Free booze and new brands, plus a TWG straight out of Harry Potter

First things first—Changi Airport Terminal 4 isn’t a budget terminal. Why many have that impression is probably due to the fact that it’s now built on what was once Singapore's only budget terminal, which was closed in Sep 2012.

It has since been taken over by the current T4, as “what [passengers] wanted was the budget flights, but at the same Changi experience as all the regular terminals”, according to a Changi Airport Group spokesperson. 

The intended luxe aspect certainly shows. Five years in the making, from conceptualization to construction, T4 is now open and operating with shinier services and new-to-Changi Airport concepts, particularly in the transit area. Here’s what you can expect.

The first integrated Duty Free shopping

Find it a hassle having to pay at separate cashiers for your cosmetics and your liquor? If you’ve picked up makeup and perfumes from The Shilla Duty Free at T4, you can amble over to the liquor and tobacco concessions by DFS and pay for both seamlessly in a single transaction. The cosmetics counters are split conveniently into four sections—makeup, skincare, well-being and fragrances, and feature exclusive brands like Diptyque and Alexander McQueen; there’s also the first ever Hera makeup counter making its debut in Singapore right at T4.

Alcohol tasting counters

Photo credit: Changi Airport Group

You can sample alcohol at counters within T4's DFS just as you could at the other terminals. Called experiential zones, the three counters here offer complimentary tastings so you’ll be set before you fly. There’s a DIY cocktail bar, a whiskey house—the second one after the one in T2—that lets you taste an assortment of premium whiskies by profile, region or brand; and for the craft lovers, a counter offering tastings of craft spirits and craft beer on tap should tickle your fancy. Definitely the highlight of the T4 experience.

A Harry Potter-esque TWG

If you’d rather not indulge in a nightcap before you fly, take your taste buds over to the TWG Tea store, its largest retail store in the world. There you can taste complimentary teas, and afterwards marvel at the incredible display of tea tins—over 1000 of them gloriously stacked like the wall in Ollivanders. The wand may choose the wizard, but here you can choose your tea.

Exclusive international retail brands

Take advantage of your tax-free situation and shop the great new brands at T4. Of the many new retail stores, we’ve already got our eye on Moleskine, as well as Airport Pharmacy from Australia, which ladies will be excited to know carries popular sunglasses brand Quay Australia.

Play-test drones and new gadgets

Photo credit: Changi Airport Group

For the gamers and gadget geeks, multi-brand electronics concession E-Gadget will keep you sufficiently occupied through any transit wait. Designed to be interactive, a netted cage lets you test-fly drones and try other smart devices safely, at no obligation to purchase.

Your favorite local food in old-school shophouses

An all-new Heritage Zone takes up the bulk of the transit area, and with good reason. Heritage shophouses not unlike the ones along Joo Chiat house familiar traditional brands like Bee Cheng Hiang, Curry Times, Bengawan Solo, Eu Yan Sang and Heavenly Wang—complete with 1960s-esque decor and working metal shutters. The Heavenly Wang eatery even has working $1-coin slot rides that play local tunes like Chan Mali Chan as they bob hypnotically up and down. The overall aesthetic definitely caters more to tourists looking for a slice of rustic “Singaporean life”, but hey, it’s cute.