Accessible Singapore for Tourists
In addition to researching the basic travel arrangements, many tourists with disabilities spend a great deal of time trying to find out if the attractions they want to visit or the places in which they want to stay are accessible. Currently, there is no Government resource that tourists can access to find out how accessible Singapore is for tourists for disabilities. DPA has collected a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) to help tourists plan their trip to Singapore. This is by no means an exhaustive or authoritative resource, but DPA hopes it will be helpful until a dedicated resource can be developed by the Singapore Tourism Board.
As a relatively young and modern country, Singapore has been quite successful in addressing the issues that face people with disabilities, but there are gaps that are still being addressed. If you have further questions feel free to e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How can I find an accessible hotel?
For more information about the basic accessibility of hotels and other public buildings, please visit the Building and Construction Authority’s Friendly Built Environment Portal and search for a ‘Friendly Building’:
How can I find an accessible property/accommodation in locations other than Singapore?
If you are continuing on to other destinations you might want to visit the Accomodable website for more detailed information about accessible accommodation at: https://www.accomable.com/
How easy is it for person with a disability to use public transport?
Singapore’s train system, also known as the Mass Rapid Transport System (MRT) is fully wheelchair accessible and has other accessibility features for those with other disabilities. The buses will be made up an entirely wheelchair accessible fleet by 2020, but currently there are many wheelchair accessible buses and you can find out which routes are accessible at https://www.smrt.com.sg/Journey-with-Us/Travel-Information/Accessibility
What is the easiest way to pay for my travel?
Singapore Tourist Pass – http://www.thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg/
I have heard that you are not allowed to eat or drink on the trains or in the stations. Am I allowed to take my medication with plain water?
Try and take your medication before entering the MRT station. Special arrangements can be made for you to consume your medication within the station premises and you will need to contact the station staff. See https://www.smrt.com.sg/Journey-with-Us/FAQs
If I do not want to use public transport, what other options are available to me?
Standard taxis are not that expensive, but they can only accomodate manual wheelchairs and they have to be folded and stored in the boot. This means that the wheelchair user will have to transfer into the car.
Uber Singapore offers a service called UberAssist where Uber drivers are trained to help manual wheelchair users or those with mobility issues to transfer safely into the car. Please see https://newsroom.uber.com/singapore/uberassist/
If you use a motorised wheelchair and want to book a taxi there are a number of organisations that offer specialised transportation services to people with disabilities:
- Caring Fleet – www.caringfleet.com
- Handicaps Welfare Association – www.hwa.org.sg
- Silveray – www.silveray.com.sg
The roads seem very busy and it can rain a lot in Singapore – how do I get from A to B?
Sheltered link ways enable wheelchair users to access public transport hubs on rainy days.
Some pedestrian overhead bridges are fitted with lifts making it more convenient for wheelchair users and persons with a visual disability to access transport nodes.
How do I get to/from Changi Airport?
I think I will need special assistance at Changi Airport, where do I find out more about requesting support?
I have a guide dog – are they allowed on the plane or around Singapore?
Singapore legalisation supports the use of guide dogs generally (E.g. on public transport, in shopping malls) however you will need to check with the airline as to whether they will allow a guide dog on the plane. You will have to consider this issue well in advance of your travel date – see http://www.miusa.org/resource/tipsheet/serviceanimal
Sightseeing/ Cruises & Island Hopping
I hear that there are many small islands nearby – are they accessible by people with disabilities?
Some of the small vessels used may not be accessible for wheelchair users e.g. those used to go to Pulau Ubin, St John’s and Kusu – do check with the ferry operator before you go.
During part of my stay I would like to take a cruise – are they accessible?
Some of the older ships may be fairly inaccessible e.g. no lifts for wheelchair users or braille signage for those with visual disability. It would be advisable to check out the companies who run the larger, newer ships e.g. http://www.royalcaribbean.com/allaboutcruising/accessibleseas/home.do
During part of my stay I shall be taking a cruise – how do I get to the ship?
Are the main tourist attractions accessible?
For more information, search for the tourist attraction on the Building and Construction Authority’s Friendly Built Environment Portal in the ‘Friendly Building’ search function at: http://www.bca.gov.sg/friendlybuilding/FindBuilding/FriendlyFeatures.aspx
The older attractions may not be changed for heritage preservation reasons. The newer attractions are usually accessible although signage may not be in braille and the displays may not always be at the appropriate level for a wheelchair user. Popular, generally accessible attractions include:
- Sentosa Island
- National Museum of Singapore
- Singapore Sentosa Cove
- Singapore Flyer
- Gardens by the Bay
- Singapore Zoo
- River Safari
- Jurong Bird Park
- Marina Bay Sands
It is worth checking the relevant tourist attraction website before you go. Occasionally, manual wheelchairs may be borrowed, with advance booking.
Singapore is famous for its shopping malls – how easy are they to access?
For more information, visit the Building and Construction Authority’s Friendly Built Environment Portal and search for the shopping mall in the ‘Friendly Building’ search function at: http://www.bca.gov.sg/friendlybuilding/FindBuilding/FriendlyFeatures.aspx
Many of the larger, more modern shopping malls are accessible e.g ION (Orchard Rd) and VivoCity (Harbourfront). Many of the newer malls in Singapore are located directly above or near a MRT station.
There are occasionally networks of underground malls/walkways which link the various malls and MRT stations e.g.
- ION/Paterson Link (between Orchard and Scotts Rds)
- Citylink mall (City Hall and Esplanade MRT stations, Suntec City Mall, Marina Square, hotels in Marina Centre, Millenia Walk, Esplanade Mall, Esplanade Theatres on the Bay)
How do I access healthcare services in Singapore as a tourist with disabilities?
Healthcare for Visitors to Singapore – http://www.marinabaysands.com/singapore-visitors-guide/general-travel-information/healthcare-for-visitors-to-singapore.html
Clinics & Pharmacies at Changi Airport – http://www.changiairport.com/en/airport-experience/attractions-and-services/clinics-and-pharmacies.html
Where can I find more tourist information about Singapore?
- Singapore Tourism Board – http://www.yoursingapore.com/en.html
- Travel Guides and Apps – http://www.yoursingapore.com/about-singapore/traveller-information/download-travel-guide.html
- One stop portal for people with disabilities in Singapore – SG Enable – https://www.sgenable.sg
- Airbnb style service for persons with disabilities – section on Singapore is under construction https://www.accomable.com/ \
- Guide to top wheelchair-friendly attractions and hotels – https://www.silverkris.com/guide-singapores-top-wheelchair-friendly-attractions-hotels/
Who do I contact in case of emergency?
Emergency contact numbers:
- your embassy – http://www.embassypages.com/singapore
- Police (999) or Ambulance (995, 1777 if non-emergency) – see https://www.angloinfo.com/singapore/how-to/singapore-healthcare-emergencies