Asia,  Singapore,  Travels

A lot of essential and practical information about Singapore

I have to confess that Singapore has never been on my list of places which I want to visit. My husband and I were in the Philippines and finally, we had to buy flight tickets from Cebu to Singapore and then to Europe. I remember a talk with him about our trip to Singapore because I was really disappointed that I couldn’t find another place. A perspective of a big crowded city with views of skyscrapers everywhere you look makes me unhappy. I have read many articles about Singapore, its attractions, places worth to visit and I didn’t understand why people like this city.

While I’m writing this post I bring back my memories to Singapore. To the city which surprised me from the very first moment and which I fell in love at first sight. While we were landing and I was looking at the city from the airplane’s window I knew that it will be my favorite place in the world. I only regret that we spent there so short time.

If you have the same doubts as me at the beginning, I can really guarantee you that Singapore is the best place you can choose. Don’t hesitate.

Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia, which lies at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula, with Indonesia’s Riau Islands to the south and Peninsular Malaysia to the north. Its territory consists of one main island and more than 60 other islets. Singapore is also known as a ‘Lion City’ thanks to its native Malay name ‘Siṃhapura’, where siṃha means ‘lion’ and pura is ‘a town’ or ‘a city’. An official symbol of Singapore is ‘The Merlion’ –  a creature with a lion’s head and the body of a fish.

An official symbol of Singapore - ‘The Merlion’
An official symbol of Singapore – ‘The Merlion’

The best time to visit Singapore

Singapore is situated close to the equator, therefore there is a tropical rainforest climate. It is marked by big air humidity (about 90%) and high temperature during the day, more than 30 Celcius degree. During the whole year, the temperature is similar. Usually, it is between 29 and 32 Celcius degree by day and between 23 and 26 Celcius degree by night.

You can travel to Singapore whenever you want during the whole year. Only remember that between October and February there are monsoons, which cause heavy rainfall.

I read that Singapore characterizes variable weather. If you are going to spend a few days in Singapore it is not necessary to check the weather forecast, because it changes quickly.

We were in Singapore in March. Despite the weather forecast showed rain, the first day was sunny and during the second day the sky was cloudy. 

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Public transport in Singapore

If you are in Singapore it won’t be a surprise that the city has a well-developed public transport. Easily you can travel through the whole city thanks to many connections close to its main attractions. Singapore’s public transport system is fast and efficient. There are many travel options you can choose from.

From the Airport to the city center
By train

Probably the fastest way to get around the city is the train – Singapore’s MRT (mass rapid transit) system, which provides an extensive rail network.

The best option for leaving the Airport is taking a train. As I mentioned earlier Singapore has a well-developed rail network.

Firstly you should take the train from Changi Airport Station to Tanah Merah Station (the second stop) and then transfer to the East-West Line towards Tuas Link.

An alternative option is taking a train to Expo Station (the first stop) and then transfer to the Downtown Line towards Bukit Panjang.

Trains start to operate daily from 5.30 am to about midnight. During peak hours of 7.00 am to 9.00 am the train frequency is about 2 to 3 minutes and about 5 to 7 minutes during off-peak times.

There are 5 metro lines in the city: East-West Line, North-South Line, North East Line, Circle Line, and Downtown Line. Every MRT station is located close to many of Singapore’s attractions. At all stations, you can find various maps of Singapore’s public transport, which help you to find your way around the city.

Mass Rapit Transit Map you can download here.

For your journey you should pay with a contactless stored-value card or a standard ticket. More about tickets types and prices you can find below.

By taxi

Another option is taking a taxi. On each Terminal, there are located taxi stands. The journey takes about 30 minutes to the city center and the approximate cost is between S$20 and S$40.

Be aware that there is an additional Airport Surcharge for all trips originating from the Airport:
– S$5 – for a trip between 5.00 pm and 12.00 am from Friday to Sunday
– S$3 – for a trip at all other times
– 50% of final metered fare – for a trip between 12.00 am to 6.00 am
– 25% of final metered fare – for a trip between 6.00 am to 9.30 am from Monday to Friday and between 6.00 pm to 12.00 am from Monday to Sunday.

More information about taxis in Singapore you can find here.

By bus

Another option is the bus. Singapore, as well as the rail network, has a well-developed bus network, with many connections covering most places in the city. It is the most economical way to get around the city.

Singapore's buses
Singapore’s buses

From Terminal 1, 2 and 3 you can take buses 24, 27, 34, 36, 53, 110 and 858. Bus stops are located at the basement bus bays.

From Terminal 4, at the bus stop next to Car Park 4B you can take buses 24, 34, 36 and 110. At the bus stop near the SATS Inflight Catering Centre 1, you can take buses 27, 53 and 858.

You should remember to prepare the exact fare for your trip because there is no change.

You can use various mobile apps to check a bus arrival time: SG NextBus, iris Next Bus or MyTransportSG.

More information about Singapore’s public transport you can find here: https://www.visitsingapore.com/travel-guide-tips/getting-around/

Ticket types and prices

If you are going to visit Singapore within a few days I recommend you to buy special EZ-link card because buying a single ticket every trip is not economic. The single ticket price depends on a trip distance, but it is between 1S$ to 3S$.

In Singapore, there are four types of passes: Singapore Tourist Pass, SG Tourist Pass, Singapore Tourist Pass Plus and STP Charm. Every card offers unlimited travel on Singapore’s buses and trains for the duration that it is valid. You should only remember that the ticket is valid from your 1st usage till 11.59 pm of the day and usage of 2-day or 3-day card must be on consecutive days.

More information about types of passes you can read on the official website: http://thesingaporetouristpass.com.sg/type-of-passes/

You can purchase a card at the TransitLink Ticket Office at the following MRT stations: Orchard, City Hall, Raffles Place, Bayfront, Tanjong Pagar, Harbourfront, Chinatown, Farrer Park, Changi Airport, Bugis, Lavender, Jurong East, Kranji, Woodlands, Ang Mo Kio. We bought our cards at the Automated STP Kiosks at Changi Airport MRT Station.

How to get to Sentosa

Sentosa is a famous island resort which was once a failed military fortress built by the British. It offers a lot of attractions for tourists and I think it is a mandatory place on a list of things to do in Singapore.

If you have a car it is not a problem to get there, but if you are a tourist you need public transport. There are a few options about how to get to the island.

By MRT

The cheapest and fastest way to get to Sentosa Island is by MRT. Firstly you should get to Harbourfront Station taking the North-East Line. Secondly, enter to the VivoCity Mall. You haven’t to go outside because MTR station is actually attached to the mall. Just follow the signs. Thirdly you should go to the third floor of the mall and then you find the ticketing area and the entrance to the Sentosa Express Monorail Station.

The Sentosa Express Monorail
The Sentosa Express Monorail

The ticket costs 4S$. The price covers unlimited use of the Sentosa Express around Sentosa for the day and the entrance to the island.

If you have Singapore EZ-Link card you can go straight to the boarding gate and swipe your card through the machine to go through.

The Sentosa Express Monorail Station is open daily from 7.00 am to 11.45 pm and operates every 5-8 minutes. It has four main stops:  the Sentosa Express Station at VivoCity, Waterfront Station, Imbiah, and Beach Station.

During weekends and public holidays you can expect long queues.

By Cable Car

It is not a cheap option, but it provides outstanding views and an unforgettable experience.

As well as by MRT firstly you should get to Harbourfront Station and enter to VivoCity Mall. Then take Exit B to Harbourfront Centre and follow signs, which lead to Singapore Cable Car station located at the top of Harbourfront Tower II.

The Singapore Cable Car is open daily from 8.45 am to 10 pm. The last boarding is at 9.30 pm.

The round trip ticket for Singapore Cable Car costs 35S$.

By foot

Another option to reach Sentosa is travel there on foot via the Sentosa Boardwalk.

By bus

You can take buses 65, 80, 93, 188, 855, 10, 30, 97, 100, 131, 143, 145 or 166 to get to VivoCity Mall and then board bus RWS8 and alight at Resorts World Sentosa drop-off point.

Accommodation in Singapore

There are many options for accommodation in Singapore and certainly, you shouldn’t have a problem with finding something for you. The only difficulty can be a low rental price because Singapore is an expensive city.

We booked a room close to Kallang and Stadium station because we knew that we will travel frequently by train. The price was quite good. We paid 60S$ for one night for a double room. The neighborhood was peaceful.

Have you ever been to Singapore? How long you stayed there? 

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