TIPS FOR VISITING SINGAPORE
Singapore is one of the most popular tourist destinations today. The combination of modern, new and traditional makes it an attractive destination. Visiting Singapore is an adventure of a life time. Where else will you see tigers walking around? Where else would you see the so called “trees made out of light”? The answer is simple: Only In Singapore!
As with all other new places, visiting Singapore for a first time could be frightening. If you are an avid traveler, then you are used to the unknown by now. Also, you have probably developed excellent Sherlock Holmes skills! Experienced traveler or not, we decided to make it easy for everybody and prepared the following Tips for Visiting Singapore list!
NEED TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO
- Singapore currency: Singapore dollar
- Languages: English (primary), Mandarin, Bahasa Malay, Tamil
- Mobile phones: if you have an unlocked cell phone (called GSM) you could purchase a Singapore prepaid card
- Tourist Information Center located at cnr Orchard & Cairnhill Rds, hours of operations 9:30 AM to 10:30 PM
Well, this will really proof your financial budgeting skills! 🙂 It is a case-per-case based, but in general you could prepare for the following (all prices are approximate and depend on time of year & exchange rates):
FOR THE BUDGET TRAVELER
- Dorm bed @ $20-40
- Food @ Hawker centers and/or food courts $6 p/meal
- Museum tickets @ $6-10
FOR THE MIDRANGE TRAVEL SPENDER
- Double room in midrangehotel @ $140-250
- Singapore Ducktour $33
- Two-course dinner with wine @$60
FOR THE LUXURY LOVER
- Four or five star double room @ $250-700
- High end restaurant full course meal @$90-$150
- Theater tickets @ $150
ARRIVING IN SINGAPORE
Changi Airport: You have few options: 1. You could take the train/public bus into town for $1.85; 2. Airport shuttle bus for about $9-10; 3. Take a taxi for about $18-38 (depending on your end destination + you will be charged twice more for a midnight ride and some airport surcharges); 4. Limo for $55 additional $15 for each additional stop.
HarbourFront Ferry Terminal: You could take the MRT train into town for about $1.40 or take a taxi for $6-13.
Woodland Train Checkpoint: The only viable option from this point A is to take a taxi into town for $19-22
Please note that there are often unexpected surcharges for transportation between these three points and venues into town. Be prepared with some extra cash on hand to cover them.
GETTING AROUND SINGAPORE ON YOUR OWN
Again, you have few great options to choose from:
- EZ-Link Card: most big U.S. cities offer similar public transportation cards. This credit-card-sized electronic travel card gives you access to MRT trains and local buses. Tap on and off the sensors after charging it/putting money into it and you are good to go! You can purchase one and charge it at any and all MRT stations.
- MRT and/or BUS: either way you have reliable transportation! If you do choose to use the buses, which we strongly recommend, you will get to see more of the city. There are plenty of late evening and midnight buses too and your EZ-Link Card is valid for them as well.
- Taxis: fairly cheap if you are used to NYC, Sydney or London prices 🙂 You can either flag one on the street or catch it at a taxi stand. Do remember that you might be charged twice more during heavy rainy days and during peak hours, as well as between midnight and 6 AM.
Singapore has some of the priciest sleeping accommodations in Southeast Asia. Be sure to book your ahead of time (usually two months in advance at least). Visiting Singapore during the months of February-May or August-October will definitely save you few dollars as it is the off-season period. Most sought hotels are in the midrange price mentioned earlier and they could be idiosyncratic, artist-designed boutique hotels, elegant colonial pads and/or ostentatious chains.
Booking.com or Airbnb.com are your best two choices. (we do not collect commission from these two websites, but if you would like us to help you find something even more affordable or luxurious than the posted ads, please contact us by completing our PLAN HERE form)
WHAT TO PACK & WEAR?
Singapore is hot and humid, so pack clothes that are light and comfortable. Shorts, t-shirts and flip-flops are acceptable almost everywhere.
Personal suggestion: avoid cotton made tops!!!
Packing a pair of trainers or hiking shoes is also a good idea especially if you visit the trails and/or botanic garden.
Don’t forget to bring a small portable umbrella with you. It rains often and you will definitely need it! You don’t want to be found without one during a sudden Singaporean downpour 😉 (monsoon season is between November and January)
BONUS TIPS FOR VISITING SINGAPORE
- bring a mosquito repellent
- eating and/or drinking on public transport is prohibited
- it is common to address middle-aged and elderly people as ‘Uncle’ or ‘Auntie’ as a sign of respect
- the head is considered sacred by many so avoid touching someone else’s. The feet are considered dirty, so don’t point them directly at someone (be careful how you sit) so you don’t offend them