Singapore's Changi Airport has been ranked as the world's best airport by Skytrax for six years running, voted on by more than 13 million travellers who took part in a global survey.
While many of us have travelled through the busy international hub - particularly on the way to Europe - there are still plenty of features within Changi that even the most seasoned travellers may not be aware of.
Read on to discover ten things you might not know about the world's most popular airport - and why it has repeatedly claimed the title.
1. IT'S AN 'AIRPORT IN A GARDEN'
Singapore is affectionately known as a 'city in a garden', with an abundance of greenery throughout the city, lush green hotels and heritage listed gardens. Similarly, Changi Airport is an 'airport in a garden', housing more than 200,000 plants across terminals 1 to 4. A dedicated team of over 20 horticulturalists and 150 contracted gardeners take care of the gardens and design beautiful floral displays based on calendar events & festivals throughout the year. Though the majority of plants are permanently growing inside the terminal, Changi also has a nursery spanning three hectares, which nurses around 50,000 plants and flowers.
2. YOU CAN TOUR SINGAPORE FOR FREE
If your layover is more than 5.5 hours and you would like to do something else other than dine and shop at Changi, the airport's Free Singapore Tours are a great way to kill time while seeing the city. If you're after a taste of modern-day Singapore, check out the City Sights Tour which includes a short stopover at Merlion Park, Singapore Flyer, Marina Bay Sands, the Esplanade and Gardens by the Bay. If you're a culture buff, you may be more interested in embarking on the Heritage Tour, which brings you through Singapore's past and present as you visit the colonial and cultural districts of Chinatown, Little India, Kampong Glam and Merlion Park.
3. CHANGI IS HOME TO 1000 BUTTERFLIES
Changi's Butterfly Garden is the world's first (and only) butterfly habitat in an airport. The tropical butterfly habitat has a profusion of flowering plants, lush greenery and a six-metre grotto-waterfall, so it's the perfect place to capture an Insta-worthy photo. Here, you will find more than 1000 tropical butterflies from as many as 50 species throughout the different seasons of the year.
Location: Terminal 3, Departure Transit Hall, Level 2 & 3
4. SAMPLE THE SINGAPORE SLING WITH A BOARDING PASS
If you can't make it to Singapore's iconic Raffles Hotel, why not pull up a stool at the Long Bar by Raffles in T3, where you can sample the original recipe of the iconic Singapore Sling with a valid boarding pass. Crafted by experienced mixologists, this is the only place in the world besides Raffles Hotel where you can try the original recipe. If you're feeling adventurous, there's a selection of other cocktails to sample too, including classics such as the Mojito and Dry Martini.
Location: Terminal 3, Level 2, Departure Lounge (Central)
5. ENJOY A HOTEL WITH RUNWAY VIEWS AND A ROOFTOP SWIMMING POOL DURING YOUR TRANSIT
Need to freshen up and get some rest between flights? Aerotel Airport Transit Hotel at Changi Airport Terminal 1 makes it easy, offering room bookings for as little as S$60 and you don't even have to pass immigration. It's also the only transit hotel in Asia with an outdoor pool, complete with poolside bar. Tip: Be sure to request a room with runway views!
6. CHANGI SELLS 55,000 PANDAN CHIFFON CAKES PER MONTH
The pandan chiffon cake from Bengawan Solo was the top best-selling item in 2017, with more than 55,000 units sold per month. Pandan cake is a light, fluffy, green-coloured sponge cake, flavoured with the juice of Pandanus amaryllifolius leaves. A household name in Singapore, Bengawan Solo is synonymous with traditional cakes and kueh (dessert). Tip: Try Bengawan Solo's signature treats such as Kueh Lapis Sagu (rainbow layer cake), Ondeh Ondeh (coconut-coated glutinous rice balls filled with molten palm sugar), Kueh Lapis (spiced layer cake), and butter cakes and cookies. Don't worry – there are Bengawan Solo outlets in all terminals, so you won't miss out and as the cake is sealed, you can take it home to New Zealand.
7. IT HAS A FULLY AUTOMATED TERMINAL
Changi's newly-opened fourth terminal (T4) is the most technologically advanced terminal at the airport, using an end-to-end, fully automated departure process to improve check-in efficiency for passengers and fast track their departure journey. This process uses facial recognition technology to offer self-service at check-in, baggage drop, immigration and when boarding the flight.
8. IT HAS THE WORLD'S TALLEST SLIDE IN AN AIRPORT
Changi Airport is home to the world's tallest airport slide - standing at four storeys high. The 12-metre tall slide can be found at Terminal 3, Level 1. Thrill-seekers can whizz down the curvy slide at speeds of up to six metres per second, providing fun for both kids and adults. Riders can redeem a ride with every S$10 spent at Changi Airport in a same-day receipt at Terminal 3's Information Counter. Anyone above 1.3 metres can enjoy this exciting experience, with the maximum height limit 2.0 metres tall. For those who are at least 1.1 metres tall, there's a one-and-a-half-storey slide located in Basement 2, which is free to ride.
9. THERE IS A PERSONALISED CHANGI FRAGRANCE
Designed by specialised fragrance consultant, Changi's bespoke Orchid Tea fragrance was created to evoke lasting positive emotions in passengers as they transit through the airport and. Inspired by 'a walk in the garden', the Orchid Tea flavour is designed to put passengers at ease during what can at times be a stressful journey. The fragrance is disseminated in high traffic areas within Changi, such as the arrival gangways and departure immigration.
10. THERE'S NO SECRET AGENTS HERE
Changi has over 200 dedicated 'Changi Experience Agents' who assist travellers at both information desks and around the various airport locations. Did you know, collectively they speak over 20 languages including Russian, Uzbek, Swedish, Arabic, Bengali, Khmer, Sinhala, Punjabi and Nepali to best assist about 100 countries and territories worldwide.