Get to Joo Chiat Road and all the cafes, restaurants, bars and cultural sites with this in-depth guide.
Welcome to the complete guide on how to get to Joo Chiat Road by MRT in Singapore.
We have written this article to ensure you can reach this popular road in Singapore regardless of where you are starting your trip in the city.
Joo Chiat Road extends from Changi Road (north) to Marina Parade (south). Therefore, you can technically access different parts of it depending on what you want to see and do. Once you’re there, you can stay at one of the affordable hotels in the area, or consider going on a cultural tour or visiting nearby attractions.
We will provide some practical suggestions about the fastest way to access famous attractions along Joo Chiat Road, such as the Peranakan Houses and famous malls such as Parkway Parade.
Visiting Joo Chiat Road in Katong
Joo Chiat is one of Singapore’s coolest areas for socializing and sightseeing. It is named after Chew Joo Chiat, a wealthy Chinese landowner in the early 20th century.
Joo Chiat Road is the main thoroughfare for cafes, restaurants, bars and shops. A visit here is very strongly recommended. You can expect to see some of the best Peranakan architecture in all of Singapore. Over the years, it has become more and more common to see both local and foreign tourists walking along Joo Chiat Road, snapping photos of colourful Peranakan facades, intricate motifs, and traditional doors and shutters.
Even if you’re not into travel photography, Joo Chiat is known as a foodie paradise.
Expect to find a wide selection of culinary choices here. It’s possible to dine super cheat at hawkers or sample some more high-end Nyonya dishes that are popular amongst Singaporeans.
A trip to Joo Chiat is not complete without visiting the growingly popular Peranakan Houses along Koon Seng Road (Directions). Also, consider exploring Katong’s wide selection of malls to the south. Parkway Parade and i12 Katong are just a few of the several shopping centres scattered around Joo Chiat Road.
There are also several affordable 3-4-star hotels within walking distance of Joo Chiat, making this area one of the best for a low-key but enjoyable stay in Singapore.
Getting to Joo Chiat Road by MRT
Joo Chiat is a road and not a ‘specific destination.’
Consequently, you can access it via MRT from different stations. We will share information about accessing Joo Chiat from the north and south using the MRT.
Be sure to read all the information and directions below, and then you can choose which MRT is best considering your starting point and itinerary in Singapore.
Step 1: Access the nearest MRT station.
To save time getting around Singapore, we highly recommend booking a hotel room within 500 m or less of an MRT station. You can access Joo Chiat and other points of interest around the city cheaper and faster.
According to guest reviews, the two following properties are popular choices based on their location and high service standards:
Fullerton Hotel (3 minutes away from Raffles Place Station)
Marina Bay Sands (2 minutes away from Bayfront Station)
Marina Bay Sands has one of the most famous pools in the entire world, and it’s worth checking out even if you’re not staying there!
Step 2: Plan your route to Joo Chiat (MRT Lines, Transfers and Stations).
Currently, the two most convenient MRT stations for getting to Joo Chiat via MRT are
Paya Lebar Station (EW8/CC9)
Dakota Station (CC8)
Paya Lebar Station is the best choice for accessing northern portions of Joo Chiat Road, whereas Dakota Station is a good option for the mid and southern sections.
Paya Lebar Station is located along the East Coast and Circle Line. It is an interchange station. The East-West Line is shown in green colour on the map
Dakota Station is located along Singapore’s Circle Line (orange colour on Singapore’s route map).
Also, note that you can check out metro maps in stations throughout Singapore and also on each train. Verbal announcements are made on each train to inform you of the current and upcoming stops on a given line.
Step 3: Buy an MRT ticket to Paya Lebar Station (EW8/CC9) or Dakota Station (CC8).
You can choose from several types of tickets/cards in Singapore.
Here is a summary of the two main categories:
Stored Value Cards
We used an EZ link card while discovering how to get to the Joo Chiat Road by MRT.
EZ link cards are simply a form of stored value cards that are popular amongst Singaporeans and long-term guests. All you need to do is tap and go on buses and trains throughout Singapore.
Singapore Tourist Passes are perfect for guests from abroad with busy itineraries. They are valid for a set number of days (ranging from 1-3). We highly recommend buying a Klook Pass to Singapore to use along with your Tourist Pass. You can save up to 52% on entrance fees by simply buying multiple passes online in advance (already 200,000+ passes have been sold).
Step 4: Travel along the MRT to Paya Lebar (northern Joo Chiat) or Dakota Station (central and southern Joo Chiat).
Navigate the metro system using the metro maps displayed in stations and on trains.
Be prepared to get off the train at either Paya Lebar (northern Joo Chiat) or Dakota Station (depending on whether you want to access northern or southern Joo Chiat Road).
Step 5: Alight at Dakota or Paya Lebar with your belongings.
Alight at Paya Lebar Station (EW8/CC9) (northern Joo Chiat Road) or Dakota Station (CC8) (central and southern Joo Chiat Road).
Move closer to the exit on the train in advance if it’s rush hour.
Step 6: Walk from the train platform to the correct station exit.
Exiting Paya Lebar Station to access northern Joo Chiat Road
Paya Lebar Station is located along Paya Lebar Road, near the junction with Sims Avenue.
It has four levels because two different MRT lines connect here:
Level 2 – Train Platforms for the East-West Line
Level 1 – Street Level, and East-West Line Concourse
B1 – Circle Line Concourse
B2 – Circle Line Train Platforms
Paya Lebar MRT station has six exits to choose from at Level 1, Exit A, B, C, D, E and F.
Exit A and E are part of the East-West Line station, whereas Exits B, C, D and F are part of the Circle Line station.
Take Exit E to walk to the northern section of Joo Chiat Road in Singapore.
Exiting Dakota Station to access central and southern Joo Chiat Road
Dakota Station is built under Old Airport Road, at the junction of Jalan Dua near Geylang River.
It consists of three levels:
Level 1 – Street Level
B1 – Concourse
B2 – Train platforms
You will arrive at Level B2, where the train platforms are located.
Travel up to Level 1 to access the station exits.
Dakota Station has two exits to choose from at street level, Exits A and B.
Take Exit A to connect to bus services to the Peranakan Houses.
Step 7: Walk from Paya Lebar Station or take the bus from Dakota Station to Joo Chiat Road.
If you are visiting northern Joo Chiat, you might as well walk directly from Paya Lebar Station to the famous Road. The walk is short and sweet and won’t warrant a bus connection for most people.
However, if you want to access the central and southern sections of Joo Chiat Road, then taking a bus is more practical and quite convenient (you can also walk, but it will take you about 20 minutes).
Walking Directions from Paya Lebar Station (EW8/CC9) to Northern Joo Chiat
The walk from Paya Lebar Station to Joo Chiat is fast and easy if you follow these directions.
Exit E from Paya Lebar Station will bring you out onto Sims Avenue.
Walk east along Sims Avenue until you reach Geylang Serai.
Turn right (south) onto Geylang Serai Road.
Continue walking south along Geylang Serai until it converts into Joo Chiat Road. You know you’re in the right spot if you see Geylang Serai Market and Joo Chiat Complex here.
Continue walking south along Joo Chiat Road to soak up the experience.
Approximate Walking Distance: 10 minutes (700 m)
Bus Directions from Dakota Station (CC8) to Central Joo Chiat
Once you arrive at Dakota Station, you can walk or take the bus to Joo Chiat. Bus connections are easy here (walking will take you about 20 minutes).
Here are the bus directions:
Exit A at Dakota Station will bring you to Old Airport Road, which is directly north of the station.
Cross to the other side of Old Airport Road.
Walk west until you reach the following bus stop:
Dakota Stn Exit A/Blk 99 – Stop ID: 81181
Wait at the bus stop and then get on Bus 16, 16M or 33.
Stay on Bus 16/16M/33 for a few stops and then alight at either one of these bus stops
Opp Maranatha Hall – Stop ID: 82131
Aft Koon Seng Road – Stop ID: 82141
Walk from either of these stops to Joo Chiat Road.
Approximate Bus Ride Length (including walking): 9 minutes
Bus Pick-up Frequency: Approximately every 10 minutes
What to see and do along Joo Chiat Road?
As we mentioned before, Joo Chiat Road is one of our favourite areas in all of Singapore. You can visit here for a scenic walk or head to one of several restaurants, pubs or cafes for some social time.
It also doesn’t hurt to have some fabulous cultural treasures here like the Peranakan Houses and Sri Senpaga Vinayagar Temple to make a day of it.
As you walk south along Joo Chiat Road, you will eventually reach a cluster of shopping centres. They differ in size, but they are all only a few minutes from Joo Chiat.
It’s possible to visit several of these within the same day while in Katong:
Parkway Parade (Directions)
I12 Katong (Directions)
Katong V (Directions)
Katong Square (Directions)
Flow @ East Coast
Roxy Square 1
Katong Shopping Centre (Directions)
They are under 10 minutes’ walking distance from the station (right at the start of Joo Chiat Road).
East Coast Park is one of Singapore’s best outdoor spaces. Ideal for running, cycling, and fresh air, head here for some relaxation and wellness. You can walk from the southernmost section of Joo Chiat Road to East Coast Park in 5 minutes.
Best Places to Stay along Joo Chiat Road
Joo Chiat has become increasingly popular over the years, and for good reason!
Although MRT stations are still 10-20 minutes walking distance from most hotels here, there are some good value places to stay in Katong.
Here are some popular places to stay near Joo Chiat Road:
Grand Mercure Singapore Roxy (top choice)
If you decide to book a room near Joo Chiat Road, then it’s a wise decision to become familiarized with the bus routes here. You can access the MRT stations and other areas of Singapore using the bus.
So there you have it, a complete step-by-step guide on how to get to Joo Chiat Road by MRT.
One of the most important things to remember when heading to Joo Chiat is that you can access it from either Paya Lebar or Dakota Station.
It’s debatable which one is more convenient.
But, it really depends on where you are starting your trip and what section(s) of Joo Chiat you want to visit. For example, it might not make sense to travel all the way to Dakota Station if you are staying near Paya Lebar. By the time you take the MRT there and take a bus (or walk) to Joo Chiat the overall time will be similar.
One of the best walking itineraries is to travel to Paya Lebar Station and then walk the entire way along Joo Chiat Road to East Coast Park. While doing so, you will naturally pass the Peranakan Houses, the malls and all the cool spots that make Joo Chiat one of the coolest areas in the entire city.