Singapore Travel Tips. An article sharing travel tips about visiting Singapore. How to get there and more…
Mark Ford, Founder of Plus1 Travel
It’s great to have you here searching for Singapore travel tips. In this article I will share with you the tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your Singapore travel experiences, let’s dig in!
Singapore is situated just off the southern tip of Malaysia and is one of the smallest and most densely populated countries in the world. Because of that, Singapore is a breeze to explore. Nothing in Singapore is more than an hour away from the central district.
For well over a century, Singapore was the jewel in Britain’s empire. When the city became a republic in 1965, few thought a country with so few resources and of vastly different ethnic groups could succeed. But the ones who thought that were clearly wrong! Singapore today is one of the four largest thriving economies in Asia.
Yet, despite blossoming into one of the great global cities, Singapore is a nation that still cherishes its Asian traditions. The city is packed with an unbelievable amount of creativity and culture. And while being very business focused today, it never loses sight of its history and heritage.
Singapore Travel Tips – How To Get From The Airport To Singapore
Singapore is served by Changi Airport, the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world when it comes to airports. The airport has been named best in the world 30 times. It has won 480 awards since 1981. So why is Changi Airport so good? It has a couple of items that most airports don’t have… For example it has a free movie theater, an arcade, a free transit hotel, a free tour of Singapore when you’re on a layover and the list goes on and on.
So when you arrive at Changi airport, how do you get into town?
The cheapest way is by bus, it costs less than $2 SGD. The bus terminal is located below terminal 1, 2 and 3.
The fastest is by grabbing a taxi. Costs $20-30 SGB and takes 20 minutes to the city center. Follow the signs in the arrivals hall and after you go through customs.
The best way to get into the city is the MRT train, which costs just $2 SGD and takes only 30 minutes into the center of town. The MRT station is located between terminals 2 and 3. And you have to change trains to a city bound train halfway through the journey.
Singapore Travel Tips – How To Get Around Singapore
When searching for Singapore travel tips, one of the most important things is to get to know the city and how to get around it. That’s what we will cover in right now.
Metro in Singapore
Like most modern cities Singapore has its own stored-value transit system and it’s called the EZ Link. You can use it on the MRT and city buses. You’ll get a 15% discount when compared to a normal paper ticket. The card cost $12 SGD initially and has a $5 deposit which you’ll get back if you return the card and $7 worth of travel credit. You can top up your EZ Link at any of the fare card vending machines in any station or at a 7-Eleven, but they’ll charge you a little bit extra with a fee in the 7-Eleven store.
Singapore’s subway service is excellent and it’s a great choice when travelling around the city. The MRT covers residential and business districts in Singapore. Signs and announcements are all in english and it’s really easy to find the right exit for your destination with helpful exit maps and very clear signage.
One very strict rule on the MRT is that it’s strictly forbidden to eat or drink on the subway. There’s a hefty fine if you do, in Singapore they like to keep it nice and clean.
Taxis in Singapore
Believe it or not, when it comes to taxis there’s actually a shortage of them in Singapore. It can be frustrating to try and hale one during rush hour or one of the city’s many thunderstorms that often sweep through the city.
But if you are able to find a taxi they are clean, reliable and relatively cheap. There are a lot of hidden fees that pop up: trip to the airport, late night fees, phone booking fee, toll road fees, surcharge fees. So don’t be surprised if suddenly your fare jumps. Make sure to ask before you join the taxi if they take credit card payments.
You can use local taxi app GrabTaxi or Uber, both have a solid presence in Singapore. While most taxi drivers understand english, it’s not a bad idea to get a name card of where you are going just to avoid any confusion.
Best Places To Stay In Singapore
When searching for Singapore travel tips it’s great to know what part of town is the best to stay in. Singapore is a very safe city, in fact it’s one of the safest cities in the world no matter how you measure it.
You won’t have any issues walking alone at night, violent crime is almost unheard of and the city is absolutely spotless. But there is a reason for that, Singapore has some strict laws that you should know about before coming here. It’s illegal to spit, litter, jaywalk, eat or drink on public transport and even sell chewing gum unless it’s for medical reasons. So remember that and obey the law to avoid getting a hefty fine.
So with that all in mind, Singapore travel tips: what are the best places to stay in Singapore?
Orchard Road is home to what is arguably the world’s best upscale shopping. Along the enormous modern shopping malls that line up on
both sides of the street you’ll find everything from luxury fashion clothing brands to camera shops. But there is more to Orchard than just shopping, when you venture into the smaller side streets you will discover plenty of cool bars and restaurants and a more relaxed atmosphere.There are cinema multiplexes inside the shopping malls and the food courts are a particularly good value for money.
Colonial / Historic is a central area of Singapore where you can easily walk to the bars and restaurants in the Quay area and Marina Bay. The delicious street food in Bugis & Kampong Glam area or Little India, and get to Orchard Road with all the great shopping.
The area has lots of beautiful architectural masterpieces and is a great walking area. It’s close to the perfect walking area in Fort Canning Park, and also the area where you’ll find most of the museums in Singapore. If you like history and museums, but also want to be close to the nightlife, this is where you should stay.
Marina Bay is home to some of Singapore’s biggest landmarks and attractions like Marina Bay Sands, the enormous skyscraper shaped as a gigantic ship. The Merlion Statue, which is a mythical creature created by the tourism board of Singapore in the 1980s, half fish, half lion. Gardens by the Bay, a breathtaking futuristic botanic garden with Supertrees like taken out of the movie Avatar. And the Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay, an architectural masterpiece with theater performances and concerts. Make sure to be at Gardens by the Bay at 19:45 or 20:45 when there’s a spectacular light and music show. Marina Bay is close to all the attractions, restaurants and nightlife, and if you want that, it’s a great place to stay.
Singaporean food culture is legendary, with a blend of influences from all over Asia and this is one of the pillars when looking into Singapore travel tips. And dishes from India, Malaysia, Middle East and China fit right in next to the local Singaporean creations. The communal kitchen has created some dishes and dining experiences that are totally unique to Singapore.
Nothing summarizes Singapore’s uniqueness quite like the Hawker centers. They are dotted all across the city and they are like a permanent food festival. The food is cheap, the quality is unbelievably high and the hygiene is strictly monitored by the government. So you ain’t going to get sick here.
Hawker centers are also the best places to get real homemade versions of Singaporean dishes like chicken rice. Arguably Singapore’s national dish. It’s chicken flavoured with soy sauce and sesame oil. Which is then served on a bed of fragrant rice that’s been cooked in chicken broth and then flavoured with ginger and garlic. Then topped with a delightful spicy red sauce to go with it.
So when you go to a big place like a Hawker center, how do you find which one of the many food stalls to get the best food from? Simply see which one of them has the longest line and join it. There is no better endorsement than popularity. And once you’ve found that vendor that you want to eat at, here’s how you order. Find a table and leave one of your friends there so you can claim it as your own. Note that every table has a number so write yours down or remember it before you go up to order. Order whatever dish you want and get seated, wait until your food gets brought to you.
Another dish that you have to try is Nasi lemak. This is one of Singapore’s best breakfast options. It’s rice cooked in coconut milk, anchovies, cucumber and spices wrapped up in a banana leaf. It can get a bit spicy for a breakfast meal, but trust that it will do you really good.
Top 7 Experiences You MUST Have in Singapore
Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade is a 3.5-kilometre along-the-bay walkway that brings people across many attractions at Marina Centre, Collyer Quay and the Bayfront and it is an excellent site for a number of fun and free activities along the bay. The promenade is a real beauty of nature. There are intelligently designed mist sprays to relieve guests from the blazing Singapore heat and breeze shelters with motion sensor fans to provide you with a cool stop from a tour walking around the bay. This is an incredible place for you to sit at the bayfront and enjoy the sunset.
Marina Bay Sands SkyPark
The National Orchid Garden is a green oasis where you can admire the beautiful blooms of Singapore’s national flower. Breathe fresh air and flower scents into your lungs before heading out to enjoy the rest of Singapore. Once inside this incredible garden, these pretty natural treasures will make you forget about the outside life. Take some time there to find the rarest orchids among the 60,000 plants and be amazed at the huge size of the flowers. There is a guided tour in English where you can learn more about the characters of the different kinds of orchids.
The cheapest and fastest way to see the stunning sights of downtown Singapore is to go on a bumboat ride down the Singapore River. Relax at the boat deck and enjoy the breeze as the boat chugs along the river. Go in the late afternoon to catch an incredible sunset and get the best of day and night views of the waterfront. A nighttime bumboat trip is a great chance to enjoy the light show at Marina Bay from a different and mesmerizing angle. A one-stop trip costs SGD5.00 and 40-minute river tours are also offered at SG$25.00
Gardens by the Bay is a modern green space that occupies 101 hectares in central Singapore. This innovative tourist heaven was born from an international design competition to create an urban garden in the city center. The project was aimed to seal Singapore’s title as a “City in a Garden”. It’s a design achievement that should not be missed by anybody who sets foot in Singapore. The garden’s advanced concept perfectly combines nature and modern technology, creating a futuristic wonderland. Enjoy the free access to the sky walk and see the gardens from above. At Gardens by the Bay, you could easily forget the time, spend the whole day, and still not want to leave at
Singapore Garden by the bay
A trip to Singapore wouldn’t be complete without visiting the Marina Bay Sands SkyPark. When you go up 57 levels and delight in the panoramic view of Marina Bay, the promenade, and the Singapore skyline you’ll be stunned by the view of the city. Catch the guided tour to gain more insights into Singapore’s history and present-day landmarks and you’ll also get access to the exclusive infinity pool, which is normally reserved for hotel guests. Going in the afternoon to catch the sunset and witness the transformation of Singapore from a bustling city by day to a thriving metropolis at night is a safe bet to be amazed. It’s impossible to beat the bird’s eye view of the Wonder Full light show when enjoying it at the Sands SkyPark.
Chinatown offers a distinct charm that cannot be found in other areas in Singapore. Get lost in the narrow alleyways and immerse in
Chinese culture and tradition. Explore the temples, visit museums and check out the local shophouses. When you’re hungry head over to the hawker stalls we covered earlier in this article and gorge on mouth watering street food. An abundance of cultural rich souvenirs is available at the area’s night street market to complete your Chinatown tour. Go back in time at the Chinatown Heritage Centre and get a glimpse of the early life in Singapore. The center is a wonderful recreation of old houses and street scenes that tell the fascinating story of the old Chinatown.
Clarke Quay is Singapore’s premier nightlife hub. As soon as the sun sets, Clarke Quay transforms into a lively and vibrant night spot. The old warehouses that used to be in the area have been converted into blocks of bars and restaurants that attract people to this side of Singapore. Its riverfront location makes it a perfect spot to hang out and unwind after a long day touring Singapore. The cool breeze from the river lends fresh air to the crowded night scene. You’re guaranteed to have a good time at Clarke Quay with its varied choices of trendy dance clubs, live music bars, and beer pubs.