Singapore Travel, Backpacking & Gap Year Guide
The glamorous sibling in the Asian family, Singapore has a charm all of its own that is fascinating, exciting and enthralling destination. It is a small island but there is so much to offer here that it is hard not to be amazed by what it encompasses. Get information, advice and inspiration for the best things to do if you would like to travel, go backpacking or take a gap year in Singapore.
Singapore Travel Ideas, Backpacking Trips & Gap Year Programs
Travel to Singapore
Singapore is one of the cleanest destinations in the world, this country is also very busy and crowded, it is the second-most densely populated country in the world behind Monaco. Singapore is only a few day stop over on your way to Australasia or further into Asia, but it is certainly worth taking some time to explore the country.
View our comprehensive Singapore travel and backpacking guide with tips, ideas for the best things to see and do and information about itineraries, costs, how to save money, and more!
Our Singapore destination guide aims to give you all the information you need to have an amazing experience in this amazing country. Find affordable travel and backpacking ideas with advice for amazing things to do and how you can be more than just your average traveller. You can also get recommendations for budget travel tips, tips for places to stay and advice how to stay safe.
Get inspired to visit today!
At a glance:
- Capital - Singapore is the capital of Singapore (it is a city state and country in it's own right)
- Currency - Singapore Dollar (SGD)
- Area - 715 sq km
- Population - 5,000,000 (approx)
- Language - There are 4 languages spoken in this country - English, Chinese (Mandarin), Tamil, and Malay - we recommend learning some basics to help improve the experience
- International Dialing Code +65
How to Get to Singapore
Most people arrive by air and fly into Changi airport which is around 20km away from the main city. From the airport you can catch a taxi or we recommend the MRT train system which departs frequently and can get you to the city centre in around 25 minutes.
There are also daily trains from Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Malacca (Malaysia).
You can also cross into Singapore via bus.
Visa & Entry Requirements
If you would like to visit Singapore you will need a passport which is valid for 6 months, sometimes you might be asked on arrival for proof of funds but this is rare. If you are from the UK or Ireland you do not need a visa and you can stay for up to 30 days. Most EU nationals and also US citizens also do not require a visa but you can only stay for 14 days. If you are from a different country you will need to double check if you are eligible to visit. If you want to stay longer than the allocted time you will need to apply for a Social Visit Pass which you can get from the Singapore High Commision.
Weather & Best Time to Visit
Singapore has a tropical climate and is warm for most of the year and you can expect high temperatures all year round. There is no best or worst time to visit this country, although rain generally falls more during November and January. Singapore's has a warm and humid climate with temperatures ranging from an average of 31°C during the day and 24°C at night. It usually rains throughout the year with heavier rain during the monsoon season, which runs from November to January.
Singapore enjoys a warm climate all year round and there is no best time to visit. The weather in Singapore can be unpredictable due to the lack of defined seasons but you can expect the weather to be hot and sometimes very humid. There is never much rain in Singapore but this usually happens from October - January. June and July are popular times for foreign tourists to visit whilst the Asian public holidays are in November and December so avoid these times of the year if you want a more relaxed and peaceful visit.
Best Places to Visit in Singapore
Singapore might look tiny on a map but there are so many things to see and do here. These are some of the top tourist sights and destinations which you should add to your Singapore travel itinerary:
- Singapore Flyer
- Gardens by the Bay
- Marina Bay Sands Hotel
- Arab Street
- Botanic Gardens
- Changi Chapel and Museum
- Clarke Quay
- Fort Canning Park
- Little India
- Orchard Road
- Raffles Hotel
- Universal Studios
- Sentosa Island
Singapore Travel Tips
Transport & Getting Around:
Singapore has world class modern underground system which is easy to navigate and also cheap, there is also a bus service connecting the whole region so you shouldn't have any issues getting around. If you would like something a little more private you can also ride a taxi or travel by rickshaw - always try to agree a price before departing. The MRT, Singapore's cleaner, cheaper and more efficient version of other transport systems around the world like the London Underground.
On arrival to the airport, head down to the MRT station, get yourself an EZY card and get going. The MRT runs to everywhere you need to go and if there is a place it misses, be sure that there is a bus there to take you (also available on your pre-charged EZY card). The transport system is a real gem, making Singapore an excellent place to explore. You may be tempted into a boat trip or a ride on Singapore's version of the London Eye - or you can stand dumbfounded at the cruise liner perched atop three skyscrapers.
Singapore is a very hightech destination to visit and you can find accommodation for all budgets. You can stay in some of the most luxurious hotels in the world here like Raffles or if you are backpacking on a budget then there are also cheap guesthouses and hostels available like the YMCA.
If you are seeking a high level of comfort you can expect to pay a few hundred pounds per night, but for a basic bunk in a hotel this will cost around £10. Little India or Chinatown are the best places to stay on a budget, here you can find hotels and hostels for as little as $20 a night (around £10) and you will find the area invigorating. The streets are compact and bustling with everything from washing machine shops to newsagents and just down the road is a fantastic food court.
Health & Safety:
Singapore is a very safe place to visit, crime against tourists is very rare as punishments are very severe and also poverty levels are low. In stark contrast to a number of places in Asia, particularly more Western areas, the wealth of the people of Singapore is immediately apparent. You can be on the train and sat opposite you will find the middle aged through to the youngsters; headphones in, smart phones out and all wearing expensive clothes.
There are no vaccinations need to gain entry into Singapore and hospitals are very modern and trustworthy. You should get travel insurance before departing as you will be required to pay for medical costs. We advise you to drink local water and sample the food, even from street vendors as this is very safe.
Currency, Costs & Budget:
The currency in Singapore is the dollar, you can get money in advance or in country by using a bank or exchange. International credit/bank cards are widely accepted everywhere. Most people tend to tip in Singapore (usually 10%), this is usually included in most hotel and restaurant bills. Singapore is great for those on a budget, but to really enjoy it, try and splash a bit of cash. It's success is spectacular, it's prosperity is exciting and as a bustling hub it is one that very few would not enjoy. Standing on the boardwalk of Marina Bay watching a boat go by and the skyscrapers towering over you is an experience worth discovering.
Food & Drink:
"Hawker food" is one of the main reasons to visit Singapore; you can pick up beautiful dishes for a few dollars and be assured you may have the best curry of your life. Stalls have countless awards, visits from the President and celebrity chefs worldwide praise the food that these humble street chefs cook up. Aside from eating, head to the boat quays and Marina Bay, beautiful sites in Singapore and a definite must see. There are plenty of high class malls dominated by Versace, Vuitton and Salvadore. There are top-end hotels and a fantastic theatre, an intriguing comparison to the Hawker centre down the road in Little India.
Gap Year in Singapore
Singpore is a popular destination to visit on a round the world trip or on a stop over on the way to Australia. But did you know you can stay a little longer by booking a gap year program through our website.
Singapore is one of the cleanest and most advanced countries in the world. But this is not a cheap destination, especially compared to nearby countries like Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia which makes booking a gap year program very appealing. Most packages include accommodation and some meals in the price you pay so you will get to spend a little longer experiencing this country. If you are researching ideas for the best things to do on a gap year in Singapore our directory will help you book an amazing experience.