Travelling to Singapore by plane, you will arrive at Changi Airport. Before you board any public transport, you should know first about the guide to Singapore public transport. Going to the city center from Changi airport can be done in many ways: by train (MRT), bus, taxi, or online car sharing. I will elaborate one by one.
By train (MRT)
Changi station is the start/end point of the green line (East-West line). The train station is in terminal 2 and 3, and is accessible by walking. From arrival hall, follow the sign “train to city”. It will lead you to Changi MRT station.
To get to the city, take the train to Tanah Merah station. All trains from Changi will end at Tanah Merah on the middle platform. Listen to the announcement before it reaches Tanah Merah, it will tell you which platform you should alight (left or right). You must alight there and transfer to another train to Joo Koon (city direction). The last train that connects to the last westbound train at Tanah Merah station leaves Changi Airport station at 11.18 pm.
Don’t worry if you carry big luggage, all the trains and gantries at the stations are luggage-friendly. Plus, each train station in Singapore is equipped with elevator and escalator. And even some station has free wifi too!
The current Singapore MRT network looks like the picture below. You can also ask for MRT network map to passenger service, they have it in print and handy size.
Bus stops are located at the basement bus bays of Terminals 1, 2 and 3. Follow the sign “Bus to City” to get there.
Each bus bay serves about three bus services. All you need to do is find out which bus you want to board (Google Maps can show an accurate information on this) and queue at the designated bay for that particular bus. A single fare to the city is estimated to cost around $2.50 and the ride takes about an hour. Bus to city direction is 36 or 36A. You can find the complete route of this bus here.
Train and bus services end at midnight. If you arrive at Singapore after midnight, taxi is the only option. Taxi stands are available at every arrival hall in all terminals. All taxis in Singapore are metered (don’t worry, there’s no what so-called ‘black taxi’ here, hehe). Fares will be charged according to the taximeter, plus applicable surcharges. The surcharge makes taxi fare get a bit expensive. Just to give you an idea, midnight surcharge is 50% of meter fare, peak hour surcharge is 25% of meter fare, city area surcharge is $3.00. A ride to the city takes about 30 minutes and costs between $20 and $40. The complete information on taxi fares and surcharges can be found here.
By Online Car Sharing
Alternatively, you can also use an online car sharing in Singapore, like Uber and GrabCar. If you decided to use this service, you should wait for your ride at Arrival Pick up area. It’s a different location than the taxi stand. Just follow the sign to passenger pick up point. There will be several gates with numbers at passenger pick up point. For faster pick up, you can tell your ride at which door you are waiting. If you are a first user of Uber and GrabCar, you are entitled to get $10 free rides. You can register here.
For more information on Changi airport transfer, check this out.