Singapore is a flat city with wide pavements, making it an easy city to explore on foot and with a stroller. For travelling around the island, Singapore’s public transport system is cheap, clean and efficient.
Most visitors to Singapore favour the MRT (underground/subway) as their transport method of choice and it will connect you to most popular tourist destinations in Singapore.
If you are planning to do a lot of exploring by public transport, it makes sense to purchase an EZ Link card when you arrive in the city. You can use these on all forms of public transport (including some taxis) and it saves you from having to search around for small change and buy tickets every time you want to travel.
You can also use your EZ Link card to pay in many fast-food restaurants and several shops including supermarkets and convenience stores.
You can return your EZ-link card to obtain a refund of any remaining travel value on the card.
The MRT is safe, efficient, clean, cheap and air-conditioned. The MRT links most major parts of the city and is favoured by most visitors as the easiest, quickest and most comfortable way to explore the island. Trains run from 05.30am to around midnight, with last trains varying with each station.
Standard tickets for the MRT can be bought from the ticket machines in the train stations. You can also top-up your EZ Link at these machines. Note that machines only give a maximum of $10.00 change so you will need to change larger notes at the ticket office.
The bus system is equally as efficient as the MRT and you rarely have to wait more than a few minutes for a bus. Route and timing information is available at each bus stop. Every bus-stop is numbered – starting with a letter B followed by a number (eg. B01), with even numbered bus-stops on one side of the road and odd numbers on the other, with numbering starting from the beginning with each street name.
Many bus stops have real-time bus schedule information on electronic screens, or you can download the MyTransport app for real-time information on your phone.
You can buy bus tickets on the bus, but exact money is required as no change is given. If you are using an EZ Link card on the bus, be sure to tap it on the machine when you get on and off the bus, or the maximum fare for that bus route will be deducted from your card.
Singapore taxis are plentiful. Note that fares can vary significantly depending on the time of day, as peak hour surcharges apply. You can flag a taxi down on the street or pick one up at a designated taxi rank outside most major shopping malls, Singapore hotels and tourist attractions.
Note that at peak times, or if it is raining, it can be tricky to get a taxi and you will find long queues at taxi ranks.
For these occasions, you can book a taxi over the phone or using an app. Both Comfort DelGro Taxis and SMRT taxis have their own apps for booking taxis. Additionally, there is the Grab taxi app (similar to Uber in other cities).
Getting from Singapore Airport to the City
Taxi from airport to Singapore
The quickest and easiest way to get into the city from Singapore’s Changi Airport is to take a taxi. There is a well-managed taxi queue at the airport. The taxi ride will take around 20 to 30 minutes depending on the time of day and traffic.
A taxi can cost anywhere from $20-40 depending on the time of day, as peak surcharges apply. An airport surcharge will also be added to your metered fare.
MRT from Singapore Airport
If you are on a budget, you can also take the MRT (underground/subway) or a public bus. There is an MRT station in the airport, and you will need to change at Tanah Merah station to get into the city.
Note that trains do not run all night, so this is not an option if you arrive very late at night. The first train leaves Changi Airport at 5.31am (5.59am on Sundays and public holidays) and the last train departs at 11.18pm.
Bus from Singapore airport
You can also take the public bus into Singapore from the airport. Bus bays are located in the basement of terminals 1, 2 and 3. You will need exact change to ride the bus as no change is given.
If you are planning to use public transport during your stay in Singapore then you should buy an EZ Link card in the airport (see above). The no. 36 bus will take you to the East Coast, Marina Bay and Orchard Road areas.
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