OWL Magazine Korea

Singapore, Unlimited Travel Card for Tourists ‘Tourist Card’

Just like in South Korea, overseas countries are places where people lead their lives with well-established public transportation systems. Especially in well-developed city-states like Singapore, efficient use of public transportation is easily achievable.

Moreover, in tourist-friendly Singapore, there is a special transport card designed for “travelers” – the “Tourist Card.”

  1. Standard Ticket (스탠다드 티켓) ☞ Singapore Subway MRT Ticket: Standard Ticket
  2. EZ-Link (이지링크) ☞ Singapore, Reloadable Transport Card ‘EZ-Link’
  3. Tourist Card (투어리스트 카드)

“Singapore, Transport Card for Travelers: Tourist Card”

Singapore’s Tourist Transport Card allows unlimited rides on the city-state’s public transportation, including buses and the subway, for a fixed duration. This card is ideal for travelers exploring Singapore for a short period, as its maximum validity is only 3 days.

The card comes in three types, each corresponding to a different duration, and prices vary slightly based on these periods. The amounts are structured as follows, and the “10 dollars” mentioned is a refundable deposit upon returning the card after use.

  • 1-Day Pass: 20 dollars (approximately 16,000 won)
  • 2-Day Pass: 26 dollars (approximately 20,800 won)
  • 3-Day Pass: 30 dollars (approximately 24,000 won)

“Criteria for Period Calculation”

There’s a crucial point to note. The period for this card starts from the “purchase day.” For instance, if you buy a 3-Day Pass, you can use it for +2 more days from the day of purchase.

Also, if you happen to purchase and use it in the evening, the calculation doesn’t start counting 24 hours from that moment. Instead, it considers the rest of the day as day one. Therefore, it’s more advantageous to purchase and use the card in the morning.

“Returning the Used Tourist Card for Deposit Refund”

Once you’ve utilized the Tourist Card, you can return the card and receive a deposit refund. However, there’s a specific period for refund eligibility: “Last day of use + 1 day.” Therefore, if you purchased a 3-Day Pass, you must return it the day after you’ve used it to get the 10-dollar deposit back.

“Using the Card as a Regular Reloadable Transport Card If Not Returned”

If, due to unforeseen circumstances, you can’t return the card and don’t receive the deposit refund, there’s no need to worry. If the card isn’t returned, it can still be used as a regular reloadable transport card. In Singapore, this is referred to as “EZ-Link.” After the expiration of the Tourist Card, consider it transformed into an EZ-Link card.

“Where to Purchase Tourist Card at Changi Airport?”

Upon arriving in Singapore, Changi Airport is likely to be your first destination. While contemplating how to travel from the airport to the city center, some may consider purchasing the Tourist Card right at Changi Airport.

You can indeed buy this card at Changi Airport, but the location is somewhat tricky. It’s not sold at various booths; instead, it’s available at a booth tucked away in one corner. The booth is located inside the MRT station in the direction of “Terminal 2” when coming down. It’s inside the MRT station but can be somewhat inconspicuous.

If you arrive from the direction of “Terminal 3,” you can go back up to the MRT station and cross over to the direction of “Terminal 2” to purchase the card at the ticket booth. This aspect might be a bit inconvenient for travelers, as not all ticket offices offer the “Tourist Pass.” It’s available only at specific ticket offices.

“Major MRT Stations Selling Tourist Pass”

This card is not limited to Changi Airport; you can easily purchase it at other MRT stations as well. You can find “Ticket Offices” selling this card at major subway stations. The operating hours of ticket offices vary by station. Below are the operating hours for ticket offices at various stations:

  • Changi Airport: 8:00 – 16:00 / 17:00 – 21:00
  • Orchard: 10:00 – 21:00
  • Chinatown: 12:00 – 15:45 / 16:45 – 19:30
  • City Hall: 9:00 – 21:00
  • Raffles Place: (Weekdays) 8:00 – 21:00 / (Saturday) 8:00 – 17:00 (Closed on Sundays/Public Holidays)
  • Ang Mo Kio: 8:00 – 21:00
  • Harbourfront: 10:00 – 21:00
  • Bugis: 10:00 – 21:00
  • Jurong East: 12:00 – 15:45 / 16:45 – 17:30
  • Bayfront: 12:00 – 15:45 / 16:45 – 20:00 (Operational only on weekends and public holidays)
  • Lavender: 12:00 – 15:45 / 16:45 – 17:30
  • Farrer Park: 12:00 -15:45 / 16:45.- 19:30
  • Somerset: 10:00 – 14:00 / 15:00 – 18:00

“Note: Different Sound on Buses with Tourist Card”

There’s one thing worth noting. When you use this Tourist Card to board a bus, it produces a different sound compared to regular cards. If other cards make a single “beep” sound, the Tourist Card makes a repeated “beep” sound, and a red display appears. Initially, this might cause some anxiety, but there’s no need to worry. When you tap the card again upon exiting, the usable dates will display in green on the machine.

To sum up, we’ve covered information about the “Tourist Card,” a transport card for travelers in Singapore. I hope this proves helpful for those planning a trip to Singapore.