More than 2,500 buses run some 190 routes covering Singapore's major sites and entertainment areas between 5:30 AM and midnight every day. Unlike the underground trains, buses are an excellent way to see Singapore. The two main operators are Singapore Bus Services (SBS) and Trans-Island Bus Services (TIBS). Within the city, reserved bus lanes along the main roads and frequent service—usually every 5-10 minutes—make buses quick transportation options. The excellent TransitLink Guide, available for S$2 at any bookstore or subway (MRT) station, pinpoints major stops. Fares range from S$0.60 to S$1.20 for buses without air-conditioning and from S$0.75 to S$1.75 for those with it. If you'll be making multiple trips on buses and trains, save money by purchasing an EZ-Link stored value card from any MRT station for S$15. Alternatively, deposit exact change and collect your ticket each time you board. Most buses run 6 AM-midnight daily.
To reach Sentosa Island, catch a Special E bus, which runs down Orchard Road, or take a regular bus—number 65 or 143—to the HarbourFront Centre before transferring onto a shuttle across the causeway. Shuttles operate weekdays 7 AM-10:30 PM and weekends until 12:30 AM; the S$7 round-trip fare includes admission to the island.
The vividly colored SIA Hop-On bus is a good way to explore Orchard Road, Bugis Junction, Suntec City, the Civic District, Boat Quay, Chinatown, Little India, and the Singapore Botanic Gardens. As the name suggests, you can get on and off the route as you please. Singapore Airlines or SilkAir passengers who show their air ticket or boarding pass pay S$3 for a day pass. Otherwise, tickets are S$6 and can be purchased from most hotels, downtown SIA ticket offices, or from the driver.
The red Singapore Explorer bus connects the Orchard Road shopping belt, the colonial district, the Singapore River, Chinatown, Raffles Hotel, Clarke Quay, Marina, and Suntec City. It makes 22 stops and your ticket (S$9) is good for a day of unlimited travel, as well as a riverboat tour. You can buy it (you'll need exact change) when you board or from your hotel concierge.
The S$10 MRT tourist day ticket allows you to take up to 12 rides a day, regardless of distance traveled, on all trains and public buses. Inform the ticketing officer of the exact date you wish to use it as it's printed on the card and valid for that day only.
For more information on bus travel within Singapore, contact SBS, TIBS, or the TransLink Hotline.
SIA Hop-On Bus. 6734-9923.
SBS Transit. 1800/287-2727. www.sbstransit.com.sg.
Singapore Explorer. 6339-6833.
SMRT Buses. 1800/482-5433. www.smrtbuses.com.sg.
TransLink Hotline. 1800/779-9366. www.transitlink.com.sg.
Free Fodor's Newsletter
Subscribe today for weekly travel inspiration, tips, and special offers.
Fodor's Trip Planning Ideas
- Weekend Getaways: Fodor's Recommends the Best Weekend Escapes in the US
- Great American Vacation: Find Your Next U.S. Trip with Fodor's
- 80 Degrees: Fodor's Helps You Find Your Best Beach Vacation Spots
- Go List: Fodor's Top 25 Places to Go in 2013
- Hotel Awards 2012: Fodor's 100 Top Hotels
- Best of Europe: Fodor's Picks the Best Places to Visit in Europe
- ASAP Tickets Sale! Flights to Singapore From 757 R/T ASAPTickets.com
- May deal: Holiday Inn Singapore Orchard City Centre Fr $239+/Nt Expedia
- Special deal: 4-Star Gallery Fr $167+/Nt Save with Expedia, $16/night less
- Singapore 4-Star Hotel Sale! 4 Nts + Air Fr $1518 Expedia
- Cruise to Singapore: 10 Nts on Princess Cruises Fr $1,039 Expedia