We have designed this article to provide you with a step-by-step guide on how to get from the airport to Esplanade, Singapore using the MRT. This, like all of our ‘how-to’ articles is based on our own experience navigating Singapore’s MRT system.
When you are trying to get from Changi Airport to the Esplanade you are in luck because you can practically get right to this venue without taking anything other than the MRT Network. This saves you some cash and definitely some unnecessary headaches when you land in Singapore.
The MRT is physically attached to Changi International Airport. Therefore, forget about getting a taxi or a private shuttle, save some money and help the environment by taking the MRT right to the Esplanade.
Why is the Esplanade a popular venue in Singapore?
The interesting thing about the Esplanade in Singapore is that it technically isn’t an attraction. It is one of the most photographed and unique structures in Singapore and it serves as an arts centre. Actually, the Esplanade is one of the most famous performance arts centres in all of Asia and it welcomes millions of guests on an annual basis.
The Esplanade in Singapore hosts approximately 3,000 performances every year. Yeah, that’s right, 3,000! If you are an art lover this is one of the best places to check out dance, music and theatre performances. You can also take part in captivating visual arts exhibitions at the Esplanade.
The Esplanade is also ideally located beside Marina Bay giving it one of the best locations in all of Singapore. It is surrounded by world-class 5-star luxury hotels including Marina Bay Sands and the Fullerton Hotel Singapore. Therefore, it is possible to check out a few nearby attractions and then catch a show at the Esplanade after dinner.
The Singapore Flyer and the Merlion are also within direct walking distance of the Esplanade, so if you take the MRT from the airport to this area there is no shortage of sights to see!
Getting to the Esplanade from the Airport
Step 1: Walk to Changi Station after clearing immigration
Changi Airport is well known as one of the best airports in the world. It consistently gets ranked as the top airport or one of the top airports because it is extremely well-managed. It is also extremely convenient in terms of accessing the MRT network from the airport. The first step when you arrive is to clear immigration, collect your luggage, and then pass through customs.
After these steps have been completed it is now time for you to walk to Changi MRT Station. This will be your first contact point with the MRT system in Jakarta. Consequently, this is also the site where you will have to make the decision about what kind of MRT ticket you are going to purchase for your trip to the Esplanade.
When you are ready to buy a ticket to reach the Esplanade you will have three main options:
- Buy a single journey trip ticket using a ticketing machine, or…
- Buy and load up a stored value card
- Purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass
Buying a single trip ticket doesn’t require much planning, but most tourists prefer to get a stored-value card or a Singapore Tourist Pass.
The Singapore Tourist Pass is actually a special ‘stored’ ez-link card that is designed for people who are visiting the city. It isn’t intended for residents of Singapore. If you purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass you can get unlimited travel on Singapore’s bus, MRT and LRT trains for a certain number of days. Stored value cards don’t have unlimited rides like the tourist pass. Both of these options are more economical and efficient than paying for single trip tickets while you are in Singapore.
If you do want to purchase a stored value card you can use it for multiple trips. The price per trip is less than standard single journey tickets and this eliminates the need to go to the ticketing kiosk every time you enter an MRT Station.
The only practical reason why you should purchase a single journey trip ticket is if you are only going to use the MRT once or twice during your visit to Singapore.
Step 2: Purchase your MRT Ticket to City Hall Station
After you have decided on your form of payment for your trip, the next step is making sure that your terminal destination is City Hall Station.
City Hall Station is the most practical station to go to if you want to reach the Esplanade.
Step 3: Take the MRT East-West Line to Tanah Merah Station
Get on the train with your luggage and travel two stations west to Tanah Merah MRT Station. Tanah Merah is the second station on the East-West Line after passing Expo Station.
Get off the train at Tanah Merah if the train is not going further along the East-West Line. Don’t forget your luggage before you alight. If you can stay close to an exit so you don’t have to carry your luggage across the train.
Step 4: Travel along the East-West MRT Line
While you are at Tanah Merah Station your goal here is to get on a westbound train that is heading towards central Singapore. Refer to the Green coloured MRT line on the Singapore MRT Map – this corresponds to the East-West Line.
Step 5: Ride the MRT to City Hall Station
Once you have boarded and brought all your luggage onto the train, you will have some time to relax. City Hall MRT Station is the 9th stop after Tanah Merah.
As you approach City Hall on the MRT you should listen for audio announcements that inform passengers what the next station will be. Also, refer to the visual screens above the doors that show the next station
In case you are wondering, the station before City Hall on the East-West Line is Bugis Station. Once you arrive at Bugis try to get as close as possible to an exit on the train with your luggage.
Step 6: Exit City Hall Station and walk to the Esplanade
After you arrive at City Hall Station it is really easy to reach the Esplanade. The distance and time are summarized below:
- Walking from City Hall Station to Esplanade: 650 meters/8-minutes
Which exit should you take at City Hall Station to reach the Esplanade?
City Hall Station has a total of 4 exits (A, B, C and D). You can take exit C to reach the Esplanade.
$$$ How much does it cost to take the MRT to Esplanade from the Airport?
When you are taking the MRT from the airport to the Esplanade keep in mind that price will differ depending on your age and status. For example, if you are an adult who is working you will pay a different amount of money than a child or a student for instance.
If you are using a stored-value card from Changi to City Hall it will cost $1.84 for adults. Children and students will pay $0.63 where senior citizens and disabled travellers will pay $0.92. Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change over time.
These prices listed above are quotes under the assumption that you will be using a ‘stored value card.’
As mentioned before, single journey tickets are more expensive. Expect to pay $2.60 from a ticketing machine for a standard ticket to reach City Hall from the airport.
Remember, you will have to purchase and top up a stored-value card at the airport if you wish to use it to reach City Hall and the Esplanade. This will require more money upfront than purchasing a standard ticket. However, once you use the MRT for multiple trips throughout the city you will begin to save more money by using a stored-value card opposed to single trip tickets.
How long does it take to travel from Changi Airport to the Esplanade?
This trip should take you about 42 minutes to reach City Hall Station from the airport.
The Time stated above does consider transit time between stations and is an average value based on whether you arrive during peak travel time ordering a quiet time. Therefore, your journey may differ a bit from this time.
Where should you stay near the Esplanade in Singapore?
If you plan on booking a room in Singapore for your stay it is a very smart idea to stay as close as possible to the Esplanade. Keep in mind that the Esplanade is only one venue among the many different attractions in this area of Singapore. You literally could walk to five or six famous attractions in Singapore within 10 minutes or less of the Esplanade.
And let’s not forget about skyline views.
The Esplanade is situated directly beside Marina Bay – one of Singapore’s most picturesque areas. After watching a show you can walk around the bay and capture breathtaking, world-class photos and videos. It is a smart idea to stay as close as possible to MRT stations in this area as well.
Here is a list of some popular hotels that are within 5 minutes of the Esplanade:
Some of the most popular and best hotels within walking distance of the Esplanade include:
Mandarin Oriental Singapore (5-star, 8.9/10 rating)
The Fullerton Bay Hotel Singapore (5-star, 9.4/10 rating)
The Ritz-Carlton Millenia Singapore (5-star, 9.2/10 rating)
The Fullerton Hotel Singapore (5-star, 9.1/10 rating)
Marina Bay Sands (5-star, 9/10 rating)
All of these properties are within 5 minutes of the Esplanade, and 10 minutes from City Hall Station.
Take note that we do not have a direct partnership with these properties. As their review scores (taken from leading accommodation sites) suggest they are very well managed with an extensive selection of services.
Any more questions about your trip from the airport to the Esplanade?
The Esplanade has been hosting world-class live performances for many years. Be sure to see a few shows if you are going to be in Singapore for a few days. We hope that this guide how to get from the airport to the Esplanade using the MRT has provided you with enough information. Our goal is to make it this trip to the Esplanade a stress-free one. If you do happen to have questions about this please send us an email or comment. We would love to provide you with additional information!
Remember that the Esplanade is also within walking distance to Esplanade MRT Station. Unlike City Hall Station, Esplanade Station isn’t part of the East-West Line. Instead, it is part of the Circle Line. It is actually closer to Esplanade but it doesn’t make sense to go to Esplanade Station from the airport.