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 and to see an amazing night and light show, you have to go to Marina Bay Sands.
Singapore is a great change of scenery after a historical tour of Malacca. Luckily, you can easily travel the 205km distance from Malacca to Singapore by bus. This bus journey takes 4 hours and costs 20 SGD ($15).
Note that you will be crossing the Malaysia-Singapore border so you will have to undergo the necessary customs and immigration check.
Travelling by train from Malacca to Singapore doesn’t make sense as it requires at least 4 transfers in 8.5 hours.
There is no direct flight from Malacca to Singapore. You would have to take one from Kuala Lumpur, which again doesn’t make sense as you’ll have to travel 3 hours by land first before you can board a 1-hour flight. With airfares from 33 SGD ($24), the flight alone is already more expensive than the direct bus ride.
Things not to bring into Singapore
Only a 4-hour journey away, you might forget that you are crossing a border when travelling from Malacca to Singapore. And the latter can be very strict about the things visitors 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!”
And now, I’m on a mission to make sure our readers don’t have to suffer the same fate!
I found out only after that incident that alcohol is not exactly prohibited when entering Singapore, but if you’re coming from Malaysia, there is a 1-litre limit. They don’t care if you don’t know that rule, exceed that and you’ll have to pay a hefty fine!
To avoid any hassle and the possibility of spending a fortune on fines, make sure none of these are in your luggage when you cross the Malaysia-Singapore border:
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
Luxury Coach Service is among the most trusted bus operators for the Malacca to Singapore route. They have several pick-up points in the so-called ‘Historical State’, you just need to choose which one is closest to your hotel.
A ticket costs 20 SGD ($15) when you book online beforehand through BusOnlineTicket. Travel time is 4 hours.
Below are the pick-up schedules when travelling from Malacca to Singapore:
The buses drop off passengers at the Concorde Hotel along Orchard Road in downtown Singapore. From here, you should be able to reach your accommodation by a short bus, train, or taxi ride.
Buses operating from Malacca to Singapore make its first stop some 3.5 hours into your journey at Johor Bahru, for Malaysian customs and immigration. You will need to get off the bus with all your belongings.
Have your passport stamped and then quickly go back inside the bus as their waiting time is only 20 minutes.
And then, your bus will cross over to Singapore and stop again at Woodlands Checkpoint for Singapore’s customs and immigration. Again, don’t attempt to leave prohibited items on the bus! Bring all your things with you, fill out their entry card and also have your passport stamped.
After this, you can return to your bus and rest easy for around 30 minutes until you arrive in downtown Singapore.
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