A melting pot of global culture, hanging out on an island off the southern coast of Malaysia is the city-state of Singapore, or the Lion City - epitomised in the spirit of the land and immortalised in its name.
The island nation is known to be one of the safest and cleanest places to visit in the world, thus finding itself ranking quite high on the list of most popular travel destinations in the world. And once you’re here, let not the abundance of experiences overwhelm you.
With tons of attractions that cater to a universal crowd of all ages, Singapore has something for everyone. Colorful neighborhoods, delicious fusion food, historic temples, exciting wildlife reserves, luxurious shopping malls - it’s no wonder millions of people are flocking to this island nation each year.
4 reasons you should visit Singapore
How to prepare for your trip to Singapore?
Citizens of most countries can get a 90-day visa on arrival, so long as your passport is valid for at least 6 months from the day you enter. Citizens of India, Myanmar, Armenia, Russia and several other countries will need to obtain a visa prior to arrival.In addition to the standard banned items, it is prohibited to bring in pornographic materials, CDs, DVDs, software or certain religious materials. For more information on customs regulations, you can refer to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive city for tourists, however, it isn’t impossible to experience it on a modest budget. While there is a lot to do, there are also several ways to cut down on the ludicrous expenses that you can get caught up in during your stay. From finding the perfect place to stay to finding the top things to do in the city; our Singapore travel tips guide has you covered. If you're visiting Singapore for the first time,our list of 15 travel tips and hacks will come handy.
Best time to visit
Regardless of when you visit Singapore, you can expect the weather to be warm and humid climate throughout the year. February to April are the best months for sightseeing as they attract minimal rainfall and the weather is generally dry. They are also the best months for honeymooners. Any month is a great time to visit Singapore for backpackers. December to early February is festival and celebration time. June to August is the best period for those keen on shopping festivals in Singapore. Read our detailed blog on the Best time to visit Singapore.
Top things to do in Singapore
When we say there's something new that crops up in the city every week or so, we are not exaggerating! Singapore never ceases to surprise and has something to keep everyone of all ages occupied. While there are over 500+ things to do in Singapore, here are the top 10 attractions you cannot miss out on!
Unmissable landmarks in Singapore
Sentosa Island in Singapore
The island of thrill, luxury, and all things nice – Sentosa is a recreational getaway situated off Singapore’s southern coast. A favorite amongst Singapore tourists, Sentosa Island offers a stunning panoramic view of the city with a slew of fun activities. Whether you spend an evening loitering by the beach or spend a day out on an exciting sightseeing excursion, you'll leave the island with incredible memories. There's something for everyone in Sentosa, whether you're an animal lover, an adrenaline junkie, a history buff, or a beach bum! Things to do in Sentosa is a never-ending list because new attractions pop up every now and then. Here is your Guide To The 18 Best Things To Do in Sentosa Island Singapore.
Nature and Wildlife Activities
From wildlife reserves and nighttime safaris to alien-like gardens and thrilling shark-dives, check out our roundup of Singapore nature and wildlife.
Here are your top 15 Nature & Wildlife activities
Theme parks in Singapore
Here’s our take on the best theme parks in Singapore — the ones you simply must not miss out on.
Getting around in Singapore
Singapore is a city-state adorned with modern skyscrapers, lush green parks, cultural landmarks, and a vibrant mix of cultures. To fully immerse yourself in the beauty of Singapore, walking is often the best way to explore. However, Singapore offers transportation options -
- MRT (Mass Rapid Transit): The MRT system is the backbone of Singapore's public transportation network. It crisscrosses the entire island, offering efficient and convenient access to various parts of the city. With multiple lines spanning approximately 200 kilometers, the MRT is a reliable choice for getting around Singapore.
- Bus: Singapore's extensive bus network complements the MRT system, providing comprehensive coverage across the city. Buses are equipped with air conditioning, making them a comfortable mode of transportation. They are especially useful for reaching destinations not directly accessible by MRT.
- Public Bicycles: Singapore promotes eco-friendly transportation with its public bicycle-sharing programs, such as "oBike" and "SG Bike." You can rent bicycles from various stations and explore the city's parks and scenic routes along the waterfront.
- Taxis: Taxis in Singapore are readily available and provide a convenient way to travel, especially if you prefer a door-to-door service. While taxis are more expensive compared to public transport, they are still a viable option for getting around, especially during late hours.
- Trishaws: For a unique and nostalgic experience, consider taking a ride in a traditional trishaw, often found in heritage districts like Chinatown and Little India. Trishaw riders provide guided tours while pedaling you through the colorful streets.
- River Taxis and Ferries: Singapore is known for its stunning waterfront areas, and you can explore them by taking river taxis and ferries. These water-based transportation options offer picturesque views of the city skyline and allow you to access islands like Sentosa.
- Tourist Sightseeing Buses: Singapore offers hop-on-hop-off tourist buses that cover major attractions and landmarks. These buses provide informative commentary and flexibility, allowing you to explore Singapore's top spots at your own pace.
Best neighborhoods to stay in Singapore
Your First Time
On a Budget
Where to stay in Singapore for sightseeing - Marina Bay and Orchard Road
Marina Bay: Staying in the Marina Bay area puts you in the heart of Singapore's iconic sights. You'll have easy access to Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and Merlion Park. Luxurious hotels with stunning views of the city are available for those looking for a memorable stay.
Orchard Road: This central location is perfect for sightseeing. It's known for its upscale hotels and proximity to shopping malls like ION Orchard and Ngee Ann City. From here, you can explore popular attractions and dine at various restaurants.
Hotels in Singapore
What to eat in Singapore
1. Hainanese Chicken Rice
A beloved Singaporean dish, Hainanese chicken rice consists of tender poached chicken served with fragrant rice and a trio of dipping sauces, including ginger paste, chili sauce, and dark soy sauce. Visit Chinatown or Maxwell Food Centre for authentic renditions.
2. Chilli crab
A spicy and savory delight, chili crab features succulent crab cooked in a rich, tangy tomato-based sauce with chili and egg. Jumbo Seafood and Long Beach Seafood are renowned spots for this dish.
3. Char Kway Teow
This stir-fried flat rice noodle dish is a local favorite. It's typically cooked with prawns, Chinese sausage, eggs, and bean sprouts, all infused with a smoky wok hei (charred aroma). You can find excellent versions at hawker centers like Old Airport Road Food Centre.
Laksa is a flavorful noodle soup that comes in two main variations: curry laksa and assam laksa. The former is creamy and coconut-based, while the latter is tangy and fish-based. Try 328 Katong Laksa or Sungei Road Laksa for a taste of these comforting soups.
5. Hokkien Mee
A delicious stir-fried noodle dish featuring prawns, squid, and a savory seafood broth, Hokkien Mee is a must-try. Visit stalls like Tian Tian Lai Hokkien Mee at Kovan Market & Food Centre.
These skewered and grilled meats, often served with a side of peanut sauce and rice cakes, make for a popular street food snack. Satay stalls at Lau Pa Sat and Newton Food Centre offer a delightful satay experience.
7. Kaya Toast
For breakfast or a sweet snack, indulge in kaya toast. It consists of toasted bread slathered with kaya (a sweet coconut and egg jam) and butter, often accompanied by soft-boiled eggs and coffee or tea. Popular chains like Ya Kun Kaya Toast and Toast Box serve this classic dish.
8. Roti Prata
This South Indian-inspired flatbread is crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Enjoy it with a variety of dips, including curry, sugar, or condensed milk, at places like Mr. and Mrs. Mohgan's Super Crispy Roti Prata.
9. Bak Kut Teh
A hearty pork rib soup flavored with a blend of herbs and spices, Bak Kut Teh is a comforting dish. Savor it with steamed rice and side dishes like dough fritters. Song Fa Bak Kut Teh is a renowned restaurant for this dish.
10. Ice Kacang
Beat the Singaporean heat with a refreshing bowl of Ice Kacang, a colorful dessert featuring shaved ice, sweet syrup, red beans, jelly, and other toppings. Try it at dessert stalls across the island.
Singapore itineraries for every type of traveller
In this guide, we have created 3 itineraries that will help you plan your trip to Singapore. Depending on your duration, whether it's just a day or 5 days, you can go through our guide and plan your stay accordingly. To navigate to each list, click on the markers above and it will take you to its respective page where you can take an in-depth look into the curated itineraries. And find a readymade Singapore itinerary, tailored to suit all age groups!
BONUS: How to save money in Singapore
In comparison to its neighboring countries, prices in Singapore are more on par with European and North American standards. With that being said, there are a ton of ways to save money while traveling through the city-state.
Try these tips and hacks to cut costs, while still enjoying the best of Singapore.
1. Use the MRT
Singapore’s MRT (subway) is the most efficient and cheapest way to get around the island. It’s also very punctual and exceptionally clean. Base fares start at S$1 (about $0.74). Maps showing the surrounding area are printed on the walls in MRT stations, making it extremely easy to use unlike other subway systems.
2. Avoid traveling during National Holidays
Especially during Chinese New Year (Jan/Feb), prices for hotels, transport and other visitor-related activities skyrocket. It’s definitely a great opportunity to take in the nation’s culture, but if you’re on a budget, you might want to consider planning around these dates.
3. Take advantage of Happy Hour
There a ton of great places to grab a drink in Singapore; but the city’s nightlife hotspots can come at a cost. If you’re on a budget, timing your cocktail time for Happy Hour will help minimize the damage on your wallet. Be sure to try the famed Singapore Sling - the island’s beloved gin cocktail.
Explore Singapore on a budget
Singapore is a captivating destination that offers a wealth of experiences, and you don't need to break the bank to enjoy them. With careful planning and smart choices, you can make the most of your visit to this vibrant city without overspending. Here's a guide to exploring Singapore on a budget.
There are many things to do in Singapore. You can visit the world-famous Zoo, take a ride on the Singapore Flyer, go shopping at Orchard Road, or take a walk through Chinatown.
The food in Singapore is a blend of Chinese, Malay, Indian, and Western influences. There is something for everyone to enjoy!
The nightlife in Singapore is vibrant and exciting. There are many bars and nightclubs to enjoy, as well as live music and other entertainment options.
Be sure to not litter. Do not chew gum. Vandalism is a serious offense and can result in a jail sentence. And, it is considered disrespectful to walk around barefoot or shirtless in public.
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