Fast Facts
  • Citizens of most EU member countries, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea and the United States can stay in Singapore for up to 90 days without a visa.
  • Most other nationals, including Australia and Canada, can stay for up to 30 days without a visa.
Other visas

Nationals of some Middle East and African countries must apply for a visa in advance at their nearest Singaporean consulate. Please check the details and requirements on the website of Singapore’s Immigration and Checkpoints Authority.

Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC)

All travellers are required to submit a Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC) within three days prior to arriving in Singapore (including the day of arrival). The form can be completed via the SGAC online portal.

Documents required on arrival
  • Passport valid for at least six months with two or more blank pages;
  • Completed Singapore Arrival Card (SGAC) online.

All the above information may change without prior notice. It remains the traveller’s responsibility to check visa requirements before travelling.

Time zone

Singapore has four official languages: English, Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.

Various dialects of Chinese are also spoken, including Cantonese and Hokkien. English is widely spoken and understood throughout the country.

What to pack
  • Light cotton clothing is recommended for Singapore’s tropical climate;
  • Smart evening wear may be required for dining at hotels and high-end restaurants (please check the dress code for specific venues with your Asian Trails guide);
  • Please note the following items of clothing are prohibited when visiting temples: shorts, short skirts or similar clothing;
  • Sandals are recommended as it is customary to remove shoes when entering a temple or private home;
  • An umbrella can offer shade from the strong sun and/or rain;
  • Reusable water bottle;
  • Sun hat and sunscreen;
  • Insect repellent;
  • Universal plug adaptor.
The standard voltage in Singapore is 230V (50Hz).

Phone & internet
A local sim card is easily available at the airport or from a local service provider. An extensive 3G/4G/5G network is in place and covers most urban areas.
  • Support local businesses and shop at fair-trade stores or social enterprises (ask Asian Trails for recommendations);
  • Choose to dine at locally-owned restaurants serving local cuisine;
  • Switch off the air-conditioning and lights when you leave your hotel room;
  • Donate to local charities and NGOs if you would like to support local people and nature (ask Asian Trails for recommendations);
  • Ask permission before taking photographs of people or places of worship;
  • It is customary to remove shoes when entering a religious place or private home;
  • It is polite to greet others with a handshake, although Muslim women may greet men with a nod and smile.
  • Avoid using single-use plastic bags or cups to minimise the problem of plastic waste;
  • Don’t buy from children selling souvenirs on the streets, and don’t give them money or sweets, as this encourages them to stay out of school;
  • Don’t take home religious objects such as Buddha images or other sacred items;
  • Don’t buy wildlife products or items made from animal skins;
  • Don’t litter or jaywalk; Singapore has strict regulations and hefty fines to discourage these behaviours;
  • Don’t smoke outside designated smoking zones (this includes vapours, electronic cigarettes and chewing tobacco);
  • Avoid discussing politics and don’t openly criticise the government of Singapore, including through social media.

Official currency of Singapore: Singaporean dollar (SGD)

Foreign currency is rarely used for everyday transactions. Cash can be exchanged at banks, exchange bureaus and some hotels. ATMs that accept foreign cards are widely available.

Banking hours

Usual banking hours are:

  • Monday to Friday: 9 am to 6 pm;
  • Saturday: 9 am to noon.
Credit cards
Credit cards are widely accepted nationwide.
While not compulsory, gratuities are always appreciated in Singapore. Tipping is not part of the local culture, but many in the travel and service industry are accustomed to receiving a small amount for good service. Please consider the following as a guide to common practice, although tipping and the amount to tip is always at the discretion of the individual.

Guides and drivers Tipping is entirely up to the individual and depends on the level of satisfaction with the service.
Hotel porters It is typical to tip hotel porters for carrying bags to the room.
Restaurants A service charge of 10% is often included in the bill. An additional tip is not expected, but it is customary to round up the bill.
Taxi drivers Tipping taxi drivers is not expected, but it is customary to round up the fare.

Public buses provide extensive coverage, providing access to most of the city’s central landmarks as well as more suburban and residential areas.

MRT (Mass Rapid Transport)

The city’s metro system reaches the far corners of the city-state, including direct connections between Changi International Airport and the downtown area. Travel cards that cover both the MRT and bus network are available at numerous sales points.

Eastern and Oriental Express

This luxury line departs from Singapore’s Woodland Railway station for the journey to Bangkok, Thailand, via Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth, Malaysia.


Metered taxis operate 24/7 and are generally easy to flag down anywhere in the city. Supplementary charges may apply after 10 pm and before 6 am. Rides can also be booked via the Grab mobile app or local equivalent.


This traditional mode of transport can still be found in designated heritage areas of Singapore and offer a unique way to explore and experience the destination.


Singapore is a multicultural society with Buddhism as the dominant religion, with 33 per cent of the population followers of this faith. The constitution guarantees religious freedom and relations between different religious groups are harmonious and tolerant. Christmas, Chinese New Year and Deepavali have all been declared national holidays alongside Islamic holidays. The large Chinese population practices a mixture of beliefs, with influences from traditional religions followed in China such as Taoism. Hinduism is followed by many Indian communities and a colonial past created followers of Christianity.

Singapore’s culinary tradition reflects the waves of immigration, settlement and assimilation that brought uniquely delicious flavours from its multicultural Malay, Indian, Chinese and Eurasian population. Primarily consisting of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, the actual Singaporean cuisine is a hybrid, derived from cross cultural influences such as Mamak (Indian-Muslim) and Nyonya (the Malay-Chinese mix).

For a broad selection of various styles of food, head over to one of the hawker centres across the city; cheap, delicious, fresh, and an excellent way to mingle with the locals. Due to its culinary diversity, there is always something to the visitor’s taste around every corner. Many Singaporean dishes revolves around rice or noodles, accompanied by curries, fried chicken or fish, and vegetable dishes.

Common local dishes:

  • Singaporean chicken rice –braised or roasted chicken served with a special sauce and rice;
  • Chilli crab – freshly caught crab with a spicy gravy, typically eaten with fingers;
  • Char kuay teow – fried noodles in soy sauce with meat, shrimps and condiments;
  • Hokkien prawn mee – a rich noodle soup with prawns and vegetables.
Singapore is a shopper’s paradise with over 20 large malls, most of them concentrated within the downtown region and within walking distance of the major hotels. Department stores and retail shops usually open from 10 am to 10 pm throughout the week, including Saturdays, Sundays and some public holidays.

The best places for high street shopping are around Orchard Road, Marina Bay and near the Harbour, while those after cultural handicrafts should visit Little India, the street markets in Chinatown and Bugis, especially the renowned Haji Lane. The Tekka Centre is the best place to experience old-fashioned market atmosphere, where fresh meats, fruits and vegetables, spices and other local ingredients are sold in abundance. It is also a dining destination with several stalls serving the nation’s diverse cuisines.

Many districts in Singapore, such as Little India, Chinatown and certain Peranakan areas, organise regular street markets where a collection of indigenous artefacts and souvenirs are for sale.

What to buy:

  • Traditional textiles and batik;
  • Oriental decorative items;
  • Traditional handicrafts and brassware.
Proof of yellow fever vaccination is required if you have recently travelled to a country where the disease is present.

There are currently no other vaccine requirements, although it is advisable to be up-to-date with standard inoculations, such as:

  • Typhoid;
  • Cholera;
  • Hepatitis A and B;
  • Polio, diphtheria and tetanus;
  • Malaria and dengue (especially if travelling to remote areas).

Consult your doctor for the most appropriate medical advice. If you require a particular medication, ensure that you pack an adequate supply, as it may not be available locally.

Drinking water

Tap water in the Singapore is potable, but most locals prefer bottled or filtered water. Bottled mineral water is easy to find at convenience stores around the country. To minimise plastic waste, refill stations for filling up reusable water bottles can be found in some parts of the city. Ice cubes are typically safe if served at a hotel or restaurant, but best avoided at street stalls and in remote parts of the country.

Singapore is a safe country to visit. However, it is advisable to take some precautions to safeguard your belongings:

  • Never leave items unattended;
  • Maintain a firm grip on bags and wallets, especially in crowded places and on busy streets;
  • Leave expensive jewellery at home and store valuables in the hotel safety deposit box or in-room safe;
  • Avoid engaging with touts who approach you in the street.
Travellers are advised to obtain appropriate insurance to cover any accidents or medical emergencies while travelling. In some cases, treatment will not be administered without proof of travel insurance. Ensure that your plan covers motor vehicle accidents if you plan to hire a car or motorbike. Emergency evacuation cover is highly recommended as you may have to fly out of the country for treatment.
Emergency numbers
  • Police 999
  • Fire and Ambulance 995
  • Traffic Police +65-6547-0000
  • Changi Airport +65-6595-6868


This information was valid at the time of publication and it is subject to change at any time. We cannot be held responsible for any external links. You acknowledge, by your use of this site, that you use it at your own risk and that Asian Trails shall not be liable for any damages of any kind related to your use of this site, or the information contained within. We reserve the right to correct any errors, inaccuracies or omissions and to change or update information at any time without prior notice.

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