Singapore Travel Guide

Singapore FAQ

What do I need to do before travelling?

We suggest that all our customers review foreign office advice for Singapore before travelling. Click here for the latest information from the foreign office.

What are the visa requirements?

British passport holders do not require a visa for travel to Singapore for a stay of up to 30 days. It is recommended that travellers hold a passport that is valid for at least six months beyond the period of intended stay in Singapore.

How do I get downtown from Singapore Airport?

Singapore's Changi Airport is modern, stylish and visitor friendly. It is a major transport hub in Asia, connecting passengers to over 200 destinations around the world. Changi takes airports to a whole new level, with carpeted floors, comfy couches and butterfly gardens. Aside from the hundreds of shops and restaurants Changi Airport also has showers, a gym, massage stations, a children’s playground and even a swimming pool.

If you have not pre-booked transfers:  The MRT train departs from Changi Airport MRT Station, located under Terminals 2 and 3. Trains depart from 5.30am to midnight and take around 27 minutes. In addition there is an airport shuttle service between the airport and the city centre and most hotels in Singapore; the buses leave when all six seats have been filled or every 15 to 30 minutes.

What is the currency in Singapore

Singapore's currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD), which is divided into 100 cents. US Dollars and British Pounds are also accepted in the larger shopping centres. Major credit cards are accepted in hotels, shops and restaurants and ATMs are everywhere.  Banks are open daily, but some do not do foreign exchange on Saturdays.

What languages are spoken in Singapore?

Singapore has four national languages -- English, Mandarin, Malay, and Tamil. Most people speak English quite well and the majority of the signs you encounter will be in English. “Singlish”, a mixture of English with Chinese and Malay, is also widely spoken.

Are there any customs I should be aware of?

Visitors should be aware of Singapore's fineable offences -- eating on public transport, littering, smoking in public places and jay-walking all carry heavy fines.

Will I need to bring an adaptor?

Electrical current in Singapore is 230 volts, 50Hz. The majority of electrical outlets in Singapore take a three-pronged UK-style plug, however it is also worth taking a universal plug adaptor

What is the cuisine like in Singapore?

Despite it small size, Singapore offers an incredible variety of cuisines, with the main ones being Chinese, Malay, Indian and Peranakan. The must-try dishes, and most popular amongst the locals, are Hainanese Chicken Rice: bite-sized pieces of steamed chicken, fragrant rice, soy sauce, and a delicious ground chilli and ginger paste; and Nasi Lemak: a rice dish made from cooking rice in coconut milk, served with chilli condiment and a platter of side dishes. Don’t miss the mouthwatering Chilli Crab (stir-fried in a rich chilli gravy and served with steamed buns) at “Jumbo’s”, awarded the most popular seafood restaurant in Singapore. 

Where are the best places for shopping in Singapore?

There’s practically a shopping sale of sorts all year round in Singapore, with the most notable one being the Great Singapore Sale. In addition to that, there are stretches of world-class shopping malls, centres and outlet stores in Singapore that offer you a wide array of shopping choices. You only need to take a walk down Singapore’s iconic shopping districts to find out what’s in store for you.

For the latest in fashion trends, check out Orchard Road which is Singapore’s main shopping district. For a more luxurious, upmarket shopping experience head to The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands where you can find designer brands such as Gucci, Dior, Chanel and Louis Vuitton. If you’re looking for more cultural shopping, then the districts of Kampong Glam, Little India and Chinatown are most ideal. Here, you’ll find an assortment of ethnic products, jewellery, textiles, antiques and more.

As a tourist in Singapore, you may claim a refund on the 7% Goods and Services Tax (GST) paid on your purchases made at participating retail shops when you leave Singapore and bring your purchases home. Simply look out for retailers that display the “Tax Refund” logo on their shop front and spend SG100 in a single receipt to qualify.

Is Singapore safe?

Singapore is a very safe country with low crime rates. Pickpockets aren’t unknown, but in general, crime isn’t a problem. Singapore citizens are very law-abiding. There are fines issued for just about any offence in Singapore, including S$500 for smoking in public places, S$50 for jaywalking, S$1,000 for littering and S$500 for eating, drinking or chewing gum on the MRT. Drug trafficking carries a maximum penalty of death.

What nightlife is available?

Singapore offers a wide variety of evening entertainment and nightlife.  Boat Quay is arguably the favourite place to chill out for most professionals and expatriates, with an eclectic mix of high end restaurants, alfresco dining and lively bars and pubs.

Clarke Quay also offers a myriad selection of entertainment from riverside restaurants and hip cafes to jazz clubs and quirky night clubs. Robertson Quay is the most laidback of the three quays along the Singapore River, offering performing arts houses and art galleries alongside a variety of dining options from Australian pub grub to the best pizzas in town at Bella Pizza. Over the weekends, you’ll find families brunching at European-style cafés.

The Marina Bay Sands complex is the new “place to be” when it comes to entertainment. Dining options range from celebrity chef restaurants to quick eats; nightlife can be enjoyed at chic laid-back lounge bars or Avalon nightclub that attracts leading DJs; the spacious theatre shows Broadway shows and if that’s not enough there’s an expansive Casino boasting more than 600 table games and 2500 slot machines.

Singapore is as its’ vibrant during Chinese New Year (January/February), when the streets of Chinatown are lit with red lanterns and decorated with good luck charms. The Singapore Arts Festival (May/June) is widely regarded as one of the best of its kind in Asia, encompassing dance, drama and music, and with an emphasis on creative freedom and cultural diversity.

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