If you picture Singapore, it’s more than likely you’ll imagine a neon-lit, ultra-modern cityscape defined by the characteristic Marina Bay Sands hotel. Here, public transport is incredibly efficient, and the most delicious street food is surprisingly cheap. In the central part of Singapore, pay a visit to Gardens by the Bay – especially futuristic after sundown – and let this futuristic urban outdoor recreation space enchant you. Spend time at the legendary hotel Raffles, where the Singapore Sling cocktail was invented by bartender Ngiam Tong Boon. Wander around the glorious Singapore Botanic Gardens, founded in 1859. Even a trip to the airport is memorable in Singapore – recently voted the world’s best – with its ‘rain vortex’ sound and light show, and orchid and butterfly gardens – we can’t think of a better place to wait for boarding to begin!
Country Information - Singapore
- Visa: U.S. passport holders do not require a visa to enter Singapore to visit as tourists. It is advisable that all passports should be valid for at least six months from the arrival date, and passports must be in good condition.
- Currency: The Singapore dollar is the official currency of Singapore, which you’ll see stylised as S$.
- Packing advice: The most important thing to bear in mind while packing for Singapore is that outside it tends to be humid and hot, while inside air conditioning is king. This means that you will go from one extreme to another, with interiors of shops and malls being so chilly that you may even require a jacket at times. Wet season runs from September until February, so you should pack accordingly – however, it can rain throughout the year in this exciting destination, so something waterproof is always ideal.
- Language: Most Singaporeans will be bilingual, with English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil all listed in its constitution.
- Cultural differences: It’s worth noting that in Singapore, fines are common punishments, so it pays to be cautious. Chewing gum or smoking, for example, are things you can’t just do anywhere – so keep an eye out for signs or designated areas. Cleanliness is key in Singapore, so don’t be surprised by the spotless streets and repercussions for those who litter. Queuing is also something taken seriously in Singapore, so if you see a line forming, it’s always best to take the patient approach.
- Tipping: There is no strong custom of tipping in Singapore, but if you would like to leave a tip as a way of showing appreciation for service, this is accepted.