10 Things To Know Before Visiting Singapore

Before traveling to Singapore, it's crucial to familiarise yourself with some things, like entry requirements and rules. Breaking Singapore's regulations can lead to substantial fines. Here's a guide to ensure you're well-prepared for your visit
Singapore is a popular travel destination for Indians
Singapore is a popular travel destination for IndiansWirestock Creators/Shutterstock

Nestled off the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, Singapore beckons as a must-visit travel hotspot in Asia. With its vibrant multicultural tapestry, towering skyscrapers, picturesque beaches, captivating wildlife parks, enriching historic sites, and a culinary delights, Singapore caters to all tastes. Notably, Indian travellers can seamlessly utilise the PhonePe app for swift and secure transactions at over 8,000 merchants in Singapore, enhancing their sojourn in the island metropolis. Before embarking on your voyage, acquaint yourself with essential insights for a seamless Singaporean travel experience.

Visa And Entry

To enter Singapore, you need a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond your intended stay. If you plan to travel beyond Singapore, make sure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond the date you plan to enter other countries in the region. Holders of diplomatic, official, and service passports do not need a visa for entry. If you are applying for an entry visa for business or social visits, you will need to submit the following documents:

  • Completed Form 14A (PDF, 202KB) signed by you.

  • A recent passport-sized colour photograph taken within the last three months. Please review the Photo Guidelines for photo requirements.

  • A photocopy of your passport biodata page (valid for at least six months from your entry date into Singapore).

Your visa application will be based on the information declared in Form 14A, and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) may request the form to be submitted.

Check here for more.

Bum Boat cruising with Merlion and Marina Bay skyline in the background
Bum Boat cruising with Merlion and Marina Bay skyline in the backgroundDerekTeo/Shutterstock

Weather And Time Zone

Singapore has a tropical climate with temperatures ranging from 25-33ºC. It's best to wear light, breathable clothing and have an umbrella handy for occasional rainfall. Although Singapore is a great place to visit all year round, the optimal time to go is from December to June. During February to April, Singapore experiences its dry season, with less rain, lower humidity, and more sunshine. Singapore Standard Time is in the GMT +8 time zone, so remember to adjust your watches accordingly.


Hanging out at the Jewel Changi Airport
Hanging out at the Jewel Changi AirportDr David Sing/Shutterstock

You'll find that English is widely spoken among Singaporeans, with many also being fluent in Mandarin Chinese, Malay, or Tamil. In addition, you may come across Singlish, a fascinating blend of English, various languages, and dialects unique to Singapore.

Getting Around

Singapore has an excellent public transport system. The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) runs daily and offers reasonable fares for travelling around the island. It's a reliable and comfortable transportation option, making car rental unnecessary in Singapore. The public bus network is also an affordable way to get around. While you may encounter traffic during peak hours, taking the bus can provide direct connections on routes that may require multiple changes on the MRT. It's important to note that rush hour traffic is between 8-9 am and 5-7 pm, so it's best to avoid travelling during these times when planning your itinerary. Outside of these hours, you are free to explore Singapore as much as you like. Transitlink Guides are available for purchase at MRT stations, bus interchanges, and large bookstores.

What To Carry

Remember to pack loose, lightweight clothing, a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website recommends bringing insect repellent like Permethrin if you'll be spending a lot of time outdoors.

The standard electrical current in Singapore is 220-240 volts AC (50 cycles), and you'll need power plugs with three square prongs.

Prohibited items in Singapore include chewing gum, chewing tobacco and imitation tobacco products (e.g. electronic cigarettes), controlled drugs and psychotropic substances, obscene articles, publications, videotapes, videodiscs, software, reproductions of copyrighted materials, seditious and treasonable materials. Check here for more.

Check Happy Hours

Boat Quay,a popular dining and hanging out area in Singapore
Boat Quay,a popular dining and hanging out area in Singaporejoyfull/Shutterstock

Remember that the tax on alcohol in Singapore is quite steep, which leads to high prices. If you wish to savour drinks in Singapore without breaking the bank, keep an eye out for happy hour promotions at bars and restaurants. Many establishments offer special deals during specific times to help you enjoy without overspending, considering the high alcohol tax in the country. Also, remember that in Singapore, drinking alcohol after 10.30 pm is prohibited under the Liquor Control (Supply and Consumption) Act 2015. It is illegal to sell and consume alcohol in public places, including bars and restaurants, during 'no-public drinking periods,' which usually span from 10.30 pm to 7 am. However, this timeframe can vary in Liquor Control Zones. Offenders can be fined up to USD 1,000 for a first violation and up to USD 2,000 and/or face imprisonment for up to 3 months for repeat offences.

Tap Water Is Drinkable

Tap water in Singapore meets the standards set by the World Health Organisation. You can drink water directly from the tap or buy it from stores. In most restaurants, tap water is also provided for free to customers. This makes it easy to stay well-hydrated in the tropical climate.

Bring Cash

In spite of Singapore's advanced technology, cash is still widely used and appreciated in many places. It can be helpful to have some local currency on hand for various situations. Smaller shops in the neighborhoods may prefer cash payments, as well as older eateries and hawker centers, which often do not accept credit cards or contactless payments.

Stay Connected

When visiting Singapore, travelers can easily access free Wi-Fi at any Wireless@SGx hotspot by downloading the Wireless@SGx App and entering their foreign mobile numbers. It's important to note that overseas charges may apply. A SIM card can also be used to connect to the internet. You must display your passport and mobile voucher at any M1 retail outlet or Cheers convenience store at Changi Airport when purchasing a SIM card in Singapore.

Know The Laws

One of the many informative signs about rules in the country
One of the many informative signs about rules in the countryDuluapics/Shutterstock

Singapore has strict laws with heavy fines for various activities. As per local regulations, group gatherings, loud family dinners, and late-night parties are considered illegal after 10 pm. Furthermore, officials conduct random checks in public toilets to ensure that individuals flush after use. Failure to comply may result in fines, so it's essential to double-check before leaving the cubicle. Visitors should note that feeding pigeons or sharing food crumbs with them is prohibited and can lead to penalties. Additionally, chewing gum is entirely forbidden in Singapore, including its sale, import, or possession. Notably, spitting out chewing gum is considered a serious offense. It is advisable to gather comprehensive information from a credible government website to avoid doing anything illegal and avoid any unexpected fines.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Outlook Traveller