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Arriving in Singapore by Plane

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Arriving in Singapore by planeArriving in Singapore by plane (26 July, 2017)

Most visitors to Singapore by air arrive at Changi Airport. A small number arrive at the Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, and then take a transport into Singapore. I describe that separately on the Johor Bahru page, and over here, I focus on visitors who are arriving directly in Singapore. It is very easy to find your way out of Changi Airport.

Upon arrival, just follow the signage to clear Immigration and retrieve your baggage. After that, it's time to look for a transport of out the airport. Your choice of public transport include train, taxis, limousines, shuttle services and bus. You can also call for Uber or Grab.

If you are carrying a smartphone, the first thing to do is to get a Singapore sim card. You will see sim cards being sold at the Arrival Hall. I find that the price is a bit high. For a better deal, I recommend going to the 7-Eleven on the third floor of Terminal 1, and buy the Singtel Tourist Sim Card. These are pre-paid cards for limited travel periods. At time of writing (Aug 2017), the cards are priced at S$15 for 5 days, S$30 for 10 days and S$50 also for 10 days. Please expect that the prices may change over time.

Changi Airport is served by a branch line of the East West Line. The Changi MRT Station is located at Terminal 2. If you arrive at a different terminal, you need to take the Skytrain to Terminal 2 to board the train. The MRT train takes you from the Changi Airport station to the Tanah Merah MRT Station where you need to change trains to continue your journey. A ride to the City Hall MRT Station in downtown Singapore takes 30 minutes. The trains run from 5:31 AM to 11:18 PM.

To ride the MRT trains, I would recommend buying the EZ-Link stored value cards. They are available at the ticket office at the Changi Airport MRT Station. You pay S$1 for the card, and any stored value in addition. If you are visiting Singapore for about a week, I suggest storing S$30. You can easily top this up at any station.

Taxi (cab)
Follow the taxi sign after clearing customs. Taxis in Singapore use the meter, with a 50% surchange for rides taken between midnight and 6:00pm.

Limousine cabs charge a flat rate to anywhere in the city. There is no after-hour surcharge, so it is an attractive option to use after midnight. You can also charter van-sized MaxiCabs, which are good for large families or if you arrive with lots of baggage.

These are six-seater MaxiCab shuttle services to designated areas/hotels. They cost $7.00 and can be booked in advance or in the Arrivals Hall. These shuttles run every 15 to 30 minutes, from 6:00am to 2:00am.

And finally, the cheapest option to get out of Changi Airport is to take the public bus. The Changi Airport bus terminals are located at the basement of Terminal 1 and 2. Buses run from 6:00am to midnight. Fares are below S$2.00, but you need exact change as no change is given.

Changi Airport main page

On this page, I provide general information on Changi Airport and its terminals.


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