Being a unique, diverse and exciting destination that has something to offer for every type of traveler, Singapore has often been celebrated as one of the most fascinating locations in Southeast Asia and once-in-a-lifetime journey opportunity . But even though this urban, futuristic hub is filled with wonderful travel experiences to be found around every corner, it can also be quite foreign, unfamiliar and confusing to most new tourists. To that end, here are some things you should know before visiting Singapore for the first time, in order to enrich your travel experience:
Research the entry requirements
Before you plan and book your trip to Singapore, the most important thing you need to know is whether you require a visa to enter the country. Although most people that hold passports from the EU and the US can enter Singapore without a visa, a number of Asian countries, on the other hand, require an e-visa, while the rest of the word might need a physical visa vignette in their passports. As the process of acquiring a visa can take anywhere from a day for an e-visa to a week for a vignette, it’s important to find out what type of requirements your country needs in advance.
Take the climate into consideration
Singapore is known for having a hot and humid climate all year round, with the temperatures often exceeding 90°F. Even during the winter, when the weather is supposed to be milder, the temperatures will rarely drop below 75°F. For that reason, it would be wise to stick to thinner, more lightweight and breathable clothes, especially if you plan on doing more strenuous outdoor activities. Don’t forget to pack an umbrella or a light rain jacket as well, as Singapore is also known for having abrupt thunderstorms during the day.
Use your credit cards wisely
It’s common knowledge by now that certain types of credit cards, as well as special rewards cards, give you the opportunity to collect points or miles, allowing you to get exclusive discounts on flight tickets, or even giving you the chance to fly for free once you collect enough miles. However, credit card companies in Singapore tend to go one step further. Here, you can find numerous benefits and brilliant deals, such as getting a free luggage credit card, which will allow you to check your luggage for free at the airport or will bring you a handy suitcase as a present. These types of points and advantages can be incredibly helpful for staying within your budget when traveling, especially when it comes to a destination like Singapore.
Think about the costs in advance
Home to millionaires and the ideal place for high-end living, Singapore can be quite an expensive destination to visit. As this city-state offers all the comfort and luxury you can imagine, including opulent hotels, fine dining restaurants and shopping malls filled with designer brands, you need to be prepared to spend a bit more money to enjoy the full experience of Singapore. If you’re traveling on a budget, however, then it might be a good idea to book a package deal that offers accommodation, transport and tours around the area, in order to save some money. Either way, it would also be wise to consider getting some essential travel gadgets that will allow you to keep track of your spending and stay within budget.
Using public transportation
Although most people tend to avoid public transport when traveling, whether due to the lack of efficiency or safety concerns, Singapore’s metro system (MTR) is actually every tourist’s dream. The system is safe and effective, with an impressive network that will quickly take you anywhere you want to go, and has even been counted as one of the best metro systems in the world. But even though the MTR is a brilliant and affordable transport option, sometimes hopping into a car is simply more convenient. In those instances, try to avoid taxis due to their high costs, and opt for the local Grab app, which works similarly to Uber and Lyft.
Trying out the local cuisine
Offering both local and international dishes, Singapore is a place that has one of the most unique, diverse and delicious cuisines on the planet. And thankfully, there’s no need to visit a Michelin-starred restaurant here in order to enjoy a quality meal. In fact, the hawker stalls and food centers around Singapore, in particular those around Marina Bay and China Town, have been touted as the best places to experience the local cuisine, offering a wide variety of dishes to try each day. What’s more, these food stalls are also great for meeting and interacting with the locals, as most Singaporeans also prefer the top street food spots.
As a first-time visitor to Singapore, there will be many cultural shocks and unique things you might find surprising about this wonderful destination. However, these handy tips will help you prepare for the trip as best as possible, allowing you to enjoy your travels to the fullest.
Have you visited Singapore or have other need-to-know travel tips? Let us know in a comment below.