Singapore Travel Guide for First Time Visitors

Singapore is a city that fascinates everyone from age 5 to 95. There are an endless array of absolutely mindblowing attractions and activities at Singapore, not to speak of the scintillating food to the shopping to the captivating cultural scenarios. We have put together a Singapore travel guide for first-time visitors, right from the basic visitor laws you are expected to follow and the varied fun things you can do here during your stay. So read on, and enjoy your visit to Singapore. We warn you though that you will be back again and again! Singapore is addictive.

A Few Regulations to Follow While In Singapore

Want to explain the almost non-existent crime rate? Take a look around. There are security cameras in every little corner, so there is no getting away with anything.

Chewing gum is illegal in Singapore, so do not even try it.

Tourist or resident, it does not matter. If you are caught littering Singapore's streets thrice, you go around on Sunday, cleaning up streets with a sign around your neck that says, 'I am a litterer'. We are not kidding.

Tipping is not allowed, so do not pay any extra at hotels and restaurants or anywhere else.

Where to Stay in Singapore

If you want to stay in a 4-5 star hotel, the best ones are located in the Marina Bay area and along Orchard Road. Check out the hotels in the central City Hall area and also the riverside Clarke Quay area which allows easy access to Chinatown. For mid-range hotels, check out the ones in Dhoby Ghaut and Bugis. You have an endless array of budget hotels and hostels in the Little India and Chinatown areas as well as the Lavender and Jalan Besar areas.

Singapore Travel Guide

What is the best time to go to Singapore

Singapore is hot and humid the year around, except when it rains. The temperature averages at 27 degree Celsius throughout the year. The monsoon season in the northeast begins in December and goes on till March, while the southwest monsoon begins in June and goes on till September. April and May are the driest and hottest months in Singapore. Pack only light cotton clothing, a hat, sunscreen and some shoes that are comfortable on hot streets. You might want to pack a pair of shoes for walking in the rain too, along with a small fold-up umbrella.

Where to Buy Souvenirs in Singapore

The best places to pick up small souvenirs for the people back home would be Chinatown and Little India. You can pick up mugs, keychains, t-shirts and some nice local handicrafts such as beaded shoes and bags, fans, silk scarves, homemade jewelry and so on in Chinatown while in Little India, you can buy Indian fabric, sarees, jewelry and more. Also visit the Singapore museum shop, the RISIS Orchid & Peranakan Collections at Suntec Mall, and the Raffles Hotel for truly unique souvenirs. At the airport, you can pick up local snacks that make great gifts for food lovers.

Is Singapore Transport System Efficient

The Singapore MRT is efficient, clean and safe. Pick up an EZ-link card which you can use for the MRT and for local buses. A card costs S$12, and you can top up as you spend the funds on your card at any MRT station. Another good way of getting around is the hop-on-hop-off bus tour service. Just hop on at any point and check out landmarks and attractions at your own pace.

Where to eat in Singapore?

Singapore has more restaurants and cafes than you can count. However, for quick, cheap and hygienically prepared food, head to the hawker stalls you will find in every major area. Check the Health Card that will be displayed proudly. A stands for top hygiene while D stands for poor. Read on for more information on hawker food stalls in our Singapore Travel Guide.

What about communications?

The 3 major mobile providers are Singtel, M1, and Starhub. You can pick up a prepaid card from any of them. Be sure to show your passport while picking up a card. If your existing phone does not take a foreign SIM, pick up a cheap disposable phone and use that with your prepaid SIM.

Museums and Art Appreciation

Art Homage At Top Hotels

The Ritz- Carlton Hotel has some excellent pieces of contemporary and modern art from Southeast Asia. There is also Rainer Gross' geometric compositions, a couple of exuberant Andy Warhol and David Hockney's, and several others.

Heritage Study

Walk through the recreated 19th-century streets at Chinatown Heritage Centre and observe the little homes where the Chinese used to live before Singapore developed.

Museums in Singapore

Asian Civilisations Museum: Enjoy centuries of Pan-Asian cultural objects at this museum.

National Museum of Singapore: This is the old museum in the city. If you want to learn about Singapore via living displays, interactive experiences and theatrical performances, visit this museum.

Jurong Bird Park

Where to go with Toddlers in Singapore?

Jurong Bird Park

This is the biggest bird park in all of Asia housing 8,000 birds. The piece de resistance is the tallest man-made waterfall in the world, which roars down from a height of 30 meters.

Singapore Zoo

Enjoy admiring thousands of animals in their natural habitat. For kids, there are several educational programs and a petting zoo as well. Plus, they can enjoy breakfast with orangutans, which is a fun highlight at the zoo.

Sentosa Island

Sentosa Island with its fabulous beaches, water park, amusement park and Universal Studios can keep your kiddies occupied for days. Sign up for Singapore tours that include Sentosa Island's many amusements. You won't regret it.

Where is the Best Place to Shop in Singapore?

Orchard Road

One of the liveliest roads in the city, Orchard Road is one long shopping street filled with malls, department stores and retail outlets selling everything from electronic items, music, and fashion to souvenirs.

Mustafa Centre

Little India's Mustafa Centre offers 24-hour shopping on five levels housing more than 150,000 types of merchandise. Here you can find everything from household appliances to fashion to electronics and Ayurveda herbs.

Other Places

Other places to shop are Bugis Street and Chinatown and Little India for culturally-significant souvenirs. Plus, if you are looking for inexpensive souvenirs, these are the places to head to.

What to do Late at Night in Singapore

Singapore River Cruise

A lovely, tranquil cruise on the Singapore River at sundown is just the kind of night fun that you want. You can admire the enchanting Singapore skyline along with the bridges and heritage buildings that pass by.

Singapore Night Safari

The Night Safari takes you into the natural habitats of 120 different species of wildlife. The nocturnal zoo is divided into six geographically varied themes, from the Himalayan Foothills to the African Savannah. 30% of the animals in the nocturnal zoo are in the endangered list.

Clarke Quay and Boat Quay

These two areas are perfect for a night out. Listen to some fabulous music while indulging in some local beers and cocktails. Both Quays have classy nightclubs and exciting restaurants. Be sure to check out Harry's Bar in Boat Quay, Singapore's jazz scene.

What to Eat in Singapore

Singapore's cuisine is one of the city's main attractions to tourists. The Annual Singapore Food Festival that begins in end June every year and closes by the end of July sees millions of tourists enter the city each year.

Singapore is known for its clean and hygienic food. You can eat anywhere, and know that the food is safe. Try the hawker centers which offer a range of cultural dishes, from Chinese to Indian to Korean to Japanese. You will find a stall corresponding to each region. Try the Maxwell Food Centre, the Old Airport Road Food Centre, Tiong Bahru Food Centre and others.

Singapore's unofficial dish is Chicken Rice. You can get this dish anywhere, from hawker centers to fancy restaurants. Also be sure to try chili crabs, various noodle dishes and so on. As for drinks, Singapore is famous for its signature cocktail, the Singapore Sling. It is a combination of Cherry Heering, Benedictine, fresh pineapple juice, and gin. It would be impossible to include all of Singapore's incredible foodie haunts and dishes and drinks in our Singapore Tour Guide. You will have to explore and make your own discoveries.

Conclusion

We hope you are spending a nice long holiday in Singapore to enjoy the absolutely uncountable number of attractions and fun activities the city has to offer. No matter whether you are a history buff, adventure buff or if you are looking for fun activities for kids, you will find lots to do in Singapore.

1 comment:

Jen Hanni said...

Fascinating information about Singapore! I am longing to go there now... thank you! The night safari sounds amazing! Great content... thank you!

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