Chapter Three: Getting In and Around Singapore

After learning the different requirements you need before traveling to the Lion City, the next thing you should know is how to navigate around it. If you have enough knowledge regarding Singapore’s port of entry and transportation services, you will quickly get to your destination with ease. So don’t waste your time, energy and money, they are precious, and they should only be consumed by sunny Singapore. Learning how to navigate Singapore is the key to finding great places, meeting amazing people and saving a lot of money and time for a unique and one-of-a-kind experience.

In this chapter, you will learn the major transportation systems and port of entries as well as communication services to help you reach and explore different tourist destinations as well as, far-flung places. So grab your map, your smartphone and set out while the sun is shining in Singapore!

Traveling by Plane

Singapore’s Changi International Airport is an attraction itself! The country takes great pride in their airport because it is the No. 1 Airport in the World according to the prestigious World Airport Awards for several years in a row! It is also awarded the Passengers Choice Awards and regarded as one of Southeast Asia’s largest and most beautiful aviation hubs.

Their airport (in all terminals) is surrounded by tropical and butterfly gardens, as well as indoor mini parks. There are also lots of cafes, authentic Singaporean restaurants, computer gaming room (Xbox and internet kiosks – free of charge), swimming pool, Jacuzzi, massage chairs, lounging area (with music and mood lighting features) and a movie theater. Of course there are lots of duty free shops and all the branded boutiques if you want to shop a little bit or bring a souvenir. 

The see – through airside areas (once you get in the boarding gate of your flight) is such a great sight while waiting for your plane. If I were you, I’d come here earlier so you have more time to explore other indoor attractions.          

Another great thing about Changi airport is that their terminals are connected to one another, so if you are catching a connecting flight, you can hop from one terminal to another using their free Skytrain service without passing through immigration. You might also want to avail the free city tour at the airport if you still have 5 hours to spare before your flight.

From the airport, you can ride the airport shuttle service to take you to designated hotels in downtown. The bus terminals are located on the basement of each terminal; the subway or MRT trains are only stationed at Terminal 2  and Terminal 3 (you may need to ride a city-bound train); and the taxis are easily found after the customs. Limousines and private shuttles are also available for a flat fee in any destination around Singapore.

Traveling by Train

If you want to get to Singapore by train, you can ride the Malayan Railway called KTMB. It will take you from Woodlands Train station in Malaysia to the Checkpoint in Singapore, or from JB Sentral. The gates open 30 minutes before boarding for immigration and clearance purposes. There are 13 trips per day from JB Sentral and 11 trips per day from Woodlands.

Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) is the fastest way to get to and around the city. If you intend to use the MRT or the buses frequently, you may opt to buy an EZ – link stored card. The train stations are walking distance from major attraction points, and it is very convenient. 

Fares for Metro: SGD10 (unlimited travel for 1 day);
SGD16 (unlimited travel for 2 days); SGD20 (unlimited travel for 3 days).

Traveling by Buses

The buses in Singapore are the most economical way if you want to go to specific places around town. Its extensive routes pretty much covers all places in Singapore.

There are more than 300 scheduled buses in the country (the interval is usually 5 – 10 minutes), going to about 900 routes within the city.

Fares for Buses: EZ – link Stored Value Card (remember to tap in upon boarding, and tap out before leaving the bus);

  • SGD10 (unlimited travel for 1 day)
  • SGD16 (unlimited travel for 2 days)
  • SGD20 (unlimited travel for 3 days)

You can also pay in cash (exact cash only). It costs about S$1.90 (or depending on the distance).

Traveling by Taxis, Uber and Grab

Taxis or cabs can come in handy if you are going to a place that may not be reachable by bus or are too far away from train stations. They are also always available in the pick-up area of the airport. These taxis can also be hailed in the streets or contacted by phone for service. The universal number for calling a cab is 6-DIAL CAB (6342-5222).
They are all metered, air-conditioned, and clean but can be quite expensive. The surcharges highly depends on when, where and what cab company you are on board. You can ask for a receipt for your final charge.

Do take note that there is an additional 5% surcharge between midnight and 6:00 AM.

Using Uber or Grab is another easy way if you want to get to your destination without the hassle of figuring out the bus stations or train stations. The charges will depend on the distance and can be contacted through the Uber or Grab apps.

Fares for Taxi: SGD $20 – $30 (around the city). There may be a SGD $3 – $5 surcharge if you’re coming in from the airport.

Fares for Uber or Grab: around SGD $5 – $10 or more; depends on the distance, and the type of car.

Traveling by Cruise Ship, Ferry and Boats

If you are coming in from Malaysia or Indonesia, you can travel to Singapore by ferry or vice – versa. There are five terminals in Singapore where you can catch a ferry ride:

  • Harbour Front (near Sentosa Island)
  • Marina Bay Cruise Centre (Marina Bay)

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