Singapore Country Guide

Getting In

 
 

By Plane

Flights to Changi Airport
Singapore's Changi Airport is one of Southeast Asia's largest aviation hubs. Unless you're coming from Peninsular Malaysia or the islands of Batam and Bintan in Indonesia, the easiest way to enter Singapore is by air. In addition to the national flag-carrier Singapore Airlines and its regional subsidiary SilkAir, Singapore is also home to low-cost carriers including Tiger Airways, Jetstar Asia and Scoot.
 
 
 
 
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In addition to the local airlines, nearly every carrier in Asia offers flights to and from Singapore. Pan-Asian discount carrier AirAsia and Malaysian regional operator Firefly operates dense networks between Singapore. There are also direct services between major cities in Europe, Middle East, Australia, New Zealand, North America and even South Africa. Singapore is particularly popular on the "Kangaroo Route" between Australia and Europe, with airlines like Qantas and British Airways using Singapore as the main stopover point.

Interior of Changi Airport by Velela

About Changi Airport
Changi Airport befits the country's main airport as a major regional hub. The airport is big, pleasant, well organized, and immigration and baggage distribution is remarkably fast.
Unlike most airports, there are no separate zones for departing and arriving passengers in the main terminals prior to passport control. Hence arriving passengers are free to shop and eat at the air-side establishments if they are not in a hurry to meet someone or catch prearranged transportation.

The airport is split into three main terminals i.e. T1, T2 and T3. Figuring which terminal your flight arrives or departs from can be complicated. For example, Singapore Airlines uses both T2 and T3, and only announces the arrival terminal two hours before landing. Fortunately transfers are quite easy, as the terminals are connected with a free Skytrain service, which can be used without passing through immigration. T1 is connected to T2 and T3 - by walking you will not notice you're in a different terminal.

In all terminals, internet access is provided free of charge, both wirelessly and via some 200 terminals and kiosks. There are also Xbox systems to keep gamers entertained and live lounge music. SingTel and Starhub payphones offer unlimited free local calls. ATMs abound and money changers offer reasonable rates, although you pay a small premium compared to the city. Food options are varied and generally reasonably priced. There are also transit hotels at the three terminals.

Killing Time at Changi Airport
If you have over 5 hours to spare, there are free city tours (five times a day) departing from the airport. To register for the free tours, approach the Free Singapore Tours (FST) Registration Booth located at all three terminals. Even if stuck in the airport, there are plenty of ways to kill time. T2 has an indoor garden and music listening area. T3 has a butterfly garden and plenty of natural light but fewer entertainment options. T1 has a swimming pool and jacuzzi.

Changi Airport MRT Station by Terence Ong

Ground Transport from Changi Airport
From the airport there are a number of ways to get into the city:

  • Taxis - Meters are always used and prices are reasonable. A trip to the city is SGD20-30 plus SGD3-5 airport surcharge. Additional 50% surcharge applies between midnight and 6:00 am.
  • Limousines - Charge a flat SGD50 to anywhere in the city and are a pretty good deal after midnight, as you can skip the queue and avoid paying a surcharge.
  • Shuttle - Shared 6-seater MaxiCab shuttle service to designated areas or hotels. The fare cost SGD7 per person and can be booked in advance or at the arrivals hall.
  • Subway - MRT (commuter) trains run from a train station located between T2 and T3. You need to change trains at Tanah Merah to get on a city-bound train.
  • Bus - Terminals can be found in the basements of T1, T2 and T3. The buses operate from 6:00 am to midnight and fares are less than $2.00, exact fare required and no change given if paying cash.
 
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Boat Quay
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