Singapore - City Bay at Night
Singapore - City Bay at Night

City Bay

Singapore - a city of amazing architecture
Photo by Zhu Hongzhi

SINGAPORE

Asia

Singapore Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Singapore

Location:

Southeastern Asia, islands between Malaysia and Indonesia

Currency:

Singapore dollars (SGD)

Area:

719 sq km

Population:

5,866,139 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

English (official) 48.3%, Mandarin (official) 29.9%, other Chinese dialects (includes Hokkien, Cantonese, Teochew, Hakka) 8.7%, Malay (official) 9.2%, Tamil (official) 2.5%, other 1.4%; note - data represent language most frequently spoken at home (2020 est.)

Religion:

Buddhist 31.1%, Christian 18.9%, Muslim 15.6%, Taoist 8.8%, Hindu 5%, other 0.6%, none 20% (2020 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC+8

Tel Code:

+65

Weather

Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate, with high temperatures and humidity throughout the year. The country experiences two main seasons: the Northeast Monsoon, from December to early March, and the Southwest Monsoon, from June to September.

Northeast Monsoon (Dry season)

The Northeast Monsoon, from December to early March, is considered the best time to visit Singapore. The weather is dry, mild, and comfortable, making it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. The skies are clear, and the visibility is good, which makes it a great time to visit the country's many attractions such as Gardens by the Bay, Sentosa Island, and Marina Bay Sands.

Southwest Monsoon (Rainy season)

The Southwest Monsoon, from June to September, is characterized by heavy rainfall, high humidity, and thunderstorms. This is not the best time to visit Singapore for those who want to enjoy outdoor activities or sightseeing, but it's a good time for those who want to experience the country's lush, green landscapes and enjoy indoor activities like visiting museums, shopping or trying the local food.

In general, the best time to visit Singapore is from December to early March, when the weather is dry, mild, and comfortable, making it perfect for outdoor activities and sightseeing. However, it's always worth checking the weather forecast for the specific days you plan to visit, as the weather can vary depending on the location.

Transportation

Singapore has a well-developed transportation infrastructure and several options for getting around, including:

MRT (Mass Rapid Transit)

The MRT is Singapore's metro system and is considered one of the most efficient and convenient ways to get around the city. It covers most of the city and is a fast and reliable way to get to most tourist destinations.

Bus

Buses are another popular option for getting around Singapore. They cover most areas of the city and are a great way to explore the city.

Taxis

Taxis are widely available in Singapore and are a convenient option for getting around the city. They are relatively inexpensive and can be easily hailed on the street or booked in advance. Most people will use the Grab or Gojek mobile apps to book taxis and order food.

Bike-sharing

Bike-sharing services like oBike and ofo, are available in Singapore and are a great way to explore the city at your own pace.

Car rental

Car rental is also an option for those who prefer to have their own transportation, but it's not a recommended option due to the high cost of owning a car in Singapore, and the availability of public transportation and bike-sharing services.

Walking

Singapore is a relatively small city and many attractions are within walking distance. Walking is a great way to explore the city, especially in the central areas.

All in all, Singapore has an excellent transportation infrastructure, and it is relatively easy to get around using public transportation, bike-sharing, or walking. The MRT and buses are considered the most efficient and convenient ways to get around the city, however, the taxi services are also widely available and can be a good option for those who prefer more comfort or for longer distances.

Accommodation

Singapore is a small island city-state located in Southeast Asia that is known for its cleanliness, safety, and efficiency. The country has a wide range of accommodation options for travelers, including:

Hotels

Singapore has a wide range of hotels, from budget options to luxury resorts. Prices vary depending on the level of comfort and service you require. In the main tourist areas, such as Orchard Road, Marina Bay, and Clarke Quay, you'll find a good selection of mid-range and luxury hotels.

Guesthouses

Guesthouses are a budget-friendly accommodation option in Singapore. They are generally small, family-run establishments that offer basic rooms and facilities. Guesthouses can be found in most areas of the city, and they are a great way to experience the local way of life.

Hostels

Hostels are a budget-friendly accommodation option, and are more common in the main tourist areas and cities. They usually offer dormitory-style accommodation and shared facilities, and they can be a great way to meet other travelers.

Serviced apartments

Serviced apartments are a popular option for travelers staying in Singapore for an extended period. They offer more space and privacy than a hotel, and they often come with a kitchen and other amenities.

Homestays

Homestays are not very common in Singapore, but there are a few options available for travelers who want to experience the local culture and way of life.

Resorts

Singapore has a growing number of luxury resorts, many of which are located in remote and scenic locations such as Sentosa island. These resorts offer a high level of comfort and service, and they are perfect for those looking for a more upscale experience.

Note: That Airbnb is not available for short term stays in Singapore (under 90 days).

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Singapore Closed
Test
Required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Singapore is a city-state known for its modern skyline, delicious food, and diverse culture. Whether you're a first-time visitor or a seasoned traveler, there is no shortage of things to see and do in this vibrant island nation. From visiting iconic landmarks to experiencing local traditions, here are some of the top things to experience in Singapore:

      1. Visit Marina Bay Sands

      One of the most iconic landmarks in Singapore, Marina Bay Sands offers visitors a chance to take in panoramic views of the city from its rooftop infinity pool. The complex also houses a luxury hotel, a mall, and a casino.

      2. Explore Gardens by the Bay

      Gardens by the Bay is a nature park spanning 101 hectares of reclaimed land in central Singapore. It comprises of three waterfront gardens: Bay South Garden, Bay East Garden and Bay Central Garden. It features the Supertree Grove, a collection of vertical gardens that soar up to 50 meters high.

      3. Walk Along Clarke Quay

      Clarke Quay is a historic riverside quay in Singapore, it is known for its trendy restaurants, bars, and clubs. The colorful shophouses and street art along the river make for a great photo opportunity.

      4. Take a Stroll in Little India

      Little India is a vibrant neighborhood in Singapore where you can experience the culture and tradition of the Indian community in the city. You can find colorful temples, traditional Indian clothing and jewelry, and delicious local food.

      5. Visit Sentosa Island

      Sentosa Island is a popular tourist destination in Singapore, it is home to attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore, S.E.A. Aquarium, Adventure Cove Waterpark and the iconic Merlion Statue.

      6. Visit the National Museum of Singapore

      The National Museum of Singapore is the oldest museum in the country and provides an overview of the history, culture and art of Singapore. The museum also has interactive exhibits that are fun and educational for both adults and children.

      7. Take a Food Tour

      Singapore is known for its delicious food, and a food tour is a great way to experience it. You can explore hawker centers, food courts, and local restaurants, and sample a variety of dishes from the city's diverse culinary scene.

      8. Shop at Orchard Road

      Orchard Road is Singapore's premier shopping district, it features high-end brands, department stores, and local boutiques. It is a great place to shop for luxury goods, fashion, and souvenirs.

      9. Visit the Buddha Tooth Relic Temple

      Buddha Tooth Relic Temple is a Buddhist temple located in the Chinatown district of Singapore. The temple is home to a tooth relic of the historical Buddha, and the temple also serves as a cultural center for the Buddhist community in Singapore.

      10. Take a Night Safari

      The Night Safari is the world's first nocturnal zoo, it is a great place to see exotic animals in their natural habitats at night. You can take a tram ride through the different habitats, and watch animal shows and presentations.

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