Singapore is a dynamic city that is rich in contrast and colour. People come to Singapore for the multicultural performance arts on show, its numerous world top 100 restaurants, busy casinos, and as the new playground for the wealthy. With the world’s highest density of millionaires and the world’s safest and strongest banks coupled with an intense pace of working and playing, it has become the new buzz hub for those seeking an oasis of recreation.
The currency used in Singapore is the Singapore dollar (S$). Money changing services can be found not only at the Singapore Changi Airport, but also most shopping centers and hotels around the island. You can also access the automated teller machines (ATMs) located everywhere (even in the most obscure bits) in Singapore, that accept most of the main credit cards such as Visa, MasterCard and American Express.
Singapore is known for its hot and humid weather, with little variation throughout the year. The average daytime temperature is 31ºC (88ºF), dropping to around 24ºC (75ºF) in the evenings. The monsoon season can bear down heavily on our tropical weather from November onwards, so be prepared for rain on a daily basis during this period.
Cell Phone Usage
Singapore’s international dialing code is +65. While in Singapore and if you have international roaming service on your cell phone, you do not have to press +65 as it will automatically connect you to the local numbers here.
Besides air-conditioned areas such as shopping centers, restaurants, entertainment outlets and cinemas, smoking is also an offence on the SMRT (Singapore Mass Rapid Transit system), public buses, taxis and in lifts. Recently, the smoking ban has also been imposed on public eateries and within a five-meter radius from most building entrances, except for allocated smoking areas that are clearly marked with bright yellow paint. A maximum fine of S$1,000 may be imposed on first-time offenders.
Tax Refund Schemes
To enjoy tax-free shopping in Singapore, simply look out for retailers that display the “Tax Refund” logo on their shop front and spend S$100 in a single transaction to qualify.
There are no inoculations required for visits to Singapore. But if you’ve arriving from a country where Yellow Fever inoculations are required, you may require proof of a vaccination against it. Precautionary inoculations are for Hepatitis A, Polio and Tetanus. You should discuss these with your GP, to check whether you are up to date with them.
– Singapore Visitors Centre, Orchard Road Junction of Cairnhill Road and Orchard Road
– Singapore Visitors Centre, ION Orchard ION Orchard Level 1 Concierge
For additional assistance or complaints, call Touristline* on 1800 736 2000 (toll-free in Singapore), or (65) 6736 2000 (from overseas). Alternatively, visit the Singapore tourist information website at www.visitsingapore.com.
* Operating hours for Touristline is Monday to Friday (excluding Public Holidays), 9am to 6pm.
What you should know about Singapore
Knowing the local laws of a country can save you from getting fined or arrested.
- Connecting to another user’s Wi-Fi
Singapore’s Computer Misuse and Cybersecurity Act defines using another person’s Wi-Fi network as hacking. If you are caught doing the deed, you can be fined a whopping $10,000, face up to three years in jail, or both.
In Singapore, jaywalking is defined as crossing the road within 50 meters (164 feet) of a crossing zone. Jaywalkers can receive a S$20 fine on the spot, a fine of up to S$1,000, or three months of jail time. The punishment doubles to a fine of up to S$2,000 and six months in jail if you are caught jaywalking twice.
- You Litter You Pay-Big Time
Drop trash on the ground in this Southeast Asian city and you will pay S$1,000. On top of that, you will also be forced to do community forced labor. If you do it three times, you will have to wear a “I am a litter lout” sign.
- Chewing gum sales forbidden
Singapore allows you to actually chew gum. Just make sure you stick it at the trash can, otherwise great fines apply.