When to fly:
Visitors usually book flights to Singapore either during the northeast monsoon (December to March) or the southwest monsoon (June to September). Since September 2008, people have been flying in to see the Singapore street circuit, which hosted the first night race in the history of Formula One Racing. The Formula One Grand Prix has many more facets to it, other than racing, such as international music performances which attract a large amount of overseas visitors. As this is an international, glitzy and high profile event, accommodation and airline ticket prices may be even more expensive than usual.
It is drier between February and early March. The Chinese New Year, which begins in late January to early February depending on the Chinese lunar year, is a wonderful 15-day celebration ending with the colourful Chingay Parade down Orchard Road, dragon dances, night markets, parades and firework displays. Chinese New year is considered to be the biggest event of the year as it is marked by a two-day public holiday. Singapore is also a regional hub where people stop over and switch onto flights to other destinations, therefore, you can find several cheap flights if you plan carefully and are flexible with your schedule.
Singapore is a sovereign city state consisting of 63 tropical islands located on the tip of the Malay Peninsula, it was founded by Sir Stamford Raffles in 1819 and has established itself as an important financial and trading centres in the world.
Diversity doesn't get any wider than in Singapore. Despite its small size, the city is home to many cultures, communities and religions, each accompanied by a rich heritage that dates far back. There's Little India, the Arab quarter, Chinatown, and the colonial district where you can admire the way the old blends with the new and feel the warmth of the locals as they welcome you with open arms.
Walk through the Historic District, explore the sights of Chinatown and indulge in an authentic Chinese dinner. Spend a few hours shopping in the massive Yue Hwa shopping centre or visit the shops on the famous Orchard Road. There’s much to do and see in Singapore - take time and explore all this country has to offer. And if you have a few days to spare, take a ferry ride to some of the islands surrounding it including Kusu Island, St. John's Island and Palau Ubin.
Food lovers can indulge in Singapore's tasty food. In the streets you will find a lot of vast halls offering local cuisine, which is spectacular and amazingly cheap. Every year throughout the whole month of July you can visit the Singapore Food Festival, which gives you the chance to enjoy many unforgettable gastronomic experiences.
Singapore may be a cosmopolitan city but one of the distinct features of Singapore’s landscape is the tropical climate and the great amount of greenery. You can trek through the nature reserves to take in the sights of flora and fauna, or wander in one of Singapore’s many parks and gardens.
The arts scene is certainly vibrant. You will find many artworks in the city walls or in its numerous museums and galleries. And when you admire the skyline of Singapore it soon becomes clear that the architecture reflects a range of influences and styles from different places and periods - from Malay houses to the Marina Bay Sands.
As night falls, Singapore transforms into a vibrant array of nightlife and entertainment choices.
Getting around Singapore
Getting around Singapore is a breeze. The public transport system is extremely easy to use and taxis are reasonably priced. The MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) is world class; Modern, air-conditioned, regular and inexpensive.
The public bus system is also very good, running from 6am to midnight. Air-conditioned buses cost marginally more – about 10 cents more – than non-air-conditioned buses.
Taxis are a cheap way to get around. The air-conditioned cabs can be flagged down 24 hours a day on most roads. There are well-marked stands outside most hotels and shopping centres.
A ride in a trishaw is part of the tourist experience. Trishaws are three-wheeled bicycle taxis seating two people. Agree on the fare in advance.
Another tourist must-do is a bumboat tour down the Singapore River past government buildings, old shop houses and the water-spouting Merlion, one of Singapore’s best-known landmarks.
The main airport for travellers taking flights to Singapore is Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN) which is located 11 miles (17km) northeast of Changi. The airport shuttle offers a scheduled service (every 30 minutes between early morning and midnight) to nearly all of the hotels in the city. There are airport shuttle counters in the Arrival Halls of Terminals 1, 2 and the Budget Terminal of Singapore Changi International Airport.
Singapore insider information
- The National Orchid Garden has a collection of more than 3,000 types of orchids.
- Orchard Road is a popular tourist attraction for its shops and restaurants. See it at Christmas when the brightly coloured lights bring the street to life.
- The Sri Mariamman Temple is the largest Hindu temple in Singapore. Naraina Pillay, a government clerk, erected a hut on the site, in 1827. In 1843, the present temple was built and dedicated to Mariamman, the goddess worshipped for her power to fight disease.
- Singapore is described as a “fine city” because so many activities carry a hefty fine. Some of these are selling or importing chewing gum, dropping chewing gum on the street, dancing in public, smoking in most public places, vandalism, public speaking without a permit, and skateboarding.
- Follow the sights associated with Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore. There is a statue in the business district and several hotels, educational institutions, sports clubs and even a Raffles lighthouse in the Straits of Singapore