Thinking about traveling to Singapore?
If this is your first time visiting one of Southeast Asia’s most fascinating destinations, Singapore is a diverse island country that possesses something for any traveler.
No matter how long or short your stay in Singapore is, you will instantly fall in love with experiences around every corner.
To make sure you make the best out of your trip to Singapore, here are 10 Tips For Traveling In Singapore.
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10 Tips For Traveling In Singapore
Dress for the weather
Singapore’s tropical climate means it’s like summer all year round. The country has three seasons: Hot, Hotter and Hottest. Temperatures average from 26–34 degrees Celsius followed with high humidity.
This means you could be sweating a lot throughout your trip, so wearing the right clothing will make the heat more tolerable. I myself love the heat, but my traveling companion wasn’t a big fan because the humid weather did a number on her hair.
If you are thinking about outdoor activities during your trip, try doing them in the mornings, and at night when the lights come on. Also, keep an umbrella with you at all times.
It may sound strange to do that, but with the tropical climate, the weather could change from the sunshine into rain in a matter of seconds. An umbrella is also essential, as this tropical climate swings from blistering sunshine to torrential downpours in a matter of minutes.
Things are a little more expensive than you are used to
Ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world, Singapore can take more of a hit in your wallet compared to other Asian cities. But there are plenty of different options available that are cheap as well as free to do in Singapore.
The high cost of travel in Singapore caught me off guard during my first trip, but within a day or two you’ll figure out what’s worth it or not.
If you are looking into partying and smoking while you are there, be prepared that it will cost you some money to do that. Singapore has a high tax on alcohol, so try to save money by scoping out the hour deals throughout Singapore.
Cigarettes are also expensive in Singapore. Plus, smoking has been banned in restaurants, clubs, and around the highest public areas, so if you need to smoke look out for the yellow smokers’ box to find out where you can puff away.
Eat cheap with hawker food centres
One of the things I figured out within my first day of visiting Singapore, was to skip cafes and fancy restaurants and head to the local hawker centers for a meal. Hawker centres are where you could find Singapore’s many authentic cuisines cheap! The hawker centers tend to be further from tourist areas, but the food is worth the travel.
My favourite hater centres were around china town and marina bay. You have to try the specialties of chicken rice and chilli crab and laska which is a zesty noodle soup.
Bring a water bottle with you
Since you will be dripping of sweat throughout the day, you need to keep hydrated. Have a water bottle with you throughout the day, and refill it as much as you can.
The tap water in Singapore is probably the best water I have ever tasted. My suggestions for water bottles are the collapsible water bottle the Britta water filter bottle. The collapsible is easy to carry after drinking, and the Britta water filter bottle is great for those who don’t trust the tap water.
On my last trip, I witnessed many foreigners pass out from dehydration or heat exhaustion. So take care of yourself while you journey through this amazing place.
Awesome Places To Visit
Gardens by the Bay
The Gardens by the Bay is the most popular attraction in the city and gets quite busy. The Flower Dome and Cloud Forest open up at 9 a.m., so I recommend getting there at least 15 minutes early so you’re among the first ones to purchase tickets.
The Gardens and Supertree grove are free to enjoy all day, and you may explore the upper walkway between the trees for a small cost per person.
Marina Bay Sands
Marina Bay Sands is extraordinary – it’s a boat on a building. I still wasn’t quite sure what to think of it the first time I visited Singapore but its an impressive sight.
To have an incredible view from 50 plus stories up, book a table and eat at the rooftop bar or you may grab a drink and hang out and just enjoy the view after a long day of exploring.
Public transport is cheap and safe
The cheapest and easiest method to get around Singapore is via their amazing SMRT transportation that is up to the minute and well-maintained.
Pick up a stored value EZ-Link card to use on the buses and subways; tap the reader at the start and end of your span to unconsciously deduct your fare, and use apps to tell you precisely how to get to a specific location.
Taxis are all metered, but you should also use ride-sharing apps like Grab if you’d rather not worry relating to local currency. Bike-sharing is also developing in popularity and a cheap process to get around.
An airport you want a long layover in
Consistently ranked as one of the top airports in the world, Singapore’s Changi Airport is where you want to be if you have to suffer through a long layover.
With the downtown area merely half an hour away from the airport by public transport, it’s easy for you to notice the main sights quickly on your own, or if you have at least a six-hour layover, you can even join a free city tour.
If you’d rather relax, know that the airport is so well-loved that locals enjoy spending her weekends here; check out her many gardens, free movie screenings, and even a swimming pool.
Know the rules
Singapore is well known for its most laws and regulations. Actions like spitting in the street, tossing your cigarette butt into a drain, or sticking your chewing gum on public property could result in a fine if you get caught.
Don’t let this panic you are most of the laws in place are common sense rules, but know that you can face severe punishments that include incarceration and caning when it comes to infractions like vandalism. You can even face the death penalty for drug-related offences.
Despite this hard stance on crime, Singapore is often rated as one of the safest countries in the world.
Side note: Please observe signage in respect of photography, and if in doubt ask permission. On private property, the owner of the property can have the photographer removed, and charged with trespassing if they refuse.
On the other hand, I don’t believe the owner of the property has any legal recourse when it comes to pictures already taken — a business owner can ask someone to leave, but they have no legal standing to seize another private citizen’s property.
Know the customs rules and duty-free concessions
If you’re trying to get around the expensive alcohol and tobacco taxes, learn the duty-free concessions, as Singapore is strict with respect to what you could bring inside, and you may face gangling fines if you’re caught not following the rules.
For alcohol, you can buy single liter each of spirits, wine and beer, or two liters of wine, plus one liter of beer, and vice versa. There is no concession on tobacco products; you can bring in single already-opened packet, but everything else is taxable, while e-tobacco products are banned.
Safety is high and corruption is low
In general, Singapore enjoys high protection standards. Crime is commonly low, it’s safe to be out on your own late at night, and bribery and corruption are not a problem. Still, you can use common sense when traveling in a cosmopolitan city, simply as you would at home. For example, don’t leave your items unattended.
Additional tipping not necessary
Tipping culture is not customary in Singapore and service staff generally don’t anticipate tips, though it’s welcome if you want to reward tremendous service.
Hawker centers usually charge an all-inclusive “net” fee, while there’s a 7% goods and services tax for the highest services in shops.
When it comes to dining, cafes, restaurants, and bars, you’ll often be charged a supplementary 10% service charge on top of your bill; look for a “plus-plus” or “++” symbol on your menu.
Don’t let some of these tips for traveling in Singapore scare you, as with any country that you travel the first time, you should understand the customs before arriving. Once you arrive in Singapore, you will be amazed at what I believe is Disneyland for adults.
Singapore is a fantastic place to visit, and if you have the chance to go, do! Get out there and enjoy the journey!
If you are looking for accommodations on the trip, I would suggest Airbnb. Join Airbnb with this link to Accept Trent’s invite to join Airbnb and you’ll get $45 CAD towards your first trip of $95 CAD or more.
Also, Join Uber with this link to $5 off the first ride.
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