Country profile

Surgery in Singapore: Travel and accommodation

Changi Airport is the international hub in Singapore, and a stunning, award-winning airport with three terminals and many modern facilities, located around 20km from the city centre.  From the airport there is a choice of transport including the MaxiCab airport shuttle (a six seater taxi shuttle service) which offers a scheduled service from the airport roughly every 30 minutes to hotels in the city, public bus services (air con and non air con) and the MRT.  The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is a super modern rail system which runs frequent (air-conditioned) airport services. 

Getting to Singapore from the US, and Australasia

Singapore is a major gateway for the rest of Asia and most of the major international airlines cover the route into Singapore, including regional airline, Singapore Airlines, which has direct flights from Los Angeles and New York.  Airlines flying trans-pacific include Cathay PacificAsiana AirlinesUnited AirlinesChina AirlinesNorth West Airlines, and  Malaysia Airlines.  On the trans-Atlantic route airlines include British AirwaysEmirates and KLM.  Check airline websites for their best fares and special deals. The US Cheapflights website is also a good resource for cheap fares. 

The flying time to Singapore from New York is approximately 24 hours. 

Flights from Australia or New Zealand to Singapore are plentiful and Flightcentre and STA Travel are two good resources for cheap fares.  As well as covering cheap travel between Australia/New Zealand and Singapore, Jetstar Airways offers onward flights within Asia, for example, from Singapore to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Japan, the Philippines and Malaysia.  SilkAir also flies to 28 destinations within Asia including China, the Philippines and Indonesia.  Special sale fares can be bagged to Singapore from Australia with Tiger Airways, whose routes also cover China, Indonesia, India and Thailand.  

The flying time from Australia to Singapore is approximately eight hours.

Getting to Singapore from the UK and Europe

Some of the major airlines covering the route from the UK to Singapore include QantasAir France, KLM, British AirwaysSingapore Airlines, Emirates and Lufthansa. Good deals can be found via websites like Cheapflights and Lastminute.

The flying time is around 14 hours from London or Amsterdam to Singapore.

Getting to Singapore by rail or road

There are daily train services between Singapore and Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia on the route to Bangkok, Thailand.  Some of the trains offer air conditioning and dining cars and also overnight sleeper carriages.  Visit Malaysia Railway for more information.  For visitors who are arriving from Malaysia it is also possible to get to Singapore by road via taxi, car or an overland air-conditioned bus.  It is also possible to travel via ferry from Indonesia and Malaysia.

Getting around Singapore

Singapore has a wide choice of transportation from monorail, cable car, a comprehensive bus network with buses which will take you almost anywhere on the island, as well as the superbly modern MRT (Mass Rapid Transit).  As you might expect, the metro system is clear and relatively easy to navigate.  Visit Singapore's transport website for more information.

Taxis are also an inexpensive way to travel and air-conditioned cabs can be flagged down 24 hours a day on most roads.  There are well-marked stands outside most hotels and shopping centres.  Alternatively, why not experience a trishaw ride?  These are three-wheeled bicycles for two and a very traditional (and fun) mode of Asian transport, but it is advisable to agree on a fare beforehand. 

Car hire companies are available in Singapore but with such excellent means of public transport in Singapore and expensive parking fees, it is sensible to stick to the public transport.

For onward travel after treatment regional and local airlines include SilkAir, Tiger Airways and Jetstar Airways cover routes between Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, India, Malaysia.


Singapore offers a wide range of accommodation choices from luxury high-end hotels in the Orchard Road area to traditional Chinese family-run hotels, guest houses and home-stays.  If you haven't pre-arranged accommodation, you can visit the accommodation counter at Changi Airport (terminals one and two) for assistance in finding a hotel. 

A double room in a four star hotel in Singapore starts at about €100, depending on location.  The Orchard Road district and Sentosa Island are the more expensive areas and five star hotels in Singapore cost around €200 upwards for a double room with breakfast per night.  Bear in mind that many medical tourism agencies will arrange accommodation for you as part of a treatment 'package'.

Book your holiday well in advance if you are planning on visiting Singapore at the end of January or early February as your trip could coincide with the Chinese New Year and it could be harder to secure the accommodation of your choice.

Most western visitors do NOT require a visa to enter Singapore provided they have an onward ticket, a valid passport (with at least six months) and sufficient funds.  Visitors will be issued with a social visit pass which is valid for between 14 and 30 days, depending on the nationality.  See the country's Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website for more information about visas. 

The currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar and 1 Dollar (SGD) = 100 cent, which is available in both paper notes and coins.  Check current exchange rates, but as a general guide SGD1 is equal to around €0.60. 

The country code for Singapore is + 65 and the time is GMT + 8.

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