While we don’t aim to replace a trusted guidebook, knowing a few bits and bobs about Singapore is essential. After you book a Fleewinter holiday, we’ll provide more tips and information specific to your trip. Here are a few things to get you started.
UK passport holders do not need a visa to enter Singapore. You will need proof of onward travel and your passport must be valid for 6 months after you depart the country. A 90-day stay is given upon entry at the airport. The same is true for US, Australian, and most European passport holders. Residents of many other countries are granted a 30-day stay visa-free on arrival.
Singapore Dollars are the local currency. Exchanging money at the airport or in the heart of the city is straightforward. There are licensed money changers in most shopping centres and international ATMs can be found throughout the country. In some international retailers and large department stores, British Pounds and US Dollars may be accepted.
Credit cards are generally accepted. Some restaurants and shops require a minimum amount for the use of a credit card. A fee of up to 5% may be imposed for credit card payment in some places but this should always be disclosed before you provide your card.
Vaccinations & Health
We advise you to make a travel appointment with your local medical team for the most up-to-date and accurate information. For most travelers, anti-malarial tablets are not advised. We recommend consulting the NHS Fit for Travel website for more detail about immunisations and other health risks: you can find information about Singapore here.
Mosquito repellent is available in chemists although it may not be your preferred brand or type so we recommend bringing some along from home.
If bringing in prescriptive medication, a letter is required by your doctor stating you are required to take these medications. If any of the medicinal products contain controlled substances, you will need to receive prior authority to bring them into Singapore. For a list of the controlled substances and to seek approval to bring them, visit www.hsa.gov.sg.
A policy to cover theft, loss, and medical issues is a must. Please visit our page on travel insurance for further information. It is a good idea to photocopy and scan all relevant documents – passport, travel insurance policy, etc. – and leave one copy at home. Carry another copy with you separate from the originals and digital versions in your smartphone. When you travel with Fleewinter, we’ll give you a handy app for your phones and tablets where you can store documents like these and have access offline while you’re abroad.
Singapore has four official languages: Malay, Mandarin, Tamil, and English. English is widely spoken and most Singaporeans are bilingual.
What to Wear
The hot humid climate lends itself to lightweight clothing with a jumper for air conditioned areas. Some restaurants, rooftop bars, and other night spots have a dress code that requires men to wear full-length trousers and close-toed shoes and women to wear a dress or long trousers. We recommend having one smarter outfit with you when in Singapore so that you can enjoy some of the city’s more impressive spots.
A service charge of 10% is generally included at restaurants and hotels. There is no need or expectation to tip on top of that. Tipping your guide or driver is at your discretion and should depend on how satisfied you are with the service.
Internet & Telephone
WiFi is readily available in the airport, hotels, cafés, and other public areas. If your phone is unlocked, you can pick up a local pre-paid SIM card at Changi airport or most 7-11 stores. You will need your passport to activate the card.
The country code for Singapore is +65. If you are calling within the country from a local number, you may need to add a 0 at the start of the sequence. To dial the UK, dial +44 or 0044.
Singapore is 8 hours ahead of GMT during the winter and 7 hours ahead when daylight savings time is in effect in the UK.
Singapore’s voltage is 220-240 volts AC. The power plugs are three-pin, square shaped, similar to those used in the UK.
Generally, tap water is safe to drink in Singapore. We encourage all travelers to Singapore to bring a reusable water bottle to minimize the use of disposable plastic as you can safely fill up at your hotel and throughout the city.
Laws, Customs, & Culture
Singapore has a reputation for its clean streets and strict laws. While you may see the occasional piece of litter, it’s best to abide by the law and not drop rubbish of any sort. The fine can be hefty!
Chewing gum is prohibited unless approved for dental or medicinal use and could be confiscated at the airport. The same is true for chewing tobacco, electronic cigarettes, vaporisers, and other items. We recommend consulting the Singapore Customs website for up-to-date information about prohibited items and customs allowances.
Smoking is not allowed on the MRT or in public spaces such as shopping centres, restaurants, entertainment outlets, public eateries, and a five-metre radius of most building entrances. You can only smoke in designated areas that are clearly marked with bright yellow paint.
Public displays of affection are extremely rare and best avoided.
When entering a place of worship, be prepared to remove footwear. In mosques and Hindu temples, arms and legs should be covered. Women should have a scarf for covering their heads when entering a mosque.
The holiday calendar in Singapore reflects the nation’s multi-cultural population. New Year’s Day, Chinese New Year, Good Friday, Christmas Day, the Buddhist Visak Day, Hindu Deepavali, and the Mulsim Hari Raya Puasa and Hari Raya Haji are all public holidays. International Worker’s Day and National Day are also recognized.