GENERAL TRAVEL INFORMATION
Singapore’s currency is the Singapore dollar (S$ or SGD). Money changing services can be found at Singapore Changi Airport, shopping centres and hotels around the island. There is also an abundance of automated teller machines (ATMs) which accept most major credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
It is safe to drink water straight from the tap in Singapore. However, for those who prefer bottled mineral water, local supermarkets and grocers always have ample stock.
Singapore voltage is 220-240 volts AC, 50 cycles per second. The power plugs used in Singapore are of the three-pin, square-shaped type.
English is the language primarily spoken in Singapore. Mandarin, Malay and Tamil, together with other dialects, are used as well.
Singapore’s international dialing code is +(65). While in Singapore and if you have international roaming service on your cell phone, you don’t have to press +(65) as it will automatically connect you to the local numbers here. There are two mobile phone networks - GSM900 and GSM1800 - and three mobile telephone service providers - SingTel, M1 and StarHub.
Smoking is prohibited in all airconditioned areas (e.g. shopping centres, restaurants, cinemas, public buses, the MRT, taxis, lifts), common corridors, void decks and staircases within residential buildings, outdoor hospital compounds, as well as a 5-metre radius from any entrance/exit and bus shelter.
The public transport in Singapore is well connected with commuters able to choose between trains, taxis and buses.
Mass Rapid Transport(MRT)
This is a fast and efficient form of transport, with a train arriving every few minutes. Fares range from S$1.00 to S$2.00, from vending machines at the stations. Operating hours vary a little but trains run from around 05:15 to 00:15. It is recommended to check what time the last train leaves from the respective stations if you are planning a late night.
Bus fares range from S$1.00 to S$2.00. If you are paying in cash, please ensure you have the correct fare, as bus drivers do not give change. Alternatively, you can purchase an Ez-Link card, which is a stored-value fare card, from bus interchanges and MRT stations. Ez-Link cards may be used for bus and MRT fares.
Taxis can be flagged from hotels and taxi stands, as well as on the streets, if there are no taxi stands nearby and traffic is not disrupted. Flagged taxi fares start between S$3.00 and S$3.40 for the first 1km. There are additional charges for trips from Changi Airport (from S$5.00 onwards, depending on the time); to and fro from the Central Business District (S$3.00 from Monday to Saturday, 17:00 to midnight), Peak Hours (25% of the metered fare on Monday to Saturday from 06:00-09:30 & 18:00 to midnight); After Midnight (50% of the metered fare shown).
Advance booking numbers (booking surcharge varies from S$8.00 to S$18:00):
Comfort CityCab (65) 6552 1111
Comfort Premier Cabs (65) 6552 2828
SMRT Taxis (65) 6555 8888
Premier Taxis (65) 6363 6888
Tax Refund Schemes
To enjoy tax-free shopping in Singapore, simply look out for retailers that display the “Tax Refund” logo on their shop front and spend SG100 in a single receipt to qualify. More information can be found at the Tourist Refund Scheme page on the Singapore Customs website at www.customs.gov.sg.
Tipping is not widely practiced in Singapore as most hotels and restaurants apply a default 10% service charge.
Visa and Entry Facilities
Most foreigners coming into Singapore do not require a visa for entry and may be given social visit passes for up to 30 days upon their arrival in Singapore. However, it is best to consult your local consular office for the latest information with regard to coming into Singapore. If you would like to stay in Singapore for a longer period, you may apply to the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) upon your arrival. You should have a valid passport with at least six months validity, onward or return tickets, onward facilities (such as visas or entry permits) to your next destination, and sufficient funds for your stay in Singapore.
The list of countries whose nationals require a visa to enter Singapore may be found on the ICA’s website.
Singapore is known for its hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 31ºC (88ºF), dropping to around 24ºC (75ºF) in the evenings. The monsoon season can bear down pretty heavily on our tropical weather from November onwards, so be prepared for rain on a daily basis during this period.