When visitors land in Singapore, the first question they might ask themselves is “how can I reach Singapore from Changi Airport?”
Changi Airport is located some 10 miles (17 kilometers) northeast of Singapore’s Downtown Core where the iconic Marina Bay Sands is located. The airport, one of the busiest in the world, is a major hub in Southeast Asia.
It’s not only one of the busiest in the world but one of the best in the world. Changi Airport has been rated the World’s Best Airport by Skytrax since 2013.
Passengers arriving at Changi Airport have many options for reaching the city including MRT, bus, taxi, and City Shuttle.
This guide will show you the pros and cons for each of these modes of transportation.
If you are looking for more information about Singapore, I highly recommend you pick up a guidebook such as Lonely Planet Singapore
If you need WiFi at the airport, and who doesn’t after a long international flight, then you will first need to get a password to access the internet.
Passwords can be obtained by using your mobile phone or by visiting one of the many WiFi Kiosks or Information Counters located around the airport.
If you’re planning on using public transportation multiple times on your visit, then purchasing a smart card such as an EZ-Link card or NETS FlashPay card might be your best bet.
These reloadable smart cards can be used to pay for public transportation fares including MRT, LRT (Light Rail Transit), and the bus. The cards can also be used for certain taxis, for purchases at some convenience stores, and more.
EZ-Link cards or NETS FlashPay cards can be purchased and reloaded at spots across Sinagpore including TransitLink Ticket Offices and 7-Eleven stores. Both cards can be purchased at Changi Airport MRT station. The ticket office at Changi Airport MRT station accepted credit cards.
For tourists, there really isn’t a difference between purchasing an EZ-Link card or NETS FlashPay card. Both cards initially cost S$12 ($8.79) of which S$7 ($5.13) will be stored on the card.
My favorite way to reach the city from Changi Airport is by riding the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) or metro.
To reach the city from the airport using the MRT, you will first have to reach Changi Airport MRT station. The station is accessible by foot from Terminal 2 or Terminal 3. Follow signs for “Train to City.”
If you will be arriving at Terminal 1, you will need to take the Skytrain to Terminal 2. If you will be arriving at Terminal 4, you will need to take the Complimentary 24-hour Airport Shuttle Bus to Terminal 2. Once at Terminal 2, follow signs for “Train to City.”
At the station, you can purchase single tickets or smart cards such as an EZ-Link card or NETS FlashPay card.
Fares vary by destination, fare type (Adult, Senior Citizen, Student, Disabled), and whether you pay with cash or smart card. You can view all fares by visiting https://www.transitlink.com.sg/eservice/eguide/rail_idx.php.
Changi Airport MRT station is located off a spur of the East West MRT line. To reach the city, you will need to transfer to a westbound train at Tanah Merah MRT station. From this train, you can easily reach destinations across Singapore including Lavender, Bugis, City Hall, and Raffles Place.
The first train departs Changi Airport MRT station towards Tanah Merah MRT station at 5:31 AM (Monday to Saturday) and 5:59 AM (Sunday and public holidays). The last train departing from the airport that connects to the city is at 11:18 PM.
- Trains run on-time and are air-conditioned
- Easy access to locations across Singapore
- The MRT does not run 24 hours a day
- Requires a transfer at Tanah Merah MRT station to reach the city
- Not the best option if you have a lot of luggage
Another option for reaching the city from Changi Airport is the bus.
The bus is similar to the MRT. It’s cheap, runs fairly regularly, and may get you closer to your destination as there are more bus stops than MRT stations. If you have a lot of luggage, or large pieces of luggage, then the bus, just like the MRT, might not be your best option.
Bus stops are located at all four terminals. You can find them in the basement of Terminal 1, Terminal 2, and Terminal 3. Terminal 4 bus stops are located next to Car Park 4B (for buses 24, 34, 36 and 110) and near the SATS Inflight Catering Centre 1 (for buses 27, 53 and 858).
If you’re planning on taking the bus, have exact change or use a smart card such to pay for the fare. No change will be given.
For bus schedules and fares, you can use can use the Transit Link E-Guide found at https://www.transitlink.com.sg/eservice/eguide/service_idx.php.
- Bus stops located all over city, often closer to your destination than MRT stations
- The bus does not run 24 hours a day
- Not the best option if you have a lot of luggage
The quickest and most comfortable way to reach destinations across Singapore from Changi Airport would be by taxi.
If you are traveling with a group or have multiple pieces of luggage, or both, then a taxi might be your best option.
It is also the most expensive option. A Regular Taxi will cost between S$20 and S$30 ($14.65 to $21.97) during off peak hours or S$30 to S$35 ($21.97 to $25.63) during peak hours. A Premium Taxi will cost between S$30 and S$40 ($21.97 to $29.30) during off peak hours or S$40 to S$50 ($29.30 to $36.62) during peak hours.
Peak hours are 6:00 AM to 9:30 AM (Monday through Friday) and 6:00 PM to midnight (Monday through Sunday).
In addition to the taxi fare, you will have to pay an airport surcharge. This charge is added to all taxi trips originating from the airport.
From 5:00 PM to midnight (Monday through Friday), the surcharge is S$5 ($3.66). From midnight to 6:00 AM daily, the surcharge is 50% of the final metered fare. During peak hours, the surcharge is 25% of the final metered fare. All other times, the surcharge is S$3 ($2.20).
- The quickest and most comfortable option
- Best option if traveling with a group or with lots of luggage
- Available 24 hours a day
- Door-to-door service so you won’t get lost
- More expensive than public transportation options
- Confusing surcharges and peak hour fares
The final option for reaching the city from Changi Airport is by City Shuttle. This shuttle will take passengers from the airport to most downtown hotels.
The City Shuttle departs from each terminal every 15 minutes during peak hours and every 30 minutes during off peak hours.
If you want to use the City Shuttle, you will need to prebook a non-refundable ticket by visiting https://t3airportshuttle.com.sg/wt/airportbookings/add.
City Shuttle tickets cost S$9 ($6.59) for adults and S$6 ($4.39) for children under the age of 12.
Passengers who book a ticket for the City Shuttle are only allowed one piece of luggage (29 inches x 20 inches) along with a personal item such as a backpack or purse.
When you arrive, stop by the 24-hour Ground Transport Concierge at the Arrival Halls to find out more information including where the City Shuttle departs from and the next departure time.
- Door-to-door transportation to major downtown hotels
- Better option for those traveling with luggage
- Timetable information not readily available online
- Tickets must be prebooked and are non-refundable