Singapore is a popular tourist destination known for its vibrant culture, delicious food, and fascinating attractions.
From luxury shopping to theme parks, the city-state has something to offer everyone.
However, with so much to see and do, it can be overwhelming to navigate around the city, especially for first-time visitors. That’s where the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system comes in.
This is an efficient and convenient way to get around Singapore, making it easy for tourists to explore all that the city has to offer.
Overview Of The MRT System In Singapore
Today, the MRT system in Singapore is made up of six main lines with more than 140 stations around the island. This 200km system has over three million daily ridership.
|Name||Colour of line||Covering|
|East-West Line||Green||Runs from Pasir Ris in the east to Tuas Link in the west, passing through major areas such as Tampines, Bedok, Kembangan, and Jurong East.|
|North-South Line||Red||Runs from Jurong East in the west to Marina Bay in the south, passing through major areas such as Ang Mo Kio, Orchard, City Hall, and Raffles Place.|
|Circle Line||Yellow||Is an orbital line that connects the major areas of the city, passing through areas such as Serangoon, Buona Vista, and Harbourfront.|
|Downtown Line||Blue||Runs from Bukit Panjang in the northwest to Expo in the east, passing through major areas such as Bugis, Chinatown, and Botanic Gardens.|
|Thomson-East Coast Line||Brown||Runs from Woodlands in the north to Sungei Bedok in the south, passing through major areas such as Orchard Road, Marina Bay and Bedok.|
|North East Line||Purple||Runs from HarbourFront in the south-west to Punggol in the north-east, passing through major areas such as Clarke Quay, Dhoby Ghaut, Serangoon and Punggol.|
One of the best things about the MRT is the interconnectedness of the lines.
At major stations such as Raffles Place, City Hall, Orchard, Dhoby Ghaut, Marina Bay and Clarke Quay, transfer points allow for easy travel to different parts of the city without the need to exit and re-enter the train system.
This makes it easy for tourists to switch lines and explore different areas of Singapore.
Note that the operation starts from around 5.30 am to around midnight daily. Operating hours are usually extended during festive periods.
Navigating To Places Of Interest
Using the MRT to navigate in Singapore to places of interest is not only convenient but also cost-effective. Tourists can purchase a single-trip ticket or an EZ-Link card which is a contactless smart card that can be used on the MRT, buses, and other forms of transportation in Singapore.
So, where should tourists go when they’re in Singapore?
Here are ten popular places of interest that can be easily navigated by MRT and you won’t want to miss them. Each of these places of interest offers something unique and exciting for tourists to experience.
1. Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is a popular destination for tourists, featuring a casino, luxury hotel, and shopping mall, as well as the famous infinity pool on the 57th floor.
The nearest MRT station is Bayfront which is at the intersection of the Downtown Line (Blue) and Circle Line (Yellow).
2. Orchard Road
Orchard Road is a popular shopping district, home to many luxury brands, department stores, and local boutiques.
The nearest MRT station is Orchard which is on North-South Line (Red). The Thomson-East Coast Line (Brown) also gets you there!
3. Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay is a nature park featuring two cooled conservatories, the Supertree Grove, and the OCBC Skyway. It is a nature lover’s dream, offering a chance to see exotic plants and flowers from around the world.
The nearest MRT station is Gardens by the Bay, which is on Thomson-East Coast Line (Brown).
4. Haji Lane
Haji Lane, is a popular street known for its colorful buildings and street art, as well as its vibrant nightlife and local boutiques. If you take a walk around the area, you’ll find a historic mosque, Sultan Mosque. This mosque is known for its stunning architecture and its role as a cultural and religious center for Singapore’s Muslim community.
The nearest MRT station is Bugis, an intersection between Downtown Line (Blue) and East-West Line (Green)
5. The Singapore Flyer
The Singapore Flyer is a giant Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city-state. The nearest MRT station is Promenade, an intersection between Downtown Line (Blue) and Circle Line (Yellow).
6. Clarke Quay
Clarke Quay is a historic riverside quay featuring a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.
The nearest MRT station is Clarke Quay which is on North East Line (Purple).
7. Merlion Park
Merlion Park is a popular tourist spot, featuring the iconic statue of the Merlion, a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish. Merlion Park is a must-see spot for tourists and the nearest MRT station is Raffles Place, an intersection between North-South Line (Red) and East-West Line (Green).
Sentosa island is a popular destination for tourists. It is an island resort featuring beaches, theme parks, and attractions such as Universal Studios and the SEA Aquarium. The nearest MRT station is Harbourfront, which lies in an intersection between North East Line (Purple) and Circle Line (Yellow). From here, you can transfer to the Sentosa Express rail to get to the island.
Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay is a popular place for performing arts. It is a performing arts center featuring a concert hall and theater. The nearest MRT station is Esplanade which is on the Circle Line (Yellow).
Chinatown is a historic neighborhood, a great place to explore Chinese culture, food and shopping. The nearest MRT station is no surprise – Chinatown! This is an intersection between Downtown Line (Blue) and North East Line (Purple).
FAQs On The Use Of MRT For Tourists
How do I purchase tickets for the MRT?
Tickets for the MRT can be purchased at the ticketing machine at the MRT station, using cash or a credit card. Alternatively, you can also purchase an EZ-Link card, which is a contactless smart card that can be used on MRT, buses, and other forms of transportation in Singapore.
Are there any peak hours to avoid on the MRT?
Yes, the MRT can get very crowded during peak hours in the morning and evening. It is recommended to avoid traveling during rush hour to have a more comfortable and less crowded trip. You can check the official website of the MRT for more details on the peak hours.
What are the operating hours of the MRT system?
The MRT typically operates from around 5:30 AM to around 1:00 AM the next day. However, the operating hours may vary depending on the line and the day of the week.
How much does it cost to use the MRT?
The cost of using the MRT depends on the distance traveled, with fares ranging from a few Singapore dollars to a maximum of about $2.50 for a single trip.
Tourists can purchase a single-trip ticket at the station or an EZ-Link card which allows for multiple trips and also can be used on buses and other forms of transportation in Singapore.
Prices are subject to change, please check the station for the most accurate fare information.
Are there any restrictions on what I can bring on the MRT?
The MRT has rules on what can be brought on board, such as no food and drinks, smoking, and dangerous items. Bikes are allowed only during non-peak hours and large items may not be allowed on board at all times.
For more information, please check the official Land Transport Authority (LTA) website here.
MRT Guide Summary
In conclusion, Singapore is a vibrant and exciting city that offers something for everyone.
Whether it’s luxury shopping, theme parks, or just exploring the city, the MRT system makes it easy for tourists to navigate around Singapore and experience all that it has to offer.
With the interconnectedness of the lines and transfer points at major stations, tourists can easily switch lines and explore different areas of the city without the need to exit and re-enter the train system.
So, when planning your next trip to Singapore, don’t forget to make use of the MRT to make your journey more efficient and enjoyable.
While you are in Singapore, don’t miss out on experiencing our famous dish – Chilli crabs! You can check out our list of the best crabs you must try!
[Featured Photo by Jonathan Khoo on Unsplash]
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