Singapore! Known as the “New York” of Asia and rightly so. The rapid development, the high skyscrapers and the advanced technology are some of the features which have earned it this name. We visited it twice due to the responses we had. In our guide below you will find all the useful information for visiting this country.
Table of Contents
- You do not need to have a prepaid visa in order to enter this modern country. You simply fill in an application on the plane or as soon as you land. Find visa informations for all countries here.
- Officially it is called The Republic of Singapore, and it is the smallest sovereign island city state in the southeast of Asia.
- The current voltage is 230 V and the frequency 50 Hz. Type of plug G.
- The currency is the Singapore dollar S$ or else SGD. The equivalent is 1€=1.55 SGD. In order to be informed about the latest currency changes you can look at: XE Currency Converter.
- If you travel often you can obtain a surf roam sim for global internet with very low charges and for use in over 200 countries For more information look here.
- Singapore means «City of Lions» and is derived from the words singa (lion) και pora (city).
- According to the most recent census the population is around 5700 residents.
- The official languages are English, Chinese, Malay and Tamil.
- Singapore has the largest number of millionaires in the entire world.
Most visitors choose to stay in the central area around Marina Bay. This is usually the most expensive option as far as accommodation goes. In other areas like Little India or Chinatown “the landscape” is more favourable. The accommodation options are many and can suit every pocket. Obviously prices change relative to the time of travel as well. Below we mention some examples of room prices:
Low budget: Initially, we have the lowest prices for mainly hostels in Singapore. They start as low as 8€ per person per night for a room 2,5 km from the city centre. For someone who prefers to be closer to the central sights, the price goes up to 16€ in a shared room.
Mid budget: Towards the mid budget a couple can find a room at around 82€ in a central area. For a more economical option you can search in the area of Little India or Chinatown with prices which start at 35€ to 60€ which include a private bathroom and sometimes breakfast as well.
High budget: In the high budget area Singapore is one of the top luxury destinations. A couple may stay at the InterContinental in Singapore from 180€ or in a five star hotel in Sentosa at 210€ per night. Finally in the world renowned Marina Bay Sands you can find a double room at 320€ on the ground floor, whereas for a flat on the 3rd floor the price will be around 650€. Obviously prices differ according to the extra facilities you will add, the view from each room, and so on.
Prices also vary according to the peak seasons and availability. However, travellers can always find a place to stay that is suitable to their budget. It would also be a good idea to plan beforehand where you want to go and which places you want to visit so you can find an accommodation in that area. Organise your trip and then look for accommodation in the areas which are most convenient for you. It’s a good idea to find a place to stay in the center, which might be slightly more expensive but will save you from wasting valuable time and money from commuting back and forth.
Traditional Singapore Food
Singapore is one of the top gastronomical destinations. Their meals consist of meat, rice, and noodles but they are mainly known for their seafood dishes. Their recipes are a mixture of Malaysian, Indian, Chinese and Western cuisine. Below are some of the most well known traditional dishes:
Chili Crab: One of the most well known dishes in Singapore. It consists of fried crabs served with chilli and tomato sauce. After cleaning and chopping the crab into smaller pieces, it is stir fried in oil and then fried again with the sauce. In the end they add corn flour and eggs to thicken the sauce. The dish isn’t as spicy as its name might imply and has more of a sweet, salty taste.
Kaya Toast: Toast with butter and kaya (an egg jam), sugar, coconut milk and pandan leaves. This dish is combined with boiled eggs and hot tea or black coffee.
Laksa: A spicy soup made with various ingredients. The locals use it as an accompaniment to their dishes. It usually contains a spicy broth, noodles, coconut, lemongrass and fish or meat.
Barbecued Stingray: Grilled Stingray is a rare dish for our palates. They usually leave the stingray marinated and wrapped up in banana leaves for 10 mins before grilling. You may even buy this from roaming vendors and then add the sauce of your liking.
Fish Head Curry: A soup made with the fish head, coconut milk, and spices. This is a healthy dish as they add lots of vegetables, tomatoes and eggs to the fish head. It is usually eaten with steamed rice.
Nasi Lemak: A dish of Malaysian rice cooked with coconut milk and pandan leaves. It is the national dish of Malaysia and the surrounding areas.
Buses: Singapore has an extensive bus route system which covers most of the country. Apart from being the cheapest way to travel around it is also the most picturesque. You can enjoy the view, the landscape and the architecture of the buildings, whilst simultaneously enjoying the comfort and air condition of the bus. The bus prices usually range from 0,73 SGD to 1,66 SGD,
Τaxi/Uber:There are taxis in every central area as well as the airport. There are many options with the relative pricing: Comfort, SMRT, Trans-Cab and HDT Singapore Taxis. The prices are quite competitive and are all around 4 SGD. The fare varies according to the kilometres, whether it’s rush hour or not and the type of service each taxi offers. In Singapore they don’t have Uber, but there is a similar service called Grab. By downloading this app on your mobile you can choose your destination and fare.
Car Rental: On average car rental costs around 50 SGD per day. Prices vary depending on when you visit the country, and on whether you need the car for a few days only or for a longer period of time. You may view car rental prices and availability here.
Metro/Subway: Singapore has a subway. It is the easiest,fastest and most comfortable way to get around Singapore. The subway is open from 5.30 am until midnight, with trains running every 3 mins during rush hours and every 7 mins the rest of the time. Prices range from 0,83 SGD to 1,95 SGD for one trip, whilst there are different packages you can buy such as the 24 hour ticket. Inside the train you will see seats reserved for the disabled. You will also see ads and spots about caring for our fellow human beings. A wonderful initiative which will move you!
Bicycle: Cycling around the city centre and the wider areas is a very common way of getting around. You can enjoy the sun and the huge green lawns which you will encounter together with the technology and beauty of the city. Singapore has a well connected bicycle lane system and you can rent a bike from a bike rental company via apps such as SG Bike. You can also carry your fold up bike on trains and buses so long as you are not inconveniencing the other passengers.
For cheap in-city rides and airport transfers check here.
Best things to do in Singapore
Apart from Activities and Cities in ¨What to Do¨ we also mention the relative airport for each destination. Changi Airport is one of the most well known and impressive airports in the world. It has also been voted the best airport as far as leisure time while waiting for a flight. You may enjoy a massage in the airport armchairs, free 24 hour cinema, go shopping and take photos of the artificial lakes and gardens.
«The Jewel», however, is what steals the show. It is a huge complex which connects 3 terminals, has a lot of malls and a hotel. The most impressive part of “The Jewel” is a 40 meter waterfall named Rain Vortex. This is the biggest indoor waterfall in the world. During the night it is lit up by 360ο lighting and you can watch the free light show to the accompaniment of music! It is one of the few airports in the world where you really hope you have a lot of time between transfer flights in order to enjoy all it has to offer without rushing.
In Malaysian this name means peace and calmness. Some call it the Disneyland of the East! A place of leisure for young and old. It is a green island full of lush vegetation and beaches and resorts and one of the top tourist destinations. One of the most common sites to visit is Universal studio, the island’s aquarium, and the Sentosa Merlion which can be seen from afar due to its large size. The extreme sports activities include the zipline for the most daring! The most famous artificial beaches are Palawan beach, Tanjong and Siloso. The island is accessible via cable car from which you can enjoy the panoramic view. For more information, transportation and prices for the island attractions look here.
Haw Par Villa
An Asian cultural park, the last of its kind in the world. Built in 1937, it is the biggest outside art gallery in Singapore.This park contains all the treasures of Asian culture, history, philosophy and religion. Information about the park exhibitions and entry prices are here.
Little India is a lively neighbourhood full of colourful Hindu temples and quaint shops. Accommodation in Little India is one of the cheapest in all of Singapore! It is east of Singapore’s river and opposite Chinatown. You can enjoy the local cuisine, a local music festival and become acquainted with Indian culture from this small neighbourhood in Singapore.
This historical town is one of the biggest in Singapore. The biggest part of the original spirit, attitude and traditions is still kept alive here. Intense aromas, colours and polite people. You will also find in this Chinatown the Sri Mariamman Temple.This is the oldest Hindu temple in Singapore. Due to its historical significance and architecture the temple is a national monument and a pole of attraction for many tourists.Do not fail to taste the street food of the area which is of a high quality. The Chinatown canteen has even received a Michelin prize!
A walk around the Marina Bay
The whole center of Singapore is in this area. Some call it a floating city since it literally appears to have sprung from the sea. The queen of the show is the hotel Marina Bay Sands formed by three skyscrapers joined by a ship. It is the biggest hotel in Singapore and the roof pool is the biggest overflowing pool in the world.
The swimming pool is solely for the use of the hotel guests, but with 32 SGD you can go up to the observation deck and take in the spectacular view that unfolds before you.The hotel has around 2,5 thousand rooms and in the floors below there is a huge mall and casino. In the afternoons you can visit the mall on the ground floor, and you can enjoy the free light show with impressive fountains and beautiful music.You will find more information about the hotel and the shops here.
The impressive statue and emblem of Singapore. The combination of two creatures: The head of a lion and the body of a fish. The latter implies where the state was created from, whereas the former shows how it developed and the power this state has now. The statue is over 9 meters high and is the most emblematic point in the whole city. It is opposite the hotel Marina Bay Sands and is a meeting place for tourists and locals.
Gardens by the bay
Very close to the hotel you can enjoy a walk in these magical gardens. The morning hours are more conducive to a quiet walk and taking photos. On the contrary, the afternoons are far more lively with light shows accompanied by music and of course the crowd flow is bigger. Do not fail to visit the globes Flower Dome and Cloud Forest for which you will have to pay an entrance fee. You may find the details and prices here.
Bugis Street Market
This is the ideal place for those interested in second hand clothes and souvenirs. Once it was an infamous neighbourhood, next to the Singapore Art museum, which has now been transformed into a tourist attraction. The locals as well as the tourists come here to look for cheap clothes, accessories and electronics. Respectively, one can eat economically at the hawker food markets selling street food. Local cuisine and unique aromas in combination with remarkable quality and low prices. You can see your food being prepared before your eyes and the price for a full meal will not be over 15 SGD.
Packing Tips & When to Go
Singapore is a place you can visit any time of the year. The climate is uniformly tropical, with temperatures varying from 22°C to 34°C. There is quite a lot of humidity and heavy rainfall. June and July are the hottest months, whereas November and December are the rainy seasons with the monsoons. Most travellers choose to come during the dry period which is from February to April in order to avoid the monsoons. On the other hand, if you want to avoid a heavy influx of visitors the rainy season is the best time to come, also because the prices are lower then.
Basic protection gear: On a trip like this you must have basic gear like your sunscreen, insect repellent, allergy medicine, sunglasses and a hat .If you intend to visit a more provincial district you had better bring along clothes that cover your arms and legs in order to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects.
Clothes for a tropical climate: It is best (for men and women) to wear Τ-shirts, shorts and loose clothes which don’t cling on you due to increased humidity. You should also wear comfortable shoes so that your feet can breathe and you can walk for miles. Also, because temperatures fluctuate, especially during the night hours, it would be good to bring along a jacket or hoodie.
Clothes for protection: In addition to the above tips we suggest that, due to the tropical climate, you bring along clothes from material which allows your body to breathe such as cotton, linen, avoiding silk, wool and polyester.The clothes should be loose and comfortable allowing air flow and evaporation of moisture.
Umbrella/Raincoat: Rain and sudden showers are a common occurrence in Singapore. Generally, the weather is unpredictable, so it would be a good idea to carry a raincoat and an umbrella so that the weather does not ruin your mood and plans.
English is one of the official languages so it is certain you won’t have communication problems. The national language is Malay. It is the language they also speak in Malaysia, Indonesia, etc. Some basic words are below:
|Hi||Halo||My name is||Nama saya|
|Thank you||Terima kasih||Bye||Selamat tinggal|
|Please||Silakan||How are you?||Apa khabar?|
Useful Sites & Apps
Nowadays, before or during travelling we always have some useful websites and apps which guide us towards the destinations we want according to our budgets. We have chosen certain websites and apps which have helped us a lot, or have been recommended a lot and have high grades. Apart from the really well known ones there are also a lot of lesser known ones which can assist you just as well. We offer you our proposals below:
With a plethora of choices, traveller grades, and a lot of offers for those who have booked many destinations, promo codes for you and your friends, discounts and many other advantages. Start booking to discover all the available options and offers. For available rooms and prices look here.
One of the best, most trustworthy, and most convenient 5-star airport taxi companies for your airport transfer based on user reviews across various platforms such as Google, Tripadvisor, and Trustpilot. Welcome Pickups offers a great experience and safety to its travelers. Local English-speaking drivers, flat, pre-paid fee, flight monitoring for delays, 24/7 Customer support + free cancellation. Check your options here.
With over one million properties all around the world, and always increasing, ideal for a low budget stay even in expensive areas. Furthermore, because you stay in people’s villas, houses or flats you are made to feel more at home by the host of each destination and the homely surroundings.
Registering here is free and easy. Every hotel on this platform will grant a free tenth night, so if you stay for ten nights the tenth night is free.
This is a very well known website for travellers with a lot of information. It is the largest travelling platform in the world where you can view thousands of reviews, opinions and recommendations as to where and how to travel, even for the most demanding traveller. Look, compare and then visit.
Whatever you need is a click away. Find the best offers from the best companies for trains, buses, planes and ships. Travel to Canada, the USA and Europe. We use it often when we are already abroad and want to visit a neighbouring country. Check available routes here.
The first website which every traveller always checks with. Direct, fast pricing and comparing of air tickets throughout the world. We love the filter “Towards any destination” which presents to us, in order of pricing, all the flights available to our chosen destination. The best solution for a last minute trip. For available flights and prices check here.
A site which all adventurous travellers love as well as those who wish to visit museums and concerts. All the available activities and tours around the world gathered in a concise list. Read the reviews from each traveller well before booking your activities in order to avoid any misunderstandings with the organisers of each activity as to the days and times. We have tried it many times in America, Asia and Africa without any problems. For available tours and activities check here.
For car rentals at the lowest prices. Car service in over 150 countries, with many offers and support in over 12 languages and with any special requirements.
Here you will find last minute discounts on vacancies from hotels. This is an amazingly simple app and it doesn’t take long to book a room.You may search in each town for sights and maps. Furthermore, you can check the reviews and photos of other travellers in order to be sure about the reliability of each hotel. It also has a 24/7 customer service. If you’re stuck somewhere and you need a room desperately, this is the perfect app for you.
City Maps 2Go
Maps for travelling, hiking, mountain cycling and many other activities. A necessary app for every adventure, activity or touring abroad. You may only download one map per country, whereas it was possible to download two in the past. For an additional map you need to pay. Alternatively, as soon as you have looked at the information on a map you can delete it and then download a new one.
You can mark all the places of interest on the map you have downloaded. Whether they are sights, shops, or restaurants you can use the directions guide to get there. The great advantage to this app is that you don’t need to have internet connection although it might get stuck a few times. Nevertheless, it is quite a reliable and useful app.
Once you have marked all the places you want to visit prior to your trip, you can also book your accommodation accordingly. This way you can be sure you’ll be staying somewhere close to all places of interest.
More information for the necessary travel documents, depending on your nationality and destination can be found here.