Singapore is a city state located in South East Asia, making it the perfect stop over when travelling from Europe to Australia, New Zealand or the south of Asia. It is a global financial capital with a long multi ethnic cultural history reflected in its architecture, food and fashion. The climate is tropical with hot, humid summers and temperate winters.
The national airline of Singapore is Singapore Airlines which is a member of the Star Alliance group of airlines and has multiple subsidiary airlines including regional flight with Silk Air and budget carriers Scoot Airlines and Tiger Air.
Many major airlines utilise Singapore as a hub making it an easy destination for a stopover or to visit as a destination.
Public transport in Singapore is easy to use, cheap, clean, safe and efficient. Trains (MRT), light rail (LRT) and buses will get you to just about any destination.
The train network in Singapore is known as the MRT (Mass Rapid Transit), the network is extensive and most major attractions are within walking distance of an MRT station. Stations are also easily accessed from within major shopping centres. The train from the airport is the cheapest and easiest way to get from the airport to the city. The bus and LRT networks are also extensive and connect with the MRT.
Tourists can purchase a Singapore Tourist Pass on arrival at the airport or from major stations. This card gives access to both buses and trains with unlimited travel from 1 to 3 days. You simply purchase the card and swipe on at the card reader when you get on buses or trains.
When you purchase the card you are paying a $10 deposit, be sure to get this refunded when you are leaving, there is a kiosk located in the airport.
The Tourist pass also gives you access to special deals, to read more about using the card, costs and associated deals, check it out here.
The SG MRT App for smartphones allows you to plan your trip and has a map of the public transport network.
Taxis are regulated in Singapore however we did not utilise them at all as the public transport is great.
Uber is available is Singapore, again we did not use this service as we did not need it.
For stays of under 30 days most tourists do not need a visa but do need to meet entry requirements. More information can be found here.
Accomodation is easy to find in Singapore and ranges from backpackers hostels to luxury hotel accomodation. The world famous Marina Bay Sands with it’s rooftop pool is located in Singapore and a dream destination for many travellers, us included.
It is worth checking with your airline about layovers in Singapore as many of them have deals with hotels or apartments for travellers on short stays.
We got a 50% discount at the Peninsula Excelsior Hotel through Scoot airlines. This included a Deluxe double room, free wifi and access to the Sky Rooftop bar.
If you are travelling during the summer we would recommend looking for accomodation with air conditioning and a swimming pool.
AirBnB operates in Singapore but we did not use it on this trip.
There are 4 official languages of Singapore-Malay, English, Mandarin and Tamil. Most people in Singapore will speak 2 of these languages fluently and there are up to 20 languages identified as being used regularly.
English is recognised as the language of instruction with most signage and directions written in English.
Singapore is renowned as a very expensive destination amongst travellers and it is true you could spend a small fortune in a short time however you can also do it on a budget as we did by:
- Booking early
- Checking for travel deals with airlines, hotels
- Avoiding expensive restaurants
- Eating at Hawker markets
- Drink local beer or spirits rather than imported wine or beer
- Using public transport
- Buying the Singapore Tourist Pass
- Ensuring you get your Tourist Card Pass refund on departure
- Get some exercise and save some money by walking around major sites such as Marina Bay, The Gardens, Canning Fort Park rather than paying for tours
- Do your research, know what you want to see and budget for it before you arrive
See our Travel Tales for details about our 3 days in Singapore
The official currency of Singapore is the Singaporean Dollar, denoted by the symbol S$. The code is SGD.
The Brunei dollar is also accepted in Singapore.
Singaporean currency is easily exchanged prior to and upon arrival in the country and is traded with all major currencies.
On our list for next time
Singapore has a famous food culture and our goals for our next trip include:
Chilli Crab at the original creators restaurant Roland’s
One of only 2 street food stalls in the world with a Michelin star – Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle
If we are super lucky and inherit a small fortune staying at the Marina Sands and swimming in THAT pool
Smart phone Apps we used
SG MRT LRT offline free
Singapore Map and Walks
Resources we used
Friends and family- being Aussies many of our friends and family have travelled to or through Singapore and were able to give us tips on visiting.
If you have questions or would like to give us feedback on this guide please contact us.
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