Best Ways to Get from Singapore Changi Airport to City

Singapore Travel Guides / October 22, 2016
Best Ways to Get from Singapore Changi Airport to City Image credit: sarayuth3390

How to get from Changi Airport to city? This question will surely come to your mind shortly after your airline ticket(s) is booked.

Changi Airport, which is located at the eastern end of Singapore, is one of the busiest airports in Asia. Let’s take a look at all the options available for visitors to travel from the airport to a central location or hotels.

After getting through those transporting ways, you will know exactly which transport modes suit you better. Because the pros can cons and all the details, including ticket fares, operating hours, travel time, and service schedule, will be listed for your consideration.

And most importantly, our experience about locality is infused into the article so that you can get some pieces of advice from people have been living in Singapore for many years.

See also: Best Ways to Get Around in Singapore

BEFORE YOU GET STARTED IN SINGAPORE

In Singapore, passengers can pay bus fares with cash, but with a higher amount, compared to paying via Ez-link card. To save cost and to make your trip more convenient, consider buying an Ez-link card or a Singapore Tourist Pass.

Ez-link Card

It is a kind of smart card, which can be used to pay transport fares on buses, MRT (metro), taxis, and other private transport means. It is also helpful when you need to buy foods and drinks from food & beverage stores, and vending machines.

You can purchase the cards at Passenger Service Centers at most MRT stations, bus interchanges, and 7-Eleven stores.

If you buy a new card at a 7-Eleven store, you will pay SGD 10 ($7.29). The card itself cost SGD 5, so you have SGD 5 as stored value to be used.

The Ez-link cards available at Passenger Service Centers have the price of SGD 12 each. It means the stored value is SGD 7.

General ticket machines are provided at all MRT stations for you to conveniently top up your cards. You can also add more stored value into your card at 7-Eleven stores.

Note that your Ez-link card needs a minimum amount of SGD 3 ($2.20) to be used on buses and MRT.

Singapore Tourist Pass
If you plan to travel a lot while being in Singapore, then Singapore Tourist Pass turns out as a cost-effective option. There are 3 types of passes: 1 day pass, 2 day pass and 3 day pass, with costs at SGD 10 ($7.29), SGD 16 ($11.67), and SGD 20 ($14.60) respectively. They allow you to have unlimited rides on buses and trains (MRT and LRT).

Singapore Tourist Pass Plus
If you like the idea of riding public transport plus having free entry to Chinatown Heritage Centre and complimentary Singapore Sling Cocktail at D Happy Factory, then consider buying this plus card. They come in 2 types: 1 day pass and 3 day pass, with prices of SGD 28 ($20.42) and SGD 38 ($27.72) respectively.

1. Changi Airport Taxis

Changi Airport Taxis Image credit: libertos

Taxi is the fastest and most comfortable transport means to travel between airport and any venue in city. Singapore airport taxi drivers will serve you at anytime of the day, bring you straight to your hotel and help you with your luggage.

Find them at the taxi stands of the Arrival levels of each Terminal. All the taxis run on meter so you don’t need to use your haggling skill while riding a taxi in Singapore.

Travel time: 20 minutes (from Changi Airport to City Hall)

Cost: Approximately SGD 20 ($14.60) for 19km, regular taxi during off-peak hours

Service hours: 24 hours

Notes
– Port surcharge is SGD 5 ($3.65) (Friday – Sunday from 17:00 – 23.59); and SGD 3 ($2.20) all other times.
– Late night (00:00 – 05.59) surcharge is 50% of fare shown on the meter.
– Peak hours (06:00 – 09:29 Mon to Fri, 18:00 – 23:59 everyday) surcharge is 25% of metered fare.
– Passengers have to pay the ERP charges shown on the In-vehicle Unit of the cab.

2. Changi Airport Shuttle

Changi Airport Shuttle Image credit: WTS Travel

The Changi Airport Shuttle offers a convenient yet inexpensive way of traveling from and to Changi Airport. The shuttles are shared vans that provide drop-offs to most hotels in central Singapore.

This option is recommended for solo travelers with light luggage (1 carry-on bag and 1 suitcase).

You can pre-book your seat online or engage the service at Ground Transport Desks at the Arrival halls.

Travel time: About 25 minutes in good traffic conditions

Cost: SGD 9 ($6.56) per adult; SGD 6 ($4.38) per child below 12 years old.

Service hour: 24 hours

Service schedule: Every 15 minutes (peak hours) and 30 minutes (off-peak hours)

3. MRT (Singapore-style metro)

MRT (Singapore-style metro) Image credit: TEA

The best things about riding an MRT train to city center is that it helps you save cost. Take this option if you want to spend less.

The hard part of using this transport mode is probably changing MRT line. Changi line is a spur line, connecting Changi Airport station to East West (Green) line at Tanah Merah station. So what you need to do is reaching Tanah Merah, from where you can catch a Green line MRT train to get to many popular accommodation places along this line such as Geylang (alight at Kallang or Lavender station), Bugis, City Hall, Raffles Place, and Chinatown (alight at Outram Park station).

At Changi airport, you can find the MRT station at the basement of Terminal 2. No matter what terminal (1, 2, or 3) you arrive at, just follow the signs “Train to the City” to get there.

You can purchase a single ride ticket or EZ-Link card at MRT stations or Changi Recommends stores.

Travel time: 32 minutes (Changi to City Hall station)

Cost: SGD 1.74 ($1.25) via EZ-Link card

MRT hours: 05:31 – 23:18 Mon to Sat; 05:59 – 00:06 Sun & Public Holidays

MRT schedule: Every 7 – 9 minutes during peak hours (08:00 – 09:00; 12:30 – 14:00; 19:30 – 22:15) and 12 – 13 minutes during off-peak hours.

Note: Fare is calculated based on the total distance you travel. So, you don’t have to pay a boarding charge for each transfer in your trip.

4. Limousine & Large Taxis

Limousine & Large Taxis Image credit: M 93/Wikimedia

A 7-seater large taxi will be the most economical option for a small family or a group of travelers.

You can pre-book them while being in your country or have a booking upon arrival at the Ground Transport Desks at the Arrival Halls.

This type of taxi charges a flat-fee mount of SGD 60 ($43.76) per trip, so it is quite a good deal if there are 6 persons in your group and your hotel or Airbnb room is somewhere at the far ends of the city (Clementi, Jurong East, Choa Chu Kang, and so on).

Four-seater limousines are also available to add comfort and a touch of luxury to your trip.

Both the limousines and large taxis will pick up passengers at any terminal of the airport.

Cost: A flat-fee of SGD 55.00 ($40.12) for limousine and SGD 60 ($43.76) for large taxi per trip from airport to your hotel.

Service schedule: 24 hours

Note: Extra charge of SGD 15.00 (USD10.94) per additional stop

5. Public Bus (36/36A)

Public Bus (36/36A) Image credit: mailer_diablo/Wikimedia

Besides MRT, public bus is a means of transport that offers very wallet-friendly rides. Your 2 Singapore dollars (cash) or SGD 1.35 (in EZ-Link card) can help you travel as far as 10 kilometers on a bus.

However, they are the slowest way to get to city. And there is only one option for you to take: Bus 36/36A, which can be caught at the basement of terminals 1, 2, and 3.

Bus 36 will stops at its bays on many roads, including Marine Parade Rd, Somerset Rd, and Orchard Rd. If your hotel is around Somerset or Orchard MRT stations, you can successfully reach your hotel by riding this bus.

Both cash and EZ-Link card are accepted on the buses. If cash is your option, you have to put the exact amount into the farebox (on the bus) because bus drivers won’t give change.

You can say hello to locals on the bus as, after all, these vehicles are public buses serving people day to day.

Travel time: Approximately 1:32 hours for 23.8km (from airport to Somerset station)

Cost: SGD 1.84 ($1.34) via Ez-link card; SGD 2.50 ($1.80) in cash

Bus hours: 06:08 – 22:52 Weekdays; 06:07 – 22:52 Sats; 06:06 – 22:53 Suns & PHs

Bus schedule: 8 – 9 minutes (between 06:30 – 08:30); 8 – 11 minutes (between 08:31 – 16:59); 8 – 10 minutes (between 17:00 – 19:00); 8 – 12 minutes (after 19:00).