Singapore

How to get to Singapore City Center from Changi Airport the cheapest way possible?

Its been a week already since an old friend have asked me how could she travel from Singapore Changi Airport to her hotel, considering that her flight arrives at Singapore in the middle of dawn. While I could say that getting a cab would be the easiest way out, I would suggest not. Changi Airport may sound a massive aviation facility (It actually is, it serves around 6,800 flights weekly!), but getting around, getting in and out of Changi wouldn’t be a real pain.

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Changi Airport at daylight. (Photo credits to Changi Airport Website)

There are actually five ways in getting in and out of Singapore Changi Airport: via train, public bus, taxi, airport shuttle or limousine and large taxis. Every type of transportation I mentioned above has its own pros and cons, depending on what type of traveler you are. You have to take into consideration the time your flight arrives, the terminal you’ll be deplaning as Changi is literally a big airport, and your budget, of course. To give you a heads up for your planned Singapore vacation, let me explain to you how this five varied ways of transport operates.

 1. TRAINtrain-system-mapFrom Airport to City Center

To get to the city center, transfer to the westbound train at Tanah Merah Station (3rd station from Changi Airport, Green line). Last train leaves from Changi Airport at 11:18 pm. From there, you can travel up to Outram Park (Green Line), then transfer to the North East bound train (Violet line) if your accommodations are near Chinatown, Little India, Clarke Quay, and Farrer Park (assuming that you’re on a budget 😂). If your accommodations are however located differently from those I mentioned, find the nearest MRT station to your hotel and locate it in the map above.

For example:

Accommodation: Hotel 165

Nearest MRT Station: Farrer Park (NE8)

Going there:

1. Train from Changi Airport to Tanah Merah Station (CG2-EW4).

2. Transfer train at Tanah Merah going to Outram Park (EW4-EW16).

3. At Outram Park Station, take Northeast Line train going to Farrer Park (NE3-NE8).

4. Take exit going to City Square Mall, then walk to Hotel 165.

  • Fare: You can check an estimate of your whole trip here (that would be around SGD2.86 from Changi to Farrer Park). You can purchase single ride tickets at any train stations.

  • Note: If your flight arrives after 11:18 pm, this option will not be available.

2. PUBLIC BUS

If you want a less crowded type of transportation (plus you’re not really in a hurry), you can opt to take a ride with SBS Bus #36 or #36A from Changi Airport going to Singapore City Center. The first bus arrives at Changi at around 6:00 am and the last one leaves from Changi just before midnight. Taking public buses may seem more affordable (SGD2.50 per one way) than the MRT and other types of transportation from the Airport, but this is your slowest option going to the city center (be prepared for an hour ride).

  • Tip: Be mindful of the address of your accommodation or the place where you want to go. You’re in luck if you are staying at Pan Pacific Hotel or Ritz Carlton Hotel since they are few of the stopovers of Bus #36/36A. If not, then it is important that you know at what bus station to disembark to ride another bus or train (just in case your hotel or your place of interest is not in the itinerary of the the bus coming from Changi).

For example:

Accommodation: Hotel 165

Going there:

1. Take SBS Bus #36/36A. Disembark at Dhoby Ghaut Station.

2. At Dhoby Ghaut Station, transfer to Northeast Train Line going to Punggol.

3. Disembark at Farrer Park Station (NE8)

4. Take exit going to City Square Mall, then walk towards Hotel 165.

For more details about the loop service and bus route information of SBS Bus #36 and #36A, please click here.

3. AIRPORT SHUTTLE

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If your flight arrives beyond the 12 midnight mark but before 6:00 in the morning, taking the airport shuttle going to the city center is the best option you have. (Don’t get me wrong though, the airport shuttle operates 24/7.) Journey to the city center may take at least 25 minutes depending on traffic conditions. And you know what the beauty of this option? This airport shuttle provides drop-offs to most downtown hotels (please check list of hotels here). So convenient, right??!!

Ticket Cost:

SGD 9 – per adult

SGD 6 – per child below 12 years old

How To Book:

Please approach Ground Transport Desks at the Arrival Halls of Terminal 1, 2 and 3 for immediate bookings. You can also book your seats in advance here.

singapore-changi-airport-hotel-transfer

4. TAXI

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As I’ve already mentioned earlier, grab a taxi if you want the fastest way out from Changi Airport. This may be the easiest transport you can get, but never the cheapest one. A ride to the city may take about 30 minutes and may cost between SGD 20-40 depending on the time of the day. While Singapore cab fares are metered, the reason for the variation is the additional airport surcharge added to the metered fare. For your reference, below are the estimated costs of your cab ride and the schedule of additional airport surcharge:

PEAK HOURS/LATE NIGHT:

Regular Taxi ➡ SGD 30-35

Premium Taxi ➡ SGD 40-50

OFF PEAK HOURS:

Regular Taxi ➡ SGD 20-30

Premium Taxi ➡ SGD 30-40

AIRPORT SURCHARGES:

Fri-Sun (5pm-midnight) ➡ SGD 5

Fri-Sun (all other times) ➡ SGD 3

Midnight – 6:00 am (midnight surcharge) ➡ 50% of final metered fare

Peak Hour Surcharge: Mon-Fri (6:00-9:30 am; 6:00 pm-midnight) ➡ 25% of final metered fare

5. LIMOUSINE & LARGE TAXIS

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Now, if you are more than 5 in the group visiting in Singapore, you can opt to hire larger taxis or limousine for a private transfer to your accommodation. Since these transports can accommodate more than 4 or more than 5 (depending on the type of limousine or large taxi), this might be a more economical option for larger groups. You can approach the Ground Transport Concierges at the Arrival Halls of Changi Airport for bookings.

The following are the rates for the above transports:

4-seater limousine ➡ SGD 55

7-seater large taxi ➡ SGD 60

Note: The above rates are fixed and are collected per departure from the airport. There’s also a top-up additional fee of SGD 15 for every stop.

There you go! It will be easier for you now to decide how to get to your hotel accommodations straight from Changi Airport. While it may be said that Singapore’s public transportation system is one of the world’s best and that traveling from one place to another in Singapore will be as easy as eating ice cream, there are still those kind of people who prefer a no-hassle kind of trip. Your choice of transport will once again, greatly depend on the type of person you are and how willing are you to deviate from your comfort zone.

So, enjoy Singapore people! Hope this post can help you make your Singapore trip awesome. ✈🌍😁

3 thoughts on “How to get to Singapore City Center from Changi Airport the cheapest way possible?”

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