Kota Kinabalu to Singapore

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How to get from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore?

For such a small island city-state, Singapore is a huge tourist hub in Southeast Asia. In 2017, the number of tourists visiting Singapore was actually 3x more than its population!

This is for good reason. Head to downtown Singapore and you’ll find a number of tourist attractions, all connected by efficient and high-quality transportation.

To revisit your childhood, there’s Universal Studios and the resort island of Sentosa. For shopping, head to Orchard Road. For art, visit the Kampong Glam area. For an amazing night and light show, you have to visit Marina Bay Sands.

Flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore

Transport ModeDurationCostsAvailability
Flight3.5 hours$54Check Flights

Is Singapore your next stop after a heritage and nature tour of Kota Kinabalu? There is only one way to travel the 1,430km distance from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore: a 3.5-hour flight (including transfers) with fares from $54.

The flight itself takes only 2.5 hours across the South China Sea, but going to and from the airports take around 30 minutes each way.

Stuff you can’t bring in to Singapore

One important thing to keep in mind when entering Singapore is that they can be very strict about what you bring into the country. Allow me to share with you my own experience when crossing the Malaysia-Singapore border by bus.

“My friend and I had a big bottle of gin when we checked in for customs and immigration. We were taken to a separate room for around 30 minutes before they finally let us leave with the alcohol. All the time we were so scared our bus would leave without us!”

Apparently, you can bring alcohol into Singapore, but there is a 1-litre limit when coming from Malaysia. If you exceed that, you’ll have to pay a hefty fine.

So pay attention to what goes into your luggage when travelling from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore. They won’t care if you don’t know the rules or if you just forgot to take it out of your bag. Prepare to spend a fortune on fines if you’re caught carrying any of these into Singapore:

  • Chewing tobacco and imitation products, including e-cigarettes
  • Chewing gum, except those used for medical/dental purposes
  • Any object that looks like a weapon (toy guns or cigarette lighters shaped like a gun, etc.)
  • Pirated materials (movies, software, etc.)
  • Illegal drugs, firecrackers, or any form of unlicensed weapon
  • Obscene materials (magazines, videos, etc.)

Visit Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website for more info.

Itinerary from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore


Kota Kinabalu to Singapore by Flight

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: from $54

The flight from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore takes only 2.5 hours, but both airports are located outside the city centre. Including the extra transfers, the total travel time will take about 3.5 hours.

Step 1: Kota Kinabalu City Centre to Airport

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: from 5 MYR ($1.20)

From Kota Kinabalu city centre, you’ll first have to travel 8km south to reach the airport. You have 2 transport choices: a 40-minute bus or a 30-minute taxi.

Buses bound for the airport depart from Merdeka Square. Hourly trips are available from 07:30-20:30 and a ticket costs 5 MYR ($1.20).

If you prefer to take the taxi, we highly recommend that you book one with Klook. Rates start from 36 MYR ($8.50) for a 3-seater car. Minivans are also available for bigger groups.

Taxis in Kota Kinabalu are known for overcharging and not using their meters. So unless you’re willing to pay double or triple the normal price, make the effort to book a Klook ride beforehand.

Reserve a taxi with Klook

Step 2: Kota Kinabalu to Singapore by Flight

Duration: 2.5 hours
Cost: from 192 MYR ($46)

Air Asia operates the only 2 daily flights from Kota Kinabalu to Singapore. These depart at 08:35 and 14:35. Flight time is around 2.5 hours and airfares start from 192 MYR ($46).

Check Flights with Skyscanner

Step 3: Singapore Airport to City Centre

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: 9 SGD ($6.50)

From Singapore Changi Airport, you’ll have to travel 20km west to reach downtown Singapore, where most of the tourist hotels are located. You have 4 options: a city shuttle for 9 SGD ($6.50); a taxi from 25 SGD ($18.50); the train for 2.70 SGD ($2); or a public bus for 2 SGD ($1.70).

The city shuttle is our preferred ride for their good mix of comfort and affordability. Although a shared ride, they offer free drop-off to most hotels in the city centre. You can book them at the airport upon arrival or online beforehand via Klook. They offer the same price of 9 SGD ($6.50) but with Klook, you get to skip the long airport queues.

Check City Shuttle Tickets with Klook

If you’re looking for cheaper rates and are not in a hurry, the train is a good alternative option. For more details, check out our page on Singapore Airport.

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