The majority of Singaporeans use the subway (MRT) as the main means of transportation, because of its cheap price, convenient and spread throughout the city and extremely rarely late, and the government also encourages. In addition, there is another reason is the high price of taxis, especially the cost of owning a car in Singapore is extremely expensive, but even Singaporeans themselves with such a high income but only the rich class dare to buy. Singapore’s MRT system is extremely convenient, modern and covers nearly the entire city. So, are you planning a trip to Singapore and don’t know how to get around Singapore (how to go around Singapore and how to travel around Singapore) and how to travel cheap in Singapore? Let’s check out our suggested 3 best way to get around Singapore (best way to travel around Singapore, best way to travel in Singapore) and cheapest way to get around Singapore (cheapest way to travel around Singapore, cheapest way to travel in Singapore) by public transport: MRT, train, bus to find out the answer! Let us discover the best tips for an effortless Singapore journey!
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Let’s first talk about commuting when you arrive in Singapore via Changi Airport. If you go to Singapore by bus from Malaysia, usually that bus company will completely take you to the city center, otherwise they take you to Singapore – Malaysia border gate is Woodlands & Tuas Checkpoint. From here, you can take a bus or MRT to getting to the city.
How to travel cheap in Singapore? Getting from Changi airport to the center
Usually when traveling by low-cost airlines, you will land at Terminal 1. Changi Airport is very large including many different terminals (terminal 1, 2, 3, 4) and must travel by skytrain between terminals. Before entering the country, you need to fill in the entry form issued by the flight attendants on the plane, or at the entry area. Once upon entry, you only need follow the directions to catch free Skytrain or Changi Shuttle Terminal Bus from T1 to T2, where can takes subway to getting to the city center.
There are many means of transportation in Singapore such as MRT (subway), bus and taxi. But the cheapest and most convenient is still MRT because it is a popular public transport that is subsidized and promoted by the government, taxi is very expensive. So, to getting to the city you should use the MRT, there will be a passenger service counter at the airport selling EZ-Link card (the card can be used to take MRT, bus and monorail – a type of tram on Sentosa Island with a price of SGD 12 ($8.56) and has SGD 7 in your account with 5 years of use (the card will expire after 5 years from the date of purchase, so if you return to Singapore during this period you will not need to buy a new card, just top up and use). You should buy this card because the travel expense with the EZ-Link card is much cheaper than buying single tickets, and can be used to pay for bus tickets by swiping this card at the machine ticket reader in the bus. You can top up your card at tickets vending machines at stations with the lowest value of 10 SGD. You can buy EZ-Link card in advance here.
To getting to central Singapore from Changi Airport MRT station (CG2), you take the train to Tanah Merah MRT station (EW4/CG). Then get out of the station and take the train to Joo Koon MRT station (EW29). Then depending on where you book the hotel in advance to transfer the train accordingly. The last MRT trip of the day from Changi Airport at 11:18pm.
If you getting from the city to the airport you also change trains at Tanah Merah MRT station to getting to Changi, especially note to those who take the early morning flight need watch the time carefully to avoid be missed the flight. From the city to the airport is also quite far, takes about 30-60 minutes, the earliest train of the day departs at 5:30am. Also, you need to know exactly which terminal that your airline operating to see the correct instructions when you get out of the subway to get there, because if you go to the wrong terminal, you will have to spend a lot of time to back-and-forth by Skytrain, easy to get frantic if you come to the airport late.
Outside of the arrival halls of Terminal 1, 2, 3, you will see buses to getting to the city, take the bus number 36/36A, 858 running from 6am to midnight, the price for one way is about $ 2.5 and you can use the EZ-Link card to pay . Going back from the city to the airport is similar.
This is the fastest and most expensive vehicle in Singapore, from the airport to the city by taxi, the price ranges from $ 30-$ 35, with an additional $ 3 airport surcharge, $ 5 surcharge from 5pm to 12pm, 50% surcharge from 12pm to 6am, rush hour surcharge 25% from 6am-9.30am.
How to travel around Singapore? Commuting in the city center
By public bus
- Before you go, you can find the stations, bus stops on the map. Or when you arrive at the bus stop, you should refer to the instruction board at the bus stop to know the bus number and the bus stop or bus station you need to get off.
- Ez-Link card is also apply for both bus and MRT, so in addition to buying tickets directly on the bus you also can use EZ-Link to pay, of course the price will be cheaper than buying single tickets. When you get on or off the bus, you must swipe the card at the machine in the bus. If you want to get to any bus stop, feel free press the Stop button to let the driver know and open the door for you to get off.
The subway in Singapore basically has 4 lines: green line, red line, purple line and yellow line. The price will depend on the route you take, when entering or leaving the MRT station you just swipe the EZ-link card at the entrance, the money will automatically deduct from your card account. You need to save the map in the smartphone from this link or get it right at the airport they give you for free.
Ticket prices for each route of the MRT
The fare for each route when taking the bus is from $ 0.73 to $ 1.66 and the MRT is from $ 0.83 to $ 1.95 when using the EZ-link card depending on the length of the distance you want go. To know exactly how much you have to spend on any MRT route you can go here to see, it will show you the amount along with the length of the distance you choose, including the fare from Changi Airport to anywhere in Singapore. If you want to know how to calculate can access here, you will see how the fare when using the EZ-link card and when buying single tickets varies. Usually, if you don’t use the EZ-link card, the ticket price will be 1.5 times higher, so to save money, you should not buy single tickets because traveling in Singapore you have to take a lot of MRT for moving.
Should I buy the Singapore Tourist Pass?
If you decide to travel a lot by the MRT during the day, you can buy the Singapore Tourist Pass for 1, 2, 3 days for $ 10, $ 16 and $ 20 with unlimited traveling, which can be used for city bus. The Pass is sold at information booths right at the door of the subway stations, you can refer to the information about their business hours here. When purchasing a Pass you will be required to pay a deposit of $ 10 in advance, and will be refunded if you return the card within 5 days from the date of purchase.
Singapore Tourist Pass is validated from the time you use it for the first time, and it will be considered as the end of a day of the card at the end of the working hours of the public transport system that day, not 24 hours as regular. For example, if you buy a Pass at 10am, and use it to go at 11am, then when ending the operating time of the train of that day (Example is 12pm), it will be considered as 1 day of the Pass.
Main routes and MRT stations in the city
Looking on the map, you note some main routes as follows:
- Changi Airport (3): Take the MRT to the city.
- Woodlands (14): The last point to take the bus to Malaysia and Beach Road if you take a bus to Malaysia and the bus will waiting you at their headquarters here.
- Chinatown (10), Little India: To get to Chinatown and Little India.
- Bayfront: Go to the Gardens by the Bay and Marina Bay (9) and to get to the famous Marina Bay Sand.
- HarbourFront (6): The last point is the shopping mall, from here you can catch the Skytrain to Sentosa Island, or if you want to take ferry to Batam of Indonesia also buy tickets and depart from this harbour.
In addition, the name of MRT stations in Singapore always are associated with the neighborhood there, so if you want to go to any place, you can easily find on the map, such as shopping areas like Orchard, City Hall, Bugis, Clarke Quay, .. If going to the Interchange points on the map, you will have to pay attention to the instructions at the station because these areas are quite complex, you have to walk quite long, through many floors to change trains.
Some notes when traveling by MRT in Singapore
- Absolutely not eating or smoking in the MRT area will be subject to a severe fine.
- Each MRT station usually has a large shopping mall, so you can combine shopping very conveniently.
- When the train arrives you need to stand at the edge of the yellow line with a line separating each entrance of the train. After waiting for the people in the train to step out, you are allowed to get on, which is the courtesy of people here.
- When stepping on an elevator, you should stand on the left, to make way for those in a hurry they will run on your right.
- Operating time of the MRT ends at 11pm and the morning usually starts from 5am-6am, you need to pay attention to avoid missed train late at night or to have to go early in the morning, especially to avoid being late to get to airport.
- The MRT in Singapore is not too complicated, only a few interchange stations (The intersection station of MRT lines) will make you have to find a bit harder route because this area is often very large.
Some best day tours, trips, activities and transfer services, tickets in Singapore and from Singapore you can refer to
- Singapore Changi Airport (SIN) Private Transfer
- Shared Changi Airport Transfers (SIN) for Singapore Hotels
- Singapore Big Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Tour (Open-Top)
- Sentosa FUN Pass
- Singapore City Pass (2/3 Days)
- [Klook Exclusive] Universal Studios Singapore™ 1 Day Ticket
- 4G Prepaid Sim Card (Changi Airport Pick Up) for Singapore
- 4G WiFi (SG Airport Pick Up) for Singapore
- 4G Portable WiFi for Singapore from Uroaming
- 4G WiFi (SG Pick Up) for Europe
Are you finding more top things to do in Singapore: Tours, activities, attractions and other things? Read more: Singapore travel blog — The fullest Singapore travel guide blog for a budget trip to Singapore for the first-timers.