Travelling overseas can always be a little stressful at first, but these Singapore travel tips will help you arrive feeling confident and ready to have a great time.
First, some good news: compared to other destinations in Asia, Singapore’s culture is easier to navigate. English is one of the four official languages, the city is very clean and modern, and Western-style food is readily available in most areas. These factors make this city a fantastic destination if this is your first holiday in Asia.
The Singapore travel advice below will help you prepare for your trip.
As long as you’re only visiting for tourism purposes, you won’t need a Singapore visa to enter the country. However, you will need to make sure your Australian passport is valid at least six months after your arrival date. You may also be asked to show evidence that you have sufficient funds for your holiday and plans to return home or travel onward.
You’ll be using the Singapore dollar when making purchases during your holiday. It operates in much the same way as the Australian dollar – the only exception is that Singapore has a $2 banknote rather than a $2 coin. The Singapore dollar is typically worth slightly less than ours, so expect a good return on your money when you exchange cash. For more on currency, visit the currency page.
Malaysian meals, Indian dishes, Chinese cuisine, and more… Singapore food is a reflection of the city’s diverse people. However, there is a common theme across all the food here: it’s spicy! The locals love hot food, so make sure to politely ask for a ‘mild’ option if your taste buds are on the sensitive side.
There are no circumstances in which you’ll be expected to tip in Singapore, though that doesn’t mean you never can. Hotel staff, taxi drivers, and restaurant waiters will usually be happy to receive some extra change if you feel so inclined. However, don’t persist if they seem embarrassed and decline. Tipping at hawker centres is particularly non-customary, and the staff at Changi Airport are not allowed to accept tips.
Singapore uses a 230V power plug that’s also found in the UK, Ireland, Malaysia, and Hong Kong. While the three rectangular prongs may seem similar to Australian plugs at first glance, you’ll quickly notice they are arranged differently. This means you’ll need to buy an adapter to charge your phone and laptop, though some hotels may provide a complimentary adapter during your stay – it can’t hurt to ask!
Singapore has four official languages, and English is the primary one. The other three are Malay, Mandarin, and Tamil. You’ll find signage around the city and on public transport is often displayed in at least two of these languages, depending on the area, but an English translation is included almost everywhere.
Singapore’s Changi Airport is itself a veritable tourist attraction – a natural development given the city’s popularity as a stopover. Venturing through the four large terminals, you’ll find a free movie theatre, swimming pool and jacuzzi, koi pond, entertainment deck, and a variety of gardens dedicated to cacti, water lilies, orchids, sunflowers, and butterflies. There’s also a smorgasbord of dining options and shops to fill your time before departure.