SINGAPORE TRAVEL GUIDE
Founded as a British trading colony in 1819, since independence it has become one of the world's most prosperous, tax-friendly countries and boasts the world's busiest port.
Combining the skyscrapers and subways of a modern, affluent city with a medley of Chinese, Malay, Arab, and Indian influences along with a tropical climate, tasty food from hawker centres, copious shopping malls, and vibrant night-life scene, this Garden City makes a great stopover or springboard into the region.
As tiny as Singapore is, there are a ton of things to do and see. If you take care Singapore can still be an affordable destination. Getting around using public transport is convenient and cheap. Eating street food is also a delicious and affordable way to get to know the country. Changi was rated the World's Best Airport for 6 years in a row so that's almost enough reason to visit!
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SINGAPORE QUICK FACTS
- Currency: Singapore dollar (SGD)
- Area: 719.9 km²
- Population: 5,639 million (2018)
- Language: English (official), Mandarin Chinese (official), Malay (official and national), Tamil (official)
- Religion:Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism,Jainism, Sikhism, Taoism, Confucianism
- Electricity: 230V, 50Hz (UK plug)
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SINGAPORE PUBLIC HOLIDAYS
- 1 May, Labour Day
- 9 August, National Day
Also, Chinese New Year, Diwali, Eid al-Adha, Eid al-Fitr, Good Friday, and Vesak Day (Visakaha Day).
FESTIVALS IN SINGAPORE
BEST TIME TO VISIT SINGAPORE
The best time to visit Singapore is typically from December to June, when the weather is warm and relatively dry. However, it is always hot and humid, regardless of the time of year. If you're looking to avoid the crowds, the shoulder months of September and October are a good time to visit.
SINGAPORE WEATHER SYNOPSIS
Tropical; Hot, Humid, Rainy; Two Distinct Monsoon Seasons - Northeastern Monsoon (December To March) And Southwestern Monsoon (June To September); Inter-Monsoon - Frequent Afternoon And Early Evening Thunderstorms.
SINGAPORE TOURIST SEASONS
Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists.
Off Peak Season
SPORT & ACTIVITIES
SNOW SPORT IN SINGAPORE
If you're desperate for some snow sports, you can visit the indoor Snow City in Singapore!
HIKING & CYCLING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore's climate is fairly consistent all year round - hot with a chance of rainfall. November to May sees the Northeast monsoon and from May to September it's the Southwest monsoon. December and January are the wettest months of the year. October and April, on the other hand, can be rather stifling due to the lack of winds!
BEACH OPTIONS IN SINGAPORE
Singapore's beaches can be described as the more popular beaches of Sentosa Island and more relaxed East coast beaches. October and April can be rather stifling due to the lack of winds! December and January are the wettest months of the year.
SURFING IN SINGAPORE
Singapore does not have suitable natural waves for surfing. You'll have to go to the Wave House at Sentosa to surf the artificial waves there!
KITESURF IN SINGAPORE
Kitesurfing spot details and weather
HEALTH RISKS IN SINGAPORE
Be aware of possible health risks in
Yellow fever - The yellow fever virus is found in tropical and subtropical areas of Africa and South America. The virus is spread to people by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no medicine to treat or cure an infection. To prevent getting sick from yellow fever, use insect repellent, wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants, and get vaccinated.
Zika Virus - Zika is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. Zika can be passed from a pregnant woman to her fetus. Infection during pregnancy can cause certain birth defects. There is no vaccine or medicine for Zika.
Malaria - Malaria is a serious and sometimes fatal disease caused by a parasite that commonly infects a certain type of mosquito which feeds on humans. People who get malaria are typically very sick with high fevers, shaking chills, and flu-like illness. Although malaria can be a deadly disease, illness and death from malaria can usually be prevented.
Dengue - Dengue is spread mostly by the bite of an infected Aedes species mosquito. These mosquitoes bite during the day and night. About one in four people infected with dengue will get sick. For people who get sick with dengue, symptoms can be mild or severe.
SINGAPORE TRAVEL COSTS
The cost of traveling to Singapore can vary depending on your travel style, accommodation, and the activities you plan to do. A budget-friendly option would be to stay in budget accommodation, eat at local hawker centers and street food stalls, and use public transportation. In this case, you could expect to spend around $50-$80 USD per day.
If you prefer more comfort and luxury, you could stay in mid-range or high-end hotels, eat at nicer restaurants, and take taxis or private transportation. In this case, you could expect to spend around $150-$300 USD per day or more.
Other expenses to consider include the cost of flights, travel insurance, and any tours or attractions you plan to visit.
Here is a sample breakdown of costs for a budget-friendly trip to Singapore:
- Flight: $500-$1000 USD (depending on where you are traveling from)
- Accommodation: $30-$50 USD per night for a budget hotel or hostel
- Food: $5-$10 USD per meal at local hawker centers or street food stalls
- Transportation: $5-$10 USD per day for a travel card for public transportation
- Attractions: $20-$30 USD per day for entrance fees to popular attractions like Gardens by the Bay or Sentosa Island
- Total: $50-$80 USD per day
Here is a sample breakdown of costs for a trip to Singapore with a bit more comfort and luxury:
- Flight: $500-$1000 USD (depending on where you are traveling from)
- Accommodation: $100-$200 USD per night for a mid-range hotel or high-end hotel
- Food: $20-$50 USD per meal at restaurants
- Transportation: $20-$50 USD per day for a taxi or private transportation
- Attractions: $20-$50 USD per day for entrance fees to popular attractions like Gardens by the Bay or Sentosa Island
- Total: $150-$300 USD per day
Please note that the costs above are approximate and can vary depending on individual preferences and circumstances.
SINGAPORE TRAVEL TIPS
Here are some travel tips for Singapore:
- Pack for the heat and humidity: Singapore is hot and humid year-round, so be sure to pack lightweight, breathable clothing and a hat or parasol for sun protection.
- Make use of public transportation: Singapore's public transportation system is efficient, clean, and affordable. Make use of the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) and buses to get around the city.
- Try the local cuisine: Singapore is known for its delicious street food, which can be found at hawker centers around the city. Try dishes such as chicken rice, laksa, and satay.
- Plan your itinerary: Singapore is a small country, but there's a lot to see and do. It can be worth planning your itinerary in advance to make the most of your time.
- Be mindful of the laws: Singapore has strict laws against littering, smoking in certain areas and possession of drugs. Make sure you're aware of the local laws before you travel.
- Keep your valuables safe: Singapore is a safe country, but it's always wise to keep your valuables safe when traveling. Avoid carrying large amounts of cash and keep your passport and other important documents in a secure place.
- Be prepared for rain: Singapore is known for its unpredictable weather, so be prepared for rain at any time of the year. Bring an umbrella or a rain jacket.
- Some popular attractions in Singapore can be expensive, so be prepared to pay extra if you want to visit them.
SIGHTS & HIGHLIGHTS OF SINGAPORE
Singapore is divided into several regions, each with its own unique character and highlights. Some of the main regions and their highlights include:
- Marina Bay: This is the heart of Singapore's modern downtown, home to iconic attractions such as the Marina Bay Sands, Gardens by the Bay, and the Merlion statue. There is also the famous Marina Bay Sands Skypark, where visitors can enjoy a panoramic view of the city.
- Orchard Road: Orchard Road is Singapore's premier shopping district, home to high-end department stores and luxury boutiques. It's a great place to shop for designer clothes, jewelry, and electronics.
- Chinatown: This is Singapore's historic Chinese district, known for its colorful street markets, temples, and traditional shops selling Chinese herbs, antiques, and souvenirs. The highlight of this area is the Chinese Heritage Center which is a restored shophouse that serves as a museum.
- Little India: This is Singapore's Indian district, known for its vibrant markets, colorful temples, and delicious Indian food. The highlight of this area is the Sri Veeramakaliamman Temple, which is one of the most important Hindu temples in Singapore.
- Sentosa Island: This is Singapore's premier resort island, known for its beaches, theme parks, and attractions such as Universal Studios Singapore and the S.E.A. Aquarium. It's a perfect place for family entertainment and activities.
- Kampong Glam: This is Singapore's historic Malay district, known for its colorful shop-houses, traditional crafts, and the iconic Sultan Mosque.
- Clarke Quay: This is a lively entertainment district on the Singapore River, known for its restaurants, bars, and nightlife. The highlight of this area is the Clarke Quay, a popular spot for riverfront dining and entertainment.
- Pulau Ubin: This is a small island located just off the northeastern coast of Singapore, known for its rustic charm and natural beauty. Visitors can explore the island's hiking trails, mangrove swamps, and traditional villages.
Singapore is a small but vibrant country with plenty of things to see and do. Here are some of the best things to see and do when visiting Singapore:
- Visit Gardens by the Bay: This is a stunning 101-hectare garden featuring a variety of themed gardens, including the Supertree Grove, the Cloud Forest, and the Flower Dome.
- Take a ride on the Singapore Flyer: This is a giant Ferris wheel that offers panoramic views of the city.
- Walk along Marina Bay: This is a beautiful waterfront area that is home to several iconic attractions including the Marina Bay Sands, the Merlion, and the Helix Bridge.
- Visit the Merlion: This is a mythical creature with the head of a lion and the body of a fish, and it is one of the most iconic symbols of Singapore.
- Explore the National Museum of Singapore: This is the oldest museum in Singapore and it offers a glimpse into the country's rich history and culture.
- Visit the Raffles Hotel: This is an iconic hotel in Singapore that has a rich history dating back to 1887. Visitors can take a tour of the hotel and enjoy a Singapore Sling at the famous Long Bar.
- Take a stroll through Clarke Quay: This is a lively entertainment district on the Singapore River, known for its restaurants, bars, and nightlife.
- Visit Sentosa Island: This is a popular resort island in Singapore that offers a wide range of activities and attractions, including beaches, theme parks, and the S.E.A. Aquarium.
- Visit the Universal Studios Singapore: This is a popular theme park that offers a wide range of exciting rides and attractions based on popular movies and TV shows.
- Take a walk around Chinatown: This is a historic Chinese district that is known for its colorful street markets, temples, and traditional shops. Visitors can also explore the area's rich cultural heritage by visiting the Chinese Heritage Center.
WHAT TO EAT IN SINGAPORE
Singapore is known for its diverse and delicious food scene, offering a wide range of local and international cuisines. Here are some of the best foods to try when visiting Singapore:
- Chicken Rice: This is a popular local dish that consists of steamed or boiled chicken served with fragrant rice and a spicy chili sauce.
- Laksa: This is a flavorful noodle soup that is made with a spicy coconut milk-based broth and a variety of toppings such as shrimp, tofu, and bean sprouts.
- Satay: This is a dish of grilled meat skewers that are served with a peanut sauce and cucumber relish.
- Hokkien Mee: This is a dish of stir-fried noodles that are cooked in a rich and savory gravy, and it is a popular street food in Singapore
- Nasi Lemak: This is a traditional Malay dish that consists of rice cooked in coconut milk, accompanied by a variety of toppings such as peanuts, ikan bilis (anchovies), egg and sambal.
- Char Kway Teow: This is a dish of stir-fried flat rice noodles that are cooked with shrimp, egg, and bean sprouts, and it is a popular street food in Singapore
- Roti Prata: This is a type of Indian-style flatbread that is usually served with a variety of savory or sweet toppings such as curry or sugar.
- Bak Kut Teh: This is a pork rib soup that is cooked with a variety of herbs and spices, it's a very popular dish among locals.
- Curry Puff: This is a popular street food that is made with a crispy pastry filled with a spicy mixture of meat and vegetables.
- Durian: This is a controversial fruit known for its pungent smell, but locals love it. You can find it in many forms like fresh fruit, ice cream, and even pastries.
When eating in Singapore, it's important to be aware of the hawker centers, those are food courts with many vendors that offer a wide variety of local food at affordable prices.
LGBTQ IN SINGAPORE
WHERE TO STAY IN SINGAPORE
When visiting Singapore for the first time, it's a good idea to stay in a central location that is close to public transportation, attractions, and shopping. Here are some suggestions for where to stay:
- Marina Bay: This area is home to some of Singapore's most iconic attractions, including the Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. It also offers a wide range of accommodation options, from budget-friendly hotels to luxury resorts.
- Orchard Road: This is Singapore's premier shopping district, and it's also a great place to stay if you're interested in exploring the city's restaurants and nightlife. There are many mid-range and high-end hotels in this area.
- Chinatown: This is a historic neighborhood that offers a great insight into Singapore's Chinese heritage. There are many budget-friendly hotels and hostels in this area, perfect for budget-conscious travelers.
- Little India: This is a vibrant neighborhood that offers a great insight into Singapore's Indian heritage. There are many budget-friendly hotels and hostels in this area, perfect for budget-conscious travelers.
- Sentosa Island: This is a popular resort island that offers a wide range of activities and attractions. If you're looking for a more relaxing and leisurely trip, this island might be the perfect place for you.
It's worth noting that Singapore is a small country and most places are easily reachable by public transportation. So even if you don't stay in the central area, you can still easily explore the city.
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