Singapore’s Mass Rapid Transit (SMRT) subway system is the cheapest, quickest and easiest way to explore the Lion City.
Singapore may be tiny, but it has a subway system that is the envy of most other (much bigger) countries.
It’s fast, efficient and graffiti-free, with 156 stations stretched over 227.9 km of track. And the trains are driverless.
More than three million people use Singapore’s MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and LRT (Light Rapid Transit) systems every day, and around 1.2 billion annually.
They’re staggering figures for an island metropolis with a population of less than six million people.
With fast and frequent services on five colour-coded lines, and the first stage of a new sixth line (the Thomson-East Coast Line) due to open this year (there’s also another three lines in the planning), the MTR really is the best way to explore every corner of the Lion City.
Most of Singapore’s iconic attractions are also within easy walking distance of an MRT station.
For instance, the MRT will spit you out in the centre of Chinatown, on the fringe of Little India, at the Orchard Road shopping strip, or within a 10-minute stroll of Gardens By The Bay (Bayfront MRT), Satay Street (Raffles Quay) or Arab Street (Bugis MRT).
And if you’re heading to the Newton Food Centre (Newton MRT), there’s a MRT on the doorstep there too.
Try this great zoom-in, zoom-out street directory to find the MRT you’ll need.
While some visitors might feel overawed or confused by the number of stations and different lines, the system is actually easy to navigate.
The stations are well sign-posted and there are easy-to-follow route maps on the platform to ensure you are travelling in the right direction. If in doubt, just ask.
And for travellers on a budget, the MRT is a no-brainer.
For example, a single taxi trip from one end of town to the other will set you back about $S25. For the same cost, visitors can actually enjoy unlimited travel on the MRT and buses for three consecutive days when they buy the SG Tourist Pass.
Another option is the Singapore Tourist Pass for one-day, two-day and three-day use, although it comes with a $10 rental deposit, which is refunded if the card is returned within 5 days of purchase.
You can purchase the SG Tourist Pass at the Cheers convenience store at these locations. I bought my travel card from the Cheers store outside the Clarke Quay MRT.
© 2019 Bernard O’Riordan (Travel Instinct). All Rights Reserved.
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