Singapore Travel Guide: All the Things You Need to Know Before Your Trip
Singapore is one of the easiest countries to explore in Asia. It’s small, but it’s packed with lots of experiences that every traveler can enjoy. From its plethora of dining spots to family-friendly attractions, your trip to Singapore will definitely be fun and exciting.
You may have already read about the attractions you can visit in Singapore, but do you know the fast facts and dos and don’ts when traveling to Singapore? Here are some things you should know about Singapore before your visit.
Singapore is a multicultural city
Yes, Singapore is a multicultural city with a diverse population that includes people of different ethnicities, religions, and cultures. The three main ethnic groups in Singapore are Chinese, Malay, and Indian, and there are also sizable communities of people from other countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, and Western countries.
Singapore’s multicultural heritage can be seen in various aspects of daily life, from its food, language, festivals, and traditions. The country celebrates a wide range of cultural and religious holidays, including Chinese New Year, Hari Raya Puasa (Eid al-Fitr), Diwali, and Christmas. There are also many religious sites and places of worship throughout the country, including Buddhist temples, Hindu temples, mosques, and churches.
One of the best ways to experience Singapore’s multiculturalism is through its food, which is a fusion of different cuisines from around the world. You can find a variety of local dishes that are influenced by different cultures, such as Hainanese chicken rice, nasi lemak, and roti prata.
Singapore’s multiculturalism is one of its defining characteristics and is something that many visitors to the country find fascinating and enjoyable to experience.
Singapore Changi Airport is one of the best in the world
A walk inside Singapore’s Changi Airport will already prove why it’s consistently one of the best airports in the world.
This multi-awarded airport has 657 awards under its belt, becoming one of the world’s most awarded airports. In fact, according to the 2021 World Airport Awards, which are based on surveys of millions of travelers from around the world, Singapore Changi Airport was ranked as the world’s best airport for the ninth consecutive year.
Changi Airport offers a wide range of amenities for travelers, including a variety of dining and shopping options, relaxation areas, entertainment facilities, and even a butterfly garden and a rooftop swimming pool. The airport also has efficient and convenient transportation options, with easy access to the city center via public transportation or taxi.
Imagine–where else can you find an airport that has its own tourist spots? From the mesmerizing HSBC Rain Vortex at Jewel Changi to its indoor gardens, movie theatre, tallest slide, and Butterfly Garden, you can definitely discover so many things while waiting for boarding.
Alcohol is expensive
If you feel like drinking after an exhausting day out, you might want to reconsider. Alcohol in Singapore is quite expensive and is ranked 6th most expensive city for beer in the world GoEuro’s Beer Price Index in 2016.
Alcohol in Singapore has high excise taxes because the government wants to dissuade the population from consuming vices. In a bar, a drink usually costs up to $20. We say, why not try Teh Tarik or the popular sugarcane juice instead?
Public transport is easy
Getting around Singapore is fairly easy. It’s even easier if you have their public transport apps so you know which stop to drop off. While ride-hailing apps are abundant and you can get a ride in just a few minutes, we’d rather choose to take the MRT instead.
This underground mass rapid transit network is so convenient because it has several routes across the whole city. You could also opt for a bus ride too. Both public means of transport are safe, affordable, and always on time so you’ll never get lost in Singapore.
Singapore subway system is mostly reliable
As mentioned previously MRT is the ideal mode of transportation in Singapore. It has MRT stations in key areas of the metro, and there’s even 3G and 4G connectivity underground. Trains are air-conditioned and clean and prioritize seating for the elderly, PWDs, and pregnant women. Stations have clean comfortable rooms and food stalls for quick bites.
Singapore is a very walkable city
Another thing you’ll love about Singapore is its pedestrian-friendly districts In Downtown Singapore, there are many covered walkways and pathways intended for pedestrians, and not only that, they also have slopes for wheelchair access and tactile pavements for the visually impaired. It’s walkable and bikeable, which truly makes it one of the most liveable cities in Asia.
Wear light clothing
It’s mostly sunny in Singapore, but it can get very humid most of the time. While it doesn’t have heavy rains for long periods of time, it’s best to wear something light and comfortable especially if you plan to walk around daily. We recommend that you wear cool and comfy clothes like linen or cotton. Also, wear durable footwear because you’ll have to walk a lot when you visit Singapore!
Don’t forget to bring an umbrella
Rain or shine, an umbrella is a must. It can protect you from the scorching heat of the sun, or it can become handy for light rain showers. If you forget to bring one, you can always buy one from convenience stores or dollar stores around Singapore.
Chewing gum is banned in Singapore
One of the most popular laws in the world is Singapore’s unique chewing gum ban. In case you didn’t know, chewing gum is illegal in Singapore and when you get caught throwing it away in public spaces, you can be fined up to $2000. In some reports, though, it’s not illegal to chew gum per se, but it’s banned to import and sell one. Whatever the case, we highly suggest that you chew something else instead–perhaps get candies or mints?
Tap water is safe to drink in Singapore
If you want to save money, bring your own water bottles or tumblers and get your drinking water from the tap. It’s safe, being held to higher standards, and there’s no need to even boil it. It’s good enough for direct consumption. But for kids or adults who need it purified or distilled, you can get it at local supermarkets or convenience stores.
Visiting hawker centers, food courts, and “Kopitiams” is a must
Yes, visiting hawker centers, food courts, and “Kopitiams” is a must when in Singapore. These are popular eating places where locals and tourists alike can enjoy delicious and affordable food.
Hawker centers are open-air food markets that feature a variety of stalls selling a wide range of local and international cuisines. They are known for their tasty and authentic food, as well as their affordable prices. Some of the most famous hawker centers in Singapore include Maxwell Food Centre, Chinatown Complex Food Centre, and Lau Pa Sat.
Food courts are similar to hawker centers but are usually located in shopping malls or other indoor areas. They offer a wide variety of dishes from different food stalls, and are often air-conditioned, making them a great option for hot and humid days. Many food courts also offer a range of international cuisines.
“Kopitiams” are traditional coffee shops in Singapore that serve a variety of local dishes, such as kaya toast, laksa, and nasi lemak. They are also known for their “kopi” (coffee) and “teh” (tea) which are often served with condensed milk.
Visiting these food establishments is not only a great way to sample the local cuisine but also a great way to experience Singaporean culture and daily life.
Smoking is only allowed in designated areas
Like many other countries, smoking is not allowed in most indoor places in Singapore. If you get caught, you can be fined up to $1000. Make sure you only smoke at designated areas and take note of No Smoking Zones outdoors.
You still need cash in Singapore
While many hotels, restaurants, and convenience stores already accept cards as a mode of payment, it’s still important to bring cash. Some hawker stalls prefer cash, but some do accept cards. You can also withdraw from several ATMs around in case you fall short.
Tips are not mandatory
That’s correct. Tipping is not a common practice in Singapore and it is not mandatory. In fact, many service providers in Singapore, such as taxi drivers, restaurant servers, and hotel staff, do not expect to receive tips.
Most businesses in Singapore will include a service charge in their prices, which is typically around 10% of the total bill. This charge is intended to cover the cost of service and is usually indicated on the bill.
However, if you receive exceptional service and would like to show your appreciation, you can offer a small tip as a gesture of gratitude. Even then, it’s not expected, and it’s up to your own discretion.
It’s worth noting that in some establishments, such as high-end restaurants and bars, a service charge may not be included, and in such cases, it is still not mandatory to tip, but it’s recommended to check with the staff to confirm whether a service charge is included or not.
Getting a local SIM is easy
If you need SIM cards in Singapore, you can get them from the airport, convenience stores, malls, supermarkets, and mobile centers. Make buying SIM cards hassle-free when you pre-book via travel apps, so you just have to pick them up from the airport upon your arrival.
Are you excited to travel to Singapore? Keep these facts in mind so you can have a worry-free and fun trip as you roam around this beautiful country! Share your experiences with us in the comment section below!
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