Traveling to Singapore is like stepping into a futuristic city where everything is clean and green. As soon as you arrive it doesn’t take long to recognize the “city in a garden” theme the local government has built Singapore to live up to. Plants grow out from skyscrapers, trees line the streets, and parks are abundant and lush.
Here is everything you need to know for your next trip to this amazing city
Oh, wait… country 😉
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What To Expect When Arriving in Singapore
Most Singaporeans are bilingual in English and their native language, so you don’t need to worry about learning any phrases before you arrive. That is assuming you are reading this in English 😉
Other major languages that are spoken are Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil.
SGD- Singapore Dollar
ATM’s and currency exchange counters are available everywhere in Singapore.
Transport From the Airport
When you arrive at Changi International Airport your probably going to want to find the cheapest and easiest way to get into the city. From the terminal you arrive in (there are 4) follow the “train to city” signs and make your way to the basement of Terminal 2 to hop aboard the MRT (public train system).
You can either walk to Terminal 2 or hop on the free Sky Train service which connects terminals 1, 2, and 3 and runs from 5.00am to 2.30am.
When you arrive at the MRT station we recommend purchasing an EZ Pass which will make exploring Singapore very simple. They have several options, so choose the pass that is best for you.
Getting Around Singapore
Once you purchase an EZ Pass, you can use it to get on and off the MRT & LRT trains and public buses anywhere in the city. This is a huge money saver if you are planning on exploring the city while you are in Singapore.
EZ Pass Cost
- 1 Day Pass: $10 SGD
- 2 Day Pass: $16 SGD
- 3 Day Pass: $20 SGD
*You also must pay a $10 SGD rental deposit which you get back upon returning at the end of your stay.
If you are just going to be in one area, then it may be more cost-effective to pay as you go or take a Grab.
Purchasing Sim Cards in Singapore
Quality high-speed internet is available pretty much everywhere in Singapore, so we opted to not buy sim cards and to just tap into the WIFI at our hostel and restaurants.
That said, the best choice of sim cards for tourists in Singapore is Singtels 100GB for $15 SGD.
Top 5 Things To See and Do
1. Gardens By The Bay
If you’ve ever seen photos of Singapore before, then you have probably seen these iconic waterfront gardens which look like they are from another planet.
This concept is the key element in the governments “City in a Garden” vision and an absolute must see for anyone visiting Singapore.
We spent an entire day walking around the park stopping at:
- The indoor Flower Dome & Cloud Forest conservatories – two of the largest in the world!
- People watching around the gardens.
- Eating at Satay by the Bay.
- Watching the sunset over the water at Marina Barrage.
2. Light Shows
One of the coolest attractions in Singapore are the sound and light shows held every evening. If you have time be sure to catch all three of these amazing light shows:
- Garden Rhapsody at Gardens by the Bay Supertrees.
- Spectra at Marina Bay Sands.
- Wings of Time at Sentosa
A visit to this island means you are in for an action-packed day. Get ready to have some fun as you:
- Relive your favorite movie moment at Universal Studios Singapore.
- Zip-line through the jungle at the MegaZip Adventure Park.
- Gaze at the majestic Merlion.
- Dive under the sea at the S.E.A. Aquarium.
- Test your nerve as you Bungy Jump beside the beach.
- Fly through the air on the Giant Swing.
- And so much more!
Tiong Bahru is like stepping into a Portland neighborhood in the heart of Singapore. Hipster cafes and shops line the streets. There are some neat little bars to pop into. And the overall vibe just invites you to come and chill out for a few hours sipping a coffee or trying on some hip new clothes.
This is the perfect place to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy a peaceful walk in the park. Soak up some Vitamin D by the reservoir, play a round of golf, hike through the jungle, and cross over the TreeTop Walk suspension bridge (just be mindful of the macaques).
Typical Costs in Singapore
We averaged about $55 USD per day per person while we were in Singapore staying in a hostel and primarily eating street food.
If you eat street food and at moderately priced restaurants (aka avoiding fine dining) then $10-$15 USD per day will be plenty.
This does not include alcohol which can be quite expensive compared with other SE Asian countries.
The sky is the limit when it comes to accommodation, but a dorm bed will cost $15-$25 USD per day on average at a decent hostel. You can certainly find cheaper, but expect to get what you pay for.
With MRT EZ Pass: $6.66 SGD per day with a 3-day unlimited pass.
We averaged about $8 USD per day on activities but spent most of our time just walking around the city and exploring the beautiful parks.
Your activities budget will fluctuate drastically depending on what you want to see and do in Singapore.
Major Activity Costs
Gardens By The Bay:
- Free entry to the park
- Flower Dome + Cloud Forest $28/adult and $15/child (SGD)
- Walking in the Super Trees $8/adult and $5/child (SGD)
Marina Bay Sands Skypark:
- $16/person (SGD)
- $26/person (SGD)
Money Saving Tips
Drink at home
If you plan on going out and experiencing the nightlife in Singapore we suggest doing a bit of pregaming before you go out as your bar tab will quickly rise if you go all out at the clubs.
Buy the MRT EZ Pass
If there is one thing you can do to save money while in Singapore it is using the amazing public transport system. MRT will take you practically anywhere and is quick and hassle-free.
If you can’t take MRT to your destination or need to get home late at night Grab is going to be the cheapest option available.
Eat on the street
Singapore is home to some amazing street food. Your taste buds and your wallet will be thanking you if you stick to eating on the streets of Chinatown and Little India. Of course, there are street food stalls everywhere so just follow your nose and read some blogs to find the best spots to go.
There is so much to see in this modern city, so if you have a day to kill just follow your feet and see where they take you. You will probably stumble onto something awesome that you would never have found otherwise.
Where to Stay in Singapore
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. It helps us create useful content like this, so if you are considering one of these hotels, we would appreciate it if you book with the link provided below 🙂
This is a nice social hostel for true budget backpackers. $13-$15 USD a night will get you a dorm bed and free simple breakfast. Proximity to MRT and abundant street food options make Little Red Dot Hostel a perfect option for those looking to explore Singapore without breaking the bank.
This is where we stayed on our first trip to Singapore 😉
Great location, friendly staff, and close to the MRT. What more could you need? Find out what Chic Capsules is all about for your next visit to Singapore.
The most iconic and luxurious hotel in Singapore. Place yourself right in the midst of the action and spend a week in grandeur at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
- 11 Photos To Inspire You To Travel To Singapore
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- A Little Slice Of Home In Singapore: Tiong Bahru Bakery
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