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Getting to Your Hotel

Singapore's Changi Airport has a lot of options to bring you to the hotel and in this page I will highlight some of the choices based on the type of travellers visiting our little red dot.

Image by Andy Beales

For Most Visitors (Taxi or Private Hire)

Changi is one of airports that you can immediately see the taxi queue when you emerge from the arrival hall after picking up your luggage. Once you leave the hall, follow the signs to the Taxi queue.

Taxis in Singapore are all metered so you will not get fleeced that easily. While there are cases where the taxi driver might do the roundabout to earn a bit more, it is pretty rare.

Make sure you have your destination on your smartphone and then use the navigation app to see where the taxi driver went. Take note of the license plate and driver's name just in case.

Do take note that Singapore's taxi fare calculation is one of the most complex if not the worst.


In a typical taxi fare you will have several components.

  • Flag-down rate: the minimum fare ($3.90-$4.30) you will have to pay when you call a cab

  • Distance rate: the rate charged per 350m from $0.25

  • Read more here.

On top of the taxi rates there are surcharges

  • Rush hour: 25% of metered fare during weekday rush hours (0600hrs - 0930hrs, 1800hrs - midnight)

  • Late night: 50% after midnight (0000hrs-0600hrs)

  • Location base:

    • Zoo: $3 more to/from Zoo from 1600hrs - 0000hrs

    • Marina Cruise Center/Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal: from $3 / $5 (0700hrs - 1100hrs) 

    • Marina Bay Sands: $3 (0600hrs-1700hrs, Sundays and public holidays)

    • Changi Airport: $5 surcharge from 5:00 PM to midnight on Fridays to Sundays, $3 surcharge during all other hours

  • Read more here.

A typical trip to downtown will be anywhere from $35 to $50 depending on time you take the taxi and the route to your destination.

This is the reason why Grab/Tada/Gojek/Ryde (private hire app like Uber) and Zig (Taxi app) are very much preferred over normal Taxi service as the fare is fixed upon confirmation.

Just download these apps and sign up. Link the payment card when you arrive in Singapore or you can opt to pay in cash.

Image by Luca Baini

The Family Entourage (For those with kids and more than 4 people in a travelling group)


If you are travelling with young kids, you have two choices - getting a taxi or within the Grab app choose a car under premium that has child seat/booster seats. Normal grab car is not allowed to ferry young children under our transportation laws so please be mindful of this

If you have a huge travelling group with more than 4 people with a lot of luggage, the option is to get a bigger Private Hire Vehicle. Using the Grab app, you can choose people movers or even a 13-seater coach in the Grab app.

This is definitely the more economical option if you have a big group. Just make sure you leave enough space for luggage too. A 13-seater can accommodate around 9 persons with big luggage.

How to Choose Vehicle Type

Once you have chosen your destination, the page will show the route. Under the map you can choose the type of vehicle you need. Just scroll down the list to choose what you need.

Grab user interface
Grab choosing different types of cars
Grab choosing different types of cars
Image by Jimmy Conover

The Backpackers (Budget Options)


For most backpackers or those on the budget the Mass Rapid Transit or MRT trains

(same as Metro for Parisians, Underground/Tube for Londoners, U-Bahn for Berliners) will be the best mode of transport.

Getting on the MRT train is simple. If you are arriving from Terminal 2 or 3, follow the signs to the MRT station. The Changi Airport MRT station sits between Terminal 2 and 3 so it is hard to miss.

If you are arriving at Terminal 1, just take the monorail to either Terminal 2 or 3 and follow the signs.


For most budget travellers, Terminal 4 is where most budget airlines will dock. You can either take the shuttle bus to Terminal 3 and use the MRT or go to the bus stop next to Car Park 4B and take bus number 36. Just make sure you have a Contactless payment on your Credit/Debit card or buy an EZ-link card (normal or tourist) from the Cheers Convenience store or Changi Recommends booth at the arrival halls.

Bus number 36 will bring you to downtown passing through the East Coast estates and you can drop at Suntec City, Promenade MRT Station, Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station (that goes to Chinatown MRT Station), Somerset MRT or Orchard MRT stations.

If you choose to take the bus rather than the MRT, the bus stops are at the basement of all Terminals.

Like most public transport, MRT trains and buses will stop operating from 1200 midnight (or earlier) till 0530hrs local time. If you arrive at the airport during this period of time, you have no choice but to get a taxi or private hire vehicle.

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