The best ways to get to Singapore for the 2021 Singapore Grand Prix on October 1-3, plus how to get to the Marina Bay Street Circuit and around the city.
Singapore is a compact city with an excellent public transport network and honest, reasonably priced taxis. And with the Marina Bay street circuit located in the heart of the city, it couldn’t be easier to get to and from the track each night on Grand Prix weekend.
Singapore Changi Airport
Singapore’s Changi airport is the fifth busiest airport in the world by international passenger traffic. More than 100 airlines operate over 6000 weekly flights connecting Singapore with 250 destinations in 60 countries. Changi is the home of the city state’s flag carrier, Singapore Airlines, which is also the title sponsor of the Grand Prix. Singapore Airlines serves 62 routes from Singapore, including long-haul flights to Australia, Europe and the USA. Changi is also a major hub for budget airlines including Scoot (owned by Singapore Airlines), Air Asia and Jetstar.
Flights from Australia
Regular direct flights from both full service and discount carriers connect most Australian capital cities to Singapore, with a flight time from 4.5 hours (Darwin), 5.5 hours (Perth) and 7-8 hours (Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane). Return flights with discount carriers cost from $400-800 AUD, more for flag carriers.
Flights from Europe
Several airlines fly direct from Europe (12-13 hours) to Singapore including Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa and Air France/KLM. Middle-eastern carriers such as Emirates and Qatar are also worth considering, as they service a much wider range of European cities. Expect to pay €500-800 for return economy flights.
Flights from USA
Singapore Airlines operates (very long) direct flights from New York, Seattle, San Francisco & LA to Singapore. All other flights from the USA involve at least one stop, mostly in Eastern Asia (Japan, China, Korea). Expect to pay $800-1200 USD for return economy flights.
Other Ways to Get to Singapore
If you have more time to explore the region, the Southeast Asian rail network is surprisingly extensive. Trains are comfortable and fares are extremely cheap. Singapore is connected to Kuala Lumpur to the north by several daily trains (6 hours for day trains and 8 hours for overnight trains with sleeper cabins.) Buses also run regularly between KL and Singapore, taking around 5 hours and costing approximately $20 USD. Click here (or here) for more information and to book tickets. Feeling adventurous? You can even go all the way from Singapore to Bangkok (2 nights) or make a stop at Penang or Koh Samui along the way. Comprehensive information can be found on the Seat61 website. Click here for a South East Asian rail and bus network map.
How to get to Marina Bay Street Circuit
If you are lucky enough to be staying downtown, you may be in a position to walk to the circuit. Given the heat and humidity in Singapore however, it may be more comfortable to take public transport, even if it is only a few stops. See the table below for the closest MRT stations and entrance gates for each grandstand. Be patient when leaving the circuit, as some gates (particularly for the Bay Grandstand) and paths can get congested. MRT services are extended to 1am on Grand Prix weekend.
Entrance Gates & MRT stations
|Grandstand (Zone)||Closest Gate (MRT station)|
|Pit, Marina Pit, Turn 1, Turn 2 & Turn 3 Premier (Zone 1)||Gate 1 (Nicoll Highway or shuttle from Lavender)
|Gate 2 (Promenade)|
|Gate 10 (Bayfront)|
|Bay (Zone 3)||Gate 7 (Esplanade or City Hall)|
|Esplanade Waterfront (Zone 4)||Gate 6 (Raffles Place)|
|Gate 7 (Esplanade or City Hall)|
|Padang (Zone 4)||Gate 3 or 4 (City Hall)|
|Gate 5 (Raffles Place)|
|Stamford (Zone 4)||Gate 3 (City Hall or Esplanade)|
|Connaught (Zone 4)||Gate 5 or 6 (Raffles Place)|
Taking Public Transport in Singapore
- Singapore’s public transport system is clean and efficient, as you would expect. All ticketing for the Singapore MRT (Mass Rapid Transport) is handled by Transitlink. Ticket machines (with an English option) and booths are located at MRT stations. Single tickets cost between $1 – 2.30 SGD depending on the length of the journey and can be recharged for up to six trips in a 30 day period.
- The best bet when you are in town for the Grand Prix is to purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass which provides you with unlimited travel on public transport; the 3-day pass costs $25 SGD (shorter validity passes are also available, but may require a $10 deposit). Get the pass from major Transitlink offices, including the one at the Changi airport train station at Terminal 2.
- Your other option is to purchase an EZ-Link or NETS Flashplay card, which cost from $12 SGD ($5 is a deposit, the balance is usable credit). The cards can be purchased at Transitlink offices and in 7Eleven convenience stores. Don’t forget you need to tap the ticket reader on boarding and on leaving your train/bus so that the correct fare will be calculated and deducted – otherwise you will be charged the full fare. The cards can be topped up via ticket machines in MRT stations and at Transitlink offices.
Singapore Airport to City
- The fastest way to get from the airport to the city is take a taxi. The trip to the city center should take around 30 minutes and cost $20-40 SGD depending on the time of day and traffic (an airport surcharge of $3-5 is added to the fare).
- Taking the metro (MRT): Go downstairs from the arrivals hall in Terminal 2 to the MRT station and take the train to either Expo (Downtown line) or Tanah Merah (East West line), where you can connect with trains heading to different parts of the city.
- Bus number 36 goes from the Terminals 1, 2 and 3 to the city center. Most downtown hotels also offer an Airport Shuttle Bus, which costs around $10 SGD but can take a while if you are one of the last to be dropped off. More information on the Changi Airport website.
- More than 25 000 taxis ply the roads in Singapore. All taxis are metered and can be hailed from the street or by phone.
- The flag fare is between $3-4 SGD and most short trips around the city centre should cost no more than $10-20 SGD, but be aware of surcharges which increase the fare (by 25% during morning and evening peak hour and by a hefty 50% between midnight-6am.)
- The cars are air-conditioned and the vast majority of taxi drivers are honest. SMRT runs a large taxi fleet – call 6555 8888.