Visiting Singapore is not all about getting a Singapore visa and taking off to tour the many sights that the country has to offer. It’s about exploring and discovering the many wonders, while also being mindful of the people, their culture and the laws of the land. This is where our Singapore travel tips will come in handy in your upcoming Singapore holiday.
Being a hot favourite among the tourists as a holiday destination, Singapore sees a fair share of visitors year round, a few of which may upset the locals by unknowingly breaking some rules or not following proper etiquette that are not common in their own country. So in order to avoid being a nuisance to locals or getting in trouble with the authorities and being fined heavily, knowing some of the basic Singapore travel tips before visiting will surely come in handy.
Do’s when visiting Singapore:
Dress according to the weather:
As Singapore is a tropical country, the temperatures are high, so it is advised to wear loose and light colored clothes and to carry an umbrella that may come in handy in the sun and also incase it rains unexpectedly.
Explore the airport:
Changi Airport is the best airport in the world! Tons of retail stores, the Vortex Waterfall, various entertainment zones, free movie screening, gardens, swimming pool and a lot more to do just at the airport. No wonder it won so many awards.
Ask about ‘Handy’:
‘Handy’ is a mobile device equipped with local sim that most of the hotels offer their guests. This device will surely come in “handy” to reduce your roaming bills and will help you stay connected to your loved ones back home.
Enjoy the night time:
From Night Safari to vivacious night life and happening party scenes at Clarke Quay, Garden by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands, Zouk, 1-Altitude, Club Street, Holland Village, etc. Singapore is equally worth exploring at night as much as it is in the day.
Shop till you drop:
With annual Great Singapore Sale, various malls at Orchard Road and Bugis Street at Chinatown filled with markets and stalls selling various porcelain novelties, souvenirs, jewellery, and what not you would be spoiled for choices. Don’t forget to polish your bargaining skills before heading out to shop!
Travel in MRT (Mass Rapid Transit):
Many tourist locations are easily accessible through the MRT so it is an efficient way to get around town while enjoying good views and not burning a hole in your pocket.
Do try the local cuisine:
Food in Singapore is a mirror to Singapore’s multi ethnic and multi cultural society, no wonder it is counted among one of the most amazing Asian food cities for eating out. The country houses several UNESCO recognised hawker centers offering tons of variety of dishes from various cuisines, and it will be a shame to not to visit and enjoy the delectable Singaporean cuisine while sitting among the locals.
Watch out for umbrellas or tissue packets:
A must know Singapore travel tip if you don’t want to cause a scene with the locals. When visiting any food joint or local eatery, the locals have a habit to leave packets of tissues, umbrellas or water bottles at tables to ‘reserve’ them, while they queue up to get food. So if you find any of the mentioned items on a table its better to move on and search for another table as it is ‘reserved’.
Take off your shoes:
This can be considered a generic travel tip for visiting any Asian country. As a sign of respect, it is recommended to remove your shoes (hence, wearing clean socks is highly advised) when entering someone’s house as shoes are considered dirty and it may seem disrespectful or rude to not to remove them.
Tap water is safe for drinking:
With its strict level of cleanliness and high level standards of purification and filtering of water, tap water in Singapore is freely available and safe to drink.
Many popular tourist attractions are usually quite crowded. If you can, try booking your entry tickets online before you reach there. This will save your time and energy. If not then get there 15-20 minutes before they let tourists in to be among the early birds who get the early entry tickets. This tip will come in handy when visiting Gardens by the Bay, Flower Dome, the Cloud Forest Garden, etc.
Carrying cash on you is the best travel tip, considering how locals and small vendors prefer cash instead of card as a form of payment and can also come in handy at various vending machines located in the city.
Mind the laws related to alcohol:
Alcohol is not strictly prohibited but there are laws surrounding selling and consumption of it. One needs a special permit to sell alcohol at various places after 10.30 PM and another special permit to consume alcohol after 10.30 PM in public spaces.
Don’ts when visiting Singapore:
Say no to drugs;
The most important Singapore travel tip as the country is rigidly strict when it comes to drugs. Any amount of illegal drugs found in your possession may result in heavy fine, imprisonment or death penalty, it wholly depends upon the authorities.
Do not chew gum:
A very peculiar Singapore travel trip, as it is only applicable in this country. Unless required due to dental or health reasons, chewing, buying or selling gum is illegal in Singapore. The law is strictly enforced with a fine of 1000 S$.
Do not smoke:
Shopping centers, Cinema halls, Restaurants, Public transport, etc. are all off-limits when it comes to smoking. However, certain places have designated smoking areas (away from public eyes and marked with yellow paint) which can be used.
Do not litter or spit:
This is more of a general tip instead of being a specific Singapore travel tip, it should be followed no matter where you are. Littering and spitting in public places is a serious offense in Singapore – a country that prides itself for its cleanliness. If caught littering or spitting you could be sent for community service where you will have to clean a certain area or you could be slapped with a fine.
Do not use unauthorised wifi:
Using someone’s wifi without their permission is punishable under Singapore’s Computer Misuse & Cybersecurity Act. A handy Singapore travel tip to stay connected to the internet: You can use ‘Wireless@SGx’ – an app that lets you connect to its various hotspots scattered throughout different public places in the city.
Avoid reckless and illegal crossing of roads by always using designated pedestrian lanes for crossing, to save yourself a hefty fine and also others from unnecessary accidents.
No eating or smoking on MRT:
To avoid a fine of 500 S$ it is advised to not smoke or to carry any eatables on the MRT. This rule is implemented to keep the public transit system clean, hygienic and to avoid rodent infestation.
Do not vandalise:
Any damage caused to public or private property due to vandalism (or due to graffiti) is highly frowned upon and is punishable.
Do not tip:
The hospitality staff does not expect you to tip them as this is not a part of the Singaporean culture. When you pay for the service, your receipt will usually include a service charge apart from GST (goods and service tax), which is equivalent to a tip.
A Singapore travel tip that will surely come in handy if you like feeding pigeons. Do not do so in Singapore as it is against the law and doing so can result in a fine of 500 S$.
In additional to above, the general rule of not to discuss race, religion and politics also apply as you don’t want to offend anyone unintentionally. With strict laws and regulations, its no wonder Singapore is also called the “Fine City”. But considering how the “Do’s” outweigh the “Don’ts” its pretty evident that there is a lot to do in Singapore if you are mindful and just follow basic courtesy.
We hope our Singapore travel tips will come in handy to you and if you would like to add anything that we may have missed, feel free to comment below and let us know!
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