The basics
Singapore: Destination Guides

Getting around Singapore

Our guide to getting around Singapore for international students

Metro Singapore
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Big and bustling, finding your way around Singapore can feel somewhat intimidating for international students. Amongst foreign street-signs, densely-packed city streets and a completely lacking sense of direction, getting to know your new home might feel a huge mountain to climb. Not to worry: we’ve written a brief overview of the different ways you can get yourself around Singapore, so all you need to do is get yourself a map and get exploring!

Metro (Mass Rapid Transit and Light Rail Transit)

The metro is probably the most common way Singaporeans travel from A to B. Besides getting a taxi, it’s also probably the fastest way to get across the city, too. You can either buy a single-fare ticket or purchase a travel card called an ‘ez-link card’ onto which you can load funds that are deducted electronically depending on how far you’ve travelled. You can buy an ez-link card from any TransitLink ticket office throughout the city, at passenger service centres within most MRT stations and at most 7-Eleven stores. You can also buy one at any SingPost outlet. If you’re buying a single ticket, your fare will also be calculated depending on where you plan to get off.

The card itself costs SG$5 (US$3.99), but depending on where you buy it you’ll need to put a different amount of minimum stored value on it. For example, if you buy your card at a TransitLink ticket office you will need to put a minimum of SG$7 (US$5.60), but if you buy it at a SingPost outlet then you have the option to simply pay for the card and top up later.

The Metro network runs across most areas of the city and should most likely be able to take you where you need to go. As a student, you’re entitled to a concession pass which enables you to pay a flat monthly fee for unlimited travel. From April 6, 2014, unlimited monthly train travel is SG$45 (US$34). You will need to visit a ticket office with a passport-sized photograph, your passport and a Student Pass (your student visa) in order to get a concession card.

Bus

Singapore also has an extensive bus network for which you may also use your ez-link card. As with the metro, if you have a concession card you can pay a flat fee of SG$52 (US$41.50) for monthly unlimited travel on any of the nation’s bus services. Since fares differ depending on how far you plan to travel, you should be sure to either check them online beforehand, or be sure to carry a lot of change with you! There are also reduced price options for concession card holders if you’re buying a single ticket that you can also find online. Buses routes cover the city quite thoroughly, and if you plan your journey well then you’ll find you won’t need to fork out for a taxi.

Ferry

Whilst you’ll be unlikely to use the ferry service on a day-to-day basis when studying in Singapore, you can take one of two ferries on a trip to one of Singapore’s regional islands. There is also a domestic ferry service at Pasir Panjang, but as it’s run specifically for those working on Singapore’s  offshore, industrial islands, it’s highly unlikely you’ll need to ride it.

Ferries typically run at least 3-4 times per hour every day of the week, and whilst fares vary depending on the particular ferry company, a one-way fare on a Bintan Resort Ferry is SG$45 (US$36).

Bridge to Malaysia

If you have a car or for whatever reason are travelling by road, you can cross one of Singapore’s bridges to visit Malaysia. Singapore’s Johor-Singapore Causeway and Tuas Second Link both run from Singapore to Malaysia, and can take roughly from 3-4 hours if you’re driving to Kuala Lumpur.  Make sure you have your passport and international driver’s licence handy when crossing the border, and your student visa handy for the customs check on your way back home.

 

Now that finding your way around Singapore doesn’t seem so scary, why not browse courses in Singapore now and start planning your study abroad adventure?

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About Author

Metro Singapore

Monica Karpinski received her BA (Media and Communications) and Diploma in Modern Languages (French) from the University of Melbourne, Australia. An art and culture aficionado, in her spare time Monica enjoys film, reading and writing about art.