How to travel to JB from Singapore – The best ways possible

Expat life
26 Apr 2023
11 mins read
Written by Team Instarem

By the time you finish reading this article, your confidence level of travelling to JB will probably be the equivalent of that of those Uncles and Aunties who can travel without thinking of where to go and what to do. A better analogy – you can basically sleepwalk and end up in JB, unscathed to do all your shoppings.


Wondering how to travel to JB from Singapore? How to go about JB customs? Best method to go to JB? You’ve come to the perfect place. In this article, we will cover the different ways to go to Johor Bahru and which method you may choose to best cater to your situation.



Estimated time taken to reach JB checkpoint by bus: 1h (off-peak) to 4h (peak)


**If you decide to take other indirect buses, it’d be good to check with the bus driver if the bus is going to Woodlands Checkpoint as some buses have branched routes, so the same bus number may lead you to different places.




You may consider pre-booking your bus tickets online to receive a cheaper bus rate:


  • Pre-book your Transtar bus ticket here. (up to 50% off!)
  • Pre-book your Causeway bus ticket here.


And if you haven’t pre-booked your ticket, the safest, most accepted payment mode is through EZ-link card. Just make sure it’s topped up, else that would be embarrassing…


After clearing JB immigration at JB checkpoint, if you want to further head to JB Sentral/ Larkin, you may board these buses accordingly:


  • JB Sentral – 160, 170e, 950
  • Larkin – 170, CW1, CW2, SJE

But… what’s the process like?


Step 1: Board any bus that can go to Woodlands Checkpoint (ref. to table above)


Step 2: Clear SG immigration at Woodlands Checkpoint


Step 3: Board any bus from Woodlands Checkpoint, to go to JB Checkpoint


**Note: If you’ve paid the full fare for Transtar Bus (TS) and Causeway (CW), you may just board the same bus without needing to pay extra fares. Just show your physical/ digital ticket to the bus driver upon boarding.


Step 4: Clear JB immigration at JB Checkpoint, and you’re all set!


Clearing JB immigration is the most arduous part of the whole journey, especially if you were to travel during peak periods, where you’d be easily made to queue for more than 2 hours. Unless you don’t mind your knees starting to fail on you even before you begin your JB journey, it’d be wise to travel during non-peak periods.


Notes on travelling time:


  • Best time to travel to JB from SG (Mon-Thurs): Before 7am, and travel back to SG after 8pm.
    Source: ipacktravel
  • Time it takes to reach JB checkpoint by bus: 1h (off-peak) to 4h (peak)
  • For further confirmation, we recommend you use Google maps traffic mode to check for traffic or use this link here to view traffic only limited to that from Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoint.

By train – KTM

Train?? Who takes the train to JB? – Something I used to say until I figured out how convenient taking the train to JB is compared to bus if you are in need of more space, to park your wheelchair or stroller, or to store your luggage, all while keeping your costs at a minimum. On the bus… yea you can dream on.


The whole process is very straightforward, here’s an outline:

Step 1: Book your train tickets in advance from KTM Shuttle Tebrau website


Price of KTM ticket: $5


Unless you’re super into that YOLO lifestyle, don’t try your luck buying your train ticket to JB at the physical KTM counter at Woodland Train Checkpoint. The tickets sell out very fast.


Step 2: Head to Woodlands Train Checkpoint Level 2


Join the queue to clear both SG and JB immigration. Then proceed to provide your digital/ physical train ticket to the KTM staff for scanning before you enter the gate.


** It is crucial to note that you’ll have to arrive at least 30mins before departure time, as the boarding gate closes 10mins before the train departure time. Don’t be late!


Step 3: It’s time to board! (5 mins journey)


Psstt.. a tip here… if you need more space for large, bulky items like a stroller or wheelchair, you’d need to hawk the front seats of the train, closest to the door, as that’s where you’ll have the most space. In other words, you got to summon your inner kiasu-ness and CHIONG for that seat.


After you’ve settled down, there’s honestly nothing else for you to do except sit back and smirk as you see your train swiftly zooming past the clogged-up traffic jam of buses and cars. Time to take the ‘W’.


The train journey from JB checkpoint to JB Sentral is really short, 5 minutes only, which is super time efficient compared to a bus or a car, where you can get stuck in a traffic jam for hours.

Via private car/ private taxi

Getting a JB car rental, or a private hire would be amazing if you’re travelling in large groups, have elderly or children on-board, or if you have a lot of luggage to bring along.


Since the whole process of clearing immigration when passing through Woodlands and JB checkpoints is all done on the road, you don’t have to leave the car at all. So even if there’s a massive jam, at least you’d be comfortably waiting in the car (except if you have your haughty No.1 & 2s to attend to), whereas those who commuted by bus or train will have to stand and queue the whole time.

Want to know where to get the best car rental deals?
Car rental from Singapore to JB

Carousell: Where the cheap deals and good bargains are at.


On Carousell, there are a variety of cars and price points for you to choose from. Just make sure you do your due diligence in testing the functioning of the car before you officially rent it.

Car rental in JB (near JB checkpoint)

There are many places for car rental JB, and the easiest way to get the best value rentals is through online booking platforms like Kayak, Klook and Expedia. They help collate many of the best deals from different car rental providers in JB, so you can easily compare different car types and prices from the respective car rental providers, that best suit your budget and needs. Just simply indicate your pickup and drop-off location, date and time of your rental period, and your personal details for you to get drivin’.

But.. what if you don’t want to drive?

Not everyone wants to drive for long hours and sometimes you just want to sit back, relax and enjoy your trip and have someone else do all the stressful navigating. If that’s the case, private taxis are for you.

Private taxi from Singapore to JB

SGMYTAXI (Singapore to Malaysia): the price is rather affordable, ranging from $90-$150. Just determine your pick-up and drop-off locations, and you’re all set. They also offer private taxi services for routes that go beyond Johor Bahru like Genting Highlands, Melaka, Kuala Lumpur and many more.

Grab within JB

Grab: the price for a Grab in JB is super affordable compared to Singapore and very convenient. Just whip out your phone anywhere, turn on your locations and get bookin’! Grab in JB is rather safe too.


Just ensure that you’ve either got a data roaming plan or a Malaysian SIM card.


After passing JB immigration, you can straight away head to your JB hotel, like Hotel Inn JB, or head for a shopping spree at Paradigm Mall JB or City Square JB, or to JB Sentral to pick your friends or family up. The sky’s the limit.


Notes on travelling time:


  • Best time to travel to JB from SG (Mon-Thurs): Before 7am, and travel back to SG after 8pm.
  • The time it takes to reach JB checkpoint by bus: 1h (off-peak) to 4h (peak)
  • For further confirmation, we recommend you use Google maps traffic mode to check for traffic or use this link here to view traffic only limited to that from Woodlands and Tuas Checkpoint.

By flight

Until recently, we never thought much about people actually taking the plane from Singapore to JB. It is literally the bogey-est thing someone can ever do. But hey, all’s good as long as they’re happy.


The procedure for flight is standard, where you go about your usual airport routine. And if you’re not familiar with the standard flight procedures… The plane is really not it for you.


A flight ticket to JB costs at least $200, and the travelling time would still be around the same, or even longer as if you were to travel by train or bus to JB. If you include the early check-in time (at least 2h), flight time (30 min), the time needed to get on and off the plane, and additional delays, it’d take a travelling time of at least 3 hours. Unless you’re a die-hard fan of the up-in-the-air experience, we would strongly advise you to weigh out the cost and benefits of taking a plane to JB before choosing it as your travel option.



By Bus


By Car

By Flight











Time Taken






Generally, yes,

but not when there’s elderly & much luggage involved


Yes, especially when there’s elderly & much luggage involved


How to enter JB using immigration e-gates at Johor Bahru? (Singaporeans only)

Entering Johor Bahru just got a whole lot easier with the e-gate facility! Singaporeans can now breeze through immigration at two of the land entry points. 


All it takes is an up to date, valid e-passport (validity of at least three months) and a completed Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) online. The only other thing standing between you and your adventure is….a minimum height requirement of 120cm – because even if dreams have no limits, Malaysian entrances do! 

Information required for Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC) 
  • Name 
  • Passport number 
  • Gender 
  • Nationality 
  • Email address 
  • Country 
  • Mobile number 
  • Arrival date 
  • Departure date 
  • Mode of transport 
  • Last port of embarkation  
Step by step guide to submit Malaysia Digital Arrival Card (MDAC)

First time entry at Malaysia custom 


  • Fill in the information required and submit form online. 
  • Submit your form 3 days before your trip. Take note you will not be able to use the e-gate immediately.  
  • You will need to go to the manual counter for a one-time verification. 


Second time entry at Malaysia custom 


  • Fill in the information required and submit form online. 
  • Submit your form 3 days before your trip.  
  • Scan and enter Malaysia e-gate 


What if you run into issues at the e-gate?  


Having an e-gate machine malfunction can be a real bummer, especially when it happens to you! If your passport isn’t accepted by one of these hi-tech scanners, don’t worry – just grab the nearest manual counter or hop onto another e-gate and give it another shot. 

Heading to JB?

With the weakening of the ringgit in recent months against the SGD, there has been a surge in demand for exchanging SGD to MYR, which led to long queues forming at money changers and ringgits to be out-of-stock as money changers refuse to sell the Ringgits at a loss – well, we’ve got a better solution for you, and that’s the amaze card.



With amaze card, by Instarem, you get to save while you travel with fantastic FX rates and rewards on all your overseas spending.     


Sign up via the Instarem app and start using amaze instantly! It’s totally free.  


*T&Cs apply  


And there you have it, a complete guide for the 4 ways you can travel to JB from Singapore.


So, what are you waiting for? Put your Casuarina Curry prata aside and head straight down to JB for some cheap and good food. We heard that the burgers at Woodfire JB are to die for…


*Disclaimer: This article is intended for informational purposes only. All details are accurate at the time of publishing. Instarem has no affiliation or relationship with products or vendors mentioned.

About Instarem

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