A trip to Singapore is one of the best vacations you can ever take because there are plenty of things to see and do in this relatively small country. Whether you’re looking for adrenaline-pumping activities, luxuriant green spaces to relax and meditate in, or classic and modern architectural gems, you’re guaranteed to have your fill in the Lion City. Another great thing about taking a Singapore holiday is the option to make a side trip to Malaysia and enjoy its many popular attractions.LEGOLAND
If you’re planning a visit to the Lion City and are contemplating an excursion to Malaysia on the side, it pays to know the best ways to get from Changi Airport to the city centre and the Malaysian border. This short guide will fill you in on the various transportation modes and will provide helpful travel information to direct you towards the ideal options suited to your situation.
Different Ways to Get to the City from the Singapore Changi Airport
Unless you have family or friends living in Singapore who will be kind enough to pick you up upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to rely on public transportation to reach the city centre. While that might be a cause for concern if you’re visiting other countries in the region, you’ll find that taking any one of the various transit options is likely the best way to get around in Singapore, thanks to the Lion City’s efficient, clean, and affordable public transport system.
Once you’ve landed in Changi Airport and have finished exploring the complex—including the Jewel, the renowned Changi Airport shopping mall and lifestyle hub—you have several options to get to the city from the airport. Aside from renting a car, which can be pricey, there are more affordable ways to reach most hotels in the downtown area:
Changi Airport has a City Shuttle that brings passengers from the airport to selected downtown areas. You can book a ride in advance online or approach, upon your arrival, any one of the friendly customer service officers at the Ground Transport Concierges (GTC) located at each terminal to make a reservation.
The City Shuttle departs every hour from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm. A shuttle ticket costs SGD 10 per adult or SGD 7 per child below 12 years of age, whether you book electronically or at the airport. This mode of transport is budget-friendly and practically hassle-free, and it will bring you to your destination in about 30 to 50 minutes.
If you’re looking for the cheapest transport option, your best bet is to take the public buses stationed in the basement level of Terminals 1, 2, and 3. With less than SGD 3, you can ride comfortably from Changi Airport to the city centre. You just need to find out which bus numbers stop near your hotel by visiting the Transit Link website. The only downside of taking public buses is the extended travel time (around 1.5 hours), as they usually make several stops along the way.
You can also take the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) to get to the city centre. Just head to the basement of Terminal 2 to find the Changi Airport MRT Station (CG2) going to Tanah Merah MRT Station (EW4). From EW4, you need to transfer to the East-West Line to Tuas Link MRT Station (EW33) to get to your destination.
Another option is to take the train from CG2 to Expo MRT Station (CG1/DT35), then transfer to the Downtown Line going to Bukit Panjang MRT Station (BP6/DT1). While taking the train is fast and inexpensive (less than SGD 3), changing MRT lines can be potentially challenging for first-timers or those who didn’t do their research. As such, make sure to do your homework if you want to use the MRT.
For maximum convenience and extra-comfortable travel, you can take a cab at any one of the taxi stands located in the arrival areas of Terminals 1, 2, 3, and 4 to get to the city centre. The drive takes around half an hour and will cost you between SGD 20 and SGD 40.
Travelling from Singapore to Malaysia
If you’re planning to take a side trip to Malaysia from Singapore Changi Airport, consider booking a coach service online via Transtar Cross Border Services by Transtar Travel, which is the service recommended by the Changi Airport website. One-way fare from Changi Airport to Johor Bahru CIQ is SGD 11 per adult or SGD 5.50 per child. From there, you can take a bus or taxi, or book a ride via e-hailing apps like MyCar, EZCab, or Grab to get to other areas within the Johor Bahru District.
Hiring a private taxi or car service is another convenient and hassle-free option, but it can be a bit pricey.
The journey to the border takes approximately 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on traffic conditions. Take note that crossing the Johor-Singapore Causeway can take additional time and is not yet accounted for in this estimate. The taxi fare, on the other hand, can range from SGD 40 to SGD 80, depending on the type of service, the time of day, and the road tolls required.
Alternatively, you can also take the MRT from Changi Airport to Woodlands Station and transfer to the Shuttle Tebrau line to Johor Bahru. The journey takes approximately 2 to 3 hours, depending on waiting time and the border crossing process.
Hopefully, the abovementioned information can help you better plan for your upcoming trip. Weigh your options and make sure to consider your budget, time, and convenience as you decide on the best mode of transport that will get you from Changi Airport to the city centre and to the Malaysian border.