Singapore is South East Asia’s most prosperous city and smallest nation by land area. In recent years, newly developed mega-attractions and casino driven integrated resorts had transformed this “all work” economic powerhouse into one of the region’s most popular destinations for leisure travel.

Because of its compact size, Singapore is very easy to travel and generally safe. It is a top choice for first-time international travel, family trips, and those seeking to indulge in metropolitan luxuries. While costs are significantly higher than the rest of Southeast Asia, a lot of people continue to visit Singapore because of its unique and top-notch attractions that cater to almost every type of traveler.

I honestly didn’t expect to travel to Singapore as often as I have, considering the high number of seemingly more “exotic” and adventurous destinations elsewhere in the region. Singapore was just too irresistibly accessible with so many direct flights to other cities all over the region as well as convenient border crossings to Malaysia & Indonesia.

Singapore continues to be a worthwhile jump-off point to Southeast Asia and a fitting “last stop” for indulging in urban comforts before the journey home.

Traveling to Singapore for the first time? This detailed travel guide will make it easy for you to plan a trip, save money, and maximize your time.

Scroll down to read must-know travel tips before you go, followed by a sample itinerary + budget breakdown , recommended hotels/places to stay , things to do/places to visit and lots of extra travel tips.

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Singapore travel essentials

Click below to compare rates & read reviews:

Singapore HotelsTours + discountsFlightsAirport transfersWIFI Internet/Data SIM

See also: Singapore Itinerary, 33 Things to do in Singapore + Tourist Spots.

Popular tours & discounts booked by other travelers:

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How to get to Singapore — Touchdown at Singapore-Changi International Airport, the gateway to Singapore and one of Asia’s largest transport hubs. From the Philippines, you can fly directly from Manila. Flights are operated by Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines & Scoot. Direct flights from Cebu & Davao are also operated by Cebu Pacific.

Search cheap flights

Book your hotel early — Grab rock-bottom rates and avoid fully-booked rooms by booking online as soon as you know you’re going. Click below to compare discounts and read reviews by other travelers.

Cheapest ratesBest hotel reviews

Check prices online and pre-book discounts — Save money by checking discounts on tours, airport/city transfers & sim card/WiFi hotspots. Booking before you leave also saves you time by avoiding the hassles of bringing large amounts of cash & exchanging currency/money during your actual trip.

See top discounts

Visa-free travel for Philippine citizens — 80% of all nationalities, including Filipino tourists, do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Singapore for short visits. Scroll down to the extra tips for the list of things you might need to prepare.

Traveling on a tight budget is possible — I’ve included a lot of money saving tips on this guide in case you are traveling on a limited budget. Spending less does not mean that you have to miss out on awesome travel experiences in Singapore. You can achieve cheaper expenses by knowing where to find and book the best travel deals.

Getting around Singapore — Getting between different areas of the city is very convenient. Singapore has a small land area and the infrastructure is highly developed. It’s easy to go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) trip, even on your own. Plus all signs are in English and most Singaporeans can speak/understand English. Public transport is very efficient. It’s the best way to get around if you want to travel cheaply.

Singapore 3G/4G internet data sim card & pocket WiFi rental

See top discounts

Best time to visit Singapore — Singapore gets little weather variations the whole year round. Any month is generally good to schedule your visit. If you just want to go sightseeing, however, you need to be aware of popular holidays and events, which usually happens from January-February, June-July, September-October. It’s super peak season for hotels. Book your accommodations well in advance.

Spend two days or more — With a 2-day trip in Singapore, you can already see most of the major travel highlights. Though, I recommend spending three days or more, especially if you want to enjoy multiple theme parks/attractions and explore the different cultural districts. If you are spending a long layover at Changi Airport, don’t miss the free city tours for transit passengers.

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Singapore Travel Guide Blog

Singapore Itinerary

What to do in Singapore in 3 days? Here’s a 3 days & 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary for your do-it-yourself (DIY) trip.

Day 1: Old & New Singapore

Time Activity
1000 AM

Singapore-Changi Airport arrival.

1100 AM

Singapore hotel check-in

Cheapest rates

1130 AM

Lau Pa Sat hawker center

1230 NN

Merlion Park & Singapore River

0300 PM

Gardens by the Bay

0745 PM

Garden Rhapsody Light & Sound Show

0930 PM

Marina Bay Sands Wander Full Light and Water Show

Day 2: Universal Studios Singapore + Sentosa

Time Activity
0900 AM

Sentosa Island.

1000 AM

Universal Studios Singapore.

0530 PM

Option 1 — Marina Bay Skypark.

Option 2 — Singapore Flyer.

Option 3 — Esplanade Roof Terrace.

Option 4 — Wings of Time Open-Sea Light Show.

Dinner at Makansutra Gluttons Bay

Day 3: Heritage & shopping

Time Activity
0900 AM

Singapore Chinatown.

1200 NN


0300 PM

Hotel check-out & Singapore Airport transfer.

0330 PM

Singapore Airport & flight check-in.

0630 PM

Singapore Airport departure.

If you only have 3 days to spend in Singapore, you can skip “Day 3” of the itinerary posted above

Go to the 4 days Singapore itinerary guide for the budget estimates, expenses breakdown, and step-by-step do-it-yourself (DIY) tips for the itinerary above. Scroll down for more budget & money saving tips.

Singapore Budget

Your travel expenses will largely depend on your traveling style and how much you plan to spend on activities, accommodations & food. To help you set your own budget, here are budget estimates if you follow the 3 days and 2 nights (3D2N) itinerary posted above. Make sure to review all discounts & online booking prices.

Transport expenses breakdown
SGD 37 3 Days Singapore Tourist Pass — Unlimited rides on MRT & buses for 3 days. Book online
Activities/attraction costs breakdown
SGD 68 Universal Studios Singapore — 1-day admission discount price per adult.Book online
SGD 28 Gardens by the Bay (Cloud Forest + Flower dome) — 1-day admission discount price per adult.Book online
Budget Trip – Backpacker expenses
SGD 20 Transport — Singapore Tourist Pass (3 Days).
SGD 80 Accommodations — Per person. 2 nights in a budget hostel.
SGD 45 Food — Food budget at Hawker stalls x 3 days.
SGD 145 Sub-total — Including food, transport & accommodations for 3 days. Excluding flights.
SGD 278 Total — Including activities & 3 days expenses above. Excluding flights.

I’ve included backpacker budget estimates for food & accommodations to give you an idea of how cheaply you can do the trip. If you have money to splurge on hotels, food, and luxuries, simply use the expenses posted to calculate your own budget.

Other activities
SGD 28 Singapore Cable Car Skypass — Discount price per adult.Book online
SGD 8 OCBC Skyway at Gardens by the Bay admission — Walk-in price per adult.
SGD 16.2 Wings of Time — Discount price per adult.Book online
SGD 23 Marina Bay Skypark — Walk-in price per adult.Check price
SGD 33 Singapore Flyer — Walk-in price per adult.Check price
SGD 25 Legoland transfers — Return trips on shared shuttle. Discount price per adult.Book online
SGD 55 Legoland admission — 1-day admission discount price per adult.Book online
Other expenses
SGD 9.50 Singapore 4G SIM Card.Book online
PHP 1,620 Philippine Travel Tax — For outbound Philippine residents only. Paid before flight departure from the Philippines.

Where to Stay in Singapore

Book your stay near MRT train stations if you plan on getting around conveniently by public transport.

Clark Quay (Riverside), Chinatown, Little India & Bugis are the most popular places to stay for backpackers and budget travelers.

You can find most of the mid-range and luxury hotels in Orchard Road, Marina Bay, Promenade/City Hall area & Sentosa Island.

Check discountsSee more

Click below to compare rates and Singapore hotel reviews within your budget.

Best Luxury Hotels in Singapore— Splurge at the best 5-star and 4-star hotels in Singapore.See rates & reviews
Under SGD 200 Promo rates on 4-Star & 5-Star Singapore hotels — Grab discounts on luxury rooms available for booking today.See discounts
Under SGD 150 Recommended 3-Star Singapore hotels & mid-range accommodations — Great-value rooms for couples or when traveling with family & friends.See rates & reviews
Under SGD 75 Best Singapore budget hotels — For travelers looking for decent yet affordable accommodations.See rates & reviews
Under SGD 30 Best Singapore hostels & budget hotels — affordable places to stay for backpackers/solo travelers.See rates & reviews
From SGD 20 Cheapest places to stay in SingaporeSee rates & reviews

Top-rated places to stay in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands (Book here / Compare Rates)
Upscale / Marina Bay

JEN Orchardgateway by Shangri-La (Book here / Compare Rates)
Upscale / Orchard Rd

V Hotel Bencoolen (Book here / Compare Rates)
Mid-range / Bencoolen

Hotel 81 Bugis (Book here / Compare Rates)
Budget / Bugis

Butternut Tree Hotel (Book here / Compare Rates)
Budget / Chinatown

Galaxy Pods Chinatown (Book here / Compare Rates)
Budget Backpacker / Chinatown

7 Wonders Hostel Upper Dickson (Book here / Compare Rates)
Budget Backpacker / Little India

Where to book

Book your room through these trusted booking sites. I use them frequently to grab rock-bottom prices & enjoy convenient bookings. Click below to confirm the lowest prices:


Book sooner rather than later if you already have your dates set. Cheaper-priced rooms and hotels with high reviews tend to get fully booked faster, especially during busy days like weekends, holidays & peak tourist seasons.

Singapore Travel Tips Before You Go

How to get to Singapore

How to find cheap flights to Singapore?

What to prepare for a trip to Singapore?

How many days is enough?

How to get Singapore Dollars (SGD)?

When is the best time to visit?

How to get around Singapore?

Useful travel apps

Get rent a Pocket WiFi or buy a mobile data SIM card.

Where to book tours & attraction tickets

Typical travel costs in Singapore

Money-saving tips

How to get to Singapore

Unless you’re traveling by land from Malaysia, flying to Singapore is the best way to get to Singapore. Many budget airlines, including AirAsia, Tiger Air, Jetstar, Cebu Pacific, fly to Singapore from all major destinations in Southeast Asia.

If you’re coming from the PhilippinesPhilippine AirlinesCebu Pacific, and AirAsiaoffers direct flights to/from Manila, Cebu, Clark, Iloilo, Kalibo & Davao.

How to find cheap flights to Singapore?

The easy way is to search on airfare comparison sites that can show you the lowest fares on many airlines in one go.

Start your search on Wego, Momondo, and Skyscanner.

Check Singapore promo alerts several weeks or months ahead of your trip if you are planning your trip early. The cheapest promos are sold up to a year in advance of the travel/flight departure date & are often only available if you book directly with the airline.

To learn more, visit the guide on how to book cheap flights.

What to prepare for a trip to Singapore?

Singapore Tourist Visa — Tourists from around 80% of all nationalities do not need to apply for a visa or entry permit to travel in Singapore. If you are a citizen of one of these nations, you may be able to visit Singapore visa-free for a maximum stay of 30 days, to up to 90 days depending on the passport provided.

Go to the Singapore Immigration website to check if you need to apply for a visa before going on your trip. Foreign visitors from countries not listed in the “Assesment Level Countries” can visit Singapore visa-free.

If you are from a country that is not listed under the visa exception scheme, see if you are eligible to apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA).

Travelers can enter Singapore through immigration checkpoints found in various international airports, seaports, and land border crossings. Including the Singapore-Changi International Airport, Singapore-Malaysia land border, and international ferry terminals.

Always remember that all countries have the right to refuse entry to any person. Even if you are eligible for the free tourist visa or already have one in hand at the border.

Make sure that you are able to provide the following:

Passport not expiring within 6 months.

Evidence that you are visiting for travel or holiday purposes only.

Evidence that you are able to fund your stay for the entire duration of your visit.

Have confirmed flight tickets back to your home country or an onward destination that you are allowed to enter.

Visa for Filipino citizens — Philippines nationals can enjoy visa-free travel in Singapore, for up to 30 days.

Filipino citizens (Philippine passport holders) do not need to apply for a visa before arriving in Singapore granted that the purpose of the visit is for tourism or transit only. Simply show up at the immigration checkpoint and get your passport stamped. Filipinos usually get a maximum stay of 30 days in Singapore.

How many days is enough?

Singapore may be a small country but there’s a ton of interesting things to do that could keep most travelers busy for weeks on end. A shorter visit of three to four days is the tourist norm and is enough to get a feel of Singapore and skim through the main highlights.

For a weekend trip, squeezing most of the highlights in two full days is doable but depending on how many stops you make and how you choose to get around, there might not be a lot of time to explore each stop extensively or at a relaxed pace. Regardless, you can see a lot of the city in two days or even less. Though, taking three or more days is recommended to allow for time to explore Singapore at a more relaxed pace. Take an early morning flight to Singapore and a late evening flight on your return to maximize your stay in Singapore.

For travelers on connecting flights through the Singapore Airport, a long layover can provide a decent visit to one or two sites. The downtown area is just a 30-minute taxi ride away from the airport. There are many short tours that can be booked at Singapore-Changi International Airport.

How to get Singapore Dollars (SGD)?

To be safe, bring US Dollar bills if you already have them in hand. Money exchange stalls in Singapore, including those at the airport, accept a wide range of currencies and it’s not a problem if you bring other major currencies. Popular foreign currencies include USD, EUR, GBP, JPY, THB, MYR, TWD, PHP, CAD, AUD, NZD, INR, CNY, and HKD.

For convenience, carry enough cash to last the first night or two and then withdraw cash in SGD using your ATM card (bring a backup just in case). ATMs that allow international withdrawal are found all over Singapore. They accept ATM cards with a logo from major interbank networks (American Express, Discover, Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus, and the like). Don’t forget to activate your card for international withdrawal before leaving your home country.

Philippine Peso — Bringing Philippine Peso for your trip is possible since most currency exchange stalls in Singapore accept them. Exchange a small amount at the airport and then the rest at the city center for better rates. When exchanging large amounts or if you happen to be in the area, the stalls at Lucky Mall along Orchard Road are your best bet for favorable exchange rates.

When is the best time to visit?

Singapore gets little weather variations the whole year round. Any date is generally good to schedule your visit. However, if you are traveling from the second half of September to the first week of October, be mindful of Singapore Grand Prix (F1 Race) schedule. It’s a super peak season for hotels. Book your accommodations well in advance.

How to get around Singapore?

Singapore has a convenient, extensive, and affordable Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) and bus network. From the airport, the MRT is the cheapest way to get to the city center. Train fares starts from SGD 0.95.

Buy an EZ-Link Card sold at Changi Airport station & many ticket offices around Singapore. This prepaid card can be used to pay for train and bus rides. Enjoy discount fares if you use this card. The cost is SGD 12 per card. Includes SGD 7 stored value and SGD 5 non-refundable card cost. You can top-up at any 7-Eleven store. Only 1 person is allowed per card.

You can also buy the Singapore Tourist Pass, which offers unlimited rides on non-premium trains and buses. The price is SGD10 for the 1-day pass, SGD16 for the 2-day pass & SGD20 for the 3-day pass.

Private airport transfers

Book airport transfers online for stress-free private transfers between Singapore airport and your city hotel. Cars can seat up to 3, 5 and 9 people.

See discounts

By taxi

Taxi stands can be found at the Arrival levels of each Terminal. A ride to the city takes around 30 minutes and costs between $20 and $40. Better yet, avoid the taxi queue with the Grab app. You can book Grab vouchers online & enjoy additional discounts on your rides.

Useful travel apps

Google Maps — This travel app will make it a lot easier to navigate around Singapore on your own. The directions feature only works online. Available on iOS and Android.

MyTransport.SG — Useful information on MRT, LRT & bus services in Singapore. Available on iOS and Android.

XE Currency — Free & easy currency converter. Available on iOS and Android.

Get rent a Pocket WiFi or buy a mobile data SIM card.

Stay connected online during your whole trip. Not only does it make it possible to share your travel moments instantly, you can also travel better by having access to all your favorite travel apps anytime.

See discounts

Where to book tours & attraction tickets

As mentioned, booking online can save you money, time and let you enjoy cashless convenience. In case you want to see more discounts and options, here’s a list of sites that you can check.


Typical travel costs in Singapore

Here’s a list of typical costs when traveling in Singapore. This country is one of the most expensive travel destinations this side of Asia. It is generally twice as expensive as Malaysia or at least three times more than traveling around other countries in Southeast Asia including Thailand, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Transport — One train or bus ride within the city typically costs between SGD 0.95 to 2. For a whole day of sightseeing, you may likely spend between SGD 5 to 15. The Singapore Tourist Pass, which offers unlimited MRT & bus rides, costs SGD 10 for a 1-day pass and SGD 20 for a three day pass.

Accommodations — Booking a room or bed in Singapore is noticeably more expensive than neighboring countries. A dorm bed in a backpacker hostel or guesthouse starts from SGD 20 per night and averages from SGD 30 to 40 per night. A room for two in a budget hotel would set you back SGD 50 to 90 per night. Most mid-range hotels offer rooms for around SGD 100 to 200 per night. If you are staying in a luxury hotel or resort, room prices usually start at SGD 300 to 500 per night.

Food — A meal at hawker centers costs around SGD 3 to 15. Hawker stalls are Singapore’s version of side street stalls and low-cost eateries. Mains at casual restaurants start at SGD 15 to 20.

Activities — Admission fees may take up a huge chunk of your expenses if you plan on visiting many themed attractions, rides, and museums. Many museums offer free admission, while most usually cost SGD 10 or less. Entry to theme parks & attractions are priced between SGD 20 to SGD 70.

Money-saving tips

Eat at hawker centers & taste Singapore’s multi-cultural food — Meals are cheap and the food is prepared in relatively high quality and sanitation. A long line of people queueing at a stall is usually a sign that it serves good food that is safe to eat.

Ride MRTs and buses — This is the cheapest way to get around. Public transport in Singapore is quite efficient and safe. However, when traveling in a group, particularly in a group of 3 or 4, consider taking the taxi for short rides around the city center. The price difference (calculated per person) is not a big wallet buster. Your feet will thank you from the tiring walk to/from train stations, especially if you’re planning to spend the whole day sightseeing

Stay at hostels — There are a lot of reliable hostels in Singapore that cater to budget-conscious travelers. They are not only cheap, but a good way to socialize with other travelers.  Boutique hostels in Singapore are particularly good. If you are traveling in a group of 3 to 6 people, consider getting a family room in hostels or guesthouses to save money on your stay.

Get a good map and explore the city on your own tour — Go on a do-it-yourself (DIY) around Singapore’s different cultural districts if you want to save yourself from expensive admission fees at themed attractions. There are a lot of awesome things to do in Singapore that doesn’t cost a dime.

Places to Visit in Singapore + Things To Do

Check out these top tourist spots, best places to visit & things to do in Singapore.

1. Merlion Park

2. Singapore Riverside and Civic District

3. Chinatown

4. Marina Bay

5. Gardens by the Bay

6. Singapore Zoo

7. Sentosa Island

1. Merlion Park

Pretty hard to miss anyway because of its prominent location at the mouth of the Singapore River. Not only could you get a good photo with the Merlion statue, Singapore’s most iconic monument, but there are amazing views to be seen of the Singapore Skyline, Marina Bay Sands, The Esplanade: Theatres by the Bay, and the Singapore Flyer.

2. Singapore Riverside and Civic District

This relaxing promenaded riverside area is a short walk away from the Merlion Park. Take a stroll down memory lane and get acquainted with the city’s early development and colonial history. A happening nightlife scene can be experienced at Clark and Boat Quay.

3. Chinatown

Experience Singapore’s multi-cultural diversity by taking a walking and food tour of Chinatown. Visit a church, a mosque, Indian and Chinese temples all in one walk. Go on a food adventure and try dishes from Singapore’s different cultural influences at affordable hawker centers of Chinatown.

4. Marina Bay

Marvel at Singapore’s new urbanscape by taking a walk around Marina Bay. Visit Marina Bay Sands, the Helix Bridge, Singapore Flyer, and Esplanade: Theatres on the bay. Amazing overlooking views can be seen from the Skypark of Marina Bay Sands and the Singapore Flyer.

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5. Gardens by the Bay

An ambitious project set to transform Singapore from a “Garden City” to a “City in a Garden.” The main attractions here are the 25 towering man-made Supertrees and two equally extraordinary biodomes.

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6. Singapore Zoo

An impressively maintained zoo where you can find a wide array of animals from around the world. The River Safari is also worth checking out.

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7. Sentosa Island

Spend a fun day on rides and themed attractions or relax at the beaches of Sentosa. The island is home to Universal Studios Singapore, the first theme park of its kind to open in Southeast Asia and the second in Asia after Universal Studios Japan.

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Don’t Stop Here

Did you find this travel guide helpful? Share your Singapore experience & tag #detourista. Follow trip updates on: Instagram, Facebook & Pinterest.

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