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.
When travelling the 315km from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, you have 3 options: a 5-hour bus ride; a 1-hour flight; or a 7.5-hour train journey (that includes several transfers). Fares range from 46 MYR ($11) to 103 MYR ($24).
The bus is an easy and cheap way to travel from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. A ticket costs 46 MYR ($11) and the journey takes around 5 hours.
Airfares for this route are often very cheap. The flight itself takes a little more than an hour, but note that you’ll need additional transfers to and from the airports, plus you may have to pay for extra baggage. Total rates start from 103 MYR ($24).
When you consider the waiting time at the airport and the transfers, the flight option really isn’t that much faster than the bus. We recommend taking the bus instead as it’s also more environmentally friendly than a plane.
The train includes a couple of transfers and also requires you to travel at night, so if you pick this option, be prepared to not get a very good night’s sleep. The journey takes 7.5 hours, excluding transfer time. Combined train fares from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore start from 68 MYR ($16).
Stuff you can’t bring in to Singapore
Singapore can be quite strict about the things visitors bring into the country. As Kuala Lumpur is a known shopping haven, we advise you to be careful about the things you buy here if your next stop is Singapore.
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!”
And now, I’m on a mission to make sure our readers won’t have to suffer the same fate!
Apparently, alcohol is not exactly prohibited when entering Singapore, but there is a 1-litre limit when coming from Malaysia. If you exceed that, you’ll have to pay a hefty fine.
To avoid any hassle and the possibility of spending a fortune on fines, make sure you’re not carrying any of these when you cross the border on your journey from Kuala Lumpur to 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
PRO-TIP: When travelling by bus, don’t even think about hiding any of these items inside the bus while you take the rest of your luggage to customs & immigration. The bus gets checked too. You might just end up in bigger trouble!
You have plenty of bus options when travelling from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. There are several departure points within Kuala Lumpur too, which is why we highly recommend booking online beforehand. This way it will be easier to find the best deals and schedules!
BusOnlineTicket is our preferred booking website for this route, mainly because they offer the cheapest rates. Also, you’ll be travelling with Transtar Travel, a trusted company that also receives good reviews.
They have several departure points in Kuala Lumpur, below are the schedules for each location:
Transtar Travel offers comfortable tourist buses for the 5-hour journey from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore. But if you want more luxury, their solitaire buses offer cosy cocoon seats, your own TV, and free meal/snacks.
They have at least 3 departure points – Berjaya Square and Jalan Imbi in the city centre and Kuala Lumpur Bus Terminal (TBS), located 13km south of the city centre. All of these arrive at Golden Mile Complex, which is located 5km east of downtown Singapore.
About 4 hours into your journey from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, your bus will stop at Johor Bahru for customs and immigration. You will get off the bus with all your belongings and have your passport stamped to show you have left Malaysia.
Once you have returned to your bus (make sure you remember which bus you took!), it will cross the border to Singapore before stopping again at Woodlands Checkpoint for Singapore’s customs and immigration. You will have to fill out their entry card and also have your passport stamped.
After this, return to your bus for the final time before continuing your journey for the final 30 minutes to the city centre.
The first step to actually get to Kualu Lumpur airport isn’t as easy as most may think. With the airport situated 45km from Kuala Lumpur city centre, it requires some effort to get there.
However, you do have 3 options: the train (30 minutes); the bus (1 hour); or a taxi (1 hour). Fares start from 12 MYR ($2.80). You can visit our page on Kuala Lumpur Airport for more details on this.
Air Asia normally offer the cheapest flights from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore, with airfares starting from 64 MYR ($15) if you book your tickets in advance. Other carriers operating this route are Firefly and Malaysia Airlines.
The flight departs from Kuala Lumpur International Airport and arrive at Changi Airport in Singapore after a little over an hour.
From Changi Airport, you’ll have to travel 25km southeast to reach downtown Singapore. To get there, you can take the train for 5.50 SGD ($4), a shuttle bus for 9 SGD ($6.50) or a taxi for around 30 SGD ($22).
Our preferred ride is the shuttle service offered by Klook. It picks you up from the airport and drives you straight to your hotel for 9 SGD ($6.50). Travel time is 30 to 50 minutes depending on the number of stops your bus makes.
Years ago, at least 3 direct trains operated from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore every day. Currently though, this route is suspended as both countries prepare to build a high-speed rail. For now, you’ll have to take at least 3 trains if you’re really determined to travel by rail.
Another thing to note is that you’ll have to travel this route at night. That includes a 2-hour midnight stopover at the railway junction in Gemas.
Are you up for that kind of adventure? If so, continuing reading for a step-by-step guide when taking the train from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore.
Step 1: Kuala Lumpur to Gemas by Train
Duration: 2.5 hours Cost: 31 MYR ($7.50)
Your first train is to Gemas, a railway station located 170km south of Kuala Lumpur. There are 2 trips available for this route every day. They depart from KL Sentral at 12:12 and 21:35.
Unless you want to spend a night at Gemas, your best connecting train from here to Johor Bahru departs at 02:00 in the morning. We recommend that you take the evening train from Kuala Lumpur, which arrives in Gemas at 23:59. This way, you only have to wait 2 hours for your connecting train to Johor Bahru.
Travel time from Kuala Lumpur to Gemas takes 2 hours 24 minutes. A ticket costs 31 MYR ($7.50) when you book online on Baolau.
As a popular railway junction, Gemas Train Station is surrounded by shops and small-town eateries. You should be able to find somewhere to eat even at midnight, or you can just rest in the train station’s waiting area.
Step 2: Gemas to Johor Bahru by Train
Duration: 4.5 hours Cost: 21 MYR ($5)
From Gemas, you will continue by train for 210km to Johor Bahru, Malaysia’s southern tip.
As mentioned above, the most logical option is to take the 02:00 train from Gemas to Johor Bahru. However, there are other options which you can see below:
From Johor Bahru, the train that crosses the border to Singapore only takes 5 minutes. You should buy your ticket at the train station for 16 MYR ($3.60) before heading to the customs and immigration office.
Woodlands Train Checkpoint
The good thing about the Woodlands Train Checkpoint is that it already has both Malaysian and Singaporean immigration offices in one location. You won’t have to make 2 stops as you will with the bus.
Here’s how your train itinerary for this route would look like:
Method of Transport
Train from KL Sentral to Gemas
2 hours 24 minutes
31 MYR ($7.50)
Train from Gemas to Johor Bahru
4 hours 31 minutes
21 MYR ($5)
Train from Johor Bahru to Singapore (Woodlands Train Checkpoint)
16 MYR ($3.60)
First, you will be directed to Malaysian customs and immigration for a passport stamp and customs check. Make sure you bring all your luggage!
And then, on to the Singaporean side. Here, you will fill out an entry card before they also stamp your passport.
After that, you can finally enter Singapore! Note that Woodlands Checkpoint is located 35km north of downtown Singapore. So after you are cleared at immigration, you will need to take a bus, train, or taxi to reach your destination.