Tax Free Travel guide to Singapore Changi Terminal 1
Terminal 1 is the granddad of Singapore Changi’s three terminals. First opened back in 1981, Changi’s oldest terminal recently underwent a four-year, multi-million dollar makeover.The results are stunning. Loads more space, exciting art installations, tropical outdoor gardens, and much improved shopping and dining choices have made T1 a pleasure to fly from.
Changi has always prided itself on offering passengers all the top designer fashion brands and in this respect the new-look Terminal 1 doesn’t disappoint. Hugo Boss, Longchamp, Gucci, Alfred Dunhill, Bally, Burberry and Salvatore Ferragamo are just of the A-list brands open for business.
One of the latest brands to open a boutique in Terminal 1 is Paul & Shark. With over 90 years of history behind it, this Italian fashion brand draws its inspiration from the yachting world and sells a range of stylish yet practical jackets, gillets, jeans, shirts, tops and knitwear for men, women and children. Sneak a peak at the company’s website, http://www.paulshark.it/en, to get a look at the latest seasonal collections.
What is refreshing about Changi’s approach to its choice of stores in Terminal 1 is that the airport recognises that not every traveller has the deep pockets to be able to afford to shop at Gucci and Chanel. There are some welcome mid-priced fashion brands too such as the outdoor youth lifestyle brand Billabong where younger travellers can check out the latest surf, street and skate fashion styles. In stark contrast, Australian women’s fashion brand Witchery opts for much more classic-looking ranges of accessories such as clutches, cuffs, belts and high heels.
Nuance-Watson is the place either to treat yourself to all your favourite beauty products or buy the latest fragrance as a gift for a loved one. This multi-award-winning store runs three stores in the Terminal 1 departure transit lounge and two smaller stores in the arrivals hall. For the gold buyers, Pure Gold Jewellers is located in duty-free departure zone of terminal one at Singapore’s Changi International. The departure shops are open 24 hours a day, while the arrivals stores are open 06.00-01.00 hours.
Prices are up to 40% cheaper than in downtown Singapore and are also benchmarked to be competitive with other Asian airport duty-free shops. The range of 120 beauty brands stocked is particularly broad and includes all the leading brands such as Chanel, Christian Dior, Estée Lauder, Lancôme and Giorgio Armani. Nuance-Watson also regularly teams up with beauty houses to launch exclusive travel sets and often sells new fragrances such as Prada’s Candy L’Eau before any other retailer in Asia.To discover the latest duty-free exclusives and the newest arrivals in store check out Nuance-Watson’s website www.nuancewatson.com.sg. There you can browse the entire range, read about recent promotions and competitions and even pre-order your purchases for collection when you pass through the airport.
DFS Group has beeb running the liquor and tobacco stores for decades at Changi, but the three departure stores in Terminal 1 are modern and stock an excellent range. Whether it’s an aged single malt whisky, a premier cru Bordeaux wine or the latest flavoured vodka you’re after, the chances are you’ll find it here. Stores open at six in the morning and close at midnight.
Chocolate lovers should look out for So Chocolate, one of the most recent confectionery concepts to arrive at Changi. Open from 06.00 to 24.30, this colourful store has something to please everyone with areas dedicated to big international brands such as Toblerone, Kit Kat, Mars and Hershey’s, as well a gourmet corner showcasing Belgian chocolate from Vahlrona and Godiva.
If you wish to buy a more local Asian food gift, head to Bee Cheng Hiang, which sells a wide range of dried, salty Chinese meats and fish known as bakkwa. The store also sells cheeses and other savoury snacks. Alternatively for those with a sweeter tooth why not explore the small Bengawan Solo outlet in Terminal 1’s check-in hall? It sells all manner of Singaporean sweet treats such as pineapple tarts and Lapis (butter) cakes.Good deals can be found on digital cameras, headphones, mp3 players and other personal electronics at the Sprint-Cass store in Terminal 1. Regular promotions and the fact that travellers don’t have to pay Singapore’s 7% sales tax ensures there are some bargains to be had, but do check out downtown prices first before making a major purchase as prices on electronics goods at the airport aren’t always the most competitive.
We’ve only really scratched the surface of what Terminal 1 has to offer on the shopping front. There are 85 stores to browse and the airport’s excellent website at http://www.changiairport.com/at-changi/our-terminals/terminal-1/shop-and-dine/shopping/category gives you the full low down of what you can find.
As we hope you can see, Terminal 1 may be the oldest of Singapore Changi’s terminals on paper but the fresh new look it’s been given means there are plenty of places to spend the last of your holiday money before flying home.
Singapore Terminal 1: Fact file
- Opened: 1981
- Number of shops: 85
- Passenger capacity: 24 million
- Shopping highlights: Luxury fashion, designer labels, fragrances, and super-premium wines and spirits
Opening hours: Most shops in Terminal 1 open at six in the morning and close at midnight.
Local gift ideas: Lapis Cakes (Bengawan Solo), Orchids, Tiger Balm (Discover Singapore)