When we visited Singapore a couple of years ago, we had already been on the road for over 6 months. By the time we arrived to this modern and exciting city in South East Asia, we were worn out and exhausted.
We were surprised to learn that Singapore has many nature reserves and parks that a person can check out. Who knew that the second most densely populated country in the world could have natural havens for people to slow down and become one with Mother Nature.
There is so much more to do than just shopping and nightlife in Singapore and this Singapore travel guide will help you plan your next vacation.
- Singapore power voltage is 220/240 V 50 Hz; Power sockets G
- Singapore currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD) and is around 1.50 SGD for 1 USD.
- Singapore has suffered a sharp rise in cases of dengue, a mosquito-borne disease in recent years. There is no vaccine so avoid mosquito bites. Peak biting periods are at dawn and dusk.
- When invited to a private home or entering a temple or mosque, remove your shoes.
- To help Singapore stay clean there are laws relating to jaywalking, littering, chewing gum, smoking in illegal areas or dropping cigarette butts. Watch out or you could get fined!
- Singapore chilli crab is famous (and an unofficial national dish), make sure you try some!
- If you have a smartphone, make sure to downtown the SG Bus App, a Singapore bus guide for Android and Iphone users.
Budget – The starting price for budget hotels in Singapore is about $10 USD per night. Most of these hotels provide complimentary breakfast and free Wi-Fi.
Mid Range – In this category, hotels cost about $80 USD per night. Just like the budget ones, expect free breakfast, Wi-Fi, mini-fridges in the rooms and nice lounges.
High End – Rooms here start from $200 USD per night. They come with the perks of the category like free chauffeur service, gyms, and pools.
- Chili Crab – This is a sweet and savory stir fry dish made with seafood, without the element of spiciness that the name implies.
- Kaya Toast – The meal derives its name from the unique homemade jam used as a spread for toasted bread.
- Laksa – Laksa is rice noodles in coconut curry sauce with seafood or other protein options and is generally very spicy.
- Barbecued Stingray – This is made by grilling stingray after spicing and wrapping in banana leaves and served with your choice of sauce(s).
- Fish Head Curry – Just as the name implies, the curry is made with fish head and served with either rice or bread.
Flights: There are only two public airports in Singapore which are located in Changi and Seletar. Direct flights can be taken from other Asian countries and the USA.
You can check for the best flights to Singapore on Skyscanner.
Buses: Just like flights, there are two major bus service operators. You can use foreign cards (MasterCard and Visa) to pay for the tickets. Prices start from as low as 1 USD.
Taxis/Uber: Metered taxis are popular in Singapore, with fares depending on time, distance and other factors. Fares start around $4 USD. There is no Uber service in Singapore but an alternative cab service called Grab.
Car Rental: On average, car rental services cost around $50 USD per day. Prices are different based on whether the rental is for a long or short period. There are many service providers in the category.
You can also compare prices here.
Places to Stay
- Fullerton Hotel – This monumental structure with a 5-star rating is a great place to stay when you want to treat yourself. They have a beautiful pool with a view of the city, spacious rooms, and five different restaurants.
- Arton Boutique Hotel – This hotel located in Tyrwhitt Road is one of the best places to stay because of its proximity to tourist attractions. This is a very family-friendly hotel with family loft rooms available.
- Value Hotel Thomson – Budget travelers will be happy with the affordable price of this hotel. They provide free Wi-Fi, room service, and rooms with views of the city can be requested.
Singapore has a tropical climate, and stays hot and humid through out the year with an average temperature of 31º C. The cooler months are in December/January while the hottest months are in April/May.
Although the heaviest rain occurs from November through January, Singapore residents experience rainfall almost every day, usually in the form of afternoon showers.
- The protection basics – Travellers should stock up on the essentials: sun block, mosquito/insect repellant containing DEET or a pyrethroid insecticide, sunglasses and a hat. If you plan on traveling in rural areas, make sure to avoid mosquito-born dengue fever by wearing clothes that cover the arms and legs and spraying yourself with DEET. Mosquito coils can also help.
- A tropical wardrobe. This should include—for both men and women—shorts, T-shirts, breathable rain gear, a warm jacket or fleece, sturdy footwear, and a wrap.
- Pack for Humidity – for humid weather it is best to pack fabrics that breathe as much as possible and natural fabrics, like cotton, linen or rayon (avoiding silk, wool and polyester). Clothing should be loose and comfortable to encourage the flow of air and allow moisture to evaporate.
- Umbrella / Rain coat: Thunderstorms and rain are common in Singapore – in short the weather can be unpredictable. Make sure to bring an umbrella or rain coat.
- Extra Luggage – Singapore is famous for its shopping. So take some extra luggage if you plan on shopping ’til you drop.
See our packing tips: packing tips
When to Go
A trip to Singapore can be taken at any time of the year. However, many people prefer to plan their trip in the dry season, which is between February and April.
If the rainy season does not deter you from visiting, there are many festivals and events organized throughout the year. The rainy season is also the best time to visit to avoid tourist crowds.
Things to Do
- Rock Climb at the old Bukit Timah Quarries – There are almost 50 routes to challenge a climber from easy 5.7’s to difficult 5.12 b routes. Rock climbing is fairly new to Singapore, but it is catching on quickly
- Wakeboard! – Not only is it popular to head out to a reservoir and hire a boat, there is also a Cable Ski Park.
- Zipline at Mega Zip Adventure Park – zipline over the jungle canopy, try the high rope obstacle course, mini bungee jump or rock climbing wall!
- Explore the Local Cuisine – Singapore is known to have impressive cuisine, with influences from all over the world.
- National Museum of Singapore – As the oldest museum in Singapore, this will be the hub of the history and rich culture of the people.
- Gardens by the Bay – Visit the well designed and serene garden to enjoy some peace, away from the noise of the city.
- Enjoy the Beach Life – East Coast Park has 7.5 km of sand and sun. Not only can you relax on the beach and catch some rays, but there are also water sports, bicycle trails and running tracks.
- Visit Haw Par – an attraction that consists of several different scenes of statues depicting Chinese Mythology, legends and characters
Whenever we travel to we make sure to start with these companies.
We have tried a lot of different ones over the years and all of these have consistently proven to be the best when it comes to offering great prices.
We have used every one of these personally and continue to do so.
Booking.com: This is our go site to when comparing prices for accommodation. It is usually the has the cheapest prices, not to mention you get free cancellation and you are guaranteed the best price.
Trip Advisor: What we like about Trip Advisor is that we can look at all the reviews and then book our accommodation.
Air BnB: Airbnb is the main search engine we use when we are looking for a home or apartment rental. It is the best way to stay in areas that offer a more local feel.
Skyscanner: This is the first place we check for flights. It consistently comes back with the cheapest and best options. It allows us to compare a lot of airlines to get the best price.
Hostelworld: With one of the largest databases of hostels in the world, Hostelworld is the go-to site when you are looking for budget accommodation.
Rome 2 Rio: If you want to see how to get somewhere by plane, train, bus, ferry or car Rome2Rio lays it all out for you as well as related costs. I love how they show it all to you on a Google Map and it works offline.
Get Your Guide: For all your day trip and city guide needs, we use Get Your Guide. It has the world’s largest collection of things to do with more than 30,000 activities in 7500 destinations.
World Nomads Insurance: When traveling you should always have travel insurance. We do.