Arguably the easiest destination to travel in Southeast Asia.
Singapore is ultra modern, safe and offers a variety of attractions that many types of travelers, of all ages, can enjoy.
This bustling city-state is also a worthwhile jump-off point to more “exotic” places in the region.
And, a fitting last stop to indulge in urban comforts before the journey home.
Highlights & lowlights from Detourista adventures in Singapore.
Merlion and Esplanade BuildingMerlion and Esplanade Building, Singapore
Merlion and Singapore SkylineMerlion and Singapore Skyline, Singapore
Marina Bay and the Singapore Skyline view from Singapore FlyerView of Marina Bay and the Singapore Skyline from the Singapore Flyer
Singapore Skyline with Double Helix BridgeSingapore Skyline with Double Helix Bridge near Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Helix BridgeSingapore's Helix Bridge under the sunset twilight in Singapore
Far Far Away Castle at Universal StudiosFar Far Away Castle at Universal Studios Singapore in Sentosa Island
Overlooking Sentosa IslandOverlooking Sentosa Island in Singapore
Palawan Beach, SentosaOverlooking Palawan Beach in Sentosa
Hazy morning at Tanjong BeachHazy morning at Tanjong Beach, in Sentosa Island, Singapore
Raffles Hotel SingaporeRaffles Hotel at the Civic District in Singapore
Boats at Clarke QuayWooden boats lined-up along the Singapore River in Clarke Quay
Singapore Zoo Elephant ShowElephant Show at Singapore Zoo, Singapore
Panda BearPanda Bear at Singapore River Safari, Singapore
Dugong in Singapore River SafariDugong in Singapore River Safari, Singapore
Marina BarrageMarina Barrage, Singapore
Gazeebo at the Singapore Botanic GardensSingapore Botanical Gardens, in Singapore
National Museum of Singapore
Colorful lanterns at nightColorful lanterns at night, in Chinatown, Singapore
Masjid Sultan (mosque)Masjid Sultan (mosque), at Muscat Street, in Kampong Glam, Singapore
Gardens by the BayGardens by the Bay, in Singapore
Super treesSuper trees, at Gardens By The Bay, in Singapore
Cloud Forest Dome WaterfallMan-made Waterfalls at the Cloud Forest Dome in Gardens By the Bay, Singapore
Monks at the Gardens By The BayMonks at the cloud dome, in Gardens By The Bay, Singapore
Flower DomeColorful blooming garden at the Flower Dome in Gardens By the Bay, Singapore
Orchard Road and ION Orchard MallOrchard Road and ION Orchard Mall in Singapore
Lau Pa Sat Hawker CentreLau Pa Sat Hawker Centre, in Singapore
Singapore River and Civic DistrictStatues of children playing by the river with a view of heritage buildings and bridges along the Singapore River at the Civic District in Singapore
Parliament HouseSingapore Parliament House, in Civic District, Singapore
Singapore riversideRiverside Promenade and a boat passing through the Singapore River
Pre-departure area at Chiangi International Airport - Terminal 3Pre-departure area at Chiangi Airport - Terminal 3, in Singapore
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Singapore 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.
A backpacker’s budget may hover around SGD45-55 (PHP1,500-1,900) per person per day for accommodations, transport, and meals. This budget estimate does not include flights, tours, & theme park admission fees.
For two people on a mid-range budget, staying and eating at budget options and going on three attractions for the entire trip, expect to spend around SGD150 to SGD200 (PHP5,200-6,900) per person per day. This budget estimate does not include flights.
Hotel/hostel — Booking a room or bed in Singapore is noticeably more expensive than neighboring countries. A dorm bed in a backpacker hostel or guesthouse costs SGD25 to SGD35 per night. A room for two in a budget hotel would set you back SGD70 to SGD90 per night. Most mid-range hotels offer rooms starting at SGD100 to SGD200 per night. If you are staying in a luxury hotel or resort, room prices usually start at SGD300 to SGD500 per night.
Up to 80% OFF Singapore hotels & hostels. See the cheapest rates by sorting the results by price, from lowest to highest. Make sure to read guest reviews before booking.
Sights & tours — 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. Those that charge entrance fees usually cost SGD10 or less. Entry to Singapore Zoo is SGD28, Universal Studios Singapore is SGD74, Singapore Flyer is SGD30, Marina Bay Sands SkyPark is SGD23. Prices are “per adult” rates. Save money by pre-booking your tickets online.
Up to 60% OFF Singapore tours, attractions & packages. Save money, time & enjoy cashless convenience by prebooking your ticket online.
Food & drinks — A meal at hawker centers costs around SGD3-10. Hawker stalls are Singapore’s version of side street stalls and low-cost eateries. Mains at casual restaurants start at SGD10-15.
Transport — One train ride within the city costs between SGD0.8-2.
How to go to Singapore?
Singapore’s primary gateway is Changi International Airport, which is well-connected by air from nearly all corners of the globe especially major cities in Southeast Asia, East Asia, South Asia, Middle East and Australia.
Land border crossings are also popular to/from Malaysia via Johor Bahru.
From the Philippines
Travel time from Manila by flight takes around takes around 3 hours and 40 minutes. This route is served by Philippine Airlines, Cebu Pacific, AirAsia, Singapore Airlines, Jetstar Airways and Tigerair.
Direct flights are also available from Cebu, Davao, Iloilo, Kalibo & Clark.
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 Momondo, Wego or Dohop.
How to book Singapore promo fares?
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.
Where to stay in Singapore?
Clark Quay (Riverside), Chinatown, Little India, and Bugis are the most popular places to stay for backpackers and budget travelers as most hostels & hotels in these areas are conveniently located near MRT train stations. Many tourist spots are also within easy walking distance.
Orchard Road, Marina Bay, and Sentosa Island are places where you can find most of the top class hotels in Singapore.
What are the best hotels/hostels in Singapore?
Choose a place to stay within your budget from these top-rated hotels and hostels.
Backpacker — Cheap yet decent hostels & guesthouses for travelers on a shoestring budget.
Adamson Lodge (Perak Road, Little India)
Adler Hostel (South Bridge Road, Chinatown)
Maple Lodge @ Chinatown (Pagoda Street, Chinatown)
Budget — Cheap yet decent bang-for-buck hotel for budget-conscious travelers.
Chic Capsule Otel (Mosque Street, Chinatown)
The Southbridge Hotel (South Bridge Road, Chinatown)
Fragrance Hotel – Riverside (Hong Kong Street, Clarke Quay). See also Fragrance Hotel – Bugis & Fragrance Hotel – Selegie
Mid-range — Comfort and convenience at a bargain.
Parkroyal on Pickering (Upper Pickering Street, Marina Bay)
The Club (Ann Siang Road, Chinatown)
High-end — Splurge & enjoy the best.
Raffles Singapore (Beach Road, Civic District)
Marina Bay Sands (Bayfront Avenue, Marina Bay)
Pan Pacific Singapore (Raffles Boulevard, Marina Square)
Where should I book a hotel/hostel?
Go to Agoda, Booking.com & Tripadvisor to check room rates & discounts. Book as soon as you have finalized your travel dates because hotel/hostel prices rarely go down the closer you are on your trip. Make sure to filter your search based on your budget and sort the results by guest review rating.
When are you going? See the best rates & discounts you can book today. Enter your travel details and search.
Book your tours & tickets online
Save money and time by pre-booking your Singapore tours, attraction tickets & packages online. Enjoy discounts, save time from queueing at the ticket booths, and avoid the hassles of bringing & exchanging cash.
18% OFF Universal Studios Singapore Admission Ticket
20% OFF Legoland Malaysia Admission Ticket
10% OFF Singapore 4G Unli Internet/Data Pocket Wifi
46% OFF Singapore Marina Bay Sands Skypark Sightseeing Experience Admission Ticket
4% OFF Singapore Sentosa FUN Pass
25% OFF Singapore Gardens by the Bay Flower Dome + Cloud Forest Admission Ticket
29% OFF Singapore Zoo Admission Ticket
27% OFF National Gallery Singapore Admission Ticket
27% OFF Singapore FunVee Open Top Bus Pass
4% OFF Singapore iVenture Flexi Attractions Pass
See more discounts
Do I need a visa to visit Singapore?
Applying for a tourist visa before your trip is not needed for around 80% of all nationalities. Free Visa on Arrival is available at all major immigration checkpoints including Changi International Airport and the Singapore-Malaysia border crossing.
Travelers are allowed to stay from 30 to 90 days depending on your passport. All visitors are required to have a passport with at least 6 months validity to enter Singapore.
For a list of countries that require a visa to enter Singapore, see the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority website.
Do Filipinos need a visa to visit Singapore?
Filipino citizens (Philippine passport holders) do not need prior visa arrangements to enter Singapore. Free Tourist Visa on Arrival (VOA) is available at the airport and major land/sea border crossings.
Filipinos get 30 days maximum stay in Singapore.
When is the best time to visit Singapore?
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 get & exchange Singapore Dollars?
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.
How many days is enough to travel in Singapore?
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.
Go on a free Singapore tour from Changi Airport
Changi Airport offers free Singapore tours for transit passengers that are on a layover longer than 5.5 hours, but less than 24 hours. You can either choose to go on a heritage tour or a city tour.
If you would like to go on your own, 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.
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 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
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.
What are the best places to visit and top things to do in Singapore
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Galleries, stories & itineraries from Marcos’ detours in Singapore.
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