Before you pack your bags and jet off to Singapore, there are a few things you should know. From the local lingo to the currency and tipping etiquette, we've got you covered with all the need-to-know info. So let's dive in.
What Languages Are Spoken in Singapore?
In addition to Singapore's 4 official languages, English, Malay, Chinese, and Tamil, you are very likely to hear Singlish being spoken amongst locals - an English variant that incorporates aspects of both Chinese and Malay. Singlish is a very distinct form of English, with grammar and pronunciation which are quite different from standard English. You’ll hear it being used by Singaporeans to communicate with each other on a daily basis, and it is one of the aspects that makes Singapore so special.
What Is the Currency in Singapore?
The currency in Singapore is the Singapore Dollar (S$ / SGD). Check the currency conversion here.
Travel tip: If you need to exchange money while you are in Singapore, the vendors in Change Alley in the Financial District of Singapore always have the best rates.
Is Tap Water Safe to Drink in Singapore?
Tap water is absolutely safe to drink in Singapore.
Do Most Places Accept Cash or Card in Singapore?
Most retail stores and restaurants will accept either cash or card. Hawkers, however, generally only accept cash. Digital wallet payments are widely accepted in Singapore, and some hawker stalls will accept this as an alternative form of payment. ATMs are widely available and easy to find but may have a small fee.
Travel tip: always decline the conversion rate offered by ATMs when taking out cash. These rates are usually much more unfavorable than the ones offered by your bank.
Is Tipping Expected in Singapore?
Tipping is neither customary nor expected in Singapore, as most restaurants include a Service Tax on the bill. However, if you would like to show your appreciation for particularly good service, a tip will always be welcomed.
What Type of Plugs are There in Singapore?
The most common plug and socket type found across Singapore is the type G plug. However, you occasionally find C and M plugs as well. Buying a universal adaptor will save you the hassle of bringing multiple adaptors to fit each socket type.
Do You Need a Visa to Enter Singapore?
Singapore has strict border controls. Citizens of certain countries are granted a visa waiver which then allows them to enter the country visa-free for a predetermined period of time, depending on their nationality. Citizens of some non-visa waiver eligible countries may be able to apply for an electronic visa, while those from other nations must apply for a physical visa ahead of time. To ensure that you are up to date with the current requirements for your country, it is best to check the Singapore government travel website here which will provide you with the most up-to-date information.
Is Singapore a Safe Country to Visit?
Singapore is considered one of the safest countries in the world. While petty theft may happen, it is so uncommon that locals sometimes save their seats at a hawker center table using a bank card or mobile phone! Although, most will just use a packet of tissues or a business card, just in case…
You can comfortably take public transport or walk around the city at night with next to no concern about falling victim to a crime.
Part of the reason it is so safe is because of the country’s strict laws and harsh penalties, particularly when it comes to violent crimes and drug use. Other punishable offenses include smoking outside of designated areas, littering, and of course, chewing gum! So make sure to be aware of the rules and take them seriously.
In the national parks and greener areas of the city, there is a possibility of encountering a snake. While not all snakes in Singapore are venomous, it is always best to watch your step and avoid wearing open-toed shoes in these areas.
The emergency number in Singapore is 995
What Is the Healthcare System Like in Singapore?
Singapore has a high standard of medical facilities and an excellent healthcare system. While citizens and permanent residents are eligible for subsidized healthcare, tourists are not. Medical expenses can add up pretty quickly in Singapore, so make sure to have sufficient travel insurance for those times when your trip doesn't go according to plan.
There is also a risk of Dengue Fever here, particularly during wetter months. Avoid Dengue hotspots and follow government guidelines to reduce the risk of contracting the disease. You can see a map of Dengue hotspots here.
Our travel insurer of choice is Safety Wing for their affordable, flexible, and comprehensive plans.