Singapore has to be just about the easiest city to get around, not only in Asia but the entire world. An integrated and extensive rapid transit system is designed to make it easy to get anywhere quickly. It has to be, since taxes have intentionally made personal cars in Singapore the most expensive in the world.
Getting from Changi Airport at the eastern end of the island to the central business area is generally very easy. The main choices are:
Taxis are usually plentiful and queues short at most times. The main exception is usually Sunday evenings. A taxi to the city are will run around S$15.
A special bus regularly leaves the airport for several downtown hotels. The cost is S$7 per person. Check to make sure your hotel is on the route.
A new (open in 2002) extension to the subway system brings the trains right to the airport. This is a good option if your hotel is near a station and you're traveling light. Luggage on the subway is limited to one bag about the size of a carry on.
Although transfers are quick and easy at the airport, if you're arriving at an odd hour or in a small group, you may wish to book a transfer in advance.
Singapore's commuter train can get you to just about every corner of the island quickly and cheaply. Most of the attractions of the central city area are within a short walk of a MRT station. Suburban stations are integrated with the bus system so that just about any attraction on the island can be reached by public transportation. Its also usually easy to get a taxi at most stations as well.
A new line of the subway opened in the first half of 2003 which further connects the center city lines and makes it possible to get directly to Little India and Sentosa Island via the MRT. We haven't seen any guidebooks that show the new routes, so be sure to check out a current map at stations and in freely available tourist maps at most hotels.
Also in early 2003, the system switched to a 'proximity' card rather than the more commonly seen lightweight plastic or paper tickets that have to be inserted and removed from the gate. The new system makes getting in and out of stations much faster, but the drawback for the tourist is that the cards require a 'deposit' of S$1. The same vending machines that issue the tickets can refund the deposit, but it's a bit time consuming. If you're staying in Singapore several days, it may be worth getting a Tourist Day Ticket for S$10.
Taxis are inexpensive and almost all drivers speak adequate English. Taxi drivers are also able to find just about any place so long as you know the address.
Buses can get you just about anywhere the trains don't go, and as mentioned above, suburban train stations are also bus depots. You can buy a tourist day ticket that is good for unlimited MRT trips as well as unlimited bus usage.