How to get from Changi Airport to the city? This question will surely come to your mind shortly after booking your airline ticket(s).
Changi Airport, 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 central locations or hotels.
By exploring the various transportation methods, you will be able to determine which mode of transport suits you best [2023 Guide], taking into consideration the pros and cons of each option. All the relevant details, including ticket fares, operating hours, travel time, and service schedules, will be provided to help you make an informed decision.
Most importantly, the article is infused with our local experience, offering advice from people who have been living in Singapore for many years.
See also: Best Ways to Get Around in Singapore
BEFORE YOU GET STARTED IN SINGAPORE
This would be helpful for those who plan to get from Changi Airport to the city as well as get around in Singapore by public transport. In Singapore, passengers can pay for bus fares with cash, but the amount is higher compared to paying via an Ez-link card. To save costs and make your trip more convenient, consider purchasing 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 food 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 SGD10 ($7.29). The card itself cost SGD5, so you have SGD5 as a stored value to be used.
The Ez-link cards available at Passenger Service Centers have a price of SGD 12 each. It means the stored value is SGD7.
General ticketing machines are provided at all MRT stations for you to conveniently top up your card. You can also add more stored value to your card at 7-Eleven stores.
Note that your Ez-link card needs a minimum amount of SGD3 ($2.20) to be used on buses and MRT.
SINGAPORE TOURIST PASS: If you plan to travel a lot while 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 SGD10 ($7.29), SGD16 ($11.67), and SGD20 ($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: a 1-day pass and a 3-day pass, with prices of SGD28 ($20.42) and SGD38 ($27.72) respectively.
The best thing about taking the MRT train to the city center is that it can help you save money. If you want to spend less, this is a good option to consider.
The most challenging aspect of using this transportation mode is likely the need to change MRT lines. The Changi line is a spur line that connects the Changi Airport station to the East-West (Green) line at Tanah Merah station. To reach your destination, you will need to transfer to a Green Line MRT train at Tanah Merah. From there, you can travel to many popular accommodations along this line, including Geylang (alight at Kallang or Lavender station), Bugis, City Hall, Raffles Place, and Chinatown (alight at Outram Park station).
WHERE TO FIND: The MRT station at Changi Airport is located in the basement of Terminal 2. No matter which terminal you arrive at (Terminal 1, 2, or 3), just follow the signs that say ‘Train to the City’ and you’ll find the station easily.
TRAVEL PASS: For your travel needs, you have the option to purchase either a single ride ticket or an EZ-Link card at MRT stations or Changi Recommends stores
COST: SGD 1.74 ($1.25) via EZ-Link card
TRAVEL TIME: 32 minutes (Changi to City Hall station)
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: The fare for your MRT ride is calculated based on the total distance you travel, which means you won’t have to pay a boarding charge for each transfer you make during your trip
Besides MRT, the public bus is a means of transport that offers very wallet-friendly rides. Your 2 SGD (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 the 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 stop 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.
You can also use your bus ride as an opportunity to interact with locals, as these vehicles are part of Singapore’s public transportation system and are frequently used by residents.
PAYMENT MODES: Both cash and EZ-Link card are accepted on the buses. If paying by cash, you have to put the exact amount into the farebox (on the bus) because bus drivers won’t give change.
TRAVEL TIME: Approximately 1:32 hours for 23.8km (from the 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).