Traveling for a long amount of time can sometimes put a strain on yourself and your wallet! If you have always wanted to visit Singapore, but aren’t interested in paying for plus $30 for your accommodation why not opt to stay in Malaysia?
Johor Bahru is the capital of the Malaysian state of Johor. This city sits at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula and has access to the causeway across the Straits of Johor connecting it to Singapore. Making it super easy to get in and out of Singapore.
The Best Way to Get from Johor Bahru to Singapore
If like us, you only want to spend a couple of days in Singapore, day trips are the best way to go. Transport options cost as little as $1.20 to get to Singapore from Johor Bahru, and with their great transport systems, it’s easy to get around the country once you arrive.
I had to do a lot of research on finding the best way to cross the border into Singapore. Which is my reason for putting together this post about the best and the most cost-effective ways to get from Johor Bahru to Singapore.
The quickest and probably the easiest way to get to Singapore from Johor Bahru is to take the KTM train from Johor Sentral to Woodlands Checkpoint. We found this 5-minute journey (literally), the best way to get to in and out of Singapore for a day trip.
1. Booking your KTM Train Tickets
Tickets can be purchased in advance through Easybook.com. Simply select the JB Sentral to Woodlands Singapore route and your date to find the time options available. Trains seem to run every 30 minutes both ways, however, I would recommend booking tickets as soon as you have your travel plans confirmed. Due to commuters using this route, certain train times are unavailable during weekdays.
I also noticed when booking this route, that depending on the time of day I was looking for train times, the availability was changing dramatically. Either there is a glitch with their website or they do this to keep availability open for last-minute travelers. I found that the best time to book these tickets is during the evening (-7 EST). Don’t worry about spending time picking out your train seats. It’s a 5-minute journey and it’s actually free seating and standing anyway!
NOTE: Return tickets for this route are unavailable through Easybook.com. For some strange reason. You will need to book one-way tickets from JB Sentral to Woodlands Checkpoint, and then from Woodlands Checkpoint to JB Sentral.
2. Arrival at JB Sentral Train Station
When you arrive at JB Sentral, it’s handy to know that the bus station is also located in the same building, it’s often referred to as CIQ. Do not follow the Woodlands Checkpoint signs! Long story short, they will take you through immigration and to a bus station where there are no trains! Believe me, we know this happens…
There is only one gate to get the train from, and this is located in the Main JB Sentral Hall. You don’t need to print out your e-Tickets to get from JB Sentral to Woodlands, but you do need to print your return e-ticket from Woodlands Checkpoint to JB Sentral.
I recommend doing this at the KTM JB Sentral ticket office before you leave for Singapore. The Woodlands checkpoint office in Singapore closes at a certain time and there is nowhere to print your tickets if this happens.
3. Malaysia & Singapore Immigration
You’ll need to go through immigration before getting on the train and after getting off the train at Woodlands checkpoint. Remember that you are exiting Malaysia and arriving in a new country, so you’ll get exit and entry stamps both times you make this crossing.
If you have a Malaysian SIM card, it will likely not work in Singapore. I noticed that Digi offer a dual country plan, so that might also be something to bear in mind before leaving Malaysia. An alternative is to save any documents, tickets or information on your phone so you can access them later without internet.
Upon your arrival in Singapore, you will need to complete an arrival card. Word of advice, take a pen with you! There are never any pens there, and always a queue if a guard lends one to somebody. If you are planning a couple of day trips, take a spare arrival card in preparation for your next trip!
4. Arrival at Woodlands Checkpoint
Unfortunately, Woodlands Checkpoint is not near Woodlands MRT subway station. In order to get to the subway, you will need to either take the bus, or a Taxi. The closest subway station is Marsiling. There is a taxi rank at Woodlands, which seems to be a popular and convenient choice.
There are no cash machines at Woodlands Checkpoint! If like us, you want to withdraw your currency, rather than going to a money exchange, it ain’t gonna happen here. Good thing is that most Taxis have card machines, and accept the likes of MasterCard, Visa, etc. There is also a lovely 10% service charge for using a credit card! Welcome to Singapore!
5. Getting Around Singapore
Once you have got to an MRT (subway) station, it’s really easy to get around Singapore.
Ticket machines are available in all stations.
You can either add an amount of money onto the cards or simply select your route.
These ticket machines only take $5 notes and coins. There are customer service desks close by should you need any change.
The paper tickets issues can be used multiple times all you need to do is top them up. They operate on a contactless system, just like in London, where you simply scan your ticket on the scanner located next to the barrier gates.
If you get lost, there will be some friendly people to help you find your way!
Of course, there are other options in getting from Johor Bahru to Singapore, but I recommend taking the KTM train. It’s the easiest and quickest, giving you more time to explore another awesome country!
Buses are another cheap alternative and can be booked with Easybook.com too. Depending on the time of your crossing, the causeway can get very busy with congestion so book outside of peak times.
Private taxis are another way of crossing the border into Singapore, but after researching they can be quite expensive (from $60), and that’s just to get into Singapore!