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. Singapore was founded as a British trading colony in 1819 and has been independent since 1965, going on to cement its place as a global commerce and finance hub. 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.
Something For Everyone
No matter the company you go with or the time of the year you go in, you will always have the best experience in Singapore. While the kids can have a ball at one of the many theme parks and attractions in Sentosa, the adults can hit the town - discovering a city teeming with culture. With cuisine from across the world, a vibrant nightlife, and some truly unique attractions, you will leave Singapore with some unforgettable memories.
A Global Center of Culture and Commerce
The culture of Singapore is an eclectic mix of Asian and European cultures, and has been heavily influenced by the colonial era English, Malay, South Asian, and East Asian populations. Where else can you enjoy a delicious South Indian breakfast, lunch in a typical Chinatown eatery and dine with the Malays in Kampong Glam - all in distinct ethnic neighborhoods that have managed to preserve their culture in this ever-changing world.
No other nation in this world has an entire island dedicated to the entertainment and leisure of its people than Singapore. Off the southern coast of Singapore lies a small and green island that has been transformed over the years from a forested island visited by birds to a center of leisure. At Sentosa, you will find world-class theme parks such as Universal Studios Singapore, KidZania and Adventure Cove Waterpark.
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. A melting pot of culture, Singapore’s diversity is a huge part of what makes it so incredible. From ethnic enclaves, each with its own traditions, to shiny skyscrapers that soar in the skyline, the city boasts an enticing blend of old and new.
Singapore Travel Restrictions
Can I travel to Singapore right now? Short answer - Yes. Long answer - there are a few things you should keep in mind before traveling to Singapore. Here's all about the travel restrictions in Singapore.
Top 10 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!
Singapore Trip Planner
All you need before you book your tickets and zip your bag!
Weather in Singapore
Singapore with a typical monsoon tropical climate owing to its proximity to the equator, doesn't show huge variation in various seasons. However, here are how the 4 seasons would typically look like. You can check the weather here.
Singapore in Spring
Spring months of March, April and May are hot and relatively dry. Brief showers once in a while are quite welcoming. However the upside of heat is the refreshing pink bloom on trumpet trees lined by the roads and everywhere else. The Sakura Matsuri show presenting a canopy of pink and white cherry blossoms adds to the natural hue of Singapore in Spring.
Singapore in Summer
Summers in Singapore though not drastically different from other months are quite hot and humid. The best time to stay outdoors is either early in the morning or late evening as the heat can be quite harsh. Myriad possibilities of indoor activities, shopping festivals and beaches are few things that make the hot summers of Singapore super cool!
Singapore in Autumn
Autumn is hot and rainy for Singapore with thunderstorms and morning haze. However, Singapore is one city that is always buzzing with activities. Mid autumn events and festivals make it worthwhile to travel to Singapore in these months. Also, this is the best time of the year to avail yourself of some good deals on your bookings.
Singapore in Winter
Singapore gets cooler during the winter months and it is quite rainy owing to the Northeast Monsoons. This is the time when spirits pick up with a lot of fun events, live performances, parties and cultural activities. The city gears up for Christmas and NewYears and adorns a festive look.
Regardless of when you visit Singapore, you can expect the weather to be warm and humid climate throughout the year.
Best Time for Sightseeing : February to April are the best months for sightseeing as they attract minimal rainfall and the weather is generally dry. Also there are few public holidays and schools are open during this period which means less crowds.
Best Time for Backpackers : Any month is a great time to visit Singapore for backpackers. However one can get good discounts on hotels and flights in the months of August and September.
Best Time for Honeymooners : February to April are the best months for honeymooners. Weather is nice and it is not a typical tourist season, giving them enough space, privacy and pleasant environs.
Best Time for Festivals in Singapore :December to early February period is a big festival and celebration time for Singapore with Christmas, New Year and Chinese New Year. June to August is the best time for those keen on shopping festivals of Singapore. There are also mid-autumn festivals and events that take place in October.
Read our detailed blog on the best time to visit Singapore.
Daily Budget Singapore
- Budget Traveler: S$56 ($41)
- Mid-Range Traveler: S$149 ($110)
- Luxury Traveler: S$414 ($305)
Budget Your Trip here.
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 arriving.
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 page.
For the fifth year in a row, Singapore’s Changi Airport has taken home the award for Best Airport in the World for 2017. A little over 12 miles from the city’s business center, Changi Airport serves as a major hub for travel to all corners of the globe. It boasts impressive architecture, teems with luxurious shopping and spa facilities, offers free internet and even has a swimming pool.
Serviced by both full-service and budget airlines, you can find great deals on flights to Singapore via sites like SkyScanner, Expedia and Momondo . With great international connections, it’s also convenient to plan a layover visit to Singapore while you’re traveling elsewhere in Asia.
There are trains and buses that regularly travel between Malaysia and Thailand. The prices are very affordable and offer some incredible sightseeing along the way.
Singapore has a reputation for being an expensive city for tourists, however, it isn’t impossible to experience it on a modest budget. This quirky island city is known for having an array of exciting activities and unique experiences in store for travelers. 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 handy list of 15 travel tips and hacks will come handy.
Detailed Singapore Itineraries
We've done all the hardwork for you! All you have to do is pick the number of days you'd like to visit Singapore for, and find a readymade Singapore itinerary, tailored to suit all age-groups!
How to Save Money in Singapore
In comparison to its neighbouring 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.
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.
Singapore Nature & Wildlife Activities
From wildlife reserves and night time safaris to an alien-like gardens and thrilling shark-dives, checkout our roundup of Singapore nature and wildlife.
Here is your top 15 Nature & Wildlife Activities.
Singapore Theme Parks
Here’s our take on the best theme parks in Singapore — the ones you simply must not miss out on.
Here is everything you need to know about Singapore Theme Parks.
Best of Cruises in Singapore
If you had to pick two cruises in Singapore, one would be taking a River Cruise in the city and the other would be a Singapore Island Cruise away from the city.
Singapore Island Cruises
If you’re looking for the perfect getaway from the city, get yourself this convenient Island cruise that lets you go island hopping! With round-trip cruise tickets to both islands, you’re all set! You’ll set sail at Singapore’s Marina South Pier, where you will get down at St. John’s Island. This island is known for its tranquil surroundings, clear water, and white sands. Even as one of the country’s many beautiful offshore islands, St. John’s exudes untouched natural vibes. Even though once a quarantine center for immigrants coming into Singapore, today it has much cultural (and natural) appeal.
Read more about Singapore Island Cruises.
Singapore River Cruises
Your cruise will depart from the Clarke Quay Jetty. This is one of the most offbeat ways to learn about the city of Singapore, as you cruise along the historic route that the cargo bumboat's used to take. Learn about the trade history of the city that helped it grow into the exciting global city that it is now. With the help of a commentary, see all the points of interest, like Riverside Point, Parliament House, Asian Civilizations Museum, Merlion Park, Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, and more. You can also choose to get off at any of the seven jetties at Clarke Quay, Marina Bay, or Boat Quay.
Read more about Singapore River Cruises.
Bus Tours in Singapore
To explore a city in the quickest, yet most fun manner, bus tours are the way to go. Singapore Hop On Hop Off Tours offer you the flexibility and independence of creating your own itinerary, along with the added advantage of a knowledgeable guide. Once aboard the open top double-decker sightseeing bus, you are free to take unlimited trips within the selected time frame. The multiple routes and stops offered helps you plan and pick the best available attractions.
Day Trips From Singapore
Cable car rides, adventure sports, kayaking among the mangroves, and beautiful ferry rides - you will find all this and more within a few hours' drive from the city. If you're looking for an adventure, take a day trip from Singapore to any of the four destinations listed below. Here’s to exploring Singapore's beautiful backyard!
Here are our top picks for the best day trips from Singapore.
Getting Around in Singapore
Singapore is the easiest city in Asia to get around. The island’s world-class international airport is located just a little over 12 miles (20km) from the city center. The cheapest way to travel from the airport to downtown Singapore is by MRT or bus. It will take you about an hour and costs around S$1.50 ($1.25). Both options are clean and safe. There’s also an airport shuttle that runs to and from the downtown area 24 hours, 7 days a week. An adult ticket costs $9 and a child’s ticket $6. A taxi will take around 25 minutes and will cost you around S$30.
Once you’ve made it to the center, exploring the city by foot is very possible in conjunction with the convenient MRT. You can get a credit-card-sized electronic EZ-Link card at any MRT station. Valid on both subway trains and local buses, it’s super easy to reload your card's credit as needed at any station. Maps showing the surrounding area are printed on the walls in MRT stations as well, so you’ll have no trouble locating where you are or deciding where you need to go. The MRT runs daily from 5:30am to midnight; buses operate between 6am and midnight. There are quite a few handy (and free) transportation apps to help you navigate Singapore. If you simply need to figure out the best way to get from one point to another, gothere.sg provides you with public transport options as well as an estimated taxi fare.
If you prefer to travel by cab, taxis are readily available and can be hailed down from the street. All drivers honor the meter so you don’t have to worry about negotiating a price. Do note that the fare will go up between midnight to 6am. When it rains, it can be a little difficult to find an empty taxi, so try and plan accordingly. Uber is also becoming more and more popular in Singapore.
Hotels in Singapore
Hotels are spread out just about everywhere on the island. With that being said, each area caters to specific travelers. Sentosa is great for families, Little India is perfect for backpackers and Orchard Road is excellent for those looking to shop while in Singapore. To get you started, refer to the suggested areas below depending on your desired price range.
Budget: Chinatown, Little India, Lavender Street and Arab Street
Mid-Range: Bras Basah Road to Rochor Road
Upscale: Marina Bay, Orchard Road and Sentosa Island
Dining in Singapore
From Michelin Star restaurants to drool worthy hawker centers, Singapore teems with exquisite fusion food. One of Anthony Bourdain's favorite destinations, it's a haven for hungry foodies.
Be sure to add these must-have dishes to your Singapore bucket list.
A popular noodle dish showcasing a blend of Chinese and Malay flavors, Laksa consists of rice noodles (rice vermicelli) served in a spicy soup with either chicken, prawns or fish. There are many different types of Laksa. One popular version uses a spicy coconut milk based broth while others go for a more sour flavor. There’s usually always a wide array of toppings, such as chili, coriander and cooked cockles, that you can add at your discretion.
2. Hokkien Mee
The Singaporean version of Hokkien Mee gets its influence from China’s Fujian province. It consists of egg noodles and rice noodles stir-fried with egg, slices of pork, prawns and squid. Served and garnished with bean sprouts, other vegetables, sambal sauce and fresh lime, Hokkien Mee is a hawker stall specialty.
3. Chilli Crab
Considered one of the country’s ‘national dishes’, chili crab is every bit worth getting your hands a little dirty for. Hard-shell crabs are steamed and cooked in a semi-thick gravy consisting of a chili base. Despite the name, they actually aren’t that spicy, but rather full of flavor.
4. Chicken Rice
This local favorite consists of boiled chicken served over rice. While it may sound simple, the flavor and aroma is absolutely to die for. The chicken stock in which the rice is cooked in is by far the star of this dish. Each restaurant or stall will have their own special recipe.
5. Chai Tow Kway
More of a snack than a meal, this rice flour cake is greasy, gooey and delicious. Contrary to its popular nickname, ‘carrot cake’, it doesn’t actually contain any carrots. Chai tow kway is, however, made with daikon radish, which in Chinese dialects is referred to by the same word used for carrots.
This list only scratches the surface of the nation’s dishes. You can easily discover tons of other tantalizing options by roaming through the 100+ food stalls at the Maxwell Food Centre, one of Singapore’s most popular hawker enclaves; or, head to Little India and Chinatown to get your fix of Indian and Chinese food. For more must-eat dishes and where to find them, check out this Singapore food guide. If you’re looking for sit-down restaurant, we suggest you book a table if you plan on dining during busy meal hours.
Shopping in Singapore
Singapore is a shopper’s paradise with options for every budget. For those who wish to spend a pretty penny on something to take back home, head to one of the (many) glitzy shopping malls. Browse high end fashion designer labels, elusive jewelry boutiques, and so much more. If you're looking for local knick-knacks, garb, and souvenirs, take a walk through Chinatown and Little India. For an exciting day of window shopping, stroll down Orchard Road, best known for it's boutiques and shopping malls.
In Singapore, you can have an all-inclusive shopping experience regardless of where you're staying. Here are a few popular destinations to add to your itinierary.
Singapore For Honeymooners/Couples
Singapore is a perfect example of East meets West, and where people have embraced tradition and weaved it into their daily lives. Tall skyscrapers, lush gardens, architectural marvels, and large open spaces make for a city that remains serene despite fast-paced living. Couples will find that there are many romantic experiences and attractions for them to indulge in and celebrate their love. Looking for date ideas in Singapore for Valentine's Day 2021? Well, look no further. Here's a curated list of date ideas in Singapore featuring different places and ideas of how you can make this a day to remember.
While the city is open, there are some COVID-19 restrictions in place. It is advised you carry and wear a mask at all times and adhere to social distancing norms.Learn more about travel restrictions in Singapore.
Singapore With Kids
The island city of Singapore, also known as the Lion City, is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Famous for its skyline, greenery, food and cultural scene, shopping malls, nightlife, and more; don’t let the small size of the island fool you into thinking there isn’t much to do and see. With various beach activities, water parks, the Singapore Zoo, safaris, and the Universal Studios, Singapore guarantees a fabulous time for kids.
Festivals in Singapore
Singapore has a year long calendar of festivals - some cultural, some religious, some patriotic, a few music festivals and so on. Here are the top recurring festivals that you should know of:
- Christmas: December
- Chinese New Year: February
- Thaipusam: January
- Singapore Art Festival: January
- Hari Raya : May
- Dragon Boat Festival: June
- Singapore Food Festival: July
- Hungry Ghost Festival: August
- Mid-Autumn Festival: September
- Deepavali: November
- Singapore River Festival: TBA
- Singapore Night Festival: August
- Singapore Film festival: November – December
Singapore Culture Tips
Over 40 percent of Singapore’s residents are born abroad, making it a wonderful melting pot of culture. Considered the most religiously diverse country in the world, it’s more than likely you’ll find yourself amidst a mosque, temple and church all within a half mile radius of one another. Buddhism, Christianity, Islam and Taosim are among the predominant religions. There are numerous holidays, events, and festivals held throughout the year. Chinese New Year and Thaipusam, a Hindu Festival, are popular, as well as Vesak Day, a Buddhist holiday. Timing your visit with one of these holidays would certainly promise an unforgettable experience.
There are a few cultural rules/norms you should try your best to practice while traveling through the country. Most people associate the left hand with the bathroom, so try to greet, wave or eat with your right hand. Also refrain from touching people's heads in social situations, as some cultures consider that area to be sacred.
Despite its strong Asian ties, English is very much a part of the culture in Singapore. The country used to be a British colony, and while the Brits are long gone, English remains the national language and is also considered to be the country's working language. Tamil, Malay and Chinese are also commonly spoken. Typical Singaporeans know two languages: English and the language of their ancestors.
It is not customary to tip in Singapore. Most restaurants will automatically add a 10% service charge to the bill that goes directly to the staff. If you feel that your server did an exceptional job, you can add an extra 5%. Likewise, cab drivers won’t expect a tip. However, if you’re happy with your driver, it’s always nice to round up when paying your fare.