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Singapore Changi Airport Resumes Free City Tours for Transit Passengers

Travelers transiting through Singapore Changi Airport with a few hours to spare can once again join free guided tours of the city any day of the year

by Fergus Cole

April 7, 2023

Photo: Singapore. Courtesy of Joshua Ang / Unsplash

Passengers with lengthy layovers at Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) can now embark on free tours of the city-state once again as the airport resumes the service after a two-year hiatus.

Called the Free Singapore Tour, the scheme is operated by Changi Airport Group (CAG), Singapore Airlines (SIA), and the Singapore Tourism Board (STB). The program offers a range of tour itineraries, which was first introduced to transit and transfer passengers in 1987 but was suspended for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Three of the excursions—the City Sights Tour, the Heritage Tour, and the Jewel Tour—have all been revived from before the pandemic but with extra sights added, while an entirely new tour has also been added—the Changi Precinct Tour.

Photo: Gardens by the Bay, Singapore. Courtesy of Duy Nguyen / Unsplash

The City Sights Tour will whisk passengers around Singapore, visiting many of the city’s most famous landmarks, including the National Gallery Singapore, the Anderson Bridge, Gardens by the Bay, and the Marina Bay Financial District. The Heritage Tour, meanwhile, will take travelers to see some of Singapore’s more historical and traditional sights, visiting distinctly cultural areas such as Chinatown and Arab Street.

For travelers wishing to stay within the airport, the Jewel Tour will take tourists to some of Changi Airport’s world-class attractions. This includes the Shiseido Forest Valley, a tranquil indoor forest featuring plants from all over the world, and the HSBC Rain Vortex – the world’s largest indoor waterfall.

Photo: Singapore Changi Airport. Courtesy of Devansh Bhikajee / Unsplash

Meanwhile, the newly curated Changi Precinct Tour will showcase attractions in the airport’s local area, including popular destinations such as Changi Village and Changi Beach. At the same time, the tour guide will give tourists a rundown of the district’s history and traditions.

“We are delighted to bring back the Free Singapore Tour through our long-standing partnership with CAG and SIA,” said Chang Chee Pey, Assistant Chief Executive of the Singapore Tourism Board’s Marketing Group. “It is imperative for us to refresh our tourism offerings to meet the demand for wellness and eco-conscious travel and cater to travelers seeking deeper experiences. We hope that the tour will inspire transit and transfer passengers to plan a longer trip to Singapore in the future and discover much more of what our vibrant city has to offer.”

According to the airport, each tour lasts up to 2.5 hours and is open to all passengers, with a layover at Changi Airport lasting between 5.5 hours and 24 hours. The tours run every day, including weekends and public holidays. They are free and can be booked now on the airport’s official website.

Photo: Singapore Changi Airport. Courtesy of shawnanggg / Unsplash

Lim Ching Kiat, Executive Vice President of Air Hub & Cargo Development at Changi Airport Group, explained that the Free Singapore Tour was very popular among transit and transfer passengers prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, “and we are happy to bring it back with the resumption of travel.”

Ching Kiat adds that 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 neighboring Changi Precinct, which has a rich cultural and historical heritage.”

“Together with our partners, SIA and STB, we hope to welcome more passengers who fly through Changi Airport to enjoy a slice of Singapore through our new tours and world-class attractions and facilities.”