The official language of Singapore is the Singapore dollar (SGD). It’s better to exchange your money while in Singapore for a cheaper rate than to exchange back home. Major credit cards are accepted in most restaurants, stores, and hotels, but it’s good to have some cash on hand.
Malay is the national language and one of the official languages of Singapore. However, English has become the most commonly-used language among locals, so you’ll have no problem speaking with people when you visit.
Best Time to Go
December to June is considered the best time to visit Singapore, but if you are looking for optimal weather, June to September has some of the best temperatures. This is the dry season, so expect slightly less rainfall and more sunshine with temperatures averaging 25°C–32°C/77°F–90°F. However, no matter when you decide to travel, Singapore is a great year-round destination.
Due to its proximity to the equator, Singapore has a tropical climate. Most of the country experiences lots of rainfall year-round with high temperatures and high levels of humidity. On average, temperatures are between 25°C/77°F to 32°C/90°F and rarely fall below 23°C/73°F.
Considered one of the wealthiest countries in Southeast Asia, foodies and culture lovers will enjoy exploring the nation’s diversity and expressive culture. There are culinary experiences at the many hawker centres (similar to food courts) as well as high-end restaurants. The city is great to explore on foot by taking a night stroll through the impressive Gardens by the Bay or Haw Par Villa.
Getting There From North America
The country’s main airport is Changi Airport (SIN), which is considered the best airport in the world. Split into three terminals that are connected by a free Skytrain service, most budget carriers like SilkAir, Jetstar Asia, AirAsia and Cebu Pacific make it easy and affordable to connect to other Asian countries.
Major Air Routes from the United States
In the United States, most major cities have direct flights to Changi Airport, including New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles.
Major Air Routes from Canada
In Canada, there are no direct flights to Singapore, with most routes connecting to an Asian hub through Vancouver or Toronto.
Essential Sights in Singapore
This island nation and city is located on the southern tip of Malaysia Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It’s a city that lets you experience the Crazy Rich Asians lifestyle, exploring popular sites like Marina Bay, or the spectacular Gardens by the Bay. Check out the amazing lights and excitement of the night market in Chinatown or explore some of Singapore’s cultural neighbourhoods like Kampong Glam or Little India.
Sentosa Island is a short ride from the main island of Singapore and the perfect place for a quick getaway. This sunny resort island is home to Universal Studios Singapore, Palawan Beach with its lush rainforests and food stalls, and Tanjong Beach. Travel high above the island to Tiger Sky Tower for some of the best panoramic views that stretch as far as the eye can see.
Other Highlights of Singapore Off the Beaten Path
Take a ferry ride over to Pulau Ubin to explore the rustic beauty and culture of this small island. Cycle along the many trails or hike along the footpaths visiting Singapore's last traditional kampongs (villages), learning about their history and culture. You’ll be amazed with the mangroves of Chek Jawa Wetlands and the wildlife that live here like kingfishers or bulbul birds.
Top Activities and Experiences in Singapore
Visit Gardens by the Bay
Nature lovers will enjoy the 101ha of this impressive marina nature park. Located near Marina Reservoir, the three different waterfront gardens and showpieces of Gardens by the Bay are Singapore’s most popular attraction. Learn about the different plants from around the world and snap some photos of the fabulous towering Supertrees that light up at night.
Aerial Views from Marina Bay Sands
Take in the true luxury of this ultra-posh and trendy architectural icon. Marvel at the breathtaking views of the city from the impressive Marina Bay Sand SkyPark’s observation deck. It’s a rooftop like no other sprawling 200m in the air featuring the world’s largest infinity pool, numerous shopping and dining options, and an amazing entertainment complex.
Enjoy a Singapore Sling at its Birthplace
First created in 1915 by Raffles bartender Ngiam Tong Boon, the Singapore Sling is a popular cocktail with a legendary history across the world. Enjoy a night out with cocktails at Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel, the birthplace of this national drink. This gin-based cocktail will cost about $30SGN, but it’s well worth the money for the experience and nostalgia of drinking it in the first place it was made.
Night Safari at the Singapore Zoo
Watch some of nature’s most majestic creatures come to life at night at the zoo. Roam the 40ha of this artificial jungle watching nocturnal animals in their natural habitat under the twinkle of the night sky. From the comfort of your tram, you’ll cruise past habitats that were specifically designed to replicate the natural environments of these predators and forest dwellers.
Sample local cuisine
Visiting a night market is a great way to sample some of the rich delicacies known to Singapore like the famous dessert Ondeh Ondeh. Try your culinary skills and participate in a cooking class and learn some farm- to-table techniques from a local chef. If travelling in July, be sure to check out the Singapore Food Festival for a truly authentic foodie experience.
Entertainment on Sentosa Island
Escape the city for a morning tour of Sentosa Island. Travelling by cable car, pass some amazing landscapes on your way to visiting Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom. Experience the awe-inspiring S.E.A Aquarium, the world’s largest aquarium, and learn about more than 800 species of marine animals from manta rays to over 200 sharks.
Essential Singaporean Foods to Try
This national dish of Singapore is made with crab in a sweet and spicy tomato chili sauce or black pepper sauce. They say a trip to Singapore isn’t complete without trying the famous dish. Test your taste buds at Mellben Seafood or Jumbo Seafood, a couple of must-try restaurants in Singapore.
A famous local Malay dish consisting of rich cooked in coconut milk and served in a pandan leaf. A popular street food dish, it’s usually accompanied by deep-fried fish or chicken, peanuts, eggs, and sambal (spicy chilli paste).
A local favourite, this rice dish is made with steamed chicken and soy sauce then topped with cilantro, sesame oil, and garlic-chili oil. Sample this aromatic and flavourful dish at any hawker food centre or street food stall.
Kaya Toast with Kopi
Singapore’s national breakfast is toasted bread with butter and kaya, a jam made from eggs, sugar coconut milk, and pandan leaves. Served along with kopi (coffee) it’s the perfect way to start a new day or great as a midday snack from a hawker centre or cafe.
Tips for Sustainable Travel
Attracting some of the top eco-architects in the world, Singapore prides itself on its green-zones, innovative eco-technologies, and sustainable architecture. When leaving your hotel, remember to switch the lights off or consider re-using your linen during short stays to reduce using unnecessary energy and water. Be respectful of local cultures and wildlife and ask to take pictures before snapping a shot. Consider travelling by public transit or renting a bike, as Singapore has one of the most efficient public transit systems in Asia.
Where to Go Next
With many local airlines flying directly to and from Singapore, adding another destination during your travel is easy. If you’d like to experience more of Asia’s religious monuments and culture, Malaysia and Thailand are good options. Hong Kong, Tokyo, Shanghai, Ho Chi Minh City, and Taipei are also options to add on another city break.
Most Popular Itineraries for Singapore
A Taste of Singapore is the perfect stop-over itinerary for foodies looking to experience the melting pot of cultures and flavours in one of Asia’s most alluring destinations. Spend 4-days in the heart of the city learning about the Peranakan people, some of Singapore’s first settlers, visit a spice garden, sample local delicacies, and explore the night markets. Looking to pair a trip to Singapore with another country? Then check out Classic South East Asia, a 10-day itinerary ideal for the independent traveller. Make your way through Bangkok to vibrant Singapore on your way to exotic Bali before ending in the bright lights of Hong Kong.
10 Sep 2020, 5:05 p.m.