- 1 Important Laws: FYI
- 2 Public Transportation
- 3 Power Outlets
- 4 Mobile Phones
- 5 Money and Tipping
- 6 Language
- 7 Weather
- 8 Places of interest
- 9 Emergency Numbers
Important Laws: FYI
Smoking is not allowed at a lot of public places.
More information can be found here: FAQs on Smoking Ban in Public Places
1. No chewing gum allowed in possession or consumption
2. No littering and spitting (results in SGD300 - 500 fine)
3. Not really a law, but please note that when dining in restaurants or diners, there is a 10% surcharge of service (like a tip) and a 7% GST tax
Additional Singapore-specific laws can be found here
The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is the best and easiest way to get around Singapore. All stops are announced in English and there are control stations at every station if you have any questions or need to buy a ticket.
Standard value tickets may be purchased from General Ticketing Machines (GTMs) located at all SMRT stations, a S$1 deposit is required and can be refundable at any GTM or Passenger Service Centre at your alighting station.
Stored value cards, locally known as ez-link cards, can be purchased from the TransitLink Ticket Office located at selected SMRT stations. You may top up your ez-link cards at any Transitlink Ticket Office or GTM using cash or NETS. The minimum top-up value is S$10 while the maximum stored value allowed on your card is S$100.
Get the Singapore Tourist Pass if you plan to take public transportations (works on MRT and Bus) often.
- MRT Information: http://www.smrt.com.sg/Trains/NetworkMap.aspx
- Map: http://smrt.com.sg/Portals/0/PDFs/Trains/Network_Map_100112.pdf
SBS Transit is Singapore’s major bus service operator, covering 75% of the scheduled bus market share in Singapore with 250 bus services.
If you’re a night owl and would like to discover Singapore’s bustling nightlife, SBS Transit also provides special bus services called the Nite Owl, which operate on Fridays, Saturdays and the eve of Public Holidays. Fares are S$4.00 for both ez-link and cash payments. If you are travelling within the city area, you only need to pay S$1.50.
Iris (Intelligent Route Information System) NextBus service, offering bus arrival time estimation on a real time basis, provides travel solutions by bus based on the cheapest fare, shortest walking distance or shortest travelling time. You can find these services via mobile devices at http://www.sbstransit.com.sg
SMRT also runs bus services primarily in northern parts of Singapore and the popular NightRider service, which is a safe and affordable alternative transport option for commuters who spend weekends partying till late. The seven late night routes operate from the city to different housing estates of Singapore between 11:30 pm to 4 am.
Whether you travel with SBS Transit or SMRT, you can either use cash or use ez-link card.
You should be able to hail a cab without any problems in most parts of Singapore.
The vehicles are not allowed to wait or even stop at parts of the roads with painted double yellow or jagged lines. It is always best to get a cab from one of the numerous taxi stands in Singapore – hotels and shopping centre taxi stands are a sure bet.
If you’re travelling in a group or carrying a load of shopping or luggage, you may want to book a taxi to your designated location. If you’re coming from an entertainment or dining venue, most concierge services will also be happy to call a taxi for you.
- Comfort/Citycab (65) 6552 1111
- SMRT Taxis (65) 6555 8888
- Transcab (65) 6555 6666, (65) 6555 3333
- Premier (65) 6363 6888, (65) 6476 8880
- Prime (65) 6778 0808
- Maxi Cab (65) 6535 3534
Lost & Found Service Taxis: 1800 225 5582
U.S plugs may not work without a travel adapter in Singapore.
In most cases, this is how the power outlet will look like with 230v voltage:
It's easy to get a prepaid SIM card at the airport (at any of the currency exchange counters) or 7-11 convenience stores.
The best offer I've seen is StarHub MaxMobile Prepaid SIM card, you can also buy flexible data access plan of your choice for a low cost.
- Website: http://www.starhub.com/visitsg
- Singtel: http://info.singtel.com/personal/phones-plans/mobile/prepaid/benefits
- M1: https://www.m1.com.sg/M1/site/M1Corp/menuitem.e2f30a2a1a1860b609b422103f2000a0/?vgnextoid=66cd609933b72010VgnVCM100000275a160aRCRD
Country Code: +65 International Call Prefix: 000 or 001 or 002 or 008
Money and Tipping
Local currency is Singapore Dollar or Dollar (sign: $; code: SGD)
Money changing services can be found at the Singapore Changi Airport, and most shopping centres and hotels.
You can also access the automated teller machines (ATMs) located everywhere in Singapore, that accept most of the main credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
- Notes: $2, $5, $10, $50, $100, $1000, the islands also has a S$10,000 note.
- Coins: 5 cents, 10 cents, 20 cents, 50 cents, dollar coin
Tipping generally is not expected in Singapore. It is prohibited at the airport. Hotels, and some restaurants normally include taxes and service charge at the bottom of the bill. A tip should only be exercised when the bill does not include a service charge.
For tourist with a foreign passport, you may be able to get your refund on Goods and Services Tax (GST) for eligible purchases.
You must spend a minimum amount of S$100.00 (including GST) on purchases from the same retailer in the same day to qualify for refund under the TRS. You may accumulate up to a maximum of 3 same-day receipts or invoices from the same retailer to meet this minimum purchase amount.
More info here:
Four official languages: English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil.
Common Mandarin Phrases
- Thank you - 谢谢 (xie xie)
- please - 麻烦你 (ma fan ne)
- hello Gab - 你好 (ni hao)
- excuse me - 请问 (qing wen)
- how much does it cost - 多少钱 (duo shao qian)
- what time - 几点 (ji dian)
- where - 在哪里 (zai na ni)
Singapore is known for its hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 31ºC (88ºF), dropping to around 24ºC (75ºF) in the evenings.
The monsoon season can bear down pretty heavily on our tropical weather from November onwards, so be prepared for rain on a daily basis, try to have an umbrella or raincoat handy since it tends to rain more in November.
Considering Singapore’s climate and weather, it’s advisable that you wear light, cotton clothing. Most of the islanders wear simple, comfortable clothing suited to the city’s warm and sticky weather conditions. Since Singapore is a humid place, it is not considered rude if you do not wear a coat to business engagements.
Most business houses, shopping malls and even public transport are air-conditioned, so you would hardly feel the heat.
Places of interest
Haji Lane: For unique shopping experience, check out Haji Lane. At night, Haji Lane and the street parallel to it becomes a hangout for Hookah (Shisha) bars. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haji_Lane
Bugis: After you’re done with Haji Lane, you can either walk or cab back to Bugis (closest MRT station is Bugis), there’s a huge outdoor (it’s kinda enclosed, but no A/C) street shopping called Bugis Street. It’s right next to the station. http://www.bugis-street.com/en/about-us
Orchard Road: A one stop shopping paradise. For affordable shopping, check out Far East Plaza or if you prefer name brands, check out Takashimaya and Ion Orchard. (closest MRT station is Orchard)
There are a lot of hawker centers in Singapore (if you're worried about cleanliness, don't be.... it's really clean everywhere in Singapore!) and it's usually tasty and cheap!
Recommended dishes to try:
- Hainanese Chicken Rice
- Roti Prata
- BBQ Stingray
- Chili Crab
Recommended Food Blog/Site:
Restaurants to try near the hotel:
- Kopitiam (24 hour air conditioned food court)
- Kampong 18 (Restaurant)
- Hoong Woh Tong (Desserts shop)
- Wendy's (Fast food restaurant)
- You may download the Singapore guide at here (pdf)
- For a detailed tourist map of Singapore, kindly visit here
- Tips on planning your sightseeing in Singapore, Visit YourSingapore.com
- Police: 999
- Fire Brigade: 995
- Emergency Ambulance: 995
- Lost & Found Service Taxis: 1800 225 5582
- Foreign Mission One Call Center: 1800 334 4800
- Flight Arrival/Departure: 1800 542 4422
- Changi Airport: 65-6542 4422