Things to Know Before You Go to Singapore: A Futuristic Cityscape

Navigate this futuristic city-state with our “Things to Know Before You Go to Singapore” guide— from high-tech sights to cultural spots.

Singapore is truly a vibrant city-state known for its modernity, and an advanced urban design that meets lush greenery. This guide to the essential things to know before you go to Singapore highlights its dual role as a global financial center and a melting pot of cultures. 

With that, let’s find out how Singapore offers such an impressive fusion of futuristic cityscapes like the Marina Bay Sands with more traditional sites like the Gardens by the Bay.

Nighttime panorama of Marina Bay Sands and Singapore skyline from Helix Bridge, people photographing.
Nighttime panorama of Marina Bay Sands and Singapore skyline from Helix Bridge, people photographing.

Best Time to Visit Singapore: Orchids and Openings

When planning your visit, the top things to know before you go to Singapore should include choosing the cooler, drier months from February to April for the best experience. This period avoids the hotter, more humid months, which can make outdoor activities less comfortable. 

Speaking of outdoor activities, major events worth experiencing include the Formula One Night Race in September and the Chinese New Year celebrations (usually January or February). These festivities offer vivid street parades and fireworks that will surely blow your mind away, of course, in a good way!

Local Customs and Etiquette in Singapore: City of Rules

Of course, our things to know before you go to Singapore guide also encompass local customs. 

With that, note that greetings in Singapore are conservative; a nod or smile suffices, with handshakes common but sometimes replaced by a slight bow, especially towards the elderly. 

Dress conservatively, particularly in religious sites and traditional neighborhoods. And be aware that tipping isn’t customary as a 10% service charge is often added in restaurants. 

Most importantly, it’s always important to adhere to strict local laws, like the bans on chewing gum and littering, to avoid fines.

Language Tips for Singapore: Singlish and Simple Phrases

While English is widely spoken, some essential things to know before you go to Singapore include learning a few phrases in Mandarin, Malay, or Tamil to enrich your interactions. 

Phrases like “Thank you” (“Xie xie” in Mandarin, “Terima kasih” in Malay, and ” Nandri” in Tamil) can show cultural appreciation. So, do brush up on your basic polyglot terms before booking that flight, for more engaging interactions.

Getting Around Singapore: Efficient Exploring via MRT

The Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) system is the backbone of Singapore’s public transport, providing efficient and affordable access to all major attractions. 

Buses complement the MRT for broader coverage. But for those who prefer cycling, numerous bike-sharing options are available. Taxi apps like Grab and Gojek also offer convenient travel options, particularly for the physically challenged, families or groups.

Family picnicking in Singapore Botanic Gardens under tropical trees, small lake in background.
Family picnicking in Singapore Botanic Gardens under tropical trees, small lake in background.

Must-Visit Attractions in Singapore: Sky Parks and Supertrees

Iconic sites such as Marina Bay Sands Skypark and the Gardens by the Bay‘s Supertree Grove are essential visits. Other must-visit things to know before you go to Singapore would include exploring the ArtScience Museum and enjoying a “Singapore Sling” at the historic Raffles Hotel

The Joo Chiat/Katong area, known for its colorful Peranakan houses, and the Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, can also offer a glimpse into Singapore’s unique architectural and natural heritage.

Food and Drink in Singapore: Hawker Centers and Hybrid Cuisines

Singapore’s culinary scene is a reflection of its multicultural makeup. Sampling local favorites like Chilli Crab, Laksa, and Hainanese Chicken Rice at places from hawker centers like Lau Pa Sat to high-end venues in Clarke Quay is always a good idea before you leave. 

Vegetarian, vegan, and halal options are likewise widely available, ensuring that SG caters to diverse dietary needs.

Accommodation Tips for Singapore: Sky-High Hotels and Heritage Stays

For accommodations, Marina Bay is ideal for proximity to major attractions and luxury services, while Clarke Quay suits those seeking vibrant nightlife. 

More budget-conscious travelers might prefer culture-rich neighborhoods like Little India and Chinatown for both affordability and ethnic richness.

Budgeting for Your Trip to Singapore: From Hawker Fares to High-End Experiences

Budgeting effectively is crucial and among the most important things to know before you go to Singapore. Preparing for relatively higher living costs should always be considered if you are really looking to indulge. 

However, budget accommodations may start at about $50 per night, with meals at hawker centers as low as $3-$5. Public transport is economical, too, with MRT fares between $0.80 and $2.00, providing a cost-effective way to explore the city.

Colorful and busy streets in Little India, Singapore, with diverse locals and tourists.
Colorful and busy streets in Little India, Singapore, with diverse locals and tourists.

Safety and Health in Singapore: Spotless and Secure

Singapore is exceptionally safe, yet basic precautions in crowded areas are advisable. 

The healthcare system is also excellent, though it may be costly for tourists. Traveling with health insurance is highly recommended to ease higher medical bills. 

In terms of being safe, tap water is a green light for hydration, and no special vaccinations are required.

Local Experiences in Singapore: Cultural Enclaves and Night Safaris

For a deeper dive into Singaporean culture, our guide to things to know before you go to Singapore suggests joining food tours or cooking classes, and adventurous activities like the night safari at the Singapore Zoo or kayaking at Pulau Ubin.

More Things to Know Before You Go to Singapore

Visiting Singapore is an experience of a lifetime, blending cultural diversity with futuristic innovation. Our “Things to Know Before You Go to Singapore” guide should help you navigate this unique city-state confidently, ensuring a fulfilling journey that respects local traditions and explores its rich offerings!

Rx Ruby
Author: Rx Ruby

Rx's engaging writing encourages travelers to explore beyond the usual tourist paths, offering them a glimpse into the lesser-known yet fascinating parts of each city. By joining forces with ThisCityKnows, she extends an invitation to travelers to become part of a community of urban explorers and storytellers. Her passion for discovering and sharing city tales makes her an indispensable guide for anyone eager to experience the pulse of the world's greatest cities through a lens of knowledge and wonder.

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