Singapore: flights, accommodation and transport


Flights to Singapore, transport, road rules, accommodation, tours and more.


Flight time from Australia: 5+ hours

  • Singapore is a common stopover point for flights between Australia and Europe, and Changi Airport connects with almost every major destination in Asia.
  • There are many direct flights to Singapore departing from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Darwin and the Gold Coast.
  • Airlines that fly direct to Singapore include Qantas, Jetstar Asia, Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Virgin, Scoot and Emirates.
Singapore has an excellent public transport system that's cheap, safe, clean and easy to use. It's a very small country, so almost everywhere is within reach by rail or bus. If you're planning to use public transport a lot, consider a Singapore Tourist Pass which gives you unlimited rail or bus travel for one, two or three days.

Trains

Singapore's MRT (mass rapid transit) and LRT (light rail transit) system covers much of the island, and you'll find train stations within walking distance of almost every major tourist attraction. Services are frequent and tickets are cheap and easy to buy at stations. All trains and stations are accessible to wheelchair users and parents with prams.

Buses

Singapore's bus service (SBS Transit) covers even more ground than the train network, and it's even cheaper. Buses are air conditioned and comfortable. You'll need the exact fare, as change isn't given, or you can swipe your Singapore Tourist Pass when getting on and off.

Taxis

Taxis are everywhere in Singapore, since few people own private cars. You can hail one on the street or find them queuing outside shopping centres, hotels and hawker centres. All taxis should be metered, and you might pay a surcharge if you travel during peak times or on a public holiday. Airport fares incur a surcharge of $3 or $5, depending on when you travel. To book a taxi, call the all-company hotline: 6-DIAL CAB (6342 5222) or use an app such as GrabTaxi.

Ferries and boats

Taxis are everywhere in Singapore, since few people own private cars. You can hail one on the street or find them queuing outside shopping centres, hotels and hawker centres. All taxis should be metered, and you might pay a surcharge if you travel during peak times or on a public holiday. Airport fares incur a surcharge of $3 or $5, depending on when you travel. To book a taxi, call the all-company hotline: 6-DIAL CAB (6342 5222) or use an app such as GrabTaxi.

Transport tip: gothere.sg is a great website for working out how to get from A to B by any means of transport in Singapore. It's also available as an iPhone app.

Car hire

Car hire isn't a popular option for tourists, since Singapore is so easy to navigate by public transport or taxi. The country has a high tax on car ownership, so most locals don't drive either. If you do decide you need a hire car, you'll pay a lot for the privilege, and for the petrol and tolls.

Local car hire companies may offer slightly cheaper rates than the big international agencies. You can compare rates at drive.sg.

Tip: If you're planning to travel into Malaysia, it's far cheaper to catch a bus across the border then rent a car once you're there.

Singapore has a private car rental scheme which allows car owners to hire out their vehicles on weekends and public holidays. The owner is responsible for making sure the car is insured, and the driver must meet the minimum age and licence requirements on the insurance policy. It's illegal for car hire agencies to offer these kinds of rentals, but they have been known to do it. If a rental price seems too good to be true, check that it's not a privately owned vehicle and ask to see the insurance certificate.

Driving in Singapore

As with everything else in Singapore, most drivers follow the rules - or else they face hefty fines and jail time.

  • Vehicles drive on the left.
  • You can drive in Singapore on your Australian licence (or a licence from any English-speaking country) for up to 12 months.
  • The blood alcohol limit is .08. Penalties for drink driving include fines or jail time.
  • Seat belts are compulsory, as are child seats for children under 135cm.
  • Mobile phones can only be used hands-free.
  • Buses have right of way, and it's illegal to drive in a bus lane.
  • Headlights must be turned on between 7pm and 7am.
  • Keep left if you're not overtaking. 'Road hogging' is an offence.
  • Road markings are different to those in Australia, and include white or yellow lines or zig zags to indicate parking rules. It's worth familiarising yourself with these marking to avoid parking illegally.

Accommodation options range from five-star hotels to cheap and crowded hostels. Space is at a premium in Singapore so accommodation doesn't come cheap. Bookings can be made on the usual comparison sites or you may find a more competitive rate through the hotel's own website. Check customer reviews online before you book.

Airbnb can be a good place to find a bargain apartment, as many Singaporeans travel for work and rent out their pads while they're away.

Gay travellers 

Homosexuality is illegal in Singapore, but fortunately the law is rarely enforced. Same-sex couples can search for gay-friendly hotels using filters on wotif or lastminute or on sites such as travelgayasia.com and globalgaylodging.com.

Need a hotel during the day?

If you're looking for a place to sleep off your jetlag or snooze through a stopover during the day, you'll have trouble finding a hotel that allows you to pay by the hour (the assumption is that you're up to something illegal). The best place to sleep during the day is at one of the airport hotels, where rooms can be booked in six-hour blocks.

Read more in our Singapore Changi Airport guide.

Tours can be organised once you've arrived in Singapore, or in advance through a travel agent or travel booking site. Search Tripadvisor or Viator for recommendations from other travellers. Boat tours of the harbour and river are always popular.

Hop-on-hop-off bus tours are another popular option with travellers. Although they cost more than standard public transport, they're the quickest and easiest way to the see the sights, and they include commentary.

Tip: Changi Airport runs free tours of the city that last about two hours, and are great if you're on a tight schedule.

Package tours are a low-stress option for travellers who don't want to organise their flights, accommodation and on-the-ground transport separately. For deals, check airline and travel booking sites as well as travel agents.

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Got a travel tip about Singapore? Or spotted something in our guide that needs updating? Add a comment below.


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