Singapore is one of the most developed countries in Southeast Asia, and a favorite of most of the Filipinos. It’s constantly evolving, reinventing, and reimagining itself, with people who are passionate about creating new possibilities. It’s where foodies, explorers, collectors, action seekers, culture shapers, and socialisers meet―and new experiences are created every day. Nestled at the tip of Malay Peninsula in Southeast Asia, it has very long and meaningful history of progress – as an early fishing village to the age of “Peranaka”, up to this recent time they are one of the “Tiger Economies in Asia”.
WHAT COVERED IN THIS SINGAPORE TRAVEL GUIDE BLOG?
How to Get to Singapore?
How to Get from Changi Airport to Singapore City Proper?
Visa Requirement in Singapore?
How to Stay Connected in Singapore?
How to Get Around the City?
Hotels and Budget Hotels in Singapore
Things To Do, Tourist Spots and Attractions
Money Savings and Travel Tips
HOW TO GET TO SINGAPORE
There are a lots of airlines that offer several daily flights to Singapore coming from the major cities in the Philippines and other part of Southeast Asia. To name some in the Philippines are the following: Cebu Pacific, Air Asia, Philippine Airlines and you can also check Traveloka for other flights. Nowadays airlines are offering seat sales every now and then, you just really have to be keen and patient.
It is better if you can book a morning flight to, so that you’ll arrive in Singapore early morning. It will be a way also to maximize your time.
You can book also via 12Go Asia. It is an online booking site where you can book your flight, bus and ferry.
HOW TO GET FROM CHANGI AIRPORT TO CITY PROPER
The train station is accessible by foot from Terminal 2 or Terminal 3.
To get to Terminal 4, board the free 24-hour shuttle bus located at Terminal 2.
Airport to City
To get to the city, transfer to the westbound train at Tanah Merah station. First train to Tanah Merah Station departs Changi Airport Station at 5.31am on Monday to Saturday and at 5.59am on Sunday and public holidays. Last train to Tanah Merah station that connects to the city departs Changi Airport Station at 11.18pm.
You can also ride a taxi or hire a private transfer for a much convenient transportation going to your hotel.
Better book your transfer in advance. You can also book it through Klook.
VISA REQUIREMENT IN SINGAPORE
Good thing and we are lucky enough because Filipinos are not required to have VISA to travel Singapore. You just need to have a valid passport with 6 months left before its expiration. Philippines passport holder are allowed to stay in Singapore for up to 30 days.
HOW TO STAY CONNECTED IN SINGAPORE
Prepaid SIM card
If you wish to continue making calls and sending messages on your mobile phone, a good option will be to purchase a Singapore prepaid SIM card. All three local telcos – M1, Singtel and Starhub – offer a wide variety of packages, so take a little time to decide which plan best suits your needs. You can choose from bundles for local and international calls and SMSes and select varying amounts of local mobile data. Durations typically range from five to thirty or more days.
Prepaid SIM cards are easily purchased at the telcos’ retail counters and convenience stores like 7-Eleven and Cheers through the island, as well as at Singapore Changi Airport at Changi Recommends, currency exchange and telcos’ retail counters. You will have to produce your passport for registration when purchasing a prepaid SIM card.
You can also choose to connect to the Internet from multiple devices with a pocket Wi-Fi device. This is simply a mobile hotspot that provides data access via the cellphone network for your laptop, tablet and/or smartphone wherever you go in Singapore.
This is recommended if you carry a few devices, desire Wi-Fi connectivity and do not intend to make many phone calls. Pocket Wi-Fi devices are available for rental at the Changi. Recommends counters at the Singapore Changi Airport, and you can conveniently drop off the devices at the Changi. Recommends counters just before your return flight. There are other pocket Wi-Fi rental companies available in Singapore, and if you prefer to search and pre-register online, these companies offer easy delivery and return of the pocket Wi-Fi device to and from your hotel.
Free Public Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi hotspots are also widely available at various public areas in Singapore. Here are some of the options you can choose from:
Wireless @ SG
This is a free public Wi-Fi service across Singapore, with hotspots available at many locations, including malls, museums, public libraries, community centres, MRT stations, Changi Airport and Sentosa island. An updated list of hotspot coverage is available here. You can also look out for the Wireless@SG decal on display wherever this network is available, as well as the SSID Wireless@SG on your device. To get connected, register for an account with your foreign mobile number at any Wireless@SG hotspot and you will receive your login details via an SMS message. Overseas charges may apply.
Free Wi-Fi service is available in the transit areas of Changi Airport with #WiFi@Changi.
Free Wi-Fi service is offered and available for login at some shopping malls, restaurants and cafes in Singapore. This service is usually displayed prominently for customers but do feel free to enquire directly or at the malls’ information counters for Wi-Fi access.
HOW TO GET AROUND THE CITY
MRT or the Mas Rapid Transit in Singapore is probably the fastest way to zip around the city. This way is very convenient and fast. These rail network are just walking distance to Singapore’s key attractions.
You can buy tickets for single trips, but if you intend to use the MRT and basic bus services frequently during your visit, you can buy a Singapore Tourist Pass, a special EZ-Link stored-value card which will allow you unlimited travel for one day (S$10), two days (S$16) or three days (S$20). The cards can be bought at the TransitLink Ticket Office at the following MRT stations―Orchard, City Hall, Raffles Place, Bayfront, Tanjong Pagar, Harbourfront, Chinaown, Farrer Park, Changi Airport, Bugis, Lavender, Jurong East, Kranji, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio―or at the Concession Card Replacement Office at Somerset station.
Singapore’s trains and stations are accessible to wheel chair users and the visually impaired, as well as families with strollers.
Taxis are comfortable and especially handy if you want to go to places not accessible by the bus or MRT. Cabs here are metered, but there may be surcharges depending on when, where and which company’s taxi you board. To get a rough idea of the final fare, check with the driver on the surcharges and ask for a receipt at the end of the trip. You can hail a taxi by the roadside at most places, or by queuing for one at taxi stands found at most shopping malls, hotels and tourist attractions.
Singapore’s bus system has an extensive network of routes covering most places in Singapore and is the most economical way to get around, as well as being one of the most scenic.
You can pay your bus fare using an EZ-Link stored-value card or the Singapore Tourist Pass, which you tap on the card reader located next to the driver as you board. Do remember to tap your card again, on the reader located at the rear exit, when you alight. You can also pay in cash but you need to have exact change.
Most buses in Singapore have air-conditioning – a welcome comfort in a tropical city.
HOTELS AND BUDGET HOTELS IN SINGAPORE
You can book Hotels using Booking.com, Agoda, Airbnd and even in Traveloka for a much cheaper and easy way to get your accommodations. One of the best deals can be found in Agoda.
THINGS TO DO, TOURIST SPOTS AND ATTRACTIONS
Gardens By The Bay
Universal Studios Singapore
For more about Universal Studios-Singapore (Read: “link to be updated”)
You can check all ticket prizes and have your own for a lesser hassle travel at KLOOK.
They offer cheaper tickets for these attractions. Tickets are also available on -site.
You can also enjoy the view at the skyline.
You can check this out by visiting: https://www.alltherooms.com/blog/bars-singapore-skyline/
MONEY SAVINGS AND TRAVEL TIPS
Accommodation – Accommodation here isn’t cheap. You’ll pay between 15-17 SGD per night for a bed in a dorm room at a hostel. Most hostels offer free WiFi, free breakfast, and some offer free linens. You can find a room in a 2-star hotel with amenities like air-conditioning, private bathrooms, free WiFi, and a TV starting around 45 SGD per night. Most large hotels cost between 80-110 SGD per night. On Airbnb, you can find shared rooms starting around 22 SGD per night and entire homes (including studio apartments) starting around 85 SGD.
Food – You’ll find all kinds of food from all over the world in Singapore, but especially Chinese and Indian food. Chinese and Indian food is usually around 8-9 SGD per meal. As for Singaporean specialties, try the seafood. There are plenty of low-cost eateries around Singapore with street stalls typically selling food for less than 6 SGD per meal. Most casual restaurants are around 20 SGD and after that, the sky is the limit. If you cook your meals, expect to pay 75 SGD per week for groceries that will include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods.
Transportation – There are plenty of buses and taxis around Singapore, but the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) runs the length and breadth of the country. MRT tickets vary based on the distance traveled, but generally cost around 4 SGD. There’s also the Singapore Tourist Pass which has unlimited travel within a designated time period. A 1-day pass costs 10 SGD, a 2-day pass is 16 SGD, and a 3-day pass is 20 SGD. (Note that there is a 10 SGD deposit that’s returned if you return the card 5 days after purchasing it).
Activities – On the whole, activities in Singapore are not that expensive. Some, like the Singapore Botanical Gardens and Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, are free. Entrance to Singapore Zoo is 48 SGD.
Suggested daily budget
55-80 SDG / $40-55 USD (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out at the cheaper hawker stalls and in Little India, cooking most of your meals, and using local transportation. Using the budget tips below, you can always lower this number but, remember, if you stay in fancier accommodation or eat out more often, expect this to be higher!)
Money Saving Tips
- Take public transit – Travel on public transport is just 10 SGD per day for tourists with a Singapore Tourist Pass. This will get you unlimited rides on a number of buses and trains.
- Eat on Smith Street – The stalls here offer food for less than 6 SGD and are a great place to sample local snacks.
- Eat cheap – Save money on food by eating in Little India, Chinatown, or the hawker stalls throughout the town. Meals in these places cost only a few dollars.
- Couchsurf – Use Couchsurfing to stay with locals who have extra beds and couches and stay for free. I use the service a lot and find it not only saves me money, but I meet great people too. There’s nothing better than having a local guide to show you the ins and outs of the city!
- Stick to happy hour – Alcohol is expensive in Singapore, which means you’ll want to limit your drinking. If you do plan on having a few, stick to the happy hours where you can find buy one, get one free deals.
- Avoid bottled water – The tap water here is perfectly fine to drink, so avoid buying water and just refill your bottle. It will save you money and it’s better for the environment!
- Take a free walking tour – Companies like Singapore Footprints offer free tours around the city, These are a great way to explore and learn about the culture, history, and architecture of Singapore.
Singapore may be an expensive country but its more than that. Its culture and history are priceless.
The people and its places are one-of-a-kind.
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