The MRT train system is the cheapest way to get around Singapore. The service is efficient and clean.
There are only a handful of lines, and they are identified by their colour on the network map (e.g. green, red, purple, yellow). This makes it easy to find the right transfer and destination stations. All lines go through the city centre (even the new circle line does!), and there is usually a station nearby when you are in the city.
However, the situation is different outside of the city centre. Distances between stations become longer, and if your destination is not near a station, it is usually much faster to take a taxi.
If you plan to take the MRT often, consider buying a multi-trip EZ-link Card, which is more convenient and cheaper than one way tickets.
Here is a list of useful MRT stations and interesting spots nearby them.
City Hall MRT Station
The City Hall station is right in the Colonial District. From City Hall MRT, you can visit Raffles Hotel and Stamford House, the Padang, the Old Supreme Court, the new Supreme Court and, of course, the City Hall building.
If going to City Hall MRT station from Changi Airport, take the train from Changi Airport MRT station to Tanah Merah MRT station (East-West line) first. This will take less than 10 minutes. From Tanah Merah to City Hall MRT station, continue onto the East-West line for 15 minutes, 9 stops.
Raffles Place MRT Station
Raffles Place MRT is just one stop away from City Hall MRT, also on the East-West green line. Raffles Place is the center of Singapore’s Central Business District, with many high-rise office buildings. Fullerton Hotel, Boat Quay and the Singapore River are in the vicinity.
Chinatown MRT Station
Chinatown is a major tourist attraction in Singapore. It is a heritage area of Chinese cultures, temples and buildings. Go here to visit the Chinatown Heritage Centre and Sri Mariamman Temple, as well as to buy a Chinese souvenir. If you are looking for cheap holidays, there are several travel agencies at People’s Park Complex.
To get to Chinatown MRT from City Hall, get to Outram Park MRT (East-West line) first, which is 3 stops from City Hall MRT. From Outram Park MRT, switch to the purple North-East line. Chinatown MRT is one stop away from Outram Park MRT.
Orchard MRT Station
Many tourists visit Singapore just to shop, and Orchard Road is where they go. Orchard Road is lined with rows and rows of shopping malls. Located right on top of Orchard MRT station, ION Orchard has an interesting architecture and is worth a visit. Alternatively, you can also visit Orchard Road from Somerset or Dhoby Ghaut MRT stations.
From City Hall MRT, you can take the red North-South line to Orchard MRT, which is 3 stops away, 10 minutes.
Bugis MRT Station
Opposite the Bugis MRT station is Bugis street, Singapore’s largest outdoor street shopping location. Bugis Junction, a popular shopping mall among the young generation, is connected to the train station.
Bugis MRT station is only one stop and less than 5 minutes from City Hall MRT.
Clarke Quay MRT Station
Clarke Quay is the entertainment and nightlife hotspot of the nation, home to several bars, pubs and clubs. Clarke Quay MRT station also offers convenient access to Boat Quay, another dining and drinking area along the Singapore River.
To get to Clarke Quay MRT from City Hall, go 3 stops to Outram Park MRT (East-West line) first. From Outram Park MRT, switch to the purple North-East line, where Clarke Quay MRT station is the second stop, after Chinatown MRT.
Little India MRT Station
Little India is another tourist favorite. Come here to visit Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, to shop in Mustafa Centre, or to simply walk along the stores and restaurants on busy Serangoon Road. For just a bit more upscale dining, give the Indian restaurants on Race Course Road a try.
To get to Little India MRT station from City Hall, hop on the red line to Dhoby Ghaut, and change to the purple line there. You will have to walk quite a distance to change lines in Dhoby Ghaut, but you do not have to leave the system. Little India is the first stop in the direction of Pungol from Dhoby Ghaut.
Aljunied MRT Station
Aljunied is home to Geylang, notorious for its red-district, durians and other local food.
From City Hall, you can take a 15-minute train ride to Aljunied MRT using the East-West (green) line only. Aljunied is at the fourth stop.