Ever wanted to take the road less travelled in Singapore? Hop onto one of these Singapore buses and check out the sights!
While you may not get the full history lesson that you would on a tour, jumping on a public bus is a great way to spend a lazy weekend uncovering a new side of Singapore – especially if you live the MRT or Grab life – so we’ve sussed out the best bus routes to see Singapore’s sights. You’re sure to find them fascinating, whether you’re a local, an expat or a visiting tourist. Top up your EZ-link card and hit the road with one of the 300 scheduled bus services across Singapore! Here’s our pick of the ones to catch…
The most scenic bus routes in Singapore
1. Bus 10
The number 10 brings you everything from West Coast to East Coast – literally! You can easily start the day at Haw Par Villa or Labrador Park and catch the 10 to cross the Esplanade bridge and wind up at Our Tampines Hub for some lunch and a spot of light reading at the Tampines Regional Library, one of our personal faves.
Where: Tampines to Kent Ridge
Things to spot: Haji Muhammad Salleh Mosque, Old Kallang Airport, San Qing Gong, East Village, Esplanade, Former Railway Station
Duration: 119 minutes
2. Bus 67
Spanning Choa Chu Kang to Tampines, this ‘heartlands-only’ route takes you through the colourful (if not controversial) Geylang, through Kallang and Rochor, past Bukit Timah Nature Reserve and up to Bukit Panjang. Cross the Kallang River and see how neighbourhoods in Singapore differ from east to west.
Where: Choa Chu Kang to Tampines
Things to spot: Bedok Reservoir Park, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Old Bukit Timah Fire Station, Murugan Hill Temple
Duration: 123 minutes
3. Bus 117
One of the things that can surprise you about bus rides is coming across sceneries that make you forget you’re in Singapore. Someone on Reddit pointed out that taking bus 117 through Yishun Dam is reminiscent of a scene from the beloved Japanese animated movie, Spirited Away. We cannot unsee it now! Tip: Take the bus around evening time, say 6.30pm. You’ll be able to capture stunning views of the sun setting behind the dam. Great for the ‘gram, we say! Also, check out the new Canberra MRT Station – shaped like a ship, it’s the second infill station to be transformed into a full station on an existing train line!
Where: Punggol to Sembawang
Things to spot: Seletar Aerospace Park, Seletar Airport, Yishun Dam, Lower Seletar Reservoir Park, ORTO, Canberra MRT Station
Duration: 55 minutes
4. Bus 145
It’s only natural we’d gravitate towards Toa Payoh Town Park and the bustling hub beside it. Once on the 145, you’ll be taken down Balestier Road past the Whampoa Hawker Centre, and down North Bridge Road towards Chinatown. Keep an eye out for the Henderson Waves overhead leading to Mount Faber, alight at Buona Vista and head to Holland V for some grub.
Where: Toa Payoh to Buona Vista
Things to spot: Central Fire Station, Former Hill Street Police Station, Sri Mariamman Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Masjid Sultan
Duration: 104 minutes
5. Bus 174
For the ultimate window shopping experience, hop onto the 174 at Outram or Chinatown and head through Orchard Road to see the seasonal lights or wacky architecture of the shopping centres. You can stop for a quick bite or a peek at the sales before continuing on to Bukit Timah where the roads are flanked by some of Singapore’s top schools like Hwa Chong Institution and National Junior College. Continue on to Jurong Point or stop off at Sixth Avenue to catch the train.
Where: Outram Park to Boon Lay
Things to spot: Chinese High School Clock Tower Building
Duration: 110 minutes
6. Bus 518
Clocking at around 2.5 hours, this express bus service (what an oxymoron!) runs from Pasir Ris and loops at Bayfront Avenue. Along the way, it passes by Tampines and Bedok estates, as well as Moulmein and Newton. Soak in the familiar sights along Orchard Road and Bras Basah, before the bus circles around the majestic Fountain of Wealth at Suntec City. Keep your eyes peeled for well-known attractions as you enter Bayfront Avenue. You can probably play a few rounds of I Spy along this route! Also, this service is one of the few that features the new three-door buses.
Where: Pasir Ris to Bayfront Avenue (Loop service)
Things to spot: Tan Tock Seng Hospital, Raffles Hotel, Suntec City Fountain of Wealth, Singapore Flyer, ArtScience Museum, Helix Bridge
Duration: 155 minutes
7. Bus 857
This round trip from Yishun Bus Interchange to the CBD and back takes close to two hours. You’ll be taken from the heartlands all the way down through Little India, around Suntec City and back. Catch the bus through Little India around Deepavali or Pongal festival and catch a glimpse of the stunning lights and pasar malams (night markets) lining the streets. There are museums en route if you fancy catching one of the ongoing exhibits.
Where: Yishun to CBD (Loop service)
Things to spot: Lian Shan Shuang Lin Monastery, Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, Little India, Singapore Arts Museum
Duration: 118 minutes
8. Bus 975
You may only know Singapore as a modern metropolis. So let’s go back in time by hopping on this bus service, which starts from and ends at Bukit Panjang Interchange. Spot the expansive green fields and many cemeteries as you journey down Lim Chu Kang Road, which was built in the 1800s to serve the many plantations in that area. The service ends at the Police Coast Guard, where you’ll get a view of the jetty and the sea, overlooking Malaysia. Psst, alight at Brickland Road to explore the temples and go into Little Guilin Park. Also, you won’t want to take this bus at night – you won’t be able to see anything except your reflection!
Where: Bukit Panjang to Lim Chu Kang Road (Loop service)
Things to spot: Hai Inn Temple, the abandoned Neo Tiew Estate, Hay Dairies
Duration: 100 minutes
9. Bus 980
Here’s another bus route that’ll take you through tons of nature spots. But here’s the thing: you can only see them if you hop off at certain bus stops to explore. Some places that you may want to check out are Sembawang Hot Spring Park (get off at Block 114 Sembawang Road and walk to the park off Gambas Avenue), Springleaf Nature Park (see if you can spot any wildlife!), Thomson Nature Park (check out the remains of a Hainan Village) and Lower Pierce Reservoir. If you made it to Geylang, go ahead and reward yourself with some yummy Malay food in the area!
Where: Sembawang to Geylang
Things to spot: Springleaf Nature Park, Macritchie Reservoir, Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts, Golden Mile Complex
Duration: 80 minutes
Tips for your long bus ride:
- Get an EZ-link card (if you haven’t already), even if you’re just visiting Singapore for a few days. It’s $10 ($5 credit and $5 for the card) and each bus journey is capped at $2 for adults and $0.60 for students. You can also get a tourist pass for unlimited rides on public transport.
- If you see a double-decker, head to the top and near the front for the best view.
- Travel off-peak for a smoother journey – and more seats! Peak hours are from 7.30 to 9.30am and 5 to 8pm. Avoid lunchtime (12 to 2pm) as well.
- There are apps and websites that can help you plan your journey including a cute little chatbot called Bus Uncle – you can find him in Facebook Messenger and Telegram to ask when the bus is coming. See what happens when you thank him! SG Nextbus is also a fantastic app for bus times and bus routes.
- If you find the kids getting a little restless, hop off anytime at the nearest MRT station. It’s easier to navigate Singapore on the train (though less scenic).
- To plan your own public tour bus journey, check out busrouter.sg or Citymapper. You can download the latter as an app on your phone too!
Enjoy your scenic Singapore bus rides, folks!