If you are planning to jumpstart your Asia travel itinerary, the best place to do it is to visit Singapore. This bustling, progressive, and modern city will unleash your adventurous soul and satisfy your wandering spirit. It has everything for every tourist- from its green and safe environment, world-class shopping districts and malls, diverse culture, breathtaking attractions, modern public transport, vibrant nightlife, and many more.
Singapore really rocks, so check out this travel guide to get the most of your Singapore trip!
Update: Due to the Pandemic, it is advisable to check for the latest entry requirements to visit Singapore first, before booking your flight.
TRAVEL GUIDE CONTENTS
- 1 Visa Requirements to Singapore
- 2 How to get to Singapore?
- 3 When is the best time to visit Singapore?
- 4 How to get to the city center from Singapore Airport
- 5 Connecting to the Internet in Singapore
- 6 Where to exchange local currency in Singapore?
- 7 How to get around Singapore?
- 8 Where to stay in Singapore?
- 9 Must-Try Food in Singapore
- 10 Michelin-Starred Hawker Stalls
- 11 10 Top Tourist Attractions in Singapore
- 12 Top Tours and Activities to Do in Singapore
- 13 Follow us on Instagram
Visa Requirements to Singapore
Most nationalities including Philippine passport holders do not need a visa to enter Singapore. Only the following countries are required to secure a visa to enter Singapore. Please the list of visa requirements and more details, visit Singapore’s Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website.
Level 1 Countries Required to Get a Visa to Enter Singapore
Republic of Korea
|Georgia||Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (Document of Identity)|
|Macao Special Administrative Region (Travel Permit)||Moldova||People’s Republic of China (PRC)|
Level 2 Countries Required to Get a Visa to Enter Singapore
How to get to Singapore?
The Singapore Airport is an international hub with direct flights to many destinations. If you live in a major city, you most likely have a direct flight to Singapore.
From the Philippines, you can fly direct from Manila, Clark, Cebu, Iloilo, and Davao.
By land, you also get to Singapore by taking a bus from Kuala Lumpur, Melaka, and Johor Bahru in Malaysia. You can book a ticket in advance here for a hassle-free journey. Check out our Malaysia-Singapore border crossing guide.
When is the best time to visit Singapore?
Generally, the best time to plan your trip to Singapore is from February to April. During this period, you can explore many places, without the hassle of rain.
When you want to escape the heavy throngs of tourists, mid-January through May is considered the “shoulder season”. If you are traveling on a budget, you can negotiate a lower accommodation rate during the low season (August to October, except mid-September because of Singapore Grand Prix). The peak months are June and July in time of the Great Singapore Sale, and also from November to early January.
How to get to the city center from Singapore Airport
Prior to your Singapore exploration, purchase an EZ-link card to pay your transport fares on the metro (MRT), buses, taxis, private cars, as well as food and drinks in various vending machines or stores. Check out our list of Things to Do at Changi International Airport.
Changi Airport Shuttle
This shared transfer service option is the least expensive way to travel to and from Changi Airport. It has drop-off points in the Central Singapore hotels. You can pre-book online or avail of the service at the Ground Transport Desk in the Arrival hall. It is recommended for travelers with one piece of luggage and a backpack or bag.
There are many taxi units in the Arrival Area of the airport’s terminals that will conveniently take you to your hotel, especially if you have lots of luggage. The fare is approximately between SGD 20-35 and subject to change because of the peak or off-peak hours, late-night surcharge, port surcharge, and additional ERP charge that is passed on to the passenger. It takes about 20-25 minutes to reach the city center.
Mass Rapid Transit (MRT)
The quickest way to reach your destination, however, you need to transfer to another train at Tanah Merah Station because of the absence of a direct line to the center of the city. The first trip leaves at 5:20 AM on Monday-Saturday and 5:47 AM on Sunday and during public holidays, while the last train departs at 11:54 PM.
Another cost-effective means to reach the city is riding a bus. All the airport terminals have designated bus stops. Use your EZ-link card or pay the exact amount for the fare.
Connecting to the Internet in Singapore
Singapore has an Internet connectivity rate of more than 99%, making it easy to connect with your family, colleagues, and clients across the world. There are ways to access the internet such as:
Prepaid SIM card
You can purchase a SIM card at Changi Telcos retail counters and convenience stores. You need to show your passport for registration purposes upon purchase.
Free Public Wi-Fi
There are many public areas across Singapore with available free hotspots. It includes malls, community centers, public libraries, museums, Sentosa Island, Changi Airport, and MRT stations.
Another option is to connect using a pocket Wi-Fi device that gives you data access. It can be rented at the airport’s Changi Recommends counters or other Wi-Fi rental companies. Rent a pocket WIFI now.
Where to exchange local currency in Singapore?
There are a lot of exchange centers in the airport but of course, the rate is slightly lower compared to the exchange centers in the city. What you can do is to exchange a small amount at the airport and go to Lucky Plaza to get one of the best currency exchange rates in Singapore.
How to get around Singapore?
Exploring the beautiful sights and attractions of Singapore is easy because of its modern public transportation system.
Singapore Tourist Pass
The Singapore Tourist Pass is a special EZ-link card that offers visitors unlimited travel on
Singapore’s basic bus services, MRT and LRT trains for a period of 1, 2 or 3 days validity. You may purchase it at designated station slike at the airport, Chinatown, Orchard and other major MRT/LRT stations. The rates are:
1-DAY PASS: $20
2-DAY PASS: $26
3-DAY PASS: $30
Inclusive of $10 Refundable Rental Deposit
It is the most comfortable means to get around the city. The trains are available from 5:30 AM until around midnight, with 1 to 3 minutes-interval at peak hours and 3 to 5 minutes-interval during off-peak hours.
Getting around in a taxi is the best if you have little kids or in a group. It can be a bit costly, but it will take you faster to the point of destination.
Another convenient way is to take a bus. Buses ply across the city as early as 5:30 in the morning until 12:00 midnight.
It is the cheapest and the most tiring, but if you want to get familiar with the city streets and explore every place, then why not try it?
Where to stay in Singapore?
The hotels in Singapore are relatively more expensive compared to the rest of Southeast Asia. But of course, there are cheap hostels too if you are traveling on a budget.
If the price is less of your concern then we highly suggest you stay at Marina Bay Sands. It is one of the top hotels in Singapore and a tourist destination in itself. Room rates start at around USD520. You can book now online via Booking.com.
For a mid-range hotel, we recommend the Strand Hotel in Bugis. It is an affordable top-rated hotel in the popular Bugis area in Singapore.
Budget travelers and backpackers can stay at Dream Lodge Hostel. This budget hotel is one of the top-rated hostels in Singapore. You can get a single pod here for around USD24 a night. Book now as their pods and rooms sell fast. It is located within the city center at 172 Tyrwhitt Road, Kallang, Singapore. If you are looking for a place near Chinatown, Capsule Pod Boutique Hostel offers clean and comfortable beds right next to Chinatown MRT station.
Must-Try Food in Singapore
Chilli Crab. Dubbed as the national dish of Singapore, the Singapore Chilli Crab made it to the 2011 CNN poll of the World’s 50 Best Foods. This is definitely a dish you should try when you visit the modern city of Singapore. The best place to have a Singapore Chilli Crab is at Mellben Seafood Restaurant at Blk 211 Toa Payoh Lorong 8 #01-11/15, Singapore. You may also try it at Long Beach Seafood Restaurant and at No Signboard Seafood Restaurant.
Chicken Rice. Another dish to try when in Singapore is the Hainanese Chicken Rice. It is one of the most popular dishes in Singapore and a must-try for visitors. It’s a very simple dish but also flavorful you would want it every time you visit the city. You can pretty much get Hainanese Chicken Rice everywhere in Singapore.
Kaya Toast with Soft-Boiled Eggs. This is a traditional Singaporean breakfast. This popular breakfast combo is made up of toasted bread, coconut or egg kaya, and a slice of thinly sliced butter. The kaya toast is best paired with soft-boiled eggs and coffee. You can have your kaya toast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast which has a lot of stalls across Singapore.
Michelin-Starred Hawker Stalls
If you want to try a Michelin-starred restaurant without breaking the bank, you can go to Hawker Chan in Chinatown or Hill Street Tai Hwa Pork Noodle. Both have a one-star rating in the 2019 Michelin Guide.
10 Top Tourist Attractions in Singapore
Gardens by the Bay
Without a doubt, Singapore has one of the most impressive, futuristic green spaces in the world. This modern garden ranks high in the most-visited tourist attractions in Singapore. The Garden by the Bay features the eye-popping Supertree Grove with its 18 vertical structures, the Cloud Forest Dome with the world’s highest indoor waterfall, and the Flower Dome, which was recognized by the Guinness World Records as the Largest Glass Greenhouse in 2015. Get a discounted Gardens by the Bay ticket online.
Universal Studios Singapore
Whether you are traveling with your family or on a solo journey, one of the most exciting places to visit is the Universal Studios Singapore. It has a lot of attractions, themed zones, rides, shopping areas, cafes, and restaurants that will keep you entertained all day long and even after dusk. Buy a discounted ticket.
Sentosa Island offers amazing tourist attractions in Singapore, becoming a major destination of the city. It is home to the world-renowned Merlion statue, Resorts World Sentosa, Fort Siloso, and a whole lot more. If you love aqua sports like Skimboarding and Kayaking, visit the Siloso Beach or you swim with the dolphins in the Underwater World Aquarium. It is15 minutes ride from the center of Singapore. Get your Sentosa FUN Pass now.
Singapore is known for the mythical Merlion, the creature with the body and tail of a fish and head of a lion. It is a symbol of the city’s humble beginnings as a fishing village and evolving into a modern, progressive country in Asia. The 8.6-meter tall and 70-ton statue was relocated in 2002 to Merlion Park, overlooking the Marina Bay. A little Merlion sits nearby. Merlion Park is one of the most visited areas for photo-ops and “selfies”.
Marina Bay Sands
The opulent Marina Bay Sands resort complex is another must-see tourist attraction in Singapore. It houses the Casino, ArtScience Museum, an indoor skating rink, a convention center, a luxury hotel, a high-end mall with a man-made canal that runs through it, the Skypark, as well as entertainment, shopping, and entertainment centers. Buy your Marina Bay Sands Skypark Observation pass.
With a UNESCO World Heritage Site recognition, the Botanic Garden is the world’s forefront orchid breeding and research center. It features the National Orchid Garden, the Bonsai Garden, Eco-Garden, Eco-Lake, and more. Since its opening in 1859, this tropical garden has the largest collection of orchid species and hybrids, along with other species of exotic flora and other jungle creatures like monitor lizards. This garden enhances the image of Singapore as the Garden City.
Jewel Changi Airport
This award-winning airport is one of the most beautiful and innovative touchdown points in the world. It offers a variety of attractions in its four terminals, like the Canopy Park, Canopy Bridge, Manulife Sky Nets, Hedge Maze, entertainment centers, shops, and dining areas. No wonder, it is a consistent choice as the best airport by lots of publications and award-giving bodies.
This iconic 2.2-kilometer street is the shopping haven of locals and tourists. Both sides of the Orchard Road are flanked with numerous boutiques, malls, department stores, hotels, cafes, restaurants, spas, and entertainment zones. A walk along this road will give you sparks of joy.
Cited as the world’s best rainforest zoo, the Singapore Zoo is a great place to take your kids. It has lush vegetation and impressive habitat space for white tigers, mole rats, Komodo dragon, Meerkats, chimpanzee, koalas, zebras, birds, and more. You can also try their Night Safari, River Safari, or Breakfast with the Orangutans activities for a more personal wildlife experience. Buy your Singapore Zoo ticket.
The city’s own Chinatown is one of the top tourist attractions in Singapore. It showcases the old Chinese culture and heritage, old temples, tea houses, shop houses, and museums, while the presence of modern restaurants, bars, boutique hotels, and cafes in the area enhances its allure. The night market is a much-awaited activity in this part of the metropolis.
There’s more to see and the only way to enjoy them is to be there as soon as you can!
Top Tours and Activities to Do in Singapore
Singapore Big Bus Hop-on Hop-off Tour
Explore the best of Singapore onboard an open-top, double-decker bus. See the iconic landmarks of Singapore like the Marina Bay Sands, Singapore Flyer, Merlion, and the Gardens by the Bay. Buy your ticket now.