Exploring SG By MRT: 10 Tips Every Tourist Needs To Know About The Singapore MRT And Map


Syahirah Mazlan •  Jul 04, 2022

Mass Rapid Transit, also known as MRT for short, is the most common mode of transportation in Singapore for both tourists and locals alike. It's a convenient and fast train service that connects travellers to the nearest neighbourhood and city stations, making it easy to commute around Singapore regardless of where you’re going! ? With the Singapore MRT map continuing to expand at a steady pace, there are many tips a tourist (or even locals) should take note of when exploring the country by train!

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1. Purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass (STP)

If you’re not sure which ticket type to buy, get you and your family a Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) a special EZ-Link stored-value card which will allow you unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20)! ? If you’re someone who likes to visit multiple places at once, or enjoy the thrill of transit, this pass will benefit you greatly. A one time payment allows you to hop on and off the train as many times as you want. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about needing to top-up your MRT card or lose out on leftover remaining funds in your card at the end of your trip with this pass!

At the moment, purchasing the STP online is not available, however you can check this link to see which MRT stations you can buy one at including Changi Airport MRT station at Terminal 2 from 8AM to 9PM.

#HHWT Tip: Download a high resolution image of the Singapore MRT line map and mark it to ‘Favourites’ in your photo gallery so you can quickly refer to it whenever you need to!

2. Use your NETs Flashpay Card for MRT rides

If you don’t think you’ll be commuting a lot during your vacation in Singapore, you can always use your NETs bank card to pay for your MRT fare! It has to be a NETs Flashpay bank card (check to see you have the Flashpay logo at the back of your card to be sure). It’s very simple to use! ? All you need to do is top-up your NETS FlashPay at an ATM, a self-service NETS machine or an AVM+ (Add Value Machine which you can find at any MRT station), then simply tap your bank card at the MRT gantry and you’re good to go! Use it as you would a regular MRT card for 10% travel rebates and much more perks!

Singapore MRT map

Credit: SMRT

3. Plan your journey ahead of time

If you’re worried about getting lost while commuting, or are unsure of which station to stop at that would be nearest to your destination, you can always plan ahead! Check out this journey planner by SMRT, where you can input your current location or the MRT station you’ll be boarding the train at and also input the place you want to get to. ? 

The planner will show you the fastest route to your destination as well as multiple routes and options to get there! You can also check how much the transport fare would cost so you can decide how much to top-up into your card or if the STP is worth the price!

4. Look towards the ‘other side’

When you’re on the train, it may be hard to figure out which side of the train will lead to the platform. You might end up shimmy-ing your way through a crowded carriage to the door that isn’t going to open at the next stop. That would be embarrassing, wouldn’t it? ? 

Look for the orange light on the panels on top of the doors that will tell you which door is opening at the next stop. You can then wait in front of that door to wait for it to open. This is especially helpful during rush hour or at stations that are usually crowded, so you don’t get push around by commuters coming into the train.

Singapore MRT charging point

Credit: SMRT on Facebook

5. Don’t worry about your phone battery

As a traveller, there’s nothing more scary than having your phone battery go dead in the middle of commuting or sight-seeing. ? It can be inconvenient and down right scary! Utilising Google Maps, navigation or even social media apps can drain your battery life significantly, even if you’re being very careful to conserve it.

If you didn’t bring a power bank with you, take note that certain MRT stations provide charging stations for you to put some juice into your phone. You don’t have to worry about flat batteries anymore! Just be sure to check ahead of time which stations near you have these charging stations, or just ask the friendly MRT staff!

Malls near MRT stations

Credit: Capitaland

6. Major stations are connected to a mall

The best part about Singapore’s MRT stations is that most of the major ones are usually connected to a shopping mall! Once you tap out of the gantry, you’d be able to see signages that will tell you that the malls are nearby. This is not usually the case for every station, but most that have connecting train lines or bus interchanges will probably have a mall you can visit. This is great if you’re travelling to look for food or shopping, for instance you’ll find that Orchard MRT is connected to Wisma Atria and Somerset MRT is connected to 313@Somerset! ?

7. Bus interchanges integrated with the MRT station

There’s a chance you’ll need to take the bus after alighting from the train. Fortunately, there will be bus stops nearby the MRT station. However, some larger MRT stations come with a bus interchange below or above it. With Singapore being so humid, walking long distances can be a drag, but not when the MRT station is a stone’s throw away from the bus interchange. 

These stations would be a little busier than others because of its continuous traffic from bus passengers but it’s also very convenient and allows you to transit between bus and train every easily and quickly.

8. Take the Downtown or Circle Line

Singapore’s weather can be unpredictable, but most of the time it’s very hot and humid. In the mid-afternoon, you can expect to sweat a little more on the train, especially when the sun’s rays are shining through the windows. ? Fortunately, the Downtown Line and Circle Line are fully air-conditioned, underground and also have a reputation for being very fast. That means you can commute in comfort!

9. Travel more for less

If you’re using MRT top-up cards instead of passes, you’ll be glad to know that the further you travel or the more you change train lines, the less your fare will be when you tap out! Locals would understand the pain of paying a little over SGD1 for one stop (eg. Tampines MRT to Pasir Ris MRT is 1 stop and costs SGD1.09 while Pasir Ris MRT to Bugis MRT is 12 stops and costs SGD1.64). It can get pricey! But don’t let that deter you from travelling far on your vacation here! ? The further you travel, the lesser your fare will be, which is great news if your hotel is further away from tourist spots and places of interest!

10. Cheaper fares in the morning

The early bird catches the worm! In this case, the early riser gets cheaper train fares. ? If you find yourself excited to seize the day in Singapore, be sure to take advantage of the train system before 7:45AM on weekdays (except for public holidays) can save you as much as $0.50 off your train fare. 

Ps. Perhaps you’re planning to go for a morning cycle? ? You should check out 12 best cycling routes in Singapore

Commuting by MRT is a fun and thrilling way to explore the island. The train service connects points of interest in Singapore from heartland malls, to attractions and shopping experiences. If you’re planning a trip to Singapore, the MRT is the best way to see everything!