A country. A city. Paradise. Whatever you want to call it, Singapore is one of the most incredible places on the planet. Food, culture, beauty… this place has it all. I hope this guide helps you plan your unforgettable trip to the Lion City.
The Supertree Grove at Gardens by the Bay is one of the most iconic sights in Singapore
Singapore’s Changi Airport is a destination in itself. However, due to the country’s location south and east, getting there is rough without a layover. As stands, United offers a nonstop flight from LAX, and Singapore Airlines has plans to reinstate a couple of routes, but otherwise you’ll have to layover somewhere else in Asia on your way.
Once you land, though, welcome to the world’s top rated airport for several years running! It is beautiful and clean, food options are plentiful, and best of all, customs are a breeze! In my journeys to Singapore, I have never had a line. Given its status as one of the world’s busiest airports, that is amazing.
The only downside of the airport is that is does not exist on one of the main rapid transit (MRT) lines, so you are better off taking a cab into the main part of the city. It will run you around $30.
Be sure to look out for the Marina Bay Sands on your drive from the airport
Singapore is a city-state, and thus is pretty small. Getting around the main downtown areas is easy, either by cab or on the MRT. Not all cabs take credit cards, so make sure to ask before getting in if that is your preferred method of payment.
Once downtown, the city is very walkable, though the weather is worth keeping in mind before journeying outside. Singapore sits at one degree north of the equator. It is hot here, and humid, with thunderstorms most afternoons. Prepare accordingly.
Diverse temples like this Hindu one are all over the city.
What to Do
For the best taste of Singapore, walk the neighborhoods. China Town, Little India, Arab Street: all are fascinating. Try some street food, wander through shops, and watch the incredibly diverse population stroll past.
Of course, you’ll want to also see the Gardens by the Bay, Raffles Hotel (where the Singapore Sling was invented), any number of museums, and the famous hawker centers (the best food courts in existence).
Here are some of my guides of things to do in the city.
Make sure to visit at least one hawker center!
Be sure to remember that Singapore is not a democracy. Laws are different here, as are your rights. Learn about those before you come. For a starter, check out our article:
The National Museum of Singapore traces a lot of the history of the country.
Other Useful Information
English is the official language of Singapore, but you’ll most often hear Chinese dialects, and not all who live here speak English. However, you’ll never have a difficult time finding enough who do.
Malaysia is right across the causeway, and is an easy place to visit. If you plan on doing so, it is best to do it with a tour guide. Singapore is very strict about driving in and out, and will search everything you have.
It is again worth mentioning the laws. Drug possession is a capital offense. Chewing gum not legally purchased from a licensed pharmacy is a crime, and littering can get you six months in prison. It is a crime for any foreigner to even observe the rare political protests the city has, let alone participate. As with all countries, learn these laws before visiting. It is much easier to be prepared than to be jailed.
Though the laws and the weather can be trying for visitors, Singapore is a truly unique and incredible place to spend a few days or a week. Small, easy to get around, and friendly, you will no doubt love your time there. And the food is the best anywhere!
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