10 Tips From Locals You Need To Know For Visiting Singapore This 2024


Qistina Bumidin •  Jan 08, 2024

If you need a sign on making Singapore your next vacay destination, here it is! We rounded some tips to help you make your Singapore trip a fun, safe and memorable one!

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1. The best time to visit depends on what you're planning to do

Lightning storm

Singapore might be a destination where it's perfectly fine to visit any time of the year, however, it truly depends on the kind of travel you want! December to June is the busiest time to visit, especially during Chinese New Year, so if you want to avoid large crowds, this may not be suited to you! February-April is the driest period with the most sunshine and least amount of rain, which makes it the perfect time to do outdoor activities such as visiting the zoo, Universal Studios Singapore, and more! The period of July to October is also a good time to visit if you’re hoping to avoid all the tourist traffic. The weather is still pleasant, averaging around 30°C each day, and accommodation might be a bit cheaper during this time as well. There are also many festivals and national holidays scattered across the year such as the Great Singapore Sale in September, so plan out your itinerary according to what you wish to do in Singapore!

2. Food doesn't have to be expensive at all!

Singapore holds a reputation for being one of the most expensive cities in the world, but that should not stop you from visiting the island! For instance, the best way to truly get to know Singapore's unique culture is through your tummy, and fortunately for you, you can taste delicious, local food at unbelievably low prices (from SGD5!) at hawker centres! Singapore’s hawker culture is a thriving part of the culinary scene in the country and a staple of everyday life. You can find hawker centres in every neighbourhood in Singapore, even in the business district.

Some dishes that are absolute must-tries include Hainanese Chicken Rice and Chilli Crab, and luckily, there are halal versions available for all of them! Check out our detailed list of must-try foods in Singapore and where to try them. If you are an adventurous foodie, check out Singapore’s well-known Tulang Merah (or Sup Tulang), which may look a little intimidating at first glance due to its colour but once you try it, you will be wanting seconds.

The best place for Tulang Merah is Haji Kadir Food Chains hawker stall in Golden Mile Food Centre. For the best halal hawker food in Singapore, refer to our list of the best Singapore hawker food. Here's an additional bonus tip: you'll even get to sample affordable Western, Italian, and other international cuisine that's halal AND affordable at a hawker centre! So if you want smoked steaks, or a pasta dish made from a cheese wheel, minus the fine dining prices, it's time to get those tummies ready for a gastronomic adventure like no other!

P.S. We still have many best halal hawker eats we think you'll love, so check out these articles to help you with your trip planning!

3. There's a shopper paradise at every budget

If you think our obsession stops at just food, think again: Singapore is dotted with shopping paradises left, right, front, and centre, which truly makes it a favourite national pastime for Singaporeans! Luckily for us (and you!), Singapore is simply a shopper's paradise with options for every budget! Ask a Singaporean what comes to mind when you say the word "shopping", and they'll most likely tell you "Orchard Road!" Singapore's representative shopping avenue, Orchard Road boasts the highest concentration of shopping malls in the world. Whether you're into designer boutiques or wallet-friendly stores, you're bound to find something here to suit your taste! However, it does get crowded quite often. Fret not, there's still more shopping spots for you to check out such as Bugis & Chinatown for mid-tier to budget shopping, the picturesque streets lined with vintage stores in Haji Lane, Mustafa Centre for budget and late-night shopping and more!

P.S. Need more shopping guides? Check out these articles, which also include shopping spots near halal eateries and prayer spaces!

4. Get a bus & train card

Yes, we're not kidding - this will not only save you transportation costs, but it will get you to your destination with ease, efficiency, and comfort! Fortunately, Singapore is a relatively small country, with popular tourist destinations within reach and located near trains (Mass Rapid Transit, or MRT) and buses (SBS Transit), so the journey will take no more than 30 minutes! Many popular attractions are open from 10am onwards, so don't worry about missing the time! We got you covered with some useful tips on how to navigate our MRT system, from planning the best routes to the best travel times, so check it out here! You do need a card to enter. For tourists, you have three options: Singapore Tourist Pass, EZ-Link, and NETS FlashPay Card.

If you’re someone who likes to visit multiple places at once or enjoy the thrill of transit, the Singapore Tourist Pass (STP) will benefit you greatly. This special EZ-Link stored-value card allows you unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16), or three days (S$20)! A one-time payment allows you to hop on and off the train as many times as you want. The best part is that you won’t have to worry about needing to top-up your MRT card or lose out on leftover funds in your card at the end of your trip with this pass! At the moment, purchasing the STP online is not available, however, you can check this link to see which MRT stations you can buy one at including Changi Airport MRT station at Terminal 2 from 8am to 9pm. However, if you’re staying in Singapore for longer than three days and don’t need unlimited daily rides, then an EZ-Link or NETS FlashPay Card should suffice. Like the Singapore Tourist Pass, they’ll save you the hassle of having to buy single journey tickets each time, plus you won’t have to scrounge up exact change for the bus. But unlike the Singapore Tourist Pass, you don’t have to use them on consecutive days. The difference between both EZ-Link and NETS FlashPay Card is that the EZ-Link card is solely used for transportation whereas the NETS FlashPay Card allows you to pay for taxis, and other purchases at participating shops and convenience stores! If you need more information, click on the hyperlinks, or simply ask the friendly staff at the ticketing counters available at many MRT stations and bus interchanges!

P.S. If you do need to get to your destination much faster (or it's just one of those days), here are some useful ride-hailing apps you should download before your trip: Grab (Android | Apple), Gojek (Android | Apple), TADA (Android | Apple). Do note that Uber is no longer available in Singapore!

5. Enjoy free wi-fi when you're out in public places

One thing you can be rest assured of when you're in Singapore is that you'll always be connected wherever and whenever! Singaporeans and tourists alike will be able to enjoy FREE wi-fi at any Wireless@SGx hotspot by simply downloading the Wireless@SGX App (Android | Apple)! It comes in handy as a back-up option should you have issues with your travel pocket Wi-Fi and SIM Card. You don't have to apply for a Singapore number, just use your own local number! Do note that overseas charges may apply.

6. There's an accommodation at every budget

Again, we insist on this: don't let Singapore's reputation as an expensive city deter you from travelling this wonderful city! There's actually a variety of accommodations available that are definitely suited to your budget. There are two important considerations you should take note of budget and convenience to attractions and halal eateries! Firstly, this list below should give you a gauge on the best place for you to stay based on your budget!

  • Budget:Chinatown, Little India, Lavender Street, and Arab Street
  • Mid-Range: Bras Basah Road to Rochor Road
  • High-end: Marina Bay, Orchard Road and Sentosa Island (*Sentosa actually offers a mix of budget and mid-range options!),

Most accommodations in Singapore are located around the central area, so you do not have to worry about accessibility to public transportation and tourist attractions!

P.S. Need some recommendations? Check out these articles below!

7. Don't miss out on free attractions and events

The best things in life are FREE, and yes, you can capture the best of our little red dot without even spending a single dollar! You can soak in the sun at any of our glorious beaches (some of which are in Sentosa Island!), take a stroll down the iconic Merlion Park for the tourist photo opp with the huge national icon, explore the free multi-themed gardens and greenhouses at Singapore's famous attractions, Gardens By The Bay and more! If you're here during our national holidays, there are even more free events for you to check out such as Chingay Festival, Geylang Bazaar during Hari Raya, and more!

Check out the articles below for a list of free attractions you should add to your itinerary!

8. Bundled deals are the best thing ever

Having a handy combo pass during your trip to Singapore will not only help you save money but will also make sure you avoid the rush hour crowd with the help of a skip-the-line feature! For instance, if you’re heading to Mandai and want to visit more than 1 park (i.e. Singapore Zoo, River Safari, Night Safari, Jurong Bird Park) you can enjoy up to 50% savings with the 4-Park Admission or 2-Park Admission! The ParkHopper Plus package even includes admission to all 4 wildlife parks with tram, boat, and carousel rides. Apart from that, you can check out exclusive combo packages from activity booking platforms such as Klook, KKday, Pelago, and more!

9. You need to fulfil the Singaporean travel bucket list

No matter the duration of your trip, you need to visit these iconic places when you're in Singapore. Otherwise, can you truly say you've been to Singapore? Merlion Park, the infinity pool at the top of Marina Bay Sands, Gardens By The Bay, and Singapore Botanical Garden are just some of the few you need to add to your travel bucket list when in Singapore! Flood your Instagram with IG-worthy photos of these spots!

P.S. Here are some Muslim-friendly guides to iconic attractions around Singapore!

10. Take some time to explore Changi Airport

Where else in the world can you explore the entire airport for fun? When you arrive in Singapore, the vacation starts once you land at Changi Airport! Even when many Singaporeans are unable to travel abroad, one of the things we love to do is to spend a day at Changi Airport because there's just so much to eat, see and do. Of course, you can't miss the golden prize - the world's tallest indoor waterfall at Jewel! Since Jewel Changi Airport opened in 2021, the HSBC Rain Vortex has been the centre of attention at the airport. This 40-metre tall indoor waterfall is a sight to behold as it falls from the dome of Jewel and showers down all through the centre of Jewel to the basement floors up to B2. No matter how many times you've seen it, it never fails to take your breath away every time. At night, the Rain Vortex transforms with the light and sound show, where the waterfall is shone with lights set in time to the music. For those with little ones, why not bring them to the world's tallest slide in an airport right here in Singapore? At a height of 12 metres (4 storeys high), The Slide @ T3 is the world's tallest slide in an airport that's sure to delight both adults and kids. Start from Level 1 and whizz down to B3. You'll need to present your Changi Rewards e-Card at the Terminal 3 Information Counter to redeem 10 slide rides. There's endless fun for you - from halal eateries to shopping and more! So check out the articles below on some of the best things you can't miss at Changi Airport!

Now that you have these tips, there's one thing left to do: time to hit that enter button and book your ticket to Singapore now!