Singapore is a modern, sparkling city in Southeast Asia. While the city has some of the best skyscrapers and luxury buildings in the world, it has ample space for nature to thrive through gardens and parks. So, apart from sightseeing in the city, visiting malls and checking out the numerous water and adventure parks, a visit to Singapore would also provide a chance to visit the zoo, go on a night safari and explore a bird park. This is a reason why Singapore is one of the favourite holiday destinations in the world, especially for families.
To ensure that you have a successful and memorable trip, then keep reading. Here are 10 things that you need to know when visiting Singapore.
1 – Entry Requirements
Planning your Singapore itinerary will be fun as there are so many interesting places to see and exciting things to do. However, before you do that you need to know whether you need a visa to enter the country. So before you book your tickets and apply for a Singapore visa, here are some things you need to know.
People with passports in the European Union, United States of America, South Korea, Australia, Switzerland and Norway can enter Singapore and stay there for 90 days without a visa.
On the other hand, passport holders of countries like India, Armenia, North Korea, Georgia, China, Russia, etc. can visit Singapore with an e-visa while citizens of Libya, Afghanistan, Mali, Egypt, Sudan, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Iran, Bangladesh, Somalia, Iraq, etc. need to have a visa vignette in their passport if they want to enter the city-state of Singapore.
An E-visa can be obtained within a day through a visa agent, the nearest Singaporean diplomatic mission (embassy), a strategic partner of Singapore, or perhaps through a local contact in the city. A vignette visa can also be applied through the same means but it would take around 3 working days to get the same.
2 – Cost
The city-state of Singapore is an expensive city and home to a large number of millionaires. You can find all the luxury and comfort in the world in Singapore, but you will have to pay the price for it. Right from the hotels and restaurants, to the malls and popular tourist spots, get ready to spend money to enjoy the Singapore experience. If you are on a budget then booking a package that includes accommodation, transportation and tours may help you to save money.
3 – Public Transportation
When travelling to a new city, most of us are worried about transportation. But this should be the last thing on your mind while visiting Singapore. The city-state has a good transportation system, is well connected, and you can easily take the bus, train, or taxi to go from one place to another. While the bus and metro are quite comfortable, taxis are also popular modes of transport as they are quite economical. However, you may have to pay a surcharge during peak hours. In short, moving around the city is not at all problematic.
4 – Climate
You need to remember that the city has a warm and humid climate throughout the year. So, always pack light and breathable clothes, especially when you are going on a city tour or maybe to one of the nature parks. There is also a chance of thunderstorms during the day, so it would be best to carry an umbrella when going out.
5 – Safety
The rules and regulations against crimes are very stringent, hence Singapore is an extremely safe city. Man, woman, solo or group traveller, you really do not have to worry when walking around the city and its alleys, even in the dead of the night. Many travellers have said that they have travelled alone in the city at 3 or 4 AM without issue. In fact, the city is almost 100% crime-free.
6 – Local Food
There are ample restaurants in Singapore that offer both local and international food. However, if you want to enjoy delicious food without spending too much, you must hit the hawker streets of the city. Just a few Singaporean dollars would reward you with a good amount of delicious local as well as international food. While you would have a variety of dishes to try every single day, some of the dishes that you must not miss include Hainanese chicken rice, satay, and carrot cake. Moreover, if you want to meet and interact with the locals, this is the perfect place, as most Singaporeans dine at the hawker streets.
7 – Alcohol is Expensive
There are plenty of bars and pubs in Singapore. In fact, the nightlife in Singapore is quite happening. However, alcohol is pretty expensive in the cities and it’s best to buy from duty-free shops before you leave the airport. On the other hand, you can find beer and other alcoholic drinks at cheaper rates at coffee shops and hawker streets. One more thing that you need to know in regards to alcohol, is that you cannot buy or drink in public after 10:30 PM. However, you can enjoy your drink at one of the restaurants, pubs or maybe even your hotel room.
8 – Variations of Local Coffee
Singapore is home to all the international coffee brands and shops. However, try to give a skip to your regular Starbucks latte and try the local coffee just for a day. You will definitely love it! Made with brewed coffee, evaporated and condensed milk, several variations have emerged in the past few years. In fact, there are more than 10 delicious variations of the local coffee. What’s more? They are really cheap and are easily available at the local food courts and hawker markets.
9 – Smoking Restrictions
Singapore has designated smoking areas or zones around the city. Public places are out of bounds for smoking and if you are caught while smoking a cigarette, you will have to pay a hefty fine of $1000. So always look for a designated smoking area before you light up a cigarette.
10 – Chewing Gum is banned
If you have the habit of chewing gum every day, you have to learn to do it discreetly and discard it carefully too. This is because buying, selling or importing chewing gum is illegal in the country. You may not be detained if you have a few in your bag, but make sure that you dispose of it carefully. Moreover, you would not find any supermarket, mall or store selling chewing gum in Singapore.