Before flying into Changi Airport, make sure your basic Singapore travel information is up to date: while Singapore is one of the easiest countries to travel to (given its central location in Southeast Asia and the abundance of budget airline connections to the rest of the region), it's not always easy sailing.
To avoid difficulty, read up on the succeeding facts to make sure you've got all you need before you go.
For a comprehensive overview of the country, read our Singapore Travel Guide; for excuses to visit, check out this list of reasons to visit Singapore.
Singapore Visa and Other Entry Requirements
Holders of US passports are allowed to enter Singapore on a visit pass. Certain limitations apply: you’ll only be allowed into Singapore if your passport is valid for at least six months after arrival, and must show proof of onward or return passage.
For a more complete list of visa requirements, see the Singapore Immigration and Checkpoints Authority website.
Customs. Visitors to Singapore over 18 years old are exempt from duty on 1 liter of wine, spirits or beer. Chewing gum and tobacco products must be declared on arrival. Illegal drugs are strictly prohibited, and carry the death sentence.
Other prohibited items include meat and meat products, long bladed items, and firearms or ammo.
Health & Immunizations. Visitors from countries with a high incidence of yellow fever will need to show immunization records on arrival.
Health care in Singapore is excellent, but also very expensive; health insurance is recommended.
More information on Singapore-specific health issues are discussed at the CDC page on Singapore. In related news, the CDC offers a series of online and offline tools to ensure your safety throughout your Singapore trip.
Packing for your Singapore Trip
Singapore is a great place to visit, whatever the season. Travelers might feel more comfortable visiting between June and August, when the heat has moderated somewhat, but the pleasant (if humid) weather allows you to plan your visit to coincide with Singapore’s festivals and events.
Singapore is a tropical country, with hot and humid weather all year. (Remember this as you Pack for your Trip to Southeast Asia.) Wear loose and light summer clothing when in town. If you’re traveling on business, smart casual is often accepted, unless you’re attending a formal business dinner. Jackets and ties are still de rigueur for business meetings, with the odd exception here and there.
- Get up-to-date weather updates in this article: Weather in Singapore. Read our list of tips on What to Pack for Monsoon Season Travel in Southeast Asia.
Singapore Money Matters
Singapore’s official currency is the Singapore Dollar (SGD), and it is divided into 100 cents. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 cents and 1 dollar, and notes in denominations of S$2, 5, 10, 20, 100, 500, 1000, and 10000. The currency of Brunei is also legal tender, with a 1:1 exchange rate.
US Dollars, Australian Dollars, Yen and Pounds Sterling are accepted at many major shopping centers in Singapore.
Foreign currencies, travelers’ checks, and personal checks can be changed at most banks and licensed money changers. ATMs can be found all over Singapore, and major credit cards are widely accepted.
Singapore's first-world status also means high prices in general, compared to travel expenses in the rest of the region. Traveling on a tight budget in Singapore is a little more difficult, but not completely impossible.
- Read about Singapore's money, banks, moneychangers, and other money tips in this article on Singapore money .
Safety in Singapore
As befits a first-world country, Singapore is a very safe travel destination. The government's stringent security measures, first spurred by the ongoing threat of terrorism around Southeast Asia, continues to uphold Singapore's reputation as a safe destination.
Singapore's reputation is partly held up by the fact that it has the strictest laws on the books - covering not just drugs, but also vandalism and political activity. Tourists behaving badly in Singapore should expect the law to come down hard on their shenanigans.
Drinking alcohol in Singapore is not prohibited, but recent rules have limited the areas where you can drink to your heart's content. Singapore hawker centers have not stopped selling beer, but stalls in Geylang and Little India have stricter rules than usual.
Singaporean law shares the draconian attitude to drugs common in Southeast Asia. The country's strict Misuse of Drugs Act punishes possession of even small amounts of illegal drugs, and prescribes execution if you're caught with large amounts of controlled substances.
- For more information, read: Drug Laws in Singapore.