Singapore was first put on my radar when I became friends with a Singaporean traveler while staying at a hostel in Iceland. During our short time together, she introduced me to the multicultural tropical Asian city-state. Years later we still keep in touch (mostly via Instagram), and it’s through our friendship that I’ve discovered Singapore’s ancient rainforests, tropical parks, colorful Chinese and Indian cuisine, pristine beaches, shopping centers and so much more. With that being said, with so many reasons to visit Singapore, it has quickly risen to the top of my hit list. So, as I start planning a trip to Singapore (which will likely be my first trip to Asia), here are the important things that I’ve found that travelers should know before they go.
Fun Fact: Singapore is the second smallest country in Asia after the Maldives, yet it was the fifth visited country in the world in 2017.
Planning A Trip To Singapore
Get All Required Visas and Passports Ahead of Time
When traveling to Singapore (or any travel destination outside of the country) one of the most important things to look for is the visa and passport requirements. After spending months planning a trip to Singapore, the last thing you want is to be turned away by the airline for not adhering to the entry, exit, or visa requirements.
Helpful Tip: To find your visa requirements, do a quick Google search for “[enter your citizenship] visa requirement for Singapore.”
Don’t forget to check vaccination requirements as well.
Currency in Singapore
Nicknamed “Sing,” the Singapore Dollar (SGD) is the official currency used in Singapore. Brunei is also a legal tender valued at 1:1. Brunei is the currency of Brunei a country on the island of Borneo.
There Are Plenty of Options for Accommodations
From luxury to boutique or business, there are a variety of high-quality hotels to choose from when planning a trip to Singapore. One such option that caught my eye is the Hotel Indigo Singapore Katong by InterContinental Hotels Group. At this 4.5-star hotel, enjoy complimentary breakfast, experience life as a local and enjoy the close proximity to galleries, museums and shopping malls in the Katong neighborhood.
Or take a dip in the luxurious rooftop infinity pool overlooking the city!
You Can Get Around the City Using Public Transportation
Public transportation is easy to use in Singapore. It’s also the cheapest and most efficient mode of transportation There are buses (single and double-decker), LRT trains with an extensive network, and Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), which runs throughout the country every two minutes.
Whether by bus or train, all tickets are based on the distance traveled. However, tourists with a “Singapore Tourist Pass” get unlimited rides on buses and trains for one, two or three days.
Don’t forget that eating, drinking, and chewing gum are not allowed on the MRT. These rules are strictly enforced with fines. Learning the laws in Singapore is one of Culture Trip’s top tips for traveling to Singapore.
No Need to Tip in Singapore
Tipping is not required or necessary in Singapore, that includes wait staff, tour guides, and bartenders. A 10% service charge may be added to your bill, but this is not common.
There’s More Than One Language Spoken Here
Lastly, there are four official languages spoken in Singapore including English, Malay, Tamil, and Mandarin. Almost everyone speaks English. “Singlish,” which is slang, is commonly spoken in casual settings.
Have you been to Singapore? What travel tips would you add?
Danielle is a travel finance strategist, writer, speaker and podcaster. She paid off $63,000 of student loan debt in 4 years, bought a house at 27 and has traveled to 26 countries. She refuses to let her financial responsibilities hold her back from living life on her own terms.