfall.
Open daily 8am to 12.30am
#2 Crazy fun on level five
The top level of Jewel encompasses several playground attractions including the Canopy Park principally designed for children with slippery slides, misty play areas (Foggy Bowls), flowers (Petal Garden) and horticultural animal displays (Topiary Walk). Entry to the Canopy Park for non-Singapore residents is SG$5 (about AU$5.30).
Other sites on level five include the Canopy Bridge – a glass walkway suspended 23 metres above ground offering views of the Rain Vortex and greenery below. Admission is SG$8 (about AU$8.50).
Singapore’s largest hedge maze (SG$12 for adults/$8 for children and seniors or AU$12.70/$8.50) is also located here and concludes with a bird’s eye view of the maze
The Mirror Maze (SG$15 for adults/$10 for children and seniors – AU$15.90/$10.60) – is a more difficult maze users must try and navigate without bumping into their reflection or being tricked by kaleidoscopic lights and hanging plants.
Last but not least is the Manulife Sky Nets where up to 1000 people at once can walk or bounce (there are separate nets for each) across suspended netting. The bouncing nets costs SG$22 for adults/$16 for children and seniors (AU$23.30/$17) while walking is SG$15 for adults/$10 for children and seniors (AU$15.90/$10.60).
Tickets to the mazes and Sky Nets include complimentary admission to the Canopy Park.
Opening hours of level five attractions vary. See website for details.
#3 Shake Shack
Jewel is home to the first Shake Shack in South-East Asia, making it the closest of the famous US burger chain’s stores to Australia.
The bad news is, the queue at Jewel’s Shake Shack can last between 45 minutes and two hours, with an additional wait of up to 40 minutes for the food to be served.
Yes, the burgers, fries and milkshakes are good, but unless you are hopelessly devoted to burgers, maybe think about whether or not you join the queue.
Open daily 10am to 10pm (queue closes at 9.30pm).
#4 Burger & Lobster
If you’re craving a burger, your best bet is to head to the Jewel arm of London restaurant chain Burger & Lobster.
There are three main categories on the menu here including (you guessed it) lobster, beef burgers, and lobster rolls.
The wait time for Burger & Lobster is generally much shorter than Shake Shack, but it can take up to an hour to be seated.
Open daily 9am to 3am. Full menu available from 11am to 11 pm with lobster rolls only at other times.
#5 Incredible international stores
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There are hundreds of specialty stores to explore at Jewel including a handful of bumper international shops.
Among them is the first Pokémon Centre outside Japan stocking a huge amount of official merchandise from plush toys to key rings, cushions and towels.
Also in Jewel is the largest Nike store in South-East Asia; UK retailer Marks & Spencer (including one of their famous food halls) and Tokyu Hands that stocks Japanese-made beauty products, stationery and other household goods.
See here for a full list of stores at Jewel including individual trading hours.
Getting to Jewel at Singapore Airport
Jewel is accessible on foot from terminals one, two and three (from terminal four you need to take a shuttle bus to terminal two first) but for the most unique viewing experience, take the four-minute Skytrain connecting terminals two and three.
While this train doesn’t actually stop at Jewel, it does provide superb views as it passes directly through the Forest Canopy via a suspended railway skirting the edge of the waterfall. The train is free, but to access it you need to be on the transit side of the departure gates.[related_articles]74046[/related_articles]
There is luggage storage available in the terminal (fees vary) as well as lockers for small belongings at specific paid attractions.
Those with a long stopover can sleep and recharge at the terminal’s airport, YotelAir. Here you’ll find futuristic, compact rooms with all you need to refresh before embarking on another flight. Rates start from SG$80 (about AU$85) for four hours.
Also check out our full guide to layovers at Singapore Airport.[qantas_widget code=SIN]Check out Qantas flights to Singapore to begin your next adventure.[/qantas_widget]
(All images: Singapore Airport Jewel, unless otherwise specified)
Amelia Barnes is a freelance writer based in Melbourne covering design, travel and lifestyle.