Singapore is an island city-state in Southeast Asia, which many call the perfect city of the future.
It consists of the main island of Singapore and 62 smaller islands.
Although small, with a total area of 710 km2, Singapore has a population of 5.6 million, making it one of the most densely populated countries in the world.
Furthermore, it is estimated that by 2030, the area of Singapore could increase by another 100 km2 by merging smaller islands to form larger ones.
The name Singapore combines two Sanskrit words and means “lion city”.
However, Singapore owes its name to confusion. When a Sumatran prince set foot on the island in the 14th century, he thought he saw a lion.
Lions, however, never lived in this area, and the prince most likely saw a Malayan tiger.
However, the name remained, and one of the symbols of Singapore today is a statue called the Merlion, half lion, half fish.
It symbolized Singapore’s past when this powerful and technologically advanced country was a small fishing village.
If you have decided to visit Singapore, you will surely be impressed like the many tourists from all over the world who come to this country every day.
In the following text, read information about Singapore’s climate, culture, sights, and rules of conduct to better prepare for the trip.
In addition, we bring you practical advice on clothes, shoes, and everything else you’ll need in Singapore, as well as a list of things you don’t need and what you can’t bring onto the island.
The culture of Singapore
Singapore is one of those places where the traditional East and the modern West meet at their best, creating a futuristic country that is a world unto itself.
Singapore is a multicultural environment. More than three-quarters of the population is Chinese, followed by Malays and Indians.
Many languages are spoken in Singapore, but the official languages are English, Malay, Mandarin Chinese, and Tamil. Many religions are also present in Singapore. Most of the population are Buddhists, followed by Muslims, Christians, and Hindus.
The fusion of different cultures in Singapore is evident every day. Still, it comes to the foremost during the numerous festivals.
Many travelers choose these dates for their visit to Singapore because the island becomes even more colorful. The Spring Festival, or the Chinese New Year, is celebrated at the beginning of the year.
The River Hongbao and Chingay Parade festivals accompany this celebration. The Hindu festival of Thaipusam lasts for two days.
Then it is a particular pleasure to visit the Little India quarter. If you are in Singapore during August, attend the Singapore Night Festival.
In this unique city-state, you can experience the festival of lanterns, art, cocktails, wellness, luxury, and many other ethnic and multicultural events.
What to see and do in Singapore?
Architecture of Singapore
The architecture of Singapore delights tourists not only because of its modern design but also because of its sustainability and environmentally friendly construction.
There are more than 4,000 skyscrapers in the city center, and several are higher than 280 meters.
An unmissable attraction is Marina Bay Sands – a monumental building of three towers connected by a bridge.
Along with its many facilities, such as theaters, museums, shops, and restaurants, there is a vast swimming pool at the top of this building with a view of Singapore.
All tourists who come to Singapore, especially those fond of art, are delighted with the Esplanade Theater, which Singaporeans jokingly call “The Durian” because of its unusual appearance that resembles this fruit.
Here you can enjoy plays, concerts, performances, and exhibitions at any time of the day.
Here, too, you will feel the fusion of East and West as artists from different parts of the world perform.
Best of all, many of these programs are entirely free.
Singapore is proud of its “green” reputation. It is one of the cleanest and greenest countries in the world.
What’s impressive is that Singapore has found a way to use advanced technology to become even “greener”. Do not miss the opportunity to visit Singapore’s “Solar Supertrees”.
These trees, made of concrete and metal, are home to many plants that mitigate noise pollution, reduce heat and improve air quality. These trees are spectacular at night, as they illuminate the city thanks to the solar energy collected during the day.
Many buildings in Singapore, including office buildings and hotels, have their own “vertical gardens” that make the city greener, beautify the view and improve air quality throughout the city.
Best beaches in Singapore
Enjoying the beach is not the first association of Singapore for most tourists.
However, we recommend you set aside some time to enjoy swimming, sunbathing, and water sports, especially if you travel to Singapore between May and November.
Part of Singapore’s beaches belong to Sentosa Island, and some of them are located on the eastern part of the coast.
Palawan Beach, in the center of Sentosa Island, is considered one of the most beautiful. The water is crystal clear, and the sand is white. Tall palm trees surround the beach. The Port of Lost Wonder water park is on this beach, ideal for children and adults who love water fun.
Lovers of water sports should not miss Siloso beach. This beach is also known for parties.
Those who want a peaceful vacation and untouched nature should visit the beaches on one of the smaller islands in Singapore. Kusu, Lazarus, and Punggol beaches are perfect for such a vacation.
If you love nature, you will enjoy Singapore. Must-sees include the Singapore Botanic Gardens, Jurong Bird Park, Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, and the Singapore Zoo.
The Singapore Botanic Gardens are on the UNESCO list. One of the attractions of this place is the National Orchid Garden, which contains more than 60,000 plants.
Bukit Timah Nature Reserve is home to more than 500 species of wild animals. In addition, there are so many plants that you can find more trees in this place than in all of North America.
The Singapore Zoo is one of the most visited in the world, and for a good reason. This zoo is unlike most others.
It is based on the concept of respecting the nature of animals. Animals live in almost the same conditions as their natural habitats and move freely over a large area.
The safety of visitors is ensured by wide channels that prevent dangerous animals from reaching people. In addition, animals perform various “shows” here every day.
Singapore is home to the world’s first artificial waterfall and Asia’s largest observation wheel, Singapore Flyer.
While in Singapore, visit some of the many places of worship that will delight you with their gorgeous architecture and history.
Sri Mariamman Temple, Thian Hock Keng Temple, Buddha Tooth Relic Temple, Sultan Mosque, Chesed-El Synagogue, and St Andrew’s Cathedral are just some of the sacred places you can visit. Remember to take care of the clothes you wear and the rules of behavior during your visits to places of worship.
Always cover your arms and legs before entering. Some places of worship expect you to take off your shoes before entering, so if you’re not sure, check the rules or follow the example of other visitors.
Climate in Singapore
Singapore has a typically tropical climate.
As it is near the equator, the length of the day is the same throughout the year, and the weather does not change much from month to month.
It’s hot and rainy all year round, so bring summer clothes and rain gear.
The average temperature throughout the year is a constant 26-27°C (79-81°F). Even though the annual minimum temperature is 23°C (73°F), that doesn’t mean you won’t need the occasional piece of warmer clothing.
Shopping malls, museums, cinemas, and many other places in Singapore are so heavily air-conditioned that you’ll definitely need a sweatshirt and full-length trousers.
Singapore has two monsoon seasons.
The Northeast Monsoon lasts from December to March and is strongest around the New Year holidays.
The Southwest Monsoon occurs from June to September and is characterized by strong winds and storms in the early morning.
Singapore has a lot of rainfall throughout the year. However, statistically, February has the fewest rainy days, while November and December have the most.
What to pack for Singapore?
There is a reason why everyone is talking about Singapore in superlatives.
There is so much to see and do in this small city-state that no matter how long you stay, there will always be something you have yet to try or see.
So first of all, make a good activity plan before your trip.
Gear up for sun, heat, and rain whenever you travel.
Pack a guidebook and have all the apps on your smartphone ready to help you navigate and organize your time in Singapore.
Pack comfortable waterproof shoes that you can walk in for a long time.
Pay for travel insurance.
Singapore is a country with almost no crime. However, medical services are extremely expensive, so it is better to provide for unforeseen situations.
What to Wear in Singapore?
When it comes to the clothes you need in Singapore, the advice is simple.
Light, breathable and loose clothing is a must.
Stick to natural materials and avoid clothes that will make you sweat.
With average temperatures of 27°C (81°F) and maximum temperatures rising to 31°C (88°F), you’ll feel most comfortable in T-shirts and shorts.
There is no particular dress code in Singapore, so you can wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing.
However, if you are planning a dinner at a fancy restaurant or a night out, remember that Singaporeans like to look stylish on such occasions and take advantage of this to dress up.
During the day, linen and cotton clothes are the best choice.
In addition to heat, take into account high humidity and frequent rainfall. Avoid clothes that will stick to your skin and become heavy if you get wet during afternoon showers in Singapore.
A hat or cap is a mandatory accessory in Singapore. Protect your head even when it’s cloudy because the UV index is high even then.
Don’t forget your swimsuit and beachwear. The beaches in Singapore are wonderful and provide refreshments from the heat.
A light raincoat is also helpful in Singapore. Even if you carry an umbrella, a raincoat can be handy extra protection if you get caught in a downpour, or the wind damages your umbrella.
Bring slightly warmer clothes for the time you will spend indoors.
Most public places in Singapore are air-conditioned and can be very cool.
If you plan to spend the day in museums or malls, feel free to wear jeans and a sweater.
Don’t forget long-sleeved clothes if you plan to visit places of worship.
Dressing Tips for Women
Comfortable, breathable, synthetic-free clothing is essential when visiting Singapore. Pack T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, summer dresses, and loose, lightweight pants.
Make sure your clothes are made of materials that won’t sweat and won’t retain moisture.
Singapore offers many opportunities for an evening out and entertainment.
A maxi dress or an elegant shirt and skirt are good choices for such occasions.
While you’ll rarely need a sweatshirt outdoors in Singapore, you will often require one indoors.
Temperatures in shops and restaurants are often so low that you will freeze in short sleeves.
Always carry a lightweight sweater or shirt in your backpack for these occasions.
Even if you’ve planned to spend the whole day doing outdoor activities, in Singapore, you can often be surprised by the rain, forcing you to take shelter in a mall or coffee shop for a while. Be prepared for these situations.
Although each of the many places of worship in Singapore has a different dress code, more or less all of them require modest clothing.
Do not wear short skirts, shorts, tank tops, or provocative clothing if you visit temples, mosques, or churches.
Be sure to cover your shoulders and knees. Bring a pashmina or sarong for this occasion, which you can later pack in your backpack.
A lightweight raincoat is a must if you plan to take long walks in Singapore, as it is bound to rain at some point.
Therefore, always carry a raincoat in your backpack so that a downpour doesn’t spoil your plans.
Dressing Tips for Men
T-shirts and shorts are the best choices for Singapore’s tropical climate.
Choose natural materials and avoid synthetics.
If you’re planning an active vacation in Singapore, pack a few extra clothes or plan to do some laundry.
You will need to change your clothes several times a day to stay fresh throughout the day.
No matter what time of year you travel, you can hardly avoid the rain in Singapore. So a raincoat or light waterproof jacket is essential.
Choose one that will only take up a little space in your backpack so you can always have it with you.
Another thing that is always smart to have in your backpack is a thin sweatshirt. Air conditioners in many public places are set to very low temperatures, so you’ll want to wear something over short sleeves.
A smart casual dress code is recommended for evening outings. A linen shirt and full-length pants are a great choice. You’ll look stylish without being too warm.
Always wear full-length pants and modest clothing in places of worship. Avoid T-shirts with funny inscriptions or markings that someone might find offensive.
Footwear for visiting Singapore
Although Singapore has well-organized and cheap public transportation, most tourists choose to walk to see as much as possible and soak up the atmosphere of this fascinating city.
Therefore, comfortable walking shoes are the smartest choice for visiting Singapore.
Don’t travel in new shoes if you don’t want blisters to ruin your vacation. Pack the most comfortable shoes you have.
Also, make sure that the shoes you wear are waterproof.
Avoid white or light-colored shoes as they will definitely change shade over a few days in the Singapore rain.
Do not choose footwear made of sensitive materials that will lose shape after the first rain and look as if they have been old for years.
Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are a good choice for the beach and short walks.
Remember that in some places of worship, you must take off your shoes. You can choose slip-on shoes for such occasions.
What else to pack for Singapore?
Sun protection and rain gear are essential in Singapore.
Pack sunglasses, sunscreen, and lip balm to protect lips from the sun.
A wide-brimmed hat or cap with a neck cover is the best option to protect your head, face, and neck. Don’t be fooled by cloudy days. You will need all this gear even then, as the harmful effects of the sun are still strong.
Pack your beachwear to enjoy swimming and sunbathing. You can wear whatever swimsuit you want, but women can’t be topless.
Men should prefer longer and wider swimming trunks.
Pack a travel umbrella that doesn’t take up much space so you can always have it in your backpack.
In addition, a light raincoat and backpack rain cover will come in handy during heavy downpours.
Pack mosquito repellent, especially if you plan to visit the Singapore Zoo, Botanic Gardens, or similar places.
Pack everything you need for personal hygiene. Singapore is clean, but you still need tissues, wet wipes, and hand sanitizer.
Singapore is famous for its phenomenal street food, so much so that two street food stalls have even been awarded the prestigious Michelin star!
However, if you visit a food court or hawker center, you must ensure your hands are cleaned before and after eating.
It is essential to stay hydrated while walking in Singapore. Always have a water bottle with you.
We recommend water bottles with a filter so that you don’t have to think about the quality of the water.
Electrolyte sachets are also recommended, especially if you are not used to extreme heat and humidity. Mix them with water in the morning or evening to stay well hydrated.
A backpack made of waterproof material is a good idea for packing everything you need during the day. As a result, your stuff will be well organized and stay dry.
Although Singapore is considered a country with almost no crime, to feel safer, bring a neck wallet.
That way, your money, and documents will always be safe.
Pack a waterproof phone case. Rains in Singapore are frequent and very often come unexpectedly.
With a waterproof case, you won’t have to worry about your phone getting wet and broken.
Pack a microfiber towel as it takes up little space and dries faster. A cooling towel can also come in handy in Singapore’s heat.
Remember to pack everything you need to be able to use your tech devices and gadgets. Power banks and travel adapters for power outlets are at the top of the list.
Bring a lightweight stroller if you are traveling to Singapore with a toddler.
The distances you will be walking in Singapore can be exhausting, even for an adult. Your child can rest or nap in the stroller, and it’s suitable for sun and rain protection.
What not to bring to Singapore?
Leave too warm clothes at home, because you won’t need them at all in Singapore.
The same goes for clothing made from synthetic materials, leather wear, and jeans made from heavy, thick denim.
It’s also too hot to wear makeup in Singapore, so consider leaving it at home.
White pants and long, bright-colored skirts and dresses are also not good as they might get stained during heavy downpours.
Do not carry bags and backpacks made of sensitive and thin materials because you risk getting all your stuff wet.
Chewing gum has been banned in Singapore for thirty years.
As a result, it is almost impossible to bring them into the country.
By the way, Singapore is extremely clean and tidy.
The law provides draconian penalties for littering the streets. If you were to throw away chewing gum on the road, you would risk paying a fine of several thousand dollars!
You also shouldn’t bring cigarettes and e-cigarettes into Singapore. Smoking is not allowed almost anywhere in Singapore.
The list of prohibited items in Singapore also includes firecrackers, pirated movies and music, and pornographic content.
What to Wear in Singapore in January?
Singapore is in a tropical climate zone, so it is warm all year round.
The average temperature in January is 26°C (79°F), while the maximum is 30°C (86°F), and the minimum is 23°C (73°F).
January is the windiest month and is part of the Northeast Monsoon season, so expect plenty of rain, especially in the afternoon and evening.
Nevertheless, January is an excellent month to visit Singapore.
You can find somewhat cheaper accommodation, and there are many festivals and events that you can attend during this period.
Bring comfortable cotton clothing and waterproof shoes.
Don’t forget your umbrella and rain gear.
You’ll be comfortable in a T-shirt and shorts outdoors, but pack a thin sweatshirt for air-conditioned rooms.
What to Wear in Singapore in February?
The average temperature during February is 27°C (81°F).
Although this is statistically the driest month, that doesn’t mean there won’t be rain.
Choose breathable clothes and comfortable shoes in which you will sweat less.
Always have an umbrella with you, just in case. Remember to protect yourself from the sun with a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen.
What to Wear in Singapore in March?
Singapore’s Northeast Monsoon season ends in March, but thunderstorms and rain are still frequent.
Average temperatures are the same as in February, 27°C (81°F), but maximum values can be much higher.
Tank tops, T-shirts, cotton or linen shorts, and summer dresses are perfect for March weather.
However, always have an umbrella with you.
Bring more modest clothing that covers your shoulders and knees for visits to places of worship.
Comfortable sandals or flip-flops are great for short walks, and if you’re planning on wandering around the city all day, wear flat shoes.
What to Wear in Singapore in April?
April weather in Singapore is pleasant, although daily maximum temperatures can exceed 30°C (86°F).
There is not much wind during April, and the rain is irregular.
Equip yourself with breathable, light wear made of natural materials.
Women will be comfortable in summer dresses, while T-shirts and shorts are recommended for men.
Don’t forget a backpack for a water bottle and electrolytes to stay hydrated throughout the day.
Bring a thin sweatshirt if you plan to visit museums, shopping centers, or other indoor facilities because the temperature will be significantly lower in some air-conditioned rooms.
What to Wear in Singapore in May?
The maximum temperature in May in Singapore is 31°C (88°F), while the minimum is 25°C (77°F).
Heat and humidity await you during this month.
Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun because its harmful effects are very pronounced at this time of the year.
Sudden thunderstorms and short showers are frequent in May, so always carry an umbrella.
You will bear the heat most easily in linen and cotton airy clothes.
Women can choose tank tops and linen shorts or summer dresses. Light cotton T-shirts and cargo shorts are good choices for men.
Don’t go outside without a hat or cap and sunglasses. Apply plenty of sunscreens.
If you plan to go to the beach or the pool, a swimwear cover-up or sarong will protect you from too much sun.
What to Wear in Singapore in June?
June in Singapore is the beginning of the Southwest Monsoon season, which brings short-lived showers, usually in the morning hours.
Although the temperatures are almost the same as in previous months, the weather is a little more pleasant because the humidity level in the air is lower.
In Singapore’s heat, comfort should always be more important than style.
Clothes that don’t sweat you and are breathable are the best choice.
Choose a slightly more elegant outfit if you plan evening visits to fancy restaurants.
Men will look good in a short-sleeved linen shirt and light pants, while women can choose a midi or maxi dress with exciting jewelry.
What to Wear in Singapore in July?
The temperature in July is the same as the previous month. It is hot, and the rains are frequent.
Try to avoid spending the sunniest hours walking outdoors.
Instead, explore the city in the morning and evening, and spend the hottest part of the day in museums, theaters, and other indoor facilities.
During July, there is Food Festival in Singapore so take this excellent opportunity to explore different tastes.
Protect yourself from the sun and heat with loose, breathable clothing, hats, and sunglasses. For evening outings, choose semi-formal wear.
What to Wear in Singapore in August?
Due to its proximity to the equator, the temperature in Singapore is almost unchanged throughout the year.
Even in August, the daily average is 27°C (81°F), with spikes up to around 31°C (88°F). August has an average of 20 rainy days, so it’s best always to bring rain gear.
This part of the year is off-season in Singapore.
Therefore, accommodation prices will be a little lower than usual.
It’s too hot in Singapore for anything but breathable summer clothes made from natural materials. Pack the lightest clothing you have.
Consider that you may need to change several times a day to stay fresh, so bring enough clothes.
Singaporeans will battle the heat with air conditioners, so keep a shirt or light sweater handy.
What to Wear in Singapore in September?
September has nine hours of sunshine per day, and temperatures range from 24°C to 31°C (75°F to 88°F).
In the afternoon, it often thunders and rains.
Dress lightly and protect yourself from the sun.
An umbrella you will always carry with you can protect you from the sun and not only from the rain.
Comfortable flip-flops or sandals are the best choices for relaxed days, but choose flat shoes if you plan to walk a lot.
What to Wear in Singapore in October?
October is one of the best months to visit Singapore.
During October, there are more rainy days, so the weather is more pleasant than most of the year.
The days are still warm, but you will experience some freshness in the mornings and evenings.
The sea temperature is almost 30°C (86°F), so swimming conditions are excellent.
Get ready for the beach. Wear sun protection equipment throughout the day.
Loose tops and lightweight short pants are the best choices for both women and men. Don’t forget an umbrella and a light raincoat.
What to Wear in Singapore in November?
During November, the days are less hot, and there is less humidity.
The average temperature is 26°C (79°F).
Although it rains a lot, these are short rain showers that won’t spoil your vacation as long as you have a raincoat or umbrella.
Choose lightweight, quick-drying cotton clothing.
Choose waterproof shoes for the rainiest days, while you can enjoy sandals or flip-flops on other days.
What to Wear in Singapore in December?
December temperatures range from 23°C to 29°C (73°F to 84°F).
This is Singapore’s wettest month of the year, but if you don’t mind the rain, it’s perfect for visiting this island.
Choose clothes made of breathable materials that do not retain moisture.
Be prepared for rain, as there will likely be a lot of it.
A few additional tips
In Singapore, the currency is the Singapore dollar.
You can pay by card in most places, but you will also need cash occasionally.
Singapore is known as a gastronomic paradise.
You may be used to eating the most delicious food in expensive restaurants, but here you can eat a perfect meal on the street very cheaply.
Also, take advantage of the opportunity to try various specialties.
Singapore is sometimes referred to as “The Fine City”.
This is because some behaviors, which in most parts of the world are only considered “slightly rude” or are even completely common, are prohibited by law in this city-state.
In addition to smoking and chewing gum, jaywalking, throwing papers or any other waste on the street, fighting in public, and insulting (especially women) are prohibited by law in Singapore.
In Singapore, you are also not allowed to bring durian on public transport.
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