Cultural history, modern designs, and unbridled fun all have a home in Singapore. By day, the boundless adventures of Sentosa’s resort attractions effortlessly lure visitors across Keppel Harbour. The charms of the main island aren’t any less magnetic, with travelers feeling inspired to explore museum art, Chinatown street food, and Singapore’s many green spaces.
In the evenings, a walk among the Gardens by the Bay reveals Singapore’s environmental aspirations, like the glowing Supertree Grove. At the zoo, Night Safaris take travelers through a protected wildlife sanctuary housing tigers, elephants, and more critters.
Around every corner, Singapore’s array of sites and activities await discovery by wandering visitors. Show up with an itinerary or no plan at all -- either way, travelers may find their list of things to do growing rather than shrinking on a tour to Singapore.
Just off the southern tip of Singapore’s main island sits Sentosa, a tiny resort island overflowing with sites and activities. The fun starts before you’re even on the island, with most travelers opting to forgo a taxi ride for the cable car as a means of transport. Once there, Universal Studios delivers amusement park staples like roller coasters and themed foods.
While Universal can easily eat up an entire day, it’s better to opt for a multi-day tour to experience Sentosa’s other spectacles. Cruise at high speeds in a luge ride, find Nemo at the Marine Life Park, or splash about at the Adventure Cove Waterpark. Whether you come with children or come with friends, everyone will relish in the chance to unleash their inner kid.
History & Culture Tours
Several historical events have shaped Singapore into the international hub it is today, and travelers can experience a multi-day tour exploring the island’s many cultural museums and preserved sites. In particular, the impact of World War II is depicted in such sites and the Kranji War Memorial and Changi Chapel Museum, two popular stops on any cultural tour in Singapore
With over three-quarters of Singapore’s population of Chinese ethnicity, a visit to Chinatown also provides travelers with a unique opportunity to experience the country’s diverse background. Perhaps the most well-known attraction is the street market, which spills over several avenues from mid-morning to past dark. Beneath colorful paper lanterns, travelers can shop and taste traditional Chinese foods infused with local elements. A local guide will make sure you don't miss the best dishes!
Though classified as a city-state, Singapore is anything but just another place for skyscrapers to flourish. The country has made efforts to integrate nature reserves into its human-dominated landscape, and the results have brought about thriving plant and animal life as well as opportunities to escape the bustling city scene.
Travelers can take part in a variety of nature tours over the course of a few days to fully experience Singapore’s environmental areas. Popular excursions include walking the TreeTop Walkway above the forest canopy of MacRitchie Reservoir Park, sea kayaking in the tranquil waters of Siloso Beach, and adventuring on the Night Safari at Singapore Zoo.
Planning Your Trip
Singapore may be small in size, but that doesn’t make prepping for a trip there any simpler. The usual considerations of season and tour expenses will still apply, as well as some Singapore-specific advice.
Best Time to Visit Singapore
Travelers should look out for Singapore’s two monsoon seasons when planning a trip, which occur from December to March and again from June to September. However, monsoon season doesn’t always indicate buckets of water will be falling from the sky -- the tail-end of the first one, also known as the Northeast season, produces cooler, drier weather.
For that reason, the months of February to May are popular for travelers. That being said, don’t get too hung up on limiting your travels to this time period. A whopping one degree north of the equator, Singapore possesses a tropical climate year-round, meaning warm weather is the norm and, realistically, it can rain anytime.
What to Look for in a Tour to Singapore
On a tour to Singapore, an abundance of free time and flexibility is a key feature to have. Singapore has a high population density per square mile, and even small tour groups can make participants feel awkward and as though they’re in the way of other pedestrians on the city's streets.
Not to mention, Singapore’s main activities -- amusement park rides, street market strolls, and nature walks -- are best completed at one’s own pace. However, you will definitely appreciate the background information received from your guide, especially at sites like the Supertree Grove or Chinatown’s Buddhist temples, when you have time to explore on your own.
Typical Tour Cost
As Singapore is a compact nation, most tours will occur over just a few days, with fees priced accordingly. If you’re traveling more independently and interested in half or full-day tours, you can expect to pay under $100, though admission tickets for attractions like Universal Studios will increase that price.
For multi-day trips, tour fees will cost a few hundred dollars, usually ranging from $300-$400 depending on the total length. Often, Singapore excursions will have extensions available for travel to other nations in Southeast Asia. In cases like this, tour prices can reach a couple thousand in total.
Packing Tips & Gear Rental
The lowest recorded temperature in Singapore is 66.9 degrees Fahrenheit, so you can imagine how hot a typical day will be no matter when you visit. As such, concentrate your packing around warm and rainy weather, with summer attire and waterproof gear. Don’t forget to throw some sunscreen and walking shoes in your suitcase as well.
If any of your planned activities require special equipment, you should be able to rent the necessary gear in Singapore. Scuba diving is one of Singapore’s most common outdoor excursions, with companies providing equipment rental to their guests and external divers alike.
Other Tips for Travel in Singapore
To enter Singapore for leisure purposes, most travelers, such as those from the U.S., will not need a visa. Once you’ve gotten yourself to Singapore, the next step is figuring out how to get around. Singapore has a fairly thorough public transit system, with buses and trains zipping all over the city-state.
Visitors can acquire EZ-Link passes that will be valid for unlimited travel over a course of one to three days. When you purchase your pass, you’ll need to pay a small amount for the card. Luckily, you can get this deposit back if you return your card in five days, unless you’d like to hold onto is as a souvenir.
Health & Safety
When it comes to your health and well-being, Singapore is a breeze for travelers. The CDC advises visitors be up-to-date on their regular vaccinations, and, dependent on what activities you plan on undertaking, get a few other recommended shots.
One of those additional suggested vaccinations is yellow fever. While not a threat in Singapore or the U.S., the disease is present in other nations. As such, if you’re traveling via one of those ports, you may need to present evidence to Singapore’s immigration officials that you’ve received your yellow fever shot.
Like the relatively minimal health considerations required when traveling to Singapore, concerns for safety are few. It’s advised that travelers use common sense, as in keep your passport, wallet, and other important items safely stashed away. Pickpockets and petty theft are a risk in any crowded region. Otherwise, the peaceful nature of this friendly city-state will provide travelers with a pleasant tour experience.