First time traveling to Singapore? This city-state has all the contemporary trappings, is small, and easy to navigate. Nevertheless, to make your vacation as smooth as possible, here’s our survival guide to Singapore, with all the hints you want to plan your trip and enjoy your holiday.
Dress for the weather
Singapore’s tropical climate means it’s an enjoyable summer all year round, with temperatures that vary from 26 to 34 degrees Celsius (about 78 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit) on average. The high moisture also entails a great deal of sweating when outdoors, so choose the appropriate clothing or risk looking like a sweaty mess via your trip. Plan your outdoor activities and urban walks during the night when the lights come on. An umbrella is also significant, as this tropical climate swings from blistering sunshine to torrential downpours in only a matter of minutes.
Be ready to spend
Singapore ranks as one of the cheaper cities globally, and traveling here can mean spending beyond your budget more than its Southeast Asian neighbors like Thailand or the Philippines. Nevertheless, the extra expenses can be worth it because it’s small enough to explore adequately quickly and without hassle with its modern conveniences and infrastructure. There are so many free and inexpensive things to do for budget-conscious travelers, but eventually, living costs here might be a bit shocking if you go to the wrong high-end places.
Save on food
A very straightforward way to conserve money would be to avoid the fancy cafes and restaurants and head to the local hawker centers to get a meal, where one can locate Singapore’s authentic cuisine. However, when in doubt, queue up the booth that has the longest line. Hawker food is cheaper than the food in air-conditioned food courts as well as the places that are usually farther from tourist locations, so sweating outside can be worth it. Those worrying about hygiene standards should watch out for the colored placards, from A (the best) to D (a hazard ), displayed at each stall.
Public transportation is inexpensive, convenient, and secure
The most convenient and easiest way to get around Singapore is through their extensive public transportation system that’s up-to-date and well-maintained. Select up a stored-value EZ-Link card to use on the buses and subways; tap the reader at the beginning and never forget also at end of your trip to automatically subtract your fare, and utilize applications to tell you exactly how to get at a particular location. Taxis are always metered, but you may use apps like Grab so as not to worry about local currency. Bike-sharing is also growing in popularity as a way to get around. Most areas in Singapore are reachable from the MRT line, which proceeds to enlarge to this.
An airport you want to see and stop-over in
Consistently ranked as one of, if not, the top airport in the world, Singapore’s well-renowned Changi Airport is where you want to be in case you’ve to endure through a long stopover. With the touristy downtown area just under an hour from the airport by public transport, it’s easy for you to see the significant sights quickly on one’s own, or when you’ve at least a six-hour layover, you may even want to join a free city tour. If you’d instead choose to unwind, know that the airport is indeed well-loved by tourists from all over. So better check out the various impressive sights like its magnificent gardens, multiple free film screenings, and whoa! Even a swimming pool.
Know the rules and follow them
Singapore is known for its many regulations and legislation. Actions such as spitting in the street, tossing your cigarette butt into a drain, or sticking your gum on the public property might result in a fine if you get caught. The vast majority of the legislation are common-sense policies; however, know that you might face punishments, including incarceration and caning with regards to infractions such as vandalism and the like. Severe law violations like smuggling in illegal drugs might land you the death penalty. Because of this hard stance on crime and wrongdoing, Singapore is often rated as among the safest nations in the entire world.
Know the customs, rules and duty-free concessions
If you’re trying to evade expensive alcohol and tobacco taxes, learn the duty-free concessions, as Singapore is strict about what you may earn and profit from, and you might face stiff fines if you’re caught not following the law. For alcohol, you can purchase one liter of wine, and beer, or two liters of wine, plus one liter of beer, and vice-versa. There are no concessions on tobacco products; you can bring in one already-opened package, but other else is taxable, while e-cigarrete/vaping products are banned.
Security is high, and corruption is low
Singapore is very safe — crime is generally low. It’s very secure to be out on one’s own late into the night. Bribery and corruption are never a problem. Nevertheless, you should use common sense when traveling in a cosmopolitan town just like everywhere else. For instance, don’t leave your items unattended.
Additional tipping not necessary
Tipping culture is not customary in Singapore, and support staff doesn’t expect tips, although it’s welcome should you want to reward support. Smaller shops and hawker centers usually charge an all-inclusive “net” commission, even though there is a 7% goods and services tax for the majority of providers in shops. With regards to restaurants, dining, restaurants, and bars, you’ll often be charged an additional ten percent service fee on top of your invoice.